New User Special Price Expires in

Let's log you in.

Sign in with Facebook


Don't have a StudySoup account? Create one here!


Create a StudySoup account

Be part of our community, it's free to join!

Sign up with Facebook


Create your account
By creating an account you agree to StudySoup's terms and conditions and privacy policy

Already have a StudySoup account? Login here


by: Alexandra Notetaker

Midterm PHI 115

Alexandra Notetaker
GPA 3.7
Normative Ethics: Contemporary Moral Problems
Dr. Mitchell

Almost Ready


These notes were just uploaded, and will be ready to view shortly.

Purchase these notes here, or revisit this page.

Either way, we'll remind you when they're ready :)

Preview These Notes for FREE

Get a free preview of these Notes, just enter your email below.

Unlock Preview
Unlock Preview

Preview these materials now for free

Why put in your email? Get access to more of this material and other relevant free materials for your school

View Preview

About this Document

Normative Ethics: Contemporary Moral Problems
Dr. Mitchell
Study Guide
50 ?




Popular in Normative Ethics: Contemporary Moral Problems

Popular in PHIL-Philosophy

This 16 page Study Guide was uploaded by Alexandra Notetaker on Friday October 9, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to PHI 115 at Pace University taught by Dr. Mitchell in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 126 views. For similar materials see Normative Ethics: Contemporary Moral Problems in PHIL-Philosophy at Pace University.

Similar to PHI 115 at Pace

Popular in PHIL-Philosophy


Reviews for Midterm


Report this Material


What is Karma?


Karma is the currency of StudySoup.

You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!

