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1. Examine Hofstede's model of national culture. Are all four
dimensions still important in today's society as it relates to the
success of the multinational manager? Why, or why not? Which
do you think is the least important as it relates to multinational
management? Why?
2. More companies are seeking to fill multinational management
positions due to the influx of business growth abroad. If you
were offered and accepted a position as a multinational
manager, what would you do to personally prepare for the
culture of a different country? Where would you seek
information? What overall responsibilities would you expect of
the job? How do you think the managerial responsibilities
would be different from those you would face in the United
States?
3. Multinational managers encounter many levels of culture.
Which of the culture levels do you think might be the most
difficult to manage? Why? Share an example. Which culture
level do you think might be the easiest to understand? Why?
Give an example of this.
4. In your own words, what is your perception of free trade?
Think about the advantages of free trade; what are two benefits
that result from free trade? There is also a downside to free
trade; what are two disadvantages resulting from free trade?
Provide reasoning for your choices.
5. What are the three major economic systems that nations
utilize, and what is the role of each? How does each affect and
influence individuals, multinational managers, and
corporations?
6. How would you define ethical convergence? What are the
four basic reasons for ethical convergence? Which might be the
most difficult for multinational companies to follow, and why?
7. Describe the four major world religions. What are the
impacts of each religion type on an economic environment?
What do you think makes religion a concern in societies?
8. If you were a multinational manager, and you encountered an
ethical dilemma within the multinational company, what
heuristic questions would you use to decide between ethical
relativism and ethical universalism? Of the different heuristic
questions, which one do you think is most important? Explain
your reasoning.
1
Week Two Instructor’s Notes
PHIL 1103 Summer
This week you will be learning in detail about the four different
moral perspectives that
we will use to analyze moral questions.
Notice two things right at the start. First, because normative
ethics is our main focus this
term, we are not going to attempt to settle the question of
whether any moral perspective at all
could be correct or known to be correct—that is a task for
metaethics. Our task in this second
week is to learn in some detail about four different kinds of
consideration or value that often
seem relevant when we try to decide what is morally right or
wrong in particular cases, namely:
(1) Respect for the rights and autonomy of the persons involved
(2) Increasing the overall well-being of the most individuals
possible
(3) Asking what a person of virtue, of strong character, would
do in the given situation
(4) Determining what care and compassion would require in that
case.
Second, notice that there are certainly other alternative
perspectives that one may think are
relevant in some or all cases; for example, some say that
achieving the most personal pleasure is
the only goal a person needs to consider when deciding what is
morally right or wrong for them
to do (this view is called ‘moral hedonism’). And there are
others of course. We will only be
concentrating on the four perspectives just listed (rights, well-
being for the greatest number,
virtue, and care) because they are commonly heard in discussion
about what is morally right to
do and because we have limited time to work this term.
Each of the four perspectives gives us a principled way to
answer moral questions. We
could of course answer the moral questions we face by simply
flipping a coin or by force. The
moral perspectives, however, provide a sort of guide or rule-
book that we can use in all cases to
determine what counts as right and what counts as wrong.
Each perspective is discussed in a separate chapter in Weston;
respect for the rights of
persons is discussed in Chapter Five, increasing the well -being
for the greatest number is
discussed in Chapter Six, virtue and character are discussed in
Chapter Seven, and care and
compassion are discussed in Chapter Eight. Because each of
these perspectives have many
aspects, and there is disagreement about how to best understand
what each perspective entails,
we are going to focus on certain elements of the discussions in
those chapters. Let me now say
something about the specific places we will focus in this week’s
readings.
Chapter Five: Ethics of the Person
In this chapter we consider what it might mean to respect the
individual rights and
autonomy of the persons involved in situations in which we
must decide what to do. There are
many different conceptions of what a person is, and what it
might mean to properly respect them
as an individual with aspirations, autonomy, and rights. For
example, there are different types of
rights (recall the discussion of general rights, specific rights,
positive rights, and negative rights
in the Week One Instructor’s Notes). And there are many
different lists of the general and
specific and positive and negative rights that persons
supposedly enjoy (for example, there is the
Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the United States and there
is the United Nations Universal
Declaration of Human Rights (which you will read about in this
chapter)).
Our primary focus in Chapter Five will be two of the different
formulations that the
philosopher Kant gives to what he calls “The Categorical
Imperative”. Kant’s Categorical
Imperative is one way of determining what we must do in
particular cases to properly respect the
2
autonomy and rights of the persons that may be impacted by our
decisions. Another way to put
the point is to say that the Categorical Imperative is supposed to
give us a recipe for deciding
what actions are morally required because they best respect the
autonomy and rights of others.
Applying the Categorical Imperative to particular moral
questions, then, will reveal what rights
people have and what it means to value someone as a person, as
a fellow human being just as
significant as myself.
So although I want you to read the entire chapter, take special
care to carefully learn and
reflect on Kant’s Categorical Imperative. The Categorical
Imperative is discussed on pages 137-
142. There are different ways that Kant formulates the idea of
the Categorical Imperative, one
found on page 138 and two more on the following page. We
will focus on the first formulation
(page 138, using the idea of a universal law) and the second (p.
139, using the idea of treating
others as ends in themselves and not just a means to an end).
Spend some time with each
formulation and try to imagine in detail what it might mean in
practice. And, both formulations
are supposed to express exactly the same idea, so be sure to
think about how each of these
different formulations can be understood to be saying the same
thing, and would both
recommend exactly the same actions and policies.
Kant’s theory is what is called a “deontological” moral theory.
For Kant, when we are
deciding whether some act is morally right or wrong, we must
only consider the nature of and
motivation for the action itself, regardless of the consequences.
If I intend to hurt someone, but
just by chance it turns out that I unintentionally save their life
as well as the lives of others, what
I have done, the action itself, is still morally wrong. And for
Kant, my motivation must be only
to do my moral duty (the word “deontological” comes from the
Greek word deon, meaning “to
bind”). For my action to be morally right it must be done solely
because I am bound by a moral
duty to perform that action, that must be my only motivation.
And there is a clear intuition
here—we often think that the morally respectable person is
someone who, regardless of fear or
personal danger, and regardless of expectation of personal
benefit, does their duty. And they do
it simply because it is their duty. Notice also, then, that for
Kant, I should not be motivated by
emotion. Being motivated by emotions of compassion or pity or
care is not to be motivated by
duty alone.
But how do I know exactly which actions it is my duty to
perform? Kant answers this
question with his Categorical Imperative, a rule for deciding
what I am morally required to do
and not to do. Again, he gives several different formulations of
this rule, and we are going to
focus especially on the first two formulations. Those
formulations are explained in Chapter 5.
The first formulation (page 138) uses the idea of what we coul d
rationally will to be a
universal law that applies to everyone under all circumstances.
When working with the first
formulation, pay particular attention to how the concept of
rationality plays a role in deciding
what to do. I must determine what would be rational if
everyone were to do it, not just me. So
notice that this standard immediately rules-out certain kinds of
actions. Take lying for example.
If I lie, but others generally tell the truth, then my lie may have
the desired effect. People I lie to
may be fooled because they expect that generally speaking
people tell the truth. Lying is only
rational if I do it but no one else does. However, if everyone
lied all the time, then no one would
expect anyone to tell the truth, and lying would never have the
desired results. It would be
irrational to lie if everyone did it. It would defeat the purpose
of lying if everyone was a liar all
the time. Or consider paying for a movie ticket. Suppose I
have the opportunity to sneak in,
undetected, and watch the movie for free. But now imagine that
everyone did this (it was
universally allowed). Then movie theatres would have no
revenue and would have to close.
3
Then no one could watch a movie at the theatre. So it would be
irrational to will that everyone
should sneak into the theatre without paying, that would defeat
the purpose of me sneaking in
since it would mean that there would be no theatre to sneak
into. Also notice that Kant is here
advocating a certain kind of equality—no one can put
themselves above others. Whatever I
think about doing, I must agree that everyone should be allowed
to do it (that it should be a
universal law).
The second formulation (page 139) requires that we always treat
others as “ends in
themselves”. When thinking about what this means, focus
particularly on the concept of
autonomy. I should never treat others only as tools I use to
achieve my own desires. I must
recognize that others are autonomous beings that have their own
desires and plans and hopes and
values. And be very careful when working with the second
formulation to notice that it is not
equivalent to the Golden Rule (“Treat others as you want to be
treated”). This is also true for the
first formulation—doing what would be right for everyone to do
is not the same a treating others
as you want to be treated. As you are grappling with
understanding the Categorical Imperative,
think about examples in which the Categorical Imperative would
require something different
from the Golden Rule. Here is one kind of case to think about.
Imagine you are a judge about to
impose a sentence. By the Golden Rule, you might be inclined
to be lenient, even very lenient
(as that is how you might want to be treated if you were being
judged). However, could we
rationally will that all sentences be radically lenient? Would
this undermine the point of a justice
system? Would we be treating the victims as ends in
themselves, respecting their aspirations and
values? Would we even be treating the person to be sentenced
as an end in themselves, or
merely as a means for insuring that if the time comes I will be
treated in a certain way?
Chapter Six: Ethics of Happiness
The central value we seek to protect and advance in answering
moral questions from this
point of view is the happiness for the greatest number. That is,
the morally right thing to do is to
choose the action or policy which will best advance the
happiness or well-being of the greatest
number of individuals possible under the circumstances. This
way of thinking is often called
“Utilitarianism”—you learn why in the chapter. Focus
primarily on understanding pages 181-
188 and also pages 193 (beginning with the heading
“Complications”) through 198 (though do of
course read the entire chapter as assigned). The Utilitarian
moral perspective is common in
everyday personal decision-making when concerning the impact
of our actions on others as well
as in formulating law and public policy.
Notice that one of the main tasks in this sort of moral
perspective will be to define
‘happiness’ or ‘well-being’ or ‘good’ or ‘benefit’ (as well as
their opposites, especially the
complex notion of suffering). There are many different forms
of each of these, for example,
physical vs mental. And in the case of physical well-being or
health, there are many different
ways that can be defined and measured. In the case of mental
or emotional well-being or
happiness, again there are many different forms here. Is the
happiness derived from a tasty snack
the same as the happiness derived from long-lasting friendships
or engagement with the arts?
There is also an important distinction to be made between short-
term happiness or well-being
and long-term happiness or well-being (and long-term happiness
may necessitate short-term
suffering, as in surgery or mastering a sport).
Notice also that the Utilitarian Principle requires the greatest
good for the greatest
number of individuals. This is a per capita measure, not an
aggregate measure. According to
the Utilitarian principle, we must seek to improve things to the
greatest degree for the greatest
4
number of individuals, not simply increase the total amount of
benefit (which might be
distributed wildly unequally). And note that we said
‘individuals’ here, because the principle can
be formulated so that the well-being of non-human individuals
is morally relevant (individuals
like dogs and families and ecosystems for example).
