Philosophy Midterm #2 Study Guide
Philosophy Midterm #2 Study Guide Philosophy 100
Long Beach State
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This 3 page Study Guide was uploaded by Eunice kim on Wednesday April 20, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to Philosophy 100 at California State University Long Beach taught by Alexander Klein in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Philosophy 100 in PHIL-Philosophy at California State University Long Beach.
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Date Created: 04/20/16
MIDTERM #2 Study Guide Philosophy 100 1.Consider the following argument. Premise 1: Fire caused heat in the past. Premise 2: Nature will continue in the future as it has in the past—i.e., like causes will have like effects in the future.Conclusion: Fire will always cause heat. What philosophical problem does Hume have with arguments like this? The argument is not sound, since premise 2 cannot be proved true. 2. Which of the following is Hume’s “solution” to the problem of induction? It is human nature to become accustomed to seeing like causes joined with like effects; this leads us to expect like causes to be joined with like effects in the future. 3. Which of the following claims commits the is/ought fallacy? A study of 10,000 adults left alone in a room with a jar full of candy meant for children finds that the majority steal a piece of candy anyway. Researchers conclude that since the practice is so widespread, people should sometimes be allowed to steal small items. 4. Chisholm says that there are at least three approaches to the problem of the criterion. Which of the following is not a strategy he discusses? The approach of the diallelus—we show that the argument that is supposed to establish the problem in the first place is in fact unsound; so this solves the problem. 5. Which of the following examples appears in Chisholm’s article? The task of sorting a bunch of fruit so the rotten ones end up separatedfrom the good ones. A person invents a new machine and claims it can distinguish fool’s gold from real gold. Iggy Jones, the owner of a jewelry store, is interested in buying the machine, but he first needs to be convinced that the machine really does identify gold. 6. Chisolm would say that Iggy faces a practical problem much like the philosophical problem of the criterion. Which of the following best describes Iggy’s problem? Iggy would have to have an object he knows to be gold if he wants to confirm that the machine really works. But he would have to have a good golddetecting machine before he could confirm that he’s got a real chunk of gold. Iggy can never break into the circle. 7.Chisolm advocates a solution to the above problem that he calls “particularism.” Suppose Iggy were a particularist. How would he try to solve his problem? He would first find objects he believed to be gold—then he would test whether the machine gives the right verdict about those objects. 8.Suppose you are a bouncer at a bar. Which one of the following rules for letting people in is not “internal,” to use Cardinal Mercier’s phrase?Let people in who have been recommended by another customer. 9.Which of the following would Chisholm say is not a “first truth of fact”? I have a cell phone in my pocket. 10. Mill thinks that the difference between actions that are right and wrong is that right actions ... produce more pleasure than pain. 11. Which of the following is not part of Mill’s Principle of Utility? People have a moral obligation to show a deeper concern for members of their immediate family than for people who might be suffering elsewhere. 12.Which one of the following arguments would a utilitarian be most likely to accept? We are justified in giving criminals the death penalty because the prevented suffering of victims and their families is far greater than the relatively limited suffering we create in the executed prisoner. 13.In what century did Mill live? The 19 Century (i.e., the 1800s) 14. After September 11, 2001, the American government began the controversial practice of torturing prisoners who they suspected had information about potential terrorism threats. A utilitarian is most likely to endorse which of the following lines of reasoning? Torture is not permissible unless we are likely to prevent more suffering among potential victims of a terrorist attack than we create in the tortured prisoner. 15. Consider this passage from p. 606 of Singer’s article: “Should I consider that I am less obliged to pull the drowning child out of the pond if on looking around I see other people, no further away than I am, who have also noticed the child but are doing nothing? One has only to ask this question to see the absurdity of the view that numbers lessen obligation.” What does Singer mean by “the view that numbers lessen obligation?” He is referring to an objection to his own view—an objection that says that I have less obligation to save people in Bengal (or wherever) because many others are also in a position to help. 16. Peter Singer argues that we have a responsibility to spend our surplus money to save the lives of starving children. Suppose somebody were to object that in real life, most people do not actually live according to Singer’s very strict utilitarian principle—so the principle cannot be true. How does Singer respond to this objection? The objection commits the is/ought fallacy. 