To study for Exam #2, write out answers the following questions. Be sure to answer the questions completely -- don't assume that the reader knows anything about the topic; don't assume that the reader already knows the details of the stories that are used in the arguments. Answer these questions so that a friend of yours -- who knows nothing about philosophical ethics -- would go away knowing the answers to these questions.
1. (a) State our formulation of utilitarianism (AUh). Be
sure to explain the meaning of the technical terms in the theory. Explain
the main idea of the theory in your own words (as if you were trying to explain
the theory to a friend without using any of the technical terminology).
(b) Prove that AUh is not equivalent to the following theory:
AUm: an act is morally right if and only if it produces more pleasure than pain.
(c) Why is AUh a better formulation of utilitarianism than AUm?
2. (a) Does AUh imply that we are always obligated to calculate
the utilities of each of our alternatives before acting? Explain
(b) Present, Explain, and Evaluate an argument against AUh having to do with promises (either the Promise to the Dead Man Argument or Ross's Argument from Promises).
3. Present, Explain, and Evaluate the Organ Harvest Objection againt AUh.
4. (a) State Kant's Categorical
Imperative (KCI). Be sure to explain the meaning of the technical
terms in the theory. Explain the main idea of the theory in your
(b) Describe a case in which KCI seems to yield a more plausible result than AUh (e.g., the anthrax tax case). Be sure to make it clear, for each theory, why it has the implication that it does for this case.
(c) Present, Explain, and Evaluate one of the arguments against KCI that we discussed in class (either the "Change the Maxim" Argument or the Stock Market Argument).
5. (a) State Rawlsian Social Contract
Theory (RSCT). Be sure to explain the meaning of the technical terms in
the theory. Explain the main idea of the theory in your own words.
(b) Do you think RSCT would imply that slavery is morally right or morally wrong? Explain why RSCT has the implication it does.
(c) Present, Explain, and Evaluate the Human Chauvinism Argument against RSCT.