You will find that the Utilitarian principle is in sharp conflict in
various ways with the
Categorical Imperative of Kant. When thinking about possible
objections to the Utilitarian way
of thinking it is important to keep in mind that there are two
very different types of potential
difficulty for the Utilitarian principle, moral objections and
practical objections. Moral
objections say that in some situations the Utilitarian principle
offers morally wrong advice. For
example, the Utilitarian principle appears to conflict with
justice and individual rights in some
cases (there is a discussion of this in Weston). Other
commentators have pointed out that the
Utilitarian principle undermines the personality in requiring
undermining of personal growth and
development in the quest to advance the well-being of others.
On the other hand, Practical
objections pertain to the difficulties in actually attempting to
apply the Utilitarian principle in
real cases. For example, to apply the principle we need some
sort of objective way to measure
happiness or well-being, but this is perhaps an impossible task
(for a variety of reasons). We
also need to make reliable predictions about the long-term
consequences of acts for, in some
cases, thousands of people, but this is also beset with obvious
difficulties. There is also the
worry of whether it is realistic to expect people to continuously
perform complex calculations
about the far-reaching effects of their actions. Do also keep in
mind, though, that these potential
moral and practical objections are well-known to Utilitarians,
and various response have been
offered. On close examination, what might seem like a slam-
dunk objection may not be as
powerful and convincing as one may have thought at first.
Chapter Seven: Ethics of Virtue
Chapter Seven discusses the role of virtue and character in
answering moral questions. It
is often said that we ought to do the virtuous thing when faced
with morally weighty decisions.
But like rights and well-being, there are many different views
about what virtues a person should
have, and what exactly the virtuous person would do in various
specific situations. In this
chapter I want you to focus primarily on Aristotle’s conception
of virtue as described from the
middle of page 217 to page 221 (but again, do be sure to read
the entire chapter as assigned).
Here I will explain the main ideas of Aristotle’s ethics of virtue.
As I mentioned in the Instructor’s Notes for Week One,
Aristotle’s moral theory is very
different from Kant’s perspective and the Utilitarian
perspective. Both Kant and the Utilitarians
give an answer to the question “What are the correct moral rules
that I should follow?”. Kant
proposes the Categorical Imperative while Utilitarians propose
the Utilitarian Principle as the
correct rule to guide moral action. Aristotle’s question is
different; he answers the question
“What is the best or most fulfilling kind of life?”. A by-product
of his answer will also give us a
method for determining which actions are right and which are
wrong, and how to treat others.
But that method will not involve a rule; in fact, Aristotle does
not think that any rule will ever do
the job.
To begin answering his question “What is the best kind of life?”
Aristotle first says that
three common answers to this question are wrong. Many people
will answer this question by
saying that a life of wealth, or fame, or pleasure (or some
combination) is the best kind of life.
However, Aristotle says that wealth does not make the best kind
of life, since money is only a
tool that can be used well or badly. Money not intrinsically
valuable (valuable in itself), it only
5
has instrumental value. Acquiring fame cannot be the best kind
of life since fame depends on
others. A life of pleasure cannot be the best kind of life
because pleasure is fleeting—one always
has to get a new fix; in this way, Aristotle says, the pleasure-
seeking life is a life of slavery. So
then what is the best kind of life to lead?
Aristotle says that we can answer this question by using the
three related concepts of
function, flourishing (or excellence), and virtue. We start with
the concept of function. Aristotle
thought that all things, including human beings, have an ergon,
which is usually translated as
“function” or “characteristic activity”. The idea is easy to
understand in the case of tools. A
vegetable knife has a function, namely, to cut vegetables into
various sizes. An automobile has a
function, namely, to transport people and things from one place
to another. Of course, any object
may be used to for a variety of purposes; a vegetable knife can
be used as a bookmark, a car as
shelter. But, on Aristotle’s view, all things have a primary
function or a characteristic activity, a
particular role in the overall scheme of the universe that makes
the thing the kind of thing that it
is. So we can see that not just tools, but any object (even
natural objects) will have an ergon, a
characteristic activity that makes it unique amongst all other
things.
Now, any given particular thing will perform its function well,
or in a mediocre way, or
poorly. When a thing performs its function well, excellently, it
is said to flourish, to have
achieved excellence as that kind of thing. An oak that stands
tall and produces a plentiful supply
of good acorns has flourished as an oak tree, is an excellent
oak. A vegetable knife that
efficiently cuts vegetables into all the shapes and sizes we want
has flourished as a vegetable
knife, is an excellent vegetable knife.
A thing that is flourishing, that is excellent at its characteristic
activity, flourishes because
it has certain characteristics. That is how Aristotle defines
virtue—a virtue for an object is a
characteristic that enables that object to perform its function
well. Whatever characteristics a
thing needs in order to perform its function well are called the
‘virtues’ for that thing. This is
why it is said that “the virtues of a thing are determined by its
function”—once we know the
function of a thing, we will be able to determine which
characteristics that thing needs in order to
perform its function well. For example, the function of a
vegetable knife is to cut vegetables. So
the virtues for a vegetable knife will be attributes like being
sharp, being able to hold sharpness
over time, having a comfortable handle, and having an
appropriate length. These are
characteristics that enable a vegetable knife to cut vegetables
well. Virtues for an oak would
include being planted in soil with a certain chemical
composition, having enough leaves exposed
to enough sun, having efficient systems for moving water and
nutrients up and down the trunk.
When an oak has those characteristics and the other oak-virtues
it will flourish, it will lead the
best kind of life as an oak tree.
So to find out what the best kind of life for a person is, what
human flourishing is, we
must first identify the human ergon, the primary function or
characteristic activity of human
beings. Aristotle thought that rational self-regulation is the
human ergon, is what marks humans
off from all other things in the universe. What is characteristic,
unique, about humans is our
capacity to use our reasoning abilities to make decision about
how to act and then to act on those
decisions. If that is our function, then we have an immediate
answer to the question of what
human excellence is: Human excellence is using reason well in
decision-making. To flourish as
a human being is to engage in actions that are guided by
excellent rational decision-making.
In order to flourish as a human being, that is, in order to
perform the human function
well, a person must acquire those characteristics that enable
someone to do well in rational
decision-making. That is, a person must acquire the human
virtues. The natural question, then,
6
is “What then are the virtues a person needs to acquire in order
to flourish?”. Since the human
function is to use reason well in decision-making, Aristotle says
we can identify the human
virtues, the characteristics that enable excellent rational
decision making, by looking at the
nature of the mind in order to identify our rational capacities.
Aristotle thought that the mind is
composed of two parts relevant for our question.1 There are
two parts of the mind that play a
role in decision-making, what he called “reason” and “the part
that obeys reason”. Reason is the
home of our intellectual capacities for learning, calculating,
imagining, analyzing, inferring,
applying information to specific cases, processing new
information, comparing, generalizing,
intuiting, and the like. The “part that obeys reason” is the home
of emotion, ambition, drive,
mood, inclination, will, appetites, and desires. Both parts play
a role in decision-making, so we
must learn how to control and use both parts well. The virtues
are characteristics we can acquire
that enable us to control and use those parts of the mind well.
So there are two different kinds of
virtue: Intellectual virtues are attributes that enable us to best
use and control our capacities of
reason, and virtues of character are attributes that enable us to
best use and control the capacities
we have for emotion, ambition, willpower, mood, and desire.
Since reason and emotion are very different, the intellectual
virtues and the virtues of
character have very different natures and must be learned in
different ways. Aristotle discusses
both in detail, but for the remainder of these notes I am only
going to talk about the virtues of
character.
In a moment I will list some of the Aristotelian virtues of
character. But first let’s look at
what Aristotle says about the nature of this kind of virtue and
how we learn the virtues of
character. The virtues of character are stable states of
character, that is, they are ingrained or
habitual ways of responding to the world when we are called to
make decisions about how to act.
The virtuous person doesn’t have to force themselves to be
courageous or just, they are
courageous or just as a matter of well-established habit. Being
courageous or just is natural for
them because of the way that they have developed their
character. So we can see that to acquire
the virtues is a matter of forming long-standing habitual
responses, and the only way to form
habits is by constant and regular practice. And the practice
required must be directed by
someone who is already virtuous, a “virtue coach” (what
Aristotle calls a “phronimous”, from
the Greek for a person with practical wisdom). After all, we
must practice virtuous acts in order
to form the right habits, and as learners we need to be told
which actions are the virtuous ones we
need to practice. Furthermore, Aristotle points out that even
once we acquire the virtues we must
continue to exercise them in decision-making and acting,
otherwise they will atrophy. So he
says that virtues of character are “preserved by action”. So, for
Aristotle, a “virtuous” person
who does not continually engage in virtuous acts is not actually
virtuous. In some way, being
virtuous, then, is a process rather than a single accomplishment
(after which one can “retire”).
The most famous element of Aristotle’s conception of virtue is
often given in the slogan
“virtue is in finding the mean between extremes”; more fully,
we would say that according to
Aristotle, a virtue is always a mean state between a deficient
state of character and an excessive
state of character. We must be careful about what this is not
saying. Aristotle is not saying that
the virtuous person always does a half-way amount of anything
(giving some but not too much to
charity, eating some but not too much cake, being irritated but
never enraged or never passive).
This is not what he has in mind. Rather, here is the idea.
Remember that virtues of character
allow us to regulate our capacity for various emotions and
desires. A virtuous person is able to
1 He thought there is also a third part, the “nutritive mind”, that
is responsible for our biological functioning.
However, since we do not have conscious control over that part
of the mind he does not defined virtues for it.
7
use the entire range of a capacity, feeling and acting with the
appropriate amount for the
circumstances, whatever that amount may be. Sometimes it is
appropriate to have no cake at all,
sometimes appropriate to have one slice but no more, and
sometimes (presumably rarely)
appropriate to go crazy and have three. The virtuous person is
the person who has the full range
of the capacity at their disposal, and can feel or desire and then
act with the appropriate amount
for the situation. Aristotle describes such a person as having
the mean or middle state of
character. However, there are people who are unable to use the
entire range of their capacity.
Some people have a deficient state of character, so they are
never able to use their capacity or
can only use it to a small extent. Others have an excessive state
of character, which means that in
all cases they use their capacity at maximum strength, whether
that is appropriate or not.
For example, consider our capacity to feel fear. Some people
have a deficient state of
character with regard to that capacity. They are people who
never feel fear (are unable to feel
fear), or are only able to feel a twinge or fearfulness in certain
situations. We say that such
people are reckless or rash; they have a deficient state of
character with regard to the capacity to
feel fear. So they have the vice of recklessness.2 Other people
have an excessive state of
character with respect to the capacity to feel fear. They are
people who are always fearful no
matter what the circumstance. We say that such people are
cowardly; they have the vice of
cowardice. Other people, however, are able to feel (and then
act on) the appropriate amount of
fear for the situations in which they find themselves. Such
people have a mean state of character
with respect to the capacity to feel fear—they are able to use
their capacity along its entire
dimension, finding the appropriate amount given the
circumstances. Those people have the
virtue with respect to fear, the virtue of courage. Or take the
capacity to feel angry. Some
people have the vice of excess with respect to anger. These are
people who are always angry at
everything (they have the vice of wrathfulness, they are “angry
people”). There are people who
have the vice of deficiency with respect to anger, people who
never feel angry no matter what the
provocation or threat or situation. And there are people who
have the virtue for the capacity to
feel anger, the mean state. They are able to feel the appropriate
amount of anger in any given
situation—they have the full range of the capacity to feel anger
at their disposal.