17. Singer’s view is that we are morally required to help people who are suffering in places like Somalia if we can do so without giving up anything morally significant. Singer rejects the socalled “distance objection” to his view—the objection that we only have a deep moral responsibility to people who live close to us. What reason does Singer give for thinking the objection fails? Impartiality requires us to see distance as morally insignificant. 18. Consider this passage from p. 606 of Singer’s article: “...If everyone in circumstances like mine gave [$]5 to the Bengal Relief Fund, there would be enough to provide food, shelter, and medical care for the refugees; there is no reason why I should give more than anyone else in the same circumstances as I am; therefore I have no obligation to give more than [$]5.” What is Singer’s response to this objection? [Hint: look at the rest of the passage in the book—and remember that he’s giving a reason to reject the objection.] The argument is not valid. To be valid, the conclusion would have to read, “*if* everyone were to give $5, then I would have no obligation to give more than that.” 19. Consider this argument, adapted from Peter Singer: i. People in Somalia are suffering and dying from lack of water. This is bad. [matter of fact] ii. If it is in your power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, you ought to do it. [general principle] iii. It is in your power to prevent people in Somalia from dying (you can donate surplus money), and you won’t have to sacrifice anything of comparable moral importance. [matter of fact] CONC: You ought to donate surplus money to prevent people in Somalia from dying. QUESTION: Which of the following is the most philosophically effective strategy for objecting to this argument? Try to show that premise iii is not true. 20. Consider the question, “Why is it good to give to charity?” Suppose somebody offers the following answer: it is selfevident that it is good to give to charity—no further justification can be given. Which one of the following moral theories would be most likely to offer this answer, according to Korsgaard? Intuitionism 21. Paternalistic lying turns out to be a cardinal moral sin for Kantians. Why? Lying amounts to violating somebody else’s autonomy, and Kantians think the essence of morality is that we respect one another’s autonomy. 22.UNICEF is a charity that helps save people who are in danger of dying from starvation. Consider the question, “Why should I give money to charities like Unicef?” Which one of the following answers is Korsgaard most likely to offer? Starving people are rational, free agents. If we fail to save them from starving when we easily could do so, we fail to respect their moral right to choose their own destiny. 23. Consider the question, “Why should one refrain from paternalistic lying?” I should refrain from paternalistically lying to you, according to the consequentialist, because I am unlikely to be in a better position than you to know what’s best for you. Korsgaard argues that this answer conflicts with which one of the following, basic commitments of consequentialism? [Hint: consult pages 579580] The claim that there is an objective fact of the matter about which actions are right and which are wrong. 24.Which one of the following reasons would the Kantian be most likely to give for the claim that every adult should have the right to vote? Our fundamental moral obligation is to respect one another’s autonomy. One cannot be a fully autonomous member of society unless one has a say in who governs that society. 25.Which of the following is an example of somebody who HAS negative freedom but LACKS positive freedom? A heroin addict who lives at home, but cannot get his life together in the sense that he isn’t able to pursue the career he has always dreamed of. Chisolm…Problem of the criterion: wants to create a “truth test” so that we know which beliefs are “good”. Justifying over truth test would require reasoning in a vicious circle..to know whether we have the right truth test we need to know the beliefs the test identifies is really true,but we can't know whether any belief is really true unless we have the right truth test;Circular Reasoning: some premise is used to prove the conclusion, but the premise cannot itself be proved unless we assume the conclusion true Chisolm’s Criterion: Chisholm's Criterion of truth: a list of basic facts, facts that any truthrule has to square withfirst truths of facts first truths of reasonOne objection what about cases where science conflicts with common sense? It used to seem obvious that the earth was flat and stationary Cardinal Mercier’s Criteria for a solution to the problem: 1) Internal: the criterion must be obvious to an individual subject no appeals to outside authority2) Objective: the criterion must not be