PHIL 230 Study Questions Exam 1

PHIL 230 Study Questions Exam 1
There will be some short answer and/or multiple choice questions on the exam as well.
Be sure you can define all the meta-ethical theories we talked about on the first few days
of class (divine command theory, etc).
Essay Questions:
1. What is “subjective descriptivism” how might someone argue that this theory makes
moral disagreements impossible? Can the SD theorist respond to this objection? Explain.
2. What is objectivism? Explain the “queerness” objection to this meta-ethical view.
2. What is cultural relativism? Explain how Rachel’s argues that this moral theory does
not allow for internal criticisms of socially accepted moral rules.
1. Explain why Aristotle believe that human beings have a natural function. Do you
agree with Aristotle? Why or why not?
2. Explain Aristotle’s reasons for thinking that happiness is not (A) Pleasure, (B) Honor
and (C) honor. (Give all three arguments). What does Aristotle think happiness really
is? What are his reasons?
3. Explain Kant’s reasons for thinking that virtues are not good in an unqualified way.
4. Explain the difference between acting from duty and acting in accord with duty. Give
an example of each.
5. Explain the universalizability criteria for determining our duties. Explain how Kant
uses this criteria to argue that it is wrong to make a lying promise.
6. Explain the role that virtue and moral rules play in Mill’s utilitarian moral theory.
7, Explain the “Competent judge” argument Mill gives for the belief that intellectual
pleasures are superior to physical pleasures. Do you think this is a good argument? Why
or why not?
8. Explain the how the example of the organ harvesting surgeon can be used to present a
reductio type argument against utilitarianism. Do you think this criticism of utilitarianism
is successful? Why or why not (be sure to consider how a utilitarian may respond to this
9 Why does Ross believe that both Kantian ethics and Utilitarianism are flawed?
8. Explain the distinction between prima facie and actual duties.