As you can imagine, there are many virtues of character (and
corresponding vices of
deficiency and excess), given the complexity of human
capacities for emotion and appetite and
willfulness and desire. Here is a partial list:
Capacity Deficiency Virtue Excess
Fear Cowardice Courage Recklessness
Anger Lack of Spirit Even Tempered Wrathful, Angry
Pleasure indulgence Insensibility Temperance Self-indulgent
Giving and taking money Miserliness Generosity Prodigality
Self-regard Self humiliating Proper pride Vanity, snobbery
Living well Pettiness Magnificence Vulgarity
Desire for honor Laziness Aspiration Over-ambition
Shame Shamelessness Modesty Bashfulness
Self-disclosure Self-deprecation Truthfulness Boastfulness
Indignation Spitefulness Righteous indig. Envy
Judgement Unprincipled Fairness Partisanship
2 A vice is the opposite of a virtue. So for Aristotle, for each
virtue there are two vices, a vice of deficiency and a
vice of excess.
8
Social demeanor Quarrelsome Friendliness Flattery
Sense of humor Boorishness Wittiness Buffoonery
Virtues of character, then, are stable states of character
obtained by practice that forms
habitual responses to life’s circumstances. They allow us to
regulate our capacities for emotion,
desire, appetite, ambition, and willfulness. They are mean
states between two possible vices, a
vice of deficiency and a vice of excess.
A virtuous act is one that is an habitual response that stems
from a virtue of character (we
don’t have to force ourselves to do it, but rather is “in
character”). Aristotle also says that a
virtuous act is one that results from a conscious decision to
perform that act, that is, we must
accept ownership of the action, it must be our choice (if
someone does something unknowingly
or involuntarily we don’t praise their virtue). And, Aristotle
says that we must choose that action
because it is virtuous (and not because we hope to gain or for
some other ulterior motive).
Now we can see what the best sort of life is according to
Aristotle, we can see what it
means to flourish as a human being. Human flourishing (which
Aristotle calls eudaimonia) is a
life of activity of reason expressing virtue, that is, a life in
which we use our rational and
emotional capacities in the best ways (so that our actions
“express virtue”) in making decisions
and acting on them. We then excel at being human. This is
sometimes called “self-realization”
or “self-actualization”—we achieve the best of our capacities in
the circumstances of our lives.
We realize our best potential as human beings, actualize our
potential in the best possible ways.
We have then achieved human flourishing, eudaimonia. (The
Greek term ‘eudaimonia’ is
sometimes translated as “happiness”. This is unfortunate,
because the term ‘happiness’ means
many different things to different people, and because human
flourishing is much more than just
being happy, and is certainly not the same as pleasure as we
noted above. Aristotle does think,
though, that the person who flourishes turns out to be, as a by-
product, the happiest person at
least in the sense of contentment and fulfillment.)
In answer to the question “which actions are morally right and
which are morally wrong”,
Aristotle says that the morally right actions are virtuous acts
(and morally wrong acts are those
that stem from vices or ignorance). And Aristotle takes pains to
caution us that we cannot
simply state a set of rules to follow that will tell us, in every
circumstance, what the right and
wrong actions are. This is because life is often very complex;
there are usually too many
variables at play in situations in which we must decide how to
act to allow for a rule that
generalizes over cases—there will always be too many
exceptions for any proposed rule
covering more than one particular situation. So how does a
virtuous person know what counts as
the virtuous act in particular situations? Aristotle’s answer is
that once a person acquires the
virtues, that is, becomes a certain kind of person, they begin to
see the world in a certain way.
They become sensitive to the nuances of situations that enable
them to decide, guided by their
habitual responses, what the virtuous thing to do is. Aristotle
tells us that “virtuous action is a
matter of perception”. And this is an intuitive idea. The angry
person sees the world in a certain
way—even an accidental bump is perceived as an insult or
attack. The even-tempered person,
however, sees the world differently, and this enables them to
decide on the virtuous act.
Chapter 8: Ethics of Relationship
Relationships (with other people, with non-human animals, and
with, our ecological
relationships) are often thought of as valuable, sometimes of
paramount value. And being in
various relationships helps us learn about caring and
compassion, which in turn can help
9
determine what we ought to do, how we ought to live, how we
ought to treat others, and how we
ought to structure our society.
Here we consider the fact that all people are bound to others in
many different ways
(even the hermit, however indirectly), and then ask what the
moral significance of those
relationships is. We notice immediately that care and
compassion are fundamental to nurturing
relationships with others, so we can ask what care and
compassion for others would require when
answering moral questions. After all, we often say that our
treatment of others (and ourselves)
should be caring and compassionate, and that failing to be
caring and compassionate is a moral
failing. Again, of course, there are many different conceptions
of what care and compassion are
and of what they require in actual decision-making in specific
cases. So think about what care
and compassion would look like in concrete terms in the
complex situations of actual life.
In your reading in Weston, focus particularly on the moral
perspective of Care Ethics (pp. 245-
257). Care Ethics is perhaps the most difficult of our four
perspectives to understand in concrete,
practical terms. Both Kant and Utilitarianism give a rule to
follow for making decisions (and
Libertarianism does as well). The rules themselves may be
somewhat difficult to decode and
execute, but at least we have a single rule to apply to every case
in which we need to know what
is morally required and morally permitted. Aristotle does not
give us a rule, but he does present
a detailed conception of the best life as well as a clear plan for
developing the virtues necessary
to achieve it (along with a detailed list of virtues). Care Ethics
has none of these features, neither
a rule nor a fixed conception of the good life.
Rather, Care Ethics says that the lessons we learn from being in
nurturing relationships
with others should form our moral guidebook. So when I ask
"what should I do?" we find an
answer by asking "what would be the best way to care for and
nurture those effected by my
actions?"; another way to put it is that we must seek to express
care and compassion towards
others. This applies also to questions of government policy and
law: what would best express
care and compassion for those that would be impacted? Care
ethics also asks us to recognize our
interdependence with others--our lives are deeply connected and
inter-twined with the lives of
others, so that imposes certain responsibilities to care for others
and certain limitations on our
individual freedoms. What those responsibilities and
limitations are must be determined in
particular cases (much as in virtue ethics): By being sensitive
to others, and perceptive, and
having developed a sense of caring or compassion, we will be
able to understand through
empathy what our responsibilities to others are. So a big
challenge in using Care Ethics in
concrete particular cases will be to figure out what precisely the
demands of care and
compassion are. Another challenge is to figure out what the
precise nature of our connectedness
to others is in actual cases.
And Care Ethics faces two further challenges. First, Care
Ethics says that we should
model our moral thinking on the nature of nurturing
relationships in the context of family. This
raises the worry that Care Ethics is too parochial, too focused
on our family group or social
group, to serve as a moral theory about how we should treat
others. After all, most of us would
do things for friends and family that we would not do for others,
for strangers. But this may
have worrisome moral implications if we think that, at least in
some cases, we must care for
strangers as well, even at the expense of friends or family or
ourselves. Consider governmental
policy decisions—there we must think of the society as a whole
in the long-term. Or consider
the law; a judge must be impartial. Or consider our obligations
to nature (if indeed we have
any)—some will say we must not use nature just to further the
immediate needs of our family or
small social group. Second, Care Ethics puts emotion and
emotional connections with others at
10
the center of moral decision-making. We must rely on our
emotional connections with others as
a guide.3 But emotions can be capricious, inappropriate, and
highly variable across situations
and time. This is one reason that Kant counsels us not to rely
on emotion as a moral guide; in
essence, the worry is that I should not treat someone well or
badly just because I happen to feel
like it. So understanding Care Ethics requires us to also learn
how Care Ethics might
accommodate these worries.
3 This may seem similar to Aristotle’s theory at first, but
remember that Aristotle thinks we must use reason to
“control” the emotions. That is the function of the virtues of
character. So for him, in some sense, reason “comes
first” and must be used to shape and control emotion.
Week One Instructor’s Notes
Welcome to the study of ethics. Be sure that you are familiar
with all the course
documentation that has been posted to our D2L site. You will
be held responsible to
conduct yourself in exact accordance with all course
instructions and policies.
In these Instructor’s Notes for the first week I want to help
orient you in the
subject you are going to study. So first I give a description of
what ethics, also known as
“moral philosophy”, is all about. Then I will briefly say
something about how ethics is
pursued from a philosophical perspective, the methodology of
ethics.
What Ethics is All About
The branch of philosophy called Moral Philosophy (also called
Ethics) can be
divided into two sub-branches, metaethics and normative ethics.
In metaethics we address two kinds of question. First, we
attempt to define the
terminology that is commonly used in discussions about ethics,
discussions about what
we ought to do, what policies we ought to devise, how we ought
to treat others. Terms
like ‘morally right’, ‘human rights’, ‘obligation’, ‘virtue’,
‘empathy’, ‘fair’, ‘democratic’,
‘well-being’, ‘justice’, ‘benevolence’, ‘care’, ‘informed
consent’ ‘autonomy’, and so
forth are common in ethical discussions. Part of the job of
metaethics is to attempt to
define these terms, and again, the job of definition is
extraordinarily difficult. Each of
these concepts is complex, and there is disagreement over how
each is to be correctly
defined. For example, there are many different kinds of human
right; some rights
(“general rights”) are said to be enjoyed by everyone (such as
the right to life), while
other rights (“specific rights”) are said to be enjoyed only by
those with certain
characteristics (for example, only those who are eighteen or
older have the right to vote).
Some rights are rights to have something (“positive rights”, like
a right to basic nutrition),
while other rights are rights to not be interfered with (“negative
rights”, like the right to
freedom of expression). And what does it mean, exactly, to say
that someone has a right
to something? This appears to be a complex characteristic
involving obligations on the
part of others. Further, we of course must ask “what rights do
people have?”. The Bill of
Rights gives one sort of answer to this question, while the
Universal Declaration of
Human Rights gives another. Other terms, like ‘justice’ and
‘virtue’, are even more
complex, even more difficult to define.
The second job of metaethics is to attempt to answer the
question “are any moral
rules or claims or judgments true, and if so, how can we prove
that they are true, how can
we justify them?”. We are asking here the age-old and
controversial question of whether
there are any moral truths, whether there are any moral facts, or
whether morality is
simply a matter of convention or opinion or personal taste. If I
say “Marva should not
steal from the corner store”, I have made a claim about what is
morally right; is my claim
true, is it a fact that stealing from the corner store is wrong?