based on mere [whim] or subjective preference3) Immediate: the criterion can't involve any inferences or appeal to deeper reasons Two Solutions: A: What do we know? B: How are we to decide whether we know? Skeptical Problem: we can’t answer A until we answer B and vice versa. Methodism answer B first to answer A Particularism to answer A first to answer B. Chisolm favors Particularism. Chisolm’s solution: Accepts some undeniable facts, then choose the test that correctly identifies said facts as true. First truths of fact: EX: that I seem to see, hear, remember, want (etc) something new. These are "selfpresenting" mental states in the sense that if I'm in one of the states of mind, it's obvious to me that I'm in one of these states of mind. First truths of reason: EX: that any object is identical to itself, that 1+1=2, etc. These are a priori in the sense that if you understand the meanings of the words involved, the propositions are obviously true. Mill…Utilitarianism an essay written to provide support for the value of utilitarianism as a moral theory, and to respond to misconceptions about it. Mill defines utilitarianism as a theory based on the principle that "actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness." Mill defines happiness as pleasure and the absence of pain. He argues that pleasure can differ in quality and quantity, and that pleasures that are rooted in one's higher faculties should be weighted more heavily than baser pleasures. Furthermore, Mill argues that people's achievement of goals and ends, such as virtuous living, should be counted as part of their happiness. Jeremy Bentham’s Principle of Utility: He thought we could measure the level of happiness created or destroyed by Hedons. Four Main Claims: Consequentialism acts count as right or wrong solely in virtue of their consequences EX: If a govt official implements a tax policy that has bad consequences, her act was wrong, regardless of her intentions Hedonism Clearly, not every consequence is morally relevant EX: if I open the window, this has the consequence for lowering the temperature in the room. What kind of consequences matter?Bentham and Mill think that the only consequences that are morally relevant are the production of pleasure and pain. Bentham: all pleasures are on equal footingthe only question is weighing the value of beer vs. charity is the quantity of pleasure or pain produced.Mill disagrees. He thinks some pleasures are inherently better than others. we weigh the value of beer vs. charity by looking at the quantity and quality of pleasure. Impartiality The principle of utility seeks an objective and impartial measure of morality. In principle, a smart psychologist should be able to calculate—totally objectively—whether a particular action is right or wrong. How? Just tally up Hedons! Social Theory What should the utilitarian say about the difference between just and unjust societies? The just society is the one where happiness is maximized and unhappiness is minimized. Singer…Singer’s claim: you ought to give up any surplus money you might have and send it to places like Somalia to prevent people from dying. Singer's Argument: Relies on 2 seemingly uncontroversial premises. Question: what are the premises?1. "...Suffering and death from lack of food, shelter, water and medical care are bad"2. "... if it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally, to do it."If you accept these premises, Singer is going to show that you must also accept a radical conclusion: that you have an obligation to give up surplus money to help the needySo, question: is there any reason to doubt either of these premises. A. People in Somalia are suffering and dying from lack of food[statement of fact]B. Suffering and death from lack of food is bad [first basic principle]C. You can easily save $250 (and thus 1 Somali life] by skipping movies, takeout, new clothes [statement of fact]D. So it's in your power to prevent something bad from happening without having to sacrifice anything of comparable moral worth.E. "... if it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally, to do it"F. Conc: You ought to send surplus money to people in Somalia [From D. to E.] Singer's Argument [Upshot]: You are morally required to give money to save the lives of people in Somalia if you accept two key premises, which are (again):1. "...Suffering and death from lack of food are bad"2.. "... if it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally, to do it." Distance Objection: I have a greater responsibility for the people who live in my community than I do for people living very far away. In short, impartiality requires us to see distance as a morally insignificant feature of the situation. Numbers Objection: millions of others are also in a position to save the refugees. So the responsibility to save them cannot be placed squarely on my shoulders.Singer believes that you should(do the morally correct thing) no matter the amount of people. How does Singer Support His Position? We have a moral obligation to send any surplus money we might have to aid people who are suffering and dying from lack