PHIL 1100 -- Ethics
Prof. Chris Heathwood
University of Colorado Boulder
Study Guide for Final Exam
The final exam will come in two parts and will take place over two class periods. Part 1 will consist of very-short-answer questions (multiple-choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blank questions, and the like). Part 2 will consist of short-answer questions (questions that can usually be answered in a sentence to a paragraph). Those will be similar to the sorts of questions below. Both parts are in-class, closed-note, and closed-reading exams. For Part 2, you will need to bring a bluebook.
Part 1 will take place in class during the last week of classes. Part 2 will take place during our allotted Final Exam period. See syllabus for specifics.
For both parts of the final exam, you are responsible for all the topics and all of the readings that we have done since the midterm. See syllabus for specifics.
You are responsible for everything we did in lecture, including what we talked about and what was on the slides and the chalkboard. The slides are available on the course schedule on the syllabus.
To prepare for the exam, re-read any readings that you found challenging, study your notes, study the lecture slides, and, most importantly, write out your answers to the questions below, as if it were the exam. Do this before the review sessions, so that you will know what questions you need to ask.
In some questions below, I ask you to "Present, Explain, and Evaluate" some argument. I am asking for something very specific. To know what that is, see this document: Presenting, Explaining, and Evaluating Arguments.
- Explain the difference between a negative right and a positive right. Give a possible example of each.
- (a) State the "Utilitarianism of Rights" theory.
Apply this theory to Organ Harvest and explain how it gets the desired result. In doing so, assume that the theory includes negative rights only.
- (a) Describe Rescue.
What does Utilitarianism of Rights imply is
the right thing to do in Rescue?
- (a) State Nozick's Rights Theory. What four kinds of rights does this theory recognize?
Apply this theory to Rescue and explain how it gets the desired result.
- (a) Describe the case Shallow Pond.
What does Nozick's theory imply about Shallow Pond?
- Define 'prima facie duty'. Illustrate the idea by means of an example.
- Present Ross's list of seven basic prima facie duties. For each duty, say in a sentence what the duty is.
- State Rossian Pluralism (RP). Illustrate the theory by applying it to an example (such as the promise/accident example or an example of your own devising).
- Consider this case: "Suppose that the fulfilment of a promise to A would produce 1,000 units of good for him, but that by doing some other act I could produce 1,001 units of good for B, to whom I have made no promise, the other consequences of the two acts being of equal value" (Ross, p. 34).
What does Rossian Pluralism imply that the agent in this case should do -- keep the promise to A or break it so as to produce more total benefit?
Why? Thoroughly explain everything that is at issue in the agent's decision here.
(c) What does Act Utilitarianism imply
that the agent in this case should do -- keep the promise to A or break it so as to produce more total benefit?
- What is Robinson's Thesis as we formulated it in class?
- (a) What is the main moral principle that is at work in Robinson's Argument for Slave Reparations, as we formulated it in class?
(b) What moral principle that we had earlier studied in our course does this principle most resemble?
- Explain the initial puzzle for applying this principle to slave reparations. That is, why might it initially seem unlikely that this principle could be used to support a pro-slave-reparations position. (There are two aspects to the puzzle.)
- What is the second premise in Robinson's Argument for Slave Reparations, as we formulated it in class?
- Explain the rationale that we gave in class for that second premise.
- Describe in detail the analogy that we presented in class that is supposed to help explain how Robinson's view could be true.
- Present, in line-by-line format, Norcross' Argument for Vegetarianism. (No need to give rationales for the premises.)
- According to one objection to Norcross' Argument, purchasing and consuming factory-raised meat is not morally on a par with Fred's behavior because whereas Fred directly harms his puppies, purchasers of factory-raised meat do not directly harm the farm animals. Describe a variant of the Fred case that suggests that this objection fails, and explain why it suggests this.
- According to another objection to Norcross' Argument, purchasing and consuming factory-raised meat is not morally on a par with Fred's behavior because whereas Fred doesn't need to eat chocolate to be healthy, we need to eat meat in order to be healthy. We presented a reply to this objection in class. What was it?
- In a popular comment, a New York Times reader writes, "The bottom line is this: People have been consuming animals since people have existed." There is an argument for the permissibility of eating meat lurking here. Extract, Explain, and Evaluate that argument. (Extracting, Explaining, and Evaluating is just like Presenting, Explaining, and Evaluating an argument except that you yourself need to come up with the line-by-line argument for the first step.)
Marquis on Abortion
- (a) What is Marquis' main thesis?
(b) What is Marquis' theory of the wrongness of killing? (Be sure to explain what is meant by the main technical term in it).
(c) State Marquis'
Argument against Abortion.
- Why, according to Marquis' theory of the wrongness of killing, would it be wrong for me to kill you?
- What is Paske's personhood account of the wrongness of killing? Be sure to explain what is meant by 'person' (you can use our definition from class), and to give helpful examples of persons and non-persons.
- Why, according to Paske's theory of the wrongness of killing, would it be wrong for me to kill you?
- What does Paske's personhood account of the wrongness of killing imply about abortion, and why?
- Present, Explain, and Evaluate Paske's "Cat Person" Argument Against Marquis' FLO Theory.
Thomson on Abortion
- Present Thomson’s Positive Argument for the permissibility of abortion.