And if so, how could I prove
that what Marva is doing is wrong? There do not seem to be
any scientific experiments I
can perform or mathematical proofs I can give to show that
what Marva is doing is
wrong. In answering this question, philosophers divide into two
camps: on the one hand
are the moral realists and on the other are the moral anti -
realists. Moral realists make
three claims: (i) there are moral facts or truths, (ii) these facts
or truths are independent
2
of anyone’s opinions or beliefs, and (iii) we know some of these
facts or truths.1 So the
moral realists think that there is a moral order to the universe,
that there are truths or
morality; it is either right or wrong, in fact, to steal from the
corner store or to invade Iraq
or to euthanize the incurably sick. Moreover, these truths of
morality have nothing to do
with people at any given time think the truths or morality are.
The moral facts are like
physical or mathematical facts—it does not matter what
people’s opinions or beliefs
about those facts are. Even though many people believed at one
time that the earth was
flat, they were simply wrong. The earth, then as now, was
roughly a spheroid, no matter
what people’s opinions happened to be. Someone may not
believe that -1+1=0, but they
would just be wrong about the facts; the sum of -1 and 1 is not
dependent on anyone’s
beliefs or opinions about what that sum is. The moral realists
say that morality is the
same; there are right and wrong answers to moral questions,
questions about how to live
and how to treat others, and those answers do not depend in any
way upon what people
happen to believe the answers to those questions are; people can
be mistaken about what
the correct answer to a moral question is. Moral realism is a
popular view about
morality; many people seem to believe that moral discussions
have a point, and that there
is a correct answer to most moral questions. Many people seem
to think that capital
punishment and abortion are either right or wrong, and it is our
duty to find out which.
Moral antirealism, on the other hand, comes in may different
forms depending
upon which of the three components of moral realism is denied.
And each form of
antirealism is also quite popular. For example, one form of
moral antirealism called
moral skepticism denies claim (iii) of the moral realist. The
moral skeptic says that we
can never have adequate justification for any moral claim (or
rule or judgment), and so
we have no moral knowledge. The moral skeptic leaves open
the possibility that there
are moral facts or truths, but just denies that we can ever know
what any of those moral
facts might be.
Another form of moral antirealism, moral relativism, accepts
the realist’s claims
(i) and (iii), but denies (ii). The moral relativist says that there
are indeed moral truths,
but those truths are dependent upon belief. In particular, moral
relativism comes in two
common forms (and there are others as well), individual moral
relativism and cultural
moral relativism. Individual moral relativism says that what is
morally correct (true) for
a person is determined by whatever that person believes is
morally correct (true), that is,
moral truth for a person is relative to their personal beliefs. So
if I believe that stealing is
wrong, then for me it is wrong; but if someone else believes that
stealing is morally
acceptable, then for them stealing is morally acceptable.
Cultural moral relativism says
that what is morally correct for a person is determined by (you
guessed it) that person’s
culture. If stealing from the corner store is acceptable in a
person’s culture, then it is
morally acceptable for that person to steal from the corner
store.2
1 For readings on moral realism and anti-realism, see G. Sayre-
McCord, ed., Essays on
Moral Realism.
2 Clever arguments have been given in favor of both forms of
relativism, but both forms
of relativism also suffer from severe conceptual difficulties. In
the case of individual
relativism, we wonder about the status of the claim “what is
morally correct for an
individual is determined by their beliefs”; is that itself a moral
claim? If so, relativism is
somehow self-defeating, for if that claim is itself a moral claim,
then it is only true for
3
Other forms of moral antirealism include expressivism and
moral nihilism.
Expressivism is a denial of (i); the expressivist says that moral
statements are just
expressions of emotion, and so are not true or false. Saying that
“Marva ought not steal
from the corner store” is just to say something like “Marva’s
stealing, YUCK” or “Boo
on Marva’s stealing”. (When I stub my toe and say “Ouch”, my
sentence, ‘Ouch’, is not
true or false but is rather just an expression of feeling). Moral
nihilists also deny (i), but
make the radical claim that all moral language is utterly
meaningless, and when people
are engaged in moral discussions they are doing nothing more
than uttering gibberish at
each other. Of course, the nihilist must then explain why this
strange practice of making
meaningless noises at each other has developed in human
societies, and why people
typically take this activity as being so important. Part of the
work of metaethics is to
decide whether moral realism or some form of moral antirealism
is correct.
Normative ethics has the task of figuring out what actually is
morally required,
morally acceptable, and morally wrong. The word ‘normative’
has ‘norm’ as its root; a
norm is a rule for behavior. So the job here is to discover the
correct norms for behavior.
In normative ethics we ask, for example, “how should I treat
others, what obligations do I
have to others”? If I see someone in need and I am able to help,
must I help? And how
much help must I give? If I see someone collapse, is it morally
acceptable for me to
simply walk right by? Must I give ten percent of my income to
help those in need? And
what do I do if my obligations to others conflict? For example,
sometimes my
obligations to my family conflict with my obligations to my
friends. Which obligations
should take precedence? What should I do if my obligations to
family conflict with my
obligations to country? Because it also seems that people can
have obligations to
themselves, normative ethics also asks what my obligations to
my self are. We are
inclined to say that someone who spends all day every day
watching infomercials, eating
only Dorritos, and drinking whiskey with one hand and shooting
up heroin with the other,
is someone who has a character flaw, a moral flaw, because they
are not fulfilling their
obligations to themselves.
Not all philosophers who work in normative ethics think that we
will never be
able to state exceptionless rules for moral behavior because the
variables that determine
morally right action in particular cases are so complex that no
rule we can formulate in
advance will be correct in all cases. Aristotle is an example of
such a philosopher.3
someone who believes it; if someone does not believe it, but
rather endorses moral
realism, then it seems that for them morality is not relative to
what they happen to
believe. In the case of cultural relativism, there is a great deal
of conceptual work that
has to be done before we can even begin to understand what the
cultural relativist is
saying exactly. We must know what it means for a moral rule
or claim to be “accepted in
a culture”. What exactly is a culture, and how do cultures
determine a moral code?
What happens if a culture’s moral code is inconsistent, that is,
says contrary things about
a particular moral question? It seems that cultures are often
inconsistent in just this way.
How do we determine what a person’s cultural affiliation is?
And can a person be a
member of more than one culture? If so, what if the moral
codes of those cultures
conflict?
3 His great work on normative ethics is the Nicomachean
Ethics; the translation by T.
Irwin available from Hackett publishers is excellent.
4
Aristotle believed that the job of normative ethics was not to
find rules for morally
correct behavior, but rather to discover what a person ought to
seek in life, what he called
“the highest good”. Normative ethics, for Aristotle, was the
study of how to live the best
life, what the best thing to seek in life is. He thought that the
highest good was what he
called eudaimonia, which means something like “flourishing as
a human being”. So the
study of normative ethics is the study of what it means to
flourish as a person, what it
means to be an excellent example of the species. For Aristotle,
flourishing as a human
being involves becoming a virtuous person; so part of the work
of normative ethics is to
say what the virtues are and to determine how they can be
acquired.
In normative ethics we also tackle moral questions that arise in
particular kinds of
context. For example, in medical ethics we consider moral
questions that arise in health
care: for example, is euthanasia morally acceptable, at least in
certain kinds of case?,
must a doctor inform their patient of all relevant information
about their case, even if
doing so will have an adverse effect on the patient’s health?, is
basic health care a general
human right?. In environmental ethics we consider questions
concerning our moral
obligations to the non-human environment: must human
communities fit more closely
with nature?, may we eat meat?, may we use non-human animals
for medical
experimentation?, do we owe any obligation to future
generations to conserve vital
resources?, should forests be preserved?, and other such
questions. In political
philosophy we consider questions about the proper nature of
government and the limits
of government authority (is democracy the most fair form of
government?, is a
proportional parliamentary system the most just form of
democracy?, to what extent
should government regulate economic activity?, when is it
morally acceptable to declare
war?, is a flat tax more just than a progressive tax system?, is
civil disobedience morally
legitimate?, should personal wealth be limited to aid the poor?).
We also consider
questions of legal theory in political philosophy (sometimes
called philosophy of law),
for example, should guilt be determined by jury?, what limits
should be observed by
agents of the state during investigations?, is it appropriate for
investigators to lie to
suspects they are interrogating?, should torture be used in
interrogation?, is capital
punishment morally acceptable?, and so forth.
An example of an argument from normative ethics is an
argument devised by the
Libertarian philosopher John Hospers, an argument designed to
prove that everyone has a
right to own private property. We often take this for granted,
but we should always try to
find good reason for our beliefs. Moreover, there are some who
have claimed that private
property is a form of theft and ought to be abolished, and many
more who claim that the
right to property ought to be severely limited in many kinds of
circumstance. So having
an argument to establish a right to private property will help us
see what sorts of limits on
property ownership might make moral sense. Here is Hospers’
argument:
(1) Everyone has the right to live as they choose, compatibly
with the
same right of everyone else. (the Libertarian Principle)
(2) In order to exercise my right to live as I choose I wi ll need
to own the
tools to do so, I will need some private property.
(3) Everyone has a right to whatever is necessary in order to
exercise any
rights that they have.
Thus, everyone has a right to private property.
5
The first premise is the basis of the Libertarian theory of
morality, we can call this the
Libertarian Principle. The idea is that since no person owns
another, we all have the right
to live according to our own decisions, as long as we do not
interfere with anyone else’s
decisions about how to live their lives. This is why Libertarians
oppose taxation, seat
belt laws, and drug regulations. Premise (2) points out that if I
am going to live
according to my choices, I will need ready access to the tools
necessary to do that. For
example, if I choose to go to school, I need to own some books,
a pen, and some paper. I
could not be successful in school if anyone could simply use my
books whenever they
wanted; often I would not be able to read the book when I
needed to. By owning the
book I am ensured that when I need to read it, in order to live in
accord with my choice to
study, I will be able to read it. Premise (3) makes the claim that
if there is something
necessary for me to enjoy a right that I have, I must have a right
to that which is
necessary. Otherwise, there is no real sense in which I have the
first right. For example,
in order to exercise my right to freedom of expression, it is
necessary that I be able to
appear in public without my mouth being gagged. So if I really
have the right to freedom
of expression, I must also have the right to appear in public
without my mouth being
gagged.
The premises of this argument are certainly attractive, and the
conclusion does
seem to follow from those premises. But certainly there are
objections that can be made
if we think carefully and creatively enough. As an exercise,
construct a couple of
objections to the Libertarian argument.
Methodology of Ethics
We address the questions of metaethics and normative ethics in
the following
manner. First, we state an answer to the question at hand, being
sure to give working
definitions for those terms in the answer that are complex,
controversial, or ambiguous.
We then must state an argument that supports the answer. That
is, we must give reasons
that will prove that our answer is correct. The reasons given in
an argument are called its
premises. The example above concerning the Libertarian view
of property rights is an
argument offered to support the conclusion that everyone has a
right to private property
(perhaps offered in answer to the question “is private property
morally permissible?”).
Claims (1), (2) and (3) are the premises of that argument. A
philosophical approach to
ethics is thus a reasoned or principled approach in which we try
to identify those general
moral reasons or principles that show that our moral
conclusions are correct.