Date Created: 10/09/15
Chapter 1 Socrates 0 Must be let our emotions determine our decisions 0 Must look at question before us and follow best reasoning 0 Never do what is morally wrong 0 He argues he would not escape because I Never to harm anyone I If you live in an area for a certain amount of time and could leave then by staying you are agreeing to obey the law I Ones society is like a parent and one is to obey their parent 0 Charge brought against Socrates I He was corrupting the youth by teaching them to think for themselves He was teaching them to question authority I Impiety not pay respect to the traditional Gods of Athens 0 Felt a well lived life was one that was examinedKnow thy self 0 Practiced Civil Disobedience o No one can cause harm to you unless you let them because no one has access to your soul but you Moral philosophy o Is when we pass beyond the stages in which we are directed by traditional rules 3 kinds of ethical re ections 0 Descriptive I To describe or explain the phenomena of morality I To work out a theory of human nature which bears on ethical questions 0 Normative I What we ought to do What we should do Use this to form our conclusion I Is used by Socrates in Crito I ought not to try to escape from prison 0 MetaEthical I It asks and tries to answer questions like What is the I meaning or use of the expressions morally rightgood Sum UpQuestions A sociologist would typically be concerned with empirical inquiry intended to describe or explain moral phenomena What does it mean to say something is morally right good is an example of what kind of ethical re ection o Metaethical To say it is always wrong to harm someone is make what kind of claim 0 Normative Does Socrates believe that it is appropriate to act immorally if by doing so we can save ourselves from serious harm o NoFalse he does not believe this statement Does metaethics have bearing on questions about what s right good or obligatory in general or in a particular case 0 No false Socrates said that moral questions can and should be settled by reason True or false 0 True Chapter 2 Should Socrates ee his death sentence 0 Crito says yes I What will others think They will think he is a bad friend and this worries him 0 They will think his friends did not want to put up the money for him to escape I Its not fair I What will happen to your family Think about your sons you are leaving them with no father I Flee to another country Socrates can t ee to another country because they have their own rules and then how will he be seen I A rule breaker I He is concerned with his reputation o Socrates says no I Who cares what others think Only care about the opinion of the wise I Always do what is right regardless of cost Respect for the state as a parent and teacher is owed He lived there for so long that he agreed to obey the rules of the state As for his sons he says his friends will help to raise them 0 Felt it is better to have a father who is dead for having done the right thing then to have a father who looks like a coward for running away The majority should not in uence what the do Socrates Socrates said to aim toward a life worth living The soul meant a lot to Socrates he felt it was the element of ourselves Has a conversation with the law in the Crito I He has lived there his whole life and nothing has stopped him from leaving by staying he was agreeing to the laws of the country Social Contract I The state is like a parent because it taught him rules and he cannot now decided to turn his back 0 Socrates argues what he should do in the name of Justice Sum UpQuestions Socrates and Crito focus on Normative Ethics 0 What should I do in this situation Who is the expert on matters of justice and injustice according Socrates OOOO 0 Truth Would Socrates nd the following to be an unjust law 0 Attempting to persuade the authorities to change or revoke it I Yes he would nd this to be unjust According to Socrates why is it unjust to disobey the laws of ones state or society 0 We choose to live in this particular society therefore we are choosing to live by its rules Did Socrates believe that by allowing the Athenians to carry out his unjust sentence that they would be doing serious harm to society 0 No he did not think that this would do harm to the society Socrates believed that an unjust life is not worth living TrueFalse 0 True By the end of the conversation is Crito able to see why Socrates nds escaping to be and unjust and that he needs to accept his punishment 0 Yes Crito is able to see this at the end Chapter 3 Plato wrote the Phaedo It is about the soul He argues that the soul continues on and that we should do nothing to damage the soul It ends with Plato comparing him other men to Plato Socrates is o The best 0 The wisest 0 Most Just Sum UpQuestions Does Socrates tell Crito that he needs to pay his debt to the god of healing 0 Yes he is to pay Socrates debt Socrates delays drinking the poison in order to enjoy his nal conversation with his friends When asked how they are to bury Socrates body he tells them he does not care What does Socrates do as he drinks the poison 0 He prays to the gods What does Socrates say when Crito asks what he and the other friends can do that would be of service to Socrates when he is gone 0 To care for themselves Chapter 4 Martin Luther King Jr wrote a Letter From the Birmingham Jail in response to a letter by 8 clergymen He was arrested because he was parading with out a permit His protest is peaceful His is described as an extremist for justice C Says he was I Because he fought for a change The clergymen made it seem that the civil rights movements would eventually progress and to give it time 0 They were making him seem like he was impatient EmotionsFeelings that are portrayed in letter 0 Discouragement o Flustered o Hurt o Anger o Disappointment He makes a point to explain why he was in Birmingham Then goes on to discuss that freedom needs to be demanded because no one is listening 0 Its been a monologue 0 Countries like Africa and Asia were moving quickly toward political independence I Yet in America blacks couldn t even get coffee at a lunch counter He talks about how the white church is maintaining the status quo 4 Elements of Civil Disobedience 0 Conditions I Find situation that is wrong in society Try lawful action but nothing comes from it so you turn to civil disobedience o Tactics I Must be done in