of food, water, shelterSinger has 2 strategies for supporting his position: Philosophers generally try to give sound arguments and a strong objection will call the soundness of an argument into question. Korsgaard…Consequentialist actions are right insofar as they promote good consequences (like happiness) wrong insofar as they promote bad consequences (like pain) Intuitionism Imagine a kid who keeps asking "why?"Lots of facts can be explained by other factsBut this process must have an endpoint explanations must bottom out somewhere ("just because") Some think moral facts are always "just because"So if moral facts cannot be explained, what reason do we have for believing them?Intuitionists claim that moral facts are selfevident truths, like 1+1=2Lying is wrong because it's obvious that it's wrong. This fact is too fundamental to admit of an explanation or proof.The problem with the intuitionist is that it is impossible to figure out how to decide between competing duties/morals. Kantianism actions are right insofar they respect people’s autonomy. Korsgaard thinks paternalistic lying is a fundamental error:Paternalism thinking you know better how somebody else should live his life. Paternalism is violating somebody's autonomy. Autonomy: There is positive and negative freedom. Negative Freedomfreedom from constraints, whether political, economic, social, etc.You'd be perfectly free in the sense if everybody else would leave you alone! Positive Freedom freedom to create your own destiny think of what happens when a colony gains freedom from a ruling power. The colony is free to rule itself, to make its own decision individuals also can have positive freedom when they are free to rule their own lives and make their own decisions, to reach their higher idealsWhat do I mean by one's "higher ideals"? Consider the case of a smoker. One part of the smoker wants to get to an important appointment on timethe other part of the smoker really, really wants to go buy cigs first the appointmentkeeper part of the smoker is superior to the other partthe smoker has positive freedom is free to reach her higher ideals if her higher self is in control of her destiny, not her lower, irrational desires and passions. Key Point: When Korsgaard talks about autonomy, she has in mind primarily positive freedom—the freedom to pursue one's highest ideals.Notice! Negative freedom without positive freedom seems useless.Suppose all external constraints are removed, but I still make decisions by blindly following others, or am a slave to my own lower emotions and urges. (ADDICT ex.) Am I really free? In short, there is little point in removing constraints unless there is a strong agent who can actually make positive decisions for him or herself. Can one be objectively wrong about which candidate is best in an election?Consequentialist: of course! The best politician is the one whose policies will promote the most happiness.Kantian: No! People have the moral right to vote for their own elected officials even if they are terrible judges of who will run an effective government. Utilitarian: Singer Kantian: Korsgaard How to Object a Philosopher: 1. Challenge the argument’s validity. 2. Challenge the truth of one or more premises. An example: 1. Every time somebody comes to the door, Ruby barks. 2. Ruby is barking. 3. Conclusion: Somebody is at the door. Not valid because Ruby might not be barking because somebody at the door. Ruby can be barking for a different reason. Here’s one easy way to show that an argument isn’t valid: Construct a story where the premises are all true, but the conclusion is false. Hint: if the argument is valid, it will be impossible. A Priori Knowledge gained through rational reflection EX: math A Posteriori knowledge gained through senses/perception Valid Argument IF the premises are all true, THEN the conclusion must be true. A valid argument can have a false conclusion. Sound Argument Is valid plus has all true premises. A sound argument cannot have a false conclusion. Circular Argument Some premise is used to prove a conclusion, but the premise cannot itself be proved unless we assume the conclusion is true. Reductio ad absurdum shows that one or more statements involved in the argument have absurd consequences. EX: Joe claims that all beliefs are equally true. Reductio argument: Suppose Joe’s claims are true. Then there is now more reason to believe any one claim over another. This includes Joe’s own claim…So Joe is advancing a claim hat he can have no good reason to advance. This is absurd! MIDTERM #2 Study Guide Philosophy 100 Isought fallacy occurs when the assumption is made that because things are a certain way, they should be that way. It can also consist of the assumption that because something is not now occurring, this means it should not occur. RUSSELL ACCUSES MILL OF IT Intuitionist lying is wrong; though no reason can be given as to why it's wrong. Consequentialist who says that lying is wrong because it produces bad consequences Kantian lying is wrong because it violates ones autonomy or in other words, freedom.
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