Once an argument has been offered for a moral position, it will
be our job to ask
two questions. First, we will ask what insights, what truths are
expressed in the
argument. Even when we disagree with its conclusion or one or
more of its premises,
when an argument has been carefully presented there are usually
helpful insights and
moral truths expressed in the premises and conclusion. Our
first job is always to ask
what those truths are. Second, we attempt to construct
objections to the argument, even
when we agree with the premises and the conclusion. There are
two kinds of objection
that can be made to an argument. On the one hand, we may
object that one or more of
the premises is false. On the other hand, we may object that the
conclusion would not
follow from the premises even if the premises were all true, that
is, we might object that
the argument is invalid.
6
After objection, the discussion continues, by answering
objections and proposing
new arguments and conclusions.
Course Structure
Our focus this term will be normative ethics (although in the
last week of the term
we will do some reading on questions of metaethics). And we
will approach questions of
normative ethics from the perspective of four different
conceptions of what is valuable or
morally significant. Chapter 4 of the Weston text explains how
this approach will work,
and then Chapters 5, 6, 7, and 8 explain each of the four
different value perspectives in
detail. Then we will learn some tools for seeing how to best
apply those different
perspectives to actual moral questions that we face; that is the
subject of Chapters 9
through 14 of Weston (of which we will read most though not
all). Finally, we will see
how different philosophers apply different values to actual
moral questions, and everyone
will get exercise in applying the different values as they see fit
in those same cases; that
is the subject of Parts 1, 2, and 3 of the George text. Part 4 of
George discusses various
questions in metaethics. So in summary, you will (a) learn
about four different moral
perspectives, (b) learn strategies for applying those perspectives
to actual moral
questions, and (c) apply those perspectives to actual moral
questions as part of a dialogue
with professional philosophers.
1
EXAMINATION INSTRUCTIONS
PHIL 1103 Summer
There are two examinations given during the term. The due
dates for the
examinations are given on the Course Calendar. There is an
automatic four-day grace
period for the first examination should you wish to make use of
that (note that although
there is no point penalty, submissions made during the grace
period do not qualify for
written commentary). There is no grace period available for the
second examination.
Each examination will consist of four essay questions
concerning the assigned
readings up to that point in the term. Use the Instructor’s
Notes, the textbook readings,
and your work on the weekly Reflection Exercises to formulate
your answers. Be sure to
make good use of the Instructor’s Notes in addition to the
course textbooks. Do not
rely on outside sources. Your answer to each question should
be a minimum of about
two double-spaced pages; please try not to write more than four
pages for each question.
Make use of the checklist for submission at the end of this
document.
You must state each question before giving your answer, and
make it clear
where you are answering each part of each question (for
example, by using headings
like “Question 1 Part 1”).
The examination questions will be available one week before
the due date for
each examination. Once you see the examination questions, it
is fine for you to discuss
the questions with others in Discussion. However, be sure that
your write your own
answer; the course policy concerning plagiarism is given in the
Course Syllabus. Your
final answer must be your own work; you may use material from
the course readings, but
you must list the source and page, including the Instructor’s
Notes. Using sources
outside of the course texts and Instructor’s Notes can be risky
because many sources one
finds on the internet are unreliable; so if you used an incorrect
source outside the course
materials your answer would include incorrect information. The
required course
readings, including the Instructor’s Notes, are all you need in
order to be able to answer
the exam questions fully and correctly.
A proper citation is necessary for all direct quotation and for
paraphrase from
any source used (a paraphrase is when you use your own words
to express an idea found
in a source). Course texts, Instructor’s Notes, as well as any
and all outside sources must
be properly cited. A proper citation consists of two elements.
First there must be an in-
text or footnote indication of the source and the page. An in-
text indication will be put in
parentheses directly following the quote or paraphrase, for
example “(Weston p. 35)”. A
Footnote may be formatted as “Weston p. 35”. Second, there
must be a list of works
cited at the end of your examination; this list must include the
author (if known), the title,
and a URL if applicable. These are the only requirements for
citation formatting; if you
want you may use enhanced formatting if you are familiar with
APA or MLA citation
formatting, but this is not required.
Failure to give a proper citation is plagiarism; be sure you
understand policy in
the Course Syllabus concerning consequences of plagiarism.
Your submission will be
2
examined by Normandale’s sophisticated suite of plagiarism
detection software platforms
and compared with very large databases (which include previous
submissions to this and
other colleges and universities, material submitted by other
students, as well as internet,
electronic, and print sources). Use of materials without proper
citations is plagiarism,
and all instances of plagiarism detected will be permanently
documented as part of your
course record and will be subject to the penalties described in
the Course Syllabus. That
permanent documentation may also be forwarded to the Dean of
Students.
Aim for clarity and detail in your answers. You should be as
detailed as
possible in your answers; imagine having to explain your
answer very carefully to
someone who is not quite understanding. Be sure to dig into the
terminology you are
using. For example, when talking about “well-being” it is
important to notice that there
are different kinds of well-being (economic, physical,
emotional, social) and that there is
a difference between long-term and short-term well-being. One
or two sentences is never
enough to explain in detail. A checklist for writing strong
answers appears at the end of
this document.
If you submit your first examination before the grace period you
will receive an
examination report with written commentary after I evaluate
your exam; use the Exam
Report Instructions and Grading Codes document (found under
Content->Instructions) to
interpret your examination report and to help you write stronger
exams in future. Your
exam report will be left as Feedback in the Assignments
submission folder where you
submitted your examination. It will include your grade for the
assignment, Overall
Feedback, and Inline Feedback (if you qualify). In the
Assignments folder where you
submitted your exam, find the “Feedback” column and click
“Unread”. You will
automatically see your Overall Feedback, but be sure to also
click on “View Inline
Feedback” to see my comments in your text. If you submit your
first examination during
the grace period your examination report will only include
inline feedback with point
values for each part of each question. There is no grace period
for the second
examination.
Your examination must be prepared as a Word document or pdf
file.
Your name must appear at the top of your examination.
Before giving your answer you must state each question.
You must number each answer with the number of the question.
Because
each question has two or three parts, you must use headings to
separate your
answers to different parts of each question.
You must number the pages of your examination and double-
space your
answers.
Your examination must be submitted to the appropriate folder
under
Assignments in D2L. Examinations that are not submitted in
accordance with the
requirements given in this instruction document will not be
accepted. Again, as
stated in the Course Instructions and the Course Syllabus,
correct use of the
required technologies (software, hardware, and internet
connection) is entirely your
responsibility. The due dates and times for each examination
are given on the
3
Course Calendar document, as well as the time of the grace
period for the First
Examination.
Checklist for submission
• Clarity: assume that the reader is not understanding, so take
your time and
explain carefully, using examples as part of your explanation.
Use paragraphs to
separate different ideas or elements of your answer. Don’t just
write in a stream
of consciousness—create an outline before you start writing and
carefully
organize your thoughts. And be sure to check your grammar
and spelling.
• Detail: dig into the question and get detailed, drawing
distinctions and examining
the specifics (refer to the tips above).
• Correctness: be sure that your answers conform to what we
find in the
Instructor’s Notes and the Weston text.
• Rely on your own words: a strong answer will be primarily in
your own words,
and whenever you do use a direct quotation be sure to then also
state the idea in
your own words immediately after.
• Citations: be sure to use proper citations as described above.
• Be sure to state the entire question before giving your answer
(this is
required).
• Be sure to use headings as described above to separate where
you are
addressing each part of each question.
• Be sure to make use of the Instructor’s Notes in helping
formulate your
answers, as well as the relevant readings in the course
textbooks.
1
COURSE SYLLABUS
PHIL 1103-00, Ethics
First Summer Session 2022
Normandale Community College
MnTC goals 6 and 9; 3 credit hours.
Instructor
Stephen Donaho, Ph.D.
email: [email protected]
Please reach out by email anytime, using your Normandale
student email account.
In order for me to reply you must use your Normandale student
email account.
And check your Normandale student email regularly for
messages about our class and
from the College. Your Normandale student email is designated
as an official means of
communication with you. I check email every business day of
the semester except course
holidays (on the weekends email is checked at least once on
Saturdays). Any emails you
send are very important to me and I endeavor to get back to you
within 24 hours or
sooner unless your message is delivered during the weekend or
on a holiday, in which
cases a reply may take longer (though not necessarily).
Office Hours, Meet with me by Zoom Tuesdays 5:30pm-6:30pm
and Wednesdays
10am-noon.
https://minnstate.zoom.us/my/stephendonaho.ncc (Password:
849888)
Required texts
A. Weston, A 21st Century Ethical Toolbox, 4th edition, Oxford
University Press.
A. George, ed., What Should I Do?: Philosophers on the Good,
the Bad, and the
Puzzling, Oxford University Press.
The Weston and George texts are available from the
Normandale bookstore and many
online booksellers. Be sure to get exactly the titles and editions
that I listed here.
Other readings may be assigned in the form of Instructor’s
Notes (available under
Content) and web pages (available under Links). The weekly
instructions will always
specify the texts needed and the reading assignment for each
week.
You will also need to use a good online English dictionary
during the term to help you
understand the course readings. I can also recommend the
Stanford Encyclopedia of
Philosophy—available entirely online—as a resource to help
you understand the course
readings. (And of course, I will always be happy to discuss any
of the course materials
with you and try to answer any questions that you may have in
grappling with the ideas
we will be discussing—see the ‘Help’ section below).
How to study and complete assignments
Under Content in D2L you will find a module called
“INSTRUCTIONS”; there you will
find Course Instructions, Examination Instructions, Reflection
Exercise Instructions,
Discussion Instructions, and Moral Analysis Writing
Assignment Instructions. Be sure to
read each of those documents carefully, and then refer back to
them as the course
progresses.
2
Each week of the term you will be given instructions for that
week; follow the
instructions for the week in order each week. Do not fall
behind—you will learn best
and have the best experience if you do each step of the
instructions each week every
week. You are also less likely to be successful and get the best
grade possible if you fall
behind and try to cram.
Be sure you know how to use D2L. Help using D2L is available
from several sources on
several platforms, and there is a D2L “demonstration course”
you can access from your
student D2L homepage. The How to Get Tech Help document
lists those options for
getting help using D2L. Problems with your hardware, personal
software, and internet
connection are your personal responsibility. Technical
deficiencies do not excuse any
student from any course requirements. All assignments must be
submitted as MS Word
or pdf documents; assignments not submitted as a MS Word or
pdf document will
not be accepted. All students registered at Normandale have
free access to Microsoft
Office which includes Microsoft Word; you can access your free
account from your
student D2L page.
Course Schedule
Schedules for assignments, topics, and holidays are given in the
Course Calendar
document found under Content.
Expected Work
Weekly reading and reflection: Each week of the term a set of
Weekly Instructions will
be given which will include readings from the course texts.
You will be instructed to
read the texts in a particular way, and then instructed to work
on Reflection Exercises for
that week. Although they are not to be submitted for a grade,
write answers for all
reflection exercises each week—this is a crucial step in learning
and creatively engaging
with the problems of Ethics. The Weekly Instructions will at
times also instruct you to
work on upcoming examinations or writing assignments. The
Weekly Instructions for
each week of the term will be available under Content for each
week of the term.