public to be considered civil disobedience I Being in public helps to bring attention to the cause I Non violent King wanted nonviolence Didn t advocate taking up violence Same approach as J esus turn other cheek 0 Objective I To change current lawpolicy I To improve society Make a positive change 0 Consequences I Must be willing to accept the punishment King assassinated Ghandi assassinated Socratespoisoned 0 History showed that the privileged do not give up their privileges voluntarily I An action is needed to pressure them to change Freedom comes from demand Natural law contrasts with moral law References the Bible to say that you need to follow your morals Would rather deal with someone who was up front with him OOOO Sum UpQuestions How do the oppressed gain freedom 0 Have to demand it from the oppressors What is the greatest obstacle to civil rights 0 The white moderate is to committed to order than to justice King compares his methods to the practice of medicine What is he trying to prove 0 That disease of injustice must be exposed to light of day so that it can be cured Is an unjust law no law at all 0 Yes Does the minority population according to King have to obey a law in which they were not apart of building 0 Yes Socrates did not practice civil disobedience according to King Truefalse 0 False he did practice civil disobedience King would have rather seen his goals halfheartedly embraced than straight up rejected Truefalse 0 True Did he embrace the term extremist 0 Yes What is civil disobedience o It is a nonviolent form of protest that is used in an attempt to have the government change the law Chapter 5 Moral disagreements are not the same and personal disagreements 0 Just because you feel something is right or you think its right doesn t make it so Re ections of majority will 0 Just because the majority of people feel it is morally right does not make it morally so I Ex south condoned segregation which did not make it right 4 ways to not answer moral questions 0 stating your personal preference 0 stating what we think 0 opinion polls 0 appealing to the infallible moral authority Questions of moral rights and wrongs cannot be answered based on taking a vote and seeing what the majority favors 0 Because people can be wrong Everyone likes different things and we don t have to explain why we like them personal preference With a moral judgment we have to be able to explain 0 Ex views on abortionwhy do we agree or disagreehave to be able to back up our judgment Just because we think something is right wrong does not make it the case Sum UpQuestions Is the following statement a personal preference 0 I can affirm my position without denying your I Yes this is a personal preference Is the following statement all wars are unjust a moral judgment in a strict sense 0 Yes In the chapter the author compares a hypothetical moral authority to a plumber what point is he trying to make 0 Unlike a plumber s the credentials of a moral authority cannot be checked against an independent standard Do moral judgments function in essentially the same way as personal preferences 0 No Is the view that moral judgments should be understood as expressions of personal preferences is a philosophical position worthy of respect 0 Yes If someone firmly and sincerely believes that an action is morally right then can t be wrong 0 False Should a poll be taken to what the majority favors when dealing with a difficult question of right or wrong 0 No Chapter 6 God saying something is rightwrong doesn t make it rightwrong 0 Ex Plato Euthyphro I Is murder wrong because God prohibits it or does God prohibit because its wrong Because it is wrong There is a moral judgment that underlays God God 0 All powerfulomnipotent o All knowing omniscient o All good omnibenevolent If God eXists is murder immoral 0 Practical standpoint believe life is worth living 0 Could use 10 commandments Thou shall not kill I Could reach this conclusion without thiscould rely on social contract There is a general agreement that we will not walk around killing each other in order to have a society Sum UpQuestions based on Cahn s view of God Why would some feel insecure by the knowledge that the world had been planned by an allgood being 0 They would realize the extent of their existence depends on the will of that being What does Gods existence alone imply o No particular moral precepts What does morality mean 0 Acting how one ought to act To say good is whatever God commands Cahn argues that it is to lose the possibility of meaningfully praising his existence truefalse 0 True Does Socrates in Plato s Euthyphro argue that actions are right because God or the gods say they are right 0 No Chapter 7 Different moral concepts and principles in different cultures 0 Some say you can eat certain foods while others are more strict o How the dead are buried No universal truth in ethics No objective way to judge ones cultural code is better than another s code Our society s moral code has no special status Moral code of society determines what is right in that society 0 Segregationthe south thought it was ok Shouldn t judge the conduct of others 0 Greeks cremated their dead 0 Callatians would eat their dead fathers 0 Both groups shocked by the others practice 0 Both had diff ways of showing respect Every culture has own practices 0 Other cultures view the practices as wrong 0 And vice versa Right and wrongs differ from culture to culture Cultural relativism is a theory about the nature of morality Objections to relativism 0 Cultural difference arguments are unsound 0 Cultural disagreements are not as deep as they appear 0 Some values must be universal 0 Consequences of relativism are implausible Valuable insights of Cultural Relativism o Shouldn t assume that our cultural values are based on absolute standard 0 Keep open mind toward other cultures Sum UpQuestions The cultural difference argument 0 Draws conclusions that do not follow the arguments premise From the authors argument on cultural relativism we learn to 0 Keep an open mind Do moral values lack objective truth because of different cultures having different moral codes 0 No false Can a social reformer try to challenge the ideals of their society 0 No Should we condemn some societies as inferior to our own 0 No Chapter 8 The ideas of wrong and right are different from the ideas of what is and is not against the rules When deciding what