Because you will earn three credits for this course offered over
the short five-week
summer term, the State of Minnesota expects that you will do
quite a bit of work each
week.
Examinations: There will be two examinations during the term.
Each examination will
consist of four essay questions covering the course material up
to that point in the term.
Expect to write two pages for each essay question. The
examination questions will be
available one week before the due date for each examination,
and will be available under
Content. The examination instructions are given in the
Examination Instructions
document under Content->Instructions. Examinations must be
formatted and submitted in
accordance with the examination instructions; examinations that
are not so formatted and
submitted will not be accepted. The examination due dates are
given on the Course
Calendar (as well as dates for a grace period beyond the due
date for the first
examination).
3
Moral Analysis Writing Assignment: You will be given a
writing assignment to work on
beginning in the second week of the term; the assignment will
be due at the end of the
term (the due date is given in the Course Calendar). The
instructions for the writing
assignment are given in the Moral Analysis Writing Assignment
Instructions document
that will be available under Content->Instructions. Your
writing assignment must be
formatted and submitted in accordance with the writing
assignment instructions and this
syllabus; papers that are not so formatted and submitted will not
be accepted. I am happy
to look at a draft of your writing assignment before it is due;
requirements for submitting
a draft for help are given in the Writing Assignment
Instructions and deadlines for the
optional draft is on the Course Calendar. The due date for
writing assignment is given on
the Course Calendar.
Discussion: Weekly participation in discussion is required.
The Discussion Instructions
document is found under Content->Instructions. All
participation in course discussion
must conform to the discussion policies given in the Discussion
Instructions document.
Course Learning Objectives
As a result of doing the work for this class, students will be
able to:
Examine, articulate, and apply one’s own ethical view.
Understand and apply core moral concepts (e.g., politics, rights,
obligations,
justice, liberty) to specific issues.
Analyze and reflect upon the ethical dimensions of legal, social,
and scientific
issues.
Identify ways to exercise the rights and responsibilities of
citizenship.
Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the
history of moral
thought.
Understand these ethical works as representations of various
historical and social
values.
Articulate informed personal responses to classical and modern
ethical works.
Respond critically to works of ethical analysis and their
applications.
Analyze an ethical claim, understand its assumptions and
evaluate the
consequences that may follow.
Recognize and articulate the value assumptions that underlie
affect decisions,
interpretations, analyses, and evaluations made by oneself and
others.
Use diverse ethical theories and imaginatively generate
alternative moral reasoning that
results in alternative solutions.
Help
I am happy to answer questions by email and I hope that
everyone asks questions
whenever they have them, either about the course instructions
or about the course
material. Be sure to ask any questions that come up.
I am also available to meet by Zoom on Tuesdays 5:30pm-
6:30pm and Wednesdays
10am-noon.
https://minnstate.zoom.us/my/stephendonaho.ncc (Password:
849888)
Submission of examinations and the writing assignment
4
• Submissions must be made to the appropriate folder under
Assignments in D2L,
and must be a file in MS Word or pdf. Submission deadlines
are listed in the
Course Calendar (under Content).
• Late submissions of the First Examination are accepted during
the grace period
following the due date and time; the length of the grace period
is given in the
Course Calendar document (found under Content). There is no
point or grade
penalty for submissions made during the grace period but they
do not qualify for
written commentary from the instructor in the First Exam
Report. Late
submission after the due date of either the Second Examina tion
or the Moral
Analysis Writing Assignment is not permitted because they are
due on the last
day of the course—you must plan ahead. You should aim to
have finished the
work for the term by the end of the day before the last day of
the term, and I have
structured your work for the last week so as to give you the
space to do that.
• An optional draft of the Moral Analysis Writing Assignment
may be submitted—
this is not required. The submission requirements and
instructions for submitting
a draft are given in the Moral Analysis Writing Assignment
Instructions
document.
• Submissions that do not meet the format requirements are not
accepted (any
format requirements given here and in the Examination
Instructions and Moral
Analysis Writing Assignment Instructions documents found
under Content-
>Instructions).
• It is entirely your personal responsibility to be sure that your
hardware,
software, internet connection, and knowledge of D2L are
sufficient to
participate in this online course. Deficiencies in technology or
technical
knowledge will not excuse any student from course instructions,
requirements, or expectations. Again, for help with technology
see the How to
Get Tech Help document found under Content.
Academic honesty
All students are expected to know the academic honesty policy
of the College.
Plagiarism on one assignment will result in the grade F for that
writing assignment or
examination (or ‘not acceptable’ in the case of a discussion
posting), and may result in a
final course grade of F and a report to the Dean of Students.
The College may impose
further penalties. Proper citations must be given for all
material from any source used in
exam essays and the Moral Analysis writing assignment. This
includes both direct
quotation and paraphrase, that is, direct quotations as well as
putting ideas or
information from sources in your own words. Sources include
required course texts and
Instructor’s Notes in addition to any outside source (print,
internet, video, the work of
other students, tutors). Formatting and requirements for proper
citations are described in
the Examination Instructions document and in the Moral
Analysis Writing Assignment
Instructions document (both found under Content-
>Instructions).
Your submissions will be examined by Normandale’s
sophisticated suite of
plagiarism detection software platforms and compared with very
large databases (which
include previous submissions to this and other colleges and
universities, material
submitted by other students, material prepared by professional
cheaters, as well as
5
internet, electronic, and print sources). Use of materials
without proper citations is
plagiarism, and all instances of plagiarism detected will be
permanently documented as
part of your course record and will be subject to the penalties
described above. That
permanent documentation may also be forwarded to the Dean of
Students.
Grades
Each of the examinations and the writing assignment will be
worth 100 course
points. But as an incentive to improve, the lowest score will be
dropped from the final
course grade calculation. You should aim to do as well as
possible on the First
Examination and then use the comments you will receive to help
you write a stronger
Second Examination and a strong Writing Assignment.
I will check participation in Discussion for randomly selected
weeks during the
term. Following the Discussion Instructions document will
result in a grade of
“acceptable” for that week, and not following the discussion
instructions earns the grade
“not acceptable” for that week. Consistently making very
detailed and careful posts that
are relevant and clear during the semester earns ten bonus
points total added to the
second-lowest assignment score (ten bonus points total, not ten
per post).
The final course grade will be determined in the following way.
First, your lowest
assignment score is dropped (from the two examinations and the
Writing Assignment).
Then Discussion participation is checked and the ten-point
bonus, if awarded, is added to
the lowest of those two scores. Then I add those two scores to
determine a raw letter
grade calculated as a percentage of 200 course points, where A
is 100-90%, B is 89-75%,
C is 74-60%, D is 59-50%, and F is below 50%. Finally,
participation in discussion is
checked again; for each “not acceptable” beyond one, the raw
letter grade will be reduced
by one-half letter. This adjusted letter grade will be the final
course grade.
The grade of Incomplete will be assigned only under
extraordinary and
documented circumstances as determined by the instructor;
requests for Incomplete must
be made in writing before the second to last day of the
semester; generally speaking,
requests for the grade Incomple te will not be granted.
Automatic Grade of NW for Nonparticipation: College policy
requires that any
student that is inactive in a course for more than two weeks
must be assigned the
semester final course grade of NW. After that grade is assigned
there is no further D2L
access to the course as NW is the final course grade for the
semester. And those who
receive that grade will not be permitted to continue in the
course past that point even if a
request to do so is made (given that too much material has been
missed).
Important Notices
Information in this syllabus and other course documents is
subject to alteration and
amendment during the term; all alterations and amendments will
be announced on
the course D2L site. All students enrolled in this course will be
held responsible to
know the information in this syllabus, the information in all
other course instruction
and policy documents, and all alterations and amendments
announced under
Announcements or in updated course documents.
6
Normandale Community College is committed to providing
equal access for
students with disabilities through the services provided by the
Office for Students
with Disabilities (OSD). If you have an educational need
because of a disability,
please make an appointment for an intake/interview to discuss
these needs so that
appropriate accommodations can be implemented for your
Normandale courses.
Appointments can be made by calling the OSD staff at 952-358-
8625, emailing
[email protected], or stopping by the L2751 office. This
syllabus is available in
alternate formats upon request.
Instructor’s professional biography
Stephen Donaho holds the B.A. with honors in Philosophy from
the State University of
New York, and the M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from the
University of Minnesota. His
doctoral research was on applications of logic in the study of
the semantics of natural
languages. He has taught in the philosophy departments at the
University of Minnesota,
the University of St. Thomas, Metropolitan State University,
Concordia College-New
York (where he also held an appointment as Associate Professor
of Liberal Studies), and
is presently a tenured member of the Department of Philosophy
at Normandale
Community College. He is also a Resident Fellow of the Center
for Philosophy of
Science at the University of Minnesota. He has delivered
lectures at the University of
Minnesota-Twin Cities, the University of Minnesota-Duluth,
Mankato State University,
Loyola-Marymount University, Canisius College, and Brooklyn
College-City University
of New York, as well as before the Minnesota Philosophical
Society and the American
Philosophical Association. His papers have appeared in Mind
and The Journal of
Philosophical Logic.
SECOND EXAMINATION
PHIL 1103, Summer
You must complete the examination in accordance with the
Examination
Instructions (available under Content->Instructions).
Examinations that do not
comply with those instructions and all course formatting and
submission
requirements will not be accepted.
Be sure to give proper citations for all of your sources.
Be sure to answer each part of each question; it is best to
include headings in your
answer like “Question 1, Part 1” so that I can clearly see where
you are addressing
each part of each question.
Be sure to use the Instructor’s Notes to help you write your
answers.
Question One
First describe four important differences between the Utilitarian
moral
perspective and Kant’s moral perspective. Second, describe a
situation in which the
Utilitarian and the Kantian moral perspectives result in
opposing moral requirements.
Question Two
First describe four important differences between the
Aristotelian virtue
perspective and the Ethics of Care on moral questions. Second,
describe a situation in
which the Aristotle’s perspective and the Ethics of Care result
in opposing moral
requirements.
Question Three
First explain how Utilitarianism might conflict with Aristotle’s
virtue
perspective. Second, explain how Kant’s moral perspective
might conflict with the
Ethics of Care.
Question Four
Ethical Hedonism is the view that one always ought to act so as
to maximize
their own personal pleasure. First explain why Utilitarianism,
the Kantian perspective,
Aristotle’s virtue perspective, and the Ethics of Care all
disagree with Ethical Hedonism.
Second, explain how each of those four perspectives can allow
for personal pleasure to
be important in the good life and moral decision-making.

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1. Examine Hofstedes model of national culture. Are all four dime

  • 1. 1. Examine Hofstede's model of national culture. Are all four dimensions still important in today's society as it relates to the success of the multinational manager? Why, or why not? Which do you think is the least important as it relates to multinational management? Why? 2. More companies are seeking to fill multinational management positions due to the influx of business growth abroad. If you were offered and accepted a position as a multinational manager, what would you do to personally prepare for the culture of a different country? Where would you seek information? What overall responsibilities would you expect of the job? How do you think the managerial responsibilities would be different from those you would face in the United States? 3. Multinational managers encounter many levels of culture. Which of the culture levels do you think might be the most difficult to manage? Why? Share an example. Which culture level do you think might be the easiest to understand? Why? Give an example of this. 4. In your own words, what is your perception of free trade? Think about the advantages of free trade; what are two benefits that result from free trade? There is also a downside to free trade; what are two disadvantages resulting from free trade? Provide reasoning for your choices. 5. What are the three major economic systems that nations utilize, and what is the role of each? How does each affect and influence individuals, multinational managers, and corporations? 6. How would you define ethical convergence? What are the
  • 2. four basic reasons for ethical convergence? Which might be the most difficult for multinational companies to follow, and why? 7. Describe the four major world religions. What are the impacts of each religion type on an economic environment? What do you think makes religion a concern in societies? 8. If you were a multinational manager, and you encountered an ethical dilemma within the multinational company, what heuristic questions would you use to decide between ethical relativism and ethical universalism? Of the different heuristic questions, which one do you think is most important? Explain your reasoning. 1 Week Two Instructor’s Notes PHIL 1103 Summer This week you will be learning in detail about the four different moral perspectives that we will use to analyze moral questions. Notice two things right at the start. First, because normative ethics is our main focus this term, we are not going to attempt to settle the question of whether any moral perspective at all could be correct or known to be correct—that is a task for metaethics. Our task in this second week is to learn in some detail about four different kinds of consideration or value that often seem relevant when we try to decide what is morally right or
  • 3. wrong in particular cases, namely: (1) Respect for the rights and autonomy of the persons involved (2) Increasing the overall well-being of the most individuals possible (3) Asking what a person of virtue, of strong character, would do in the given situation (4) Determining what care and compassion would require in that case. Second, notice that there are certainly other alternative perspectives that one may think are relevant in some or all cases; for example, some say that achieving the most personal pleasure is the only goal a person needs to consider when deciding what is morally right or wrong for them to do (this view is called ‘moral hedonism’). And there are others of course. We will only be concentrating on the four perspectives just listed (rights, well- being for the greatest number, virtue, and care) because they are commonly heard in discussion about what is morally right to do and because we have limited time to work this term. Each of the four perspectives gives us a principled way to answer moral questions. We could of course answer the moral questions we face by simply flipping a coin or by force. The moral perspectives, however, provide a sort of guide or rule- book that we can use in all cases to determine what counts as right and what counts as wrong. Each perspective is discussed in a separate chapter in Weston; respect for the rights of persons is discussed in Chapter Five, increasing the well -being for the greatest number is
  • 4. discussed in Chapter Six, virtue and character are discussed in Chapter Seven, and care and compassion are discussed in Chapter Eight. Because each of these perspectives have many aspects, and there is disagreement about how to best understand what each perspective entails, we are going to focus on certain elements of the discussions in those chapters. Let me now say something about the specific places we will focus in this week’s readings. Chapter Five: Ethics of the Person In this chapter we consider what it might mean to respect the individual rights and autonomy of the persons involved in situations in which we must decide what to do. There are many different conceptions of what a person is, and what it might mean to properly respect them as an individual with aspirations, autonomy, and rights. For example, there are different types of rights (recall the discussion of general rights, specific rights, positive rights, and negative rights in the Week One Instructor’s Notes). And there are many different lists of the general and specific and positive and negative rights that persons supposedly enjoy (for example, there is the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the United States and there is the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (which you will read about in this chapter)). Our primary focus in Chapter Five will be two of the different formulations that the philosopher Kant gives to what he calls “The Categorical
  • 5. Imperative”. Kant’s Categorical Imperative is one way of determining what we must do in particular cases to properly respect the 2 autonomy and rights of the persons that may be impacted by our decisions. Another way to put the point is to say that the Categorical Imperative is supposed to give us a recipe for deciding what actions are morally required because they best respect the autonomy and rights of others. Applying the Categorical Imperative to particular moral questions, then, will reveal what rights people have and what it means to value someone as a person, as a fellow human being just as significant as myself. So although I want you to read the entire chapter, take special care to carefully learn and reflect on Kant’s Categorical Imperative. The Categorical Imperative is discussed on pages 137- 142. There are different ways that Kant formulates the idea of the Categorical Imperative, one found on page 138 and two more on the following page. We will focus on the first formulation (page 138, using the idea of a universal law) and the second (p. 139, using the idea of treating others as ends in themselves and not just a means to an end). Spend some time with each formulation and try to imagine in detail what it might mean in practice. And, both formulations are supposed to express exactly the same idea, so be sure to think about how each of these
  • 6. different formulations can be understood to be saying the same thing, and would both recommend exactly the same actions and policies. Kant’s theory is what is called a “deontological” moral theory. For Kant, when we are deciding whether some act is morally right or wrong, we must only consider the nature of and motivation for the action itself, regardless of the consequences. If I intend to hurt someone, but just by chance it turns out that I unintentionally save their life as well as the lives of others, what I have done, the action itself, is still morally wrong. And for Kant, my motivation must be only to do my moral duty (the word “deontological” comes from the Greek word deon, meaning “to bind”). For my action to be morally right it must be done solely because I am bound by a moral duty to perform that action, that must be my only motivation. And there is a clear intuition here—we often think that the morally respectable person is someone who, regardless of fear or personal danger, and regardless of expectation of personal benefit, does their duty. And they do it simply because it is their duty. Notice also, then, that for Kant, I should not be motivated by emotion. Being motivated by emotions of compassion or pity or care is not to be motivated by duty alone. But how do I know exactly which actions it is my duty to perform? Kant answers this question with his Categorical Imperative, a rule for deciding what I am morally required to do and not to do. Again, he gives several different formulations of this rule, and we are going to
  • 7. focus especially on the first two formulations. Those formulations are explained in Chapter 5. The first formulation (page 138) uses the idea of what we coul d rationally will to be a universal law that applies to everyone under all circumstances. When working with the first formulation, pay particular attention to how the concept of rationality plays a role in deciding what to do. I must determine what would be rational if everyone were to do it, not just me. So notice that this standard immediately rules-out certain kinds of actions. Take lying for example. If I lie, but others generally tell the truth, then my lie may have the desired effect. People I lie to may be fooled because they expect that generally speaking people tell the truth. Lying is only rational if I do it but no one else does. However, if everyone lied all the time, then no one would expect anyone to tell the truth, and lying would never have the desired results. It would be irrational to lie if everyone did it. It would defeat the purpose of lying if everyone was a liar all the time. Or consider paying for a movie ticket. Suppose I have the opportunity to sneak in, undetected, and watch the movie for free. But now imagine that everyone did this (it was universally allowed). Then movie theatres would have no revenue and would have to close. 3 Then no one could watch a movie at the theatre. So it would be irrational to will that everyone
  • 8. should sneak into the theatre without paying, that would defeat the purpose of me sneaking in since it would mean that there would be no theatre to sneak into. Also notice that Kant is here advocating a certain kind of equality—no one can put themselves above others. Whatever I think about doing, I must agree that everyone should be allowed to do it (that it should be a universal law). The second formulation (page 139) requires that we always treat others as “ends in themselves”. When thinking about what this means, focus particularly on the concept of autonomy. I should never treat others only as tools I use to achieve my own desires. I must recognize that others are autonomous beings that have their own desires and plans and hopes and values. And be very careful when working with the second formulation to notice that it is not equivalent to the Golden Rule (“Treat others as you want to be treated”). This is also true for the first formulation—doing what would be right for everyone to do is not the same a treating others as you want to be treated. As you are grappling with understanding the Categorical Imperative, think about examples in which the Categorical Imperative would require something different from the Golden Rule. Here is one kind of case to think about. Imagine you are a judge about to impose a sentence. By the Golden Rule, you might be inclined to be lenient, even very lenient (as that is how you might want to be treated if you were being judged). However, could we rationally will that all sentences be radically lenient? Would this undermine the point of a justice
  • 9. system? Would we be treating the victims as ends in themselves, respecting their aspirations and values? Would we even be treating the person to be sentenced as an end in themselves, or merely as a means for insuring that if the time comes I will be treated in a certain way? Chapter Six: Ethics of Happiness The central value we seek to protect and advance in answering moral questions from this point of view is the happiness for the greatest number. That is, the morally right thing to do is to choose the action or policy which will best advance the happiness or well-being of the greatest number of individuals possible under the circumstances. This way of thinking is often called “Utilitarianism”—you learn why in the chapter. Focus primarily on understanding pages 181- 188 and also pages 193 (beginning with the heading “Complications”) through 198 (though do of course read the entire chapter as assigned). The Utilitarian moral perspective is common in everyday personal decision-making when concerning the impact of our actions on others as well as in formulating law and public policy. Notice that one of the main tasks in this sort of moral perspective will be to define ‘happiness’ or ‘well-being’ or ‘good’ or ‘benefit’ (as well as their opposites, especially the complex notion of suffering). There are many different forms of each of these, for example, physical vs mental. And in the case of physical well-being or health, there are many different
  • 10. ways that can be defined and measured. In the case of mental or emotional well-being or happiness, again there are many different forms here. Is the happiness derived from a tasty snack the same as the happiness derived from long-lasting friendships or engagement with the arts? There is also an important distinction to be made between short- term happiness or well-being and long-term happiness or well-being (and long-term happiness may necessitate short-term suffering, as in surgery or mastering a sport). Notice also that the Utilitarian Principle requires the greatest good for the greatest number of individuals. This is a per capita measure, not an aggregate measure. According to the Utilitarian principle, we must seek to improve things to the greatest degree for the greatest 4 number of individuals, not simply increase the total amount of benefit (which might be distributed wildly unequally). And note that we said ‘individuals’ here, because the principle can be formulated so that the well-being of non-human individuals is morally relevant (individuals like dogs and families and ecosystems for example). You will find that the Utilitarian principle is in sharp conflict in various ways with the Categorical Imperative of Kant. When thinking about possible objections to the Utilitarian way of thinking it is important to keep in mind that there are two