to do we have to consider others interest as well as our own Why should people be moral 0 They have valid reasons Universalize being able to apply to all people Ethical egoism only care about yourself and what happens to you 0 Ex you work in library and your friend wants to take a book and tells you to look the other way I You want to help but Have obligation to your employer Obligation to your friend and don t want to let them down Can a dutyenacted law be morally wrong 0 Yes I Ex Hitler Nazi law Should you care about others 0 Yes I Would want others to care about you the way you care about them Should others care about you 0 Yes I You care about them so they care about you Sum Up Questions What can the ideas of right and wrong be used to evaluate 0 Rules and actions To admit that you feel resentment toward someone who hurt you is to admit what 0 That they shouldn t have done they did To say that something is wrong is the same as saying that it breaks the rules 0 Yes Do most people think their interests should matters to others as well as to themselves 0 Yes Chapter 9 Psychological egoism 0 People never act unselfishly 0 Act because it benefits your own interests 0 We are self1shall about us 0 Ex Lincoln I He has carriage stopped to help the pigs on side of road I May look like he was helping others but he was helping for himself so he wouldn t be thinking of them all day To have piece of mind Ethical Egoism o No obligation other than to act sel sh 0 Based on normative ethics what shouldought we do in moral ethics 0 No obligation to do anything except what is in our own self interest I Ex Adam Smith Economic philosophy Social Darwinism Everyone should pursue their own self interest Competition will allow for best prices service and product 0 Everything turns out better if we all take care of ourselves Author argues against ethical egoism 0 Human welfare is valuable for its own sake 0 An action that would hurt others is sufficient reason not to do it Everything we do is for ourselves o The author argues against this I Self interest doesn t equal selfishness Just because you are fulfilling a desire doesn t make you a psychological egoist Sum Up Questions Are people who act selfish in everything they do known as psychological or ethical egoism o Psychological egoism What determines if an action is selfish o The object of the act Why should we not take actions to hurt others 0 Would hurt other people Is psychological egoism is a normative view 0 Yes Does acting on your wants mean you are acting self1shly o No Does the author believe that people are thoroughgoing egoists o No Chapter 10 Cahn argues that it is not implausible for us to do immoral things to gain happiness Murphy argues we cant have happiness unless we are moral o Cant be happy in the fullest sense Is it possible for people to be happy yes immoral o Cahn argues that it is naive to think this is always the case Ex 0 Joan given offer to teach turns is down because she would have to pass the athletes 0 Kate given same offer and accepts I She acts immorally but is happy Cahn immorality isn t incompatible with happiness Murphy immorality is incompatible with true happiness Sum UpQuestions What does Plato understand happiness depends on o The integration in ones personality of all the elements required for a fully human life Do Cahn and Murphy agree about the relationship between happiness and morality o No According to Cahn does the possibility of a happy immoralist pose a serious threat to morality 0 Yes Chapter 11 Two kinds of disagreement o In belief o In attitude Different attitudes can lead to unsatisfaction Attitudes are often functions of beliefs Once we can change attitude we can end an argument If we have agreement on attitudes then we can have agreement Attitudes lead to agreement disagreements Science can sway beliefs 0 There is a relationship between science and belief Science is not a guarantee Attitudes are key to settling our disputes Belief doesn t necessarily lead to agreement in attitudes Sum UpQuestions Why do we want to change attitudes 0 To live peacefully 0 Complete moral accord ls science an absolute answer 0 Not always How do you distinguish between disagreements o Belief and attitude How are disagreements in belief resolved 0 Methods of science Do ethical arguments usually involve disagreement in both belief and attitude 0 Yes Do disagreements in attitude determine what beliefs are relevant to an ethical argument 0 Yes Chapter 12 Moral goodness depends on principle not consequences Kant Categorical imperatives 0 Needs to apply to every situation universalize I Act according to maxims that you would make universal law 104 0 Treat others with respect 0 Act in such a way that you treat humanity whether in your own person or in any other person always at the same time as an end never merely as a means lO7 Will the capacity of acting according to conception of laws or principles Person who has to overcome other inclinations is more praiseworthy because its not their 1st inclination to follow the law Categorical imperatives are objectively necessary 0 Doesn t depend on anyone s particular desire imperativecommand of reason Categorical imperatives 0 Similar to golden rule I Good for you good for all Ex 0 Suicide contradiction to destroy life and improve life I Perfect duty I Using person merely as a means to maintain a tolerable condition up to end of life 0 False Promise contradiction I Using another man merely as a mean I Perfect duty I Truth should be part of moral law I Promise would lose its meaning 0 Selfimprovement cant possibly will a maxim to neglect your natural gifts I Imperfect duty I Not consistent with the furtherance of humanity as an end in itself 0 Beneficence impossible to will no such duty I Imperfect duty I Kindness towards others No will to be kind don t have to I Ends of any person who is an end in himself must as far as possible be my end if that conception of an end in itself is to have its full effects on me Sum UpQuestions What is only thing in world that is good without limitations 0 Good will I Natural to do the right thing How do we determine our duty 0 Intelligence 0 Judgment o Wit What does Kant consider to be unconditionally good 0 Good will To do ones duty is to act 0 Out of respect for the moral law Which imperative commands that an action be done ad means to some other end 0 Hypothetical According to Kant are we obliged to put the interests of others before our own 0 No Do only rational beings have a will 0 Yes Does Kant believe that we have a moral duty to cultivate our natural talents 0 Yes Is it impossible to treat oneself as a means to some other end 0 No Chapter 13 Maxim intention Wrong intention 0 Your intention to treat someone merely as a means I Violets end in itself I Involves someone in scheme they otherwise would not have been apart of Use deceit and coercion Categorical imperative o 1 Deals with universalizing rule 0 2 Deals with respecting others Sum UpQuestions How do you tell if a proposed action is morally wrong 0 Intention o Disregard anticipated consequences In Kant the term maxim refers to o The principle underlying a decision to act in a particular way Does Kant think that to avoid doing wrong we should act to promote the happiness of as many people as possible 0 No Chapter 1415 Our guiding light should be the greatest good Act to promote the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people Act Utilitarianism we decide what the right thing to do for the greatest number of people Rule Utilitarianism guide our day to day actions not as iron clad as Kant 0 Have developed patterns on what to do 0 Act on instinct Different pleasures that should followed 0 Different levels of pleasure I Intellect I From doing well I Give great weight to higher pleasures Happiness principle Happiness should motivate us and not just happiness for ourselves Sum UpQuestions Who is more satisfied A person who went to college or a friend who began to work right out of high school 0 The person who went to college because they have experienced both college and working world so they are able to judge and compare the two and see which is better How would Mill s define happiness 0 Pleasure and absence of pain How can some pleasures be judged higher or better than others 0 The preference for one kind of pleasure over another shared by all those fully acquainted with both Why does Mill s think it is immoral to lie 0 Lying undermines trustworthiness which is indispensable to human well being Happiness alone is desirable in itself is proven o By observing the fact that people actually do desire it and only it as a good in itself Pleasure is the only thing desirable for itself and not as a means to some other end 0 True Are all pleasures qualitatively the same 0 No Is Utilitarianism is compatible with Christian moral principles 0 Yes What is a weakness of act utilitarianism 0 Runs counter to basic moral intuitions Would a rule utilitarian affirm the following The best moral policy is to follow a set of rules most likely to maximize utility 0 Yes What is an appropriate ruleutilitarian response to the object that utilitarianism is far too demanding 0 That rules prescribing rest and advising against preoccupation with the needs of distant people have a place in any utility maximizing set of rules Would a sophisticated utilitarian argue that torturing an innocent person is immoral even when immediate utility concerns recommend doing so 0 Yes because human rights are outcomes of utility considerations and should not be violated lightly Are rules of importance to act utilitarianism o No Does utilitarianism recognize personal integrity as an absolute value 0 No Chapter 16 All humans aim for happiness Intellectual virtue we gain through birth and teaching Virtue doing what is in accordance with out souls Moral Virtue o Habituation second nature 0 Habit of achieving the meanmiddle state between excess and de ciency 0 Standard of moral virtue virtuous person Aim at the mean 0 Not to little not to much I Ex courage Cant have to little coward Cant have to much rash Virtue loses meaning when you have to much or to little 0 Need a balance between the extremes Intrinsic good 0 Good in and of itself Aristotle questions 0 Who do you want to be Aim toward happiness 0 Aristotle leads us towards how to achieve happiness Characteristics of virtue 0 Being praised 0 Being successful Sum UpQuestions Happiness 0 Perform characteristic function well I Those we are most capable of achieving I Characteristic function is to use our reason I Consists in the excellent or virtuous activity of the rational part of the soul For Aristotle what is the chief good 0 Happiness How do moral virtues arise 0 Through habits What is a moral virtue mean 0 Middle ground between excessive and deficient possibilities of feeling and acting For Aristotle do humans have a particular function 0 Yes humans have a particular function Is the standard for virtue the same for everyone o No Chapter 17 Aristotelian Theory Ethics of Character 0 What kind of person it is to be good 0 What would hero do What kind of person should I be 0 Based on your character I Not on your principles Question changes 0 What ought I do becomes What should I do Look at who you admire for what they would do in certain situations Be like so and so 0 Have ideal type of character 0 Give examples to follow I Ex Jesus Mother Theresa Sum UpQuestions What is Aristotle s basic moral question 0 What shall I be What is ethics of principles exclusively concerned with o Moral actions For Aristotle is honesty primarily a matter of ful lling our obligation to tell the truth 0 No Does virtue ethic have more difficult time accounting for motive than the ethics of principle 0 No Chapter 18 Stresses moral responsibility to meet the needs of those who depend on us 0 Relationships I Parentschild Values emotions as aid to understanding and implementing moral requirements Questions universalistic and abstract rules What is care 0 Practice and virtue o Emphasizes human relatedness Some count greater than others 0 Ex burning building I Can save scientist who will be able to save many with his research or you can save your mother You save your mother Not just applied to family 0 Self dependents o Other close relations 0 Community 0 Nation 0 Humans o Sentient beings dogs etc Owe respect to all essential beings but not to the same level Have different values of concerns depending on relationships Sum UpQuestions Does ethics of care place particular emphasis on human dependence 0 Yes How does someone in a genuinely care relation act 0 For self and other together ls ethics of care one of the oldest approaches to moral theory 0 No ls ethics of care interest in describing but not evaluating the various aspects of care and caring relations 0 No


Buy Material

Are you sure you want to buy this material for

50 Karma

Buy Material

BOOM! Enjoy Your Free Notes!

We've added these Notes to your profile, click here to view them now.


You're already Subscribed!

Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'

Why people love StudySoup

Bentley McCaw University of Florida

"I was shooting for a perfect 4.0 GPA this semester. Having StudySoup as a study aid was critical to helping me achieve my goal...and I nailed it!"

Allison Fischer University of Alabama

"I signed up to be an Elite Notetaker with 2 of my sorority sisters this semester. We just posted our notes weekly and were each making over $600 per month. I LOVE StudySoup!"

Steve Martinelli UC Los Angeles

"There's no way I would have passed my Organic Chemistry class this semester without the notes and study guides I got from StudySoup."


"Their 'Elite Notetakers' are making over $1,200/month in sales by creating high quality content that helps their classmates in a time of need."

Become an Elite Notetaker and start selling your notes online!

Refund Policy


All subscriptions to StudySoup are paid in full at the time of subscribing. To change your credit card information or to cancel your subscription, go to "Edit Settings". All credit card information will be available there. If you should decide to cancel your subscription, it will continue to be valid until the next payment period, as all payments for the current period were made in advance. For special circumstances, please email


StudySoup has more than 1 million course-specific study resources to help students study smarter. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, our customer support team can help you find what you need! Feel free to contact them here:

Recurring Subscriptions: If you have canceled your recurring subscription on the day of renewal and have not downloaded any documents, you may request a refund by submitting an email to

Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with your subscription, you can contact us for further help. Contact must be made within 3 business days of your subscription purchase and your refund request will be subject for review.

Please Note: Refunds can never be provided more than 30 days after the initial purchase date regardless of your activity on the site.