  • 11. very different types of potential difficulty for the Utilitarian principle, moral objections and practical objections. Moral objections say that in some situations the Utilitarian principle offers morally wrong advice. For example, the Utilitarian principle appears to conflict with justice and individual rights in some cases (there is a discussion of this in Weston). Other commentators have pointed out that the Utilitarian principle undermines the personality in requiring undermining of personal growth and development in the quest to advance the well-being of others. On the other hand, Practical objections pertain to the difficulties in actually attempting to apply the Utilitarian principle in real cases. For example, to apply the principle we need some sort of objective way to measure happiness or well-being, but this is perhaps an impossible task (for a variety of reasons). We also need to make reliable predictions about the long-term consequences of acts for, in some cases, thousands of people, but this is also beset with obvious difficulties. There is also the worry of whether it is realistic to expect people to continuously perform complex calculations about the far-reaching effects of their actions. Do also keep in mind, though, that these potential moral and practical objections are well-known to Utilitarians, and various response have been offered. On close examination, what might seem like a slam- dunk objection may not be as powerful and convincing as one may have thought at first. Chapter Seven: Ethics of Virtue Chapter Seven discusses the role of virtue and character in
  • 12. answering moral questions. It is often said that we ought to do the virtuous thing when faced with morally weighty decisions. But like rights and well-being, there are many different views about what virtues a person should have, and what exactly the virtuous person would do in various specific situations. In this chapter I want you to focus primarily on Aristotle’s conception of virtue as described from the middle of page 217 to page 221 (but again, do be sure to read the entire chapter as assigned). Here I will explain the main ideas of Aristotle’s ethics of virtue. As I mentioned in the Instructor’s Notes for Week One, Aristotle’s moral theory is very different from Kant’s perspective and the Utilitarian perspective. Both Kant and the Utilitarians give an answer to the question “What are the correct moral rules that I should follow?”. Kant proposes the Categorical Imperative while Utilitarians propose the Utilitarian Principle as the correct rule to guide moral action. Aristotle’s question is different; he answers the question “What is the best or most fulfilling kind of life?”. A by-product of his answer will also give us a method for determining which actions are right and which are wrong, and how to treat others. But that method will not involve a rule; in fact, Aristotle does not think that any rule will ever do the job. To begin answering his question “What is the best kind of life?” Aristotle first says that three common answers to this question are wrong. Many people will answer this question by
  • 13. saying that a life of wealth, or fame, or pleasure (or some combination) is the best kind of life. However, Aristotle says that wealth does not make the best kind of life, since money is only a tool that can be used well or badly. Money not intrinsically valuable (valuable in itself), it only 5 has instrumental value. Acquiring fame cannot be the best kind of life since fame depends on others. A life of pleasure cannot be the best kind of life because pleasure is fleeting—one always has to get a new fix; in this way, Aristotle says, the pleasure- seeking life is a life of slavery. So then what is the best kind of life to lead? Aristotle says that we can answer this question by using the three related concepts of function, flourishing (or excellence), and virtue. We start with the concept of function. Aristotle thought that all things, including human beings, have an ergon, which is usually translated as “function” or “characteristic activity”. The idea is easy to understand in the case of tools. A vegetable knife has a function, namely, to cut vegetables into various sizes. An automobile has a function, namely, to transport people and things from one place to another. Of course, any object may be used to for a variety of purposes; a vegetable knife can be used as a bookmark, a car as shelter. But, on Aristotle’s view, all things have a primary function or a characteristic activity, a particular role in the overall scheme of the universe that makes
  • 14. the thing the kind of thing that it is. So we can see that not just tools, but any object (even natural objects) will have an ergon, a characteristic activity that makes it unique amongst all other things. Now, any given particular thing will perform its function well, or in a mediocre way, or poorly. When a thing performs its function well, excellently, it is said to flourish, to have achieved excellence as that kind of thing. An oak that stands tall and produces a plentiful supply of good acorns has flourished as an oak tree, is an excellent oak. A vegetable knife that efficiently cuts vegetables into all the shapes and sizes we want has flourished as a vegetable knife, is an excellent vegetable knife. A thing that is flourishing, that is excellent at its characteristic activity, flourishes because it has certain characteristics. That is how Aristotle defines virtue—a virtue for an object is a characteristic that enables that object to perform its function well. Whatever characteristics a thing needs in order to perform its function well are called the ‘virtues’ for that thing. This is why it is said that “the virtues of a thing are determined by its function”—once we know the function of a thing, we will be able to determine which characteristics that thing needs in order to perform its function well. For example, the function of a vegetable knife is to cut vegetables. So the virtues for a vegetable knife will be attributes like being sharp, being able to hold sharpness over time, having a comfortable handle, and having an appropriate length. These are
  • 15. characteristics that enable a vegetable knife to cut vegetables well. Virtues for an oak would include being planted in soil with a certain chemical composition, having enough leaves exposed to enough sun, having efficient systems for moving water and nutrients up and down the trunk. When an oak has those characteristics and the other oak-virtues it will flourish, it will lead the best kind of life as an oak tree. So to find out what the best kind of life for a person is, what human flourishing is, we must first identify the human ergon, the primary function or characteristic activity of human beings. Aristotle thought that rational self-regulation is the human ergon, is what marks humans off from all other things in the universe. What is characteristic, unique, about humans is our capacity to use our reasoning abilities to make decision about how to act and then to act on those decisions. If that is our function, then we have an immediate answer to the question of what human excellence is: Human excellence is using reason well in decision-making. To flourish as a human being is to engage in actions that are guided by excellent rational decision-making. In order to flourish as a human being, that is, in order to perform the human function well, a person must acquire those characteristics that enable someone to do well in rational decision-making. That is, a person must acquire the human virtues. The natural question, then,
  • 16. 6 is “What then are the virtues a person needs to acquire in order to flourish?”. Since the human function is to use reason well in decision-making, Aristotle says we can identify the human virtues, the characteristics that enable excellent rational decision making, by looking at the nature of the mind in order to identify our rational capacities. Aristotle thought that the mind is composed of two parts relevant for our question.1 There are two parts of the mind that play a role in decision-making, what he called “reason” and “the part that obeys reason”. Reason is the home of our intellectual capacities for learning, calculating, imagining, analyzing, inferring, applying information to specific cases, processing new information, comparing, generalizing, intuiting, and the like. The “part that obeys reason” is the home of emotion, ambition, drive, mood, inclination, will, appetites, and desires. Both parts play a role in decision-making, so we must learn how to control and use both parts well. The virtues are characteristics we can acquire that enable us to control and use those parts of the mind well. So there are two different kinds of virtue: Intellectual virtues are attributes that enable us to best use and control our capacities of reason, and virtues of character are attributes that enable us to best use and control the capacities we have for emotion, ambition, willpower, mood, and desire. Since reason and emotion are very different, the intellectual virtues and the virtues of character have very different natures and must be learned in different ways. Aristotle discusses
  • 17. both in detail, but for the remainder of these notes I am only going to talk about the virtues of character. In a moment I will list some of the Aristotelian virtues of character. But first let’s look at what Aristotle says about the nature of this kind of virtue and how we learn the virtues of character. The virtues of character are stable states of character, that is, they are ingrained or habitual ways of responding to the world when we are called to make decisions about how to act. The virtuous person doesn’t have to force themselves to be courageous or just, they are courageous or just as a matter of well-established habit. Being courageous or just is natural for them because of the way that they have developed their character. So we can see that to acquire the virtues is a matter of forming long-standing habitual responses, and the only way to form habits is by constant and regular practice. And the practice required must be directed by someone who is already virtuous, a “virtue coach” (what Aristotle calls a “phronimous”, from the Greek for a person with practical wisdom). After all, we must practice virtuous acts in order to form the right habits, and as learners we need to be told which actions are the virtuous ones we need to practice. Furthermore, Aristotle points out that even once we acquire the virtues we must continue to exercise them in decision-making and acting, otherwise they will atrophy. So he says that virtues of character are “preserved by action”. So, for Aristotle, a “virtuous” person who does not continually engage in virtuous acts is not actually virtuous. In some way, being
  • 18. virtuous, then, is a process rather than a single accomplishment (after which one can “retire”). The most famous element of Aristotle’s conception of virtue is often given in the slogan “virtue is in finding the mean between extremes”; more fully, we would say that according to Aristotle, a virtue is always a mean state between a deficient state of character and an excessive state of character. We must be careful about what this is not saying. Aristotle is not saying that the virtuous person always does a half-way amount of anything (giving some but not too much to charity, eating some but not too much cake, being irritated but never enraged or never passive). This is not what he has in mind. Rather, here is the idea. Remember that virtues of character allow us to regulate our capacity for various emotions and desires. A virtuous person is able to 1 He thought there is also a third part, the “nutritive mind”, that is responsible for our biological functioning. However, since we do not have conscious control over that part of the mind he does not defined virtues for it. 7 use the entire range of a capacity, feeling and acting with the appropriate amount for the circumstances, whatever that amount may be. Sometimes it is appropriate to have no cake at all, sometimes appropriate to have one slice but no more, and sometimes (presumably rarely) appropriate to go crazy and have three. The virtuous person is
  • 19. the person who has the full range of the capacity at their disposal, and can feel or desire and then act with the appropriate amount for the situation. Aristotle describes such a person as having the mean or middle state of character. However, there are people who are unable to use the entire range of their capacity. Some people have a deficient state of character, so they are never able to use their capacity or can only use it to a small extent. Others have an excessive state of character, which means that in all cases they use their capacity at maximum strength, whether that is appropriate or not. For example, consider our capacity to feel fear. Some people have a deficient state of character with regard to that capacity. They are people who never feel fear (are unable to feel fear), or are only able to feel a twinge or fearfulness in certain situations. We say that such people are reckless or rash; they have a deficient state of character with regard to the capacity to feel fear. So they have the vice of recklessness.2 Other people have an excessive state of character with respect to the capacity to feel fear. They are people who are always fearful no matter what the circumstance. We say that such people are cowardly; they have the vice of cowardice. Other people, however, are able to feel (and then act on) the appropriate amount of fear for the situations in which they find themselves. Such people have a mean state of character with respect to the capacity to feel fear—they are able to use their capacity along its entire dimension, finding the appropriate amount given the circumstances. Those people have the
  • 20. virtue with respect to fear, the virtue of courage. Or take the capacity to feel angry. Some people have the vice of excess with respect to anger. These are people who are always angry at everything (they have the vice of wrathfulness, they are “angry people”). There are people who have the vice of deficiency with respect to anger, people who never feel angry no matter what the provocation or threat or situation. And there are people who have the virtue for the capacity to feel anger, the mean state. They are able to feel the appropriate amount of anger in any given situation—they have the full range of the capacity to feel anger at their disposal. As you can imagine, there are many virtues of character (and corresponding vices of deficiency and excess), given the complexity of human capacities for emotion and appetite and willfulness and desire. Here is a partial list: Capacity Deficiency Virtue Excess Fear Cowardice Courage Recklessness Anger Lack of Spirit Even Tempered Wrathful, Angry Pleasure indulgence Insensibility Temperance Self-indulgent Giving and taking money Miserliness Generosity Prodigality Self-regard Self humiliating Proper pride Vanity, snobbery Living well Pettiness Magnificence Vulgarity Desire for honor Laziness Aspiration Over-ambition Shame Shamelessness Modesty Bashfulness Self-disclosure Self-deprecation Truthfulness Boastfulness Indignation Spitefulness Righteous indig. Envy Judgement Unprincipled Fairness Partisanship 2 A vice is the opposite of a virtue. So for Aristotle, for each
  • 21. virtue there are two vices, a vice of deficiency and a vice of excess. 8 Social demeanor Quarrelsome Friendliness Flattery Sense of humor Boorishness Wittiness Buffoonery Virtues of character, then, are stable states of character obtained by practice that forms habitual responses to life’s circumstances. They allow us to regulate our capacities for emotion, desire, appetite, ambition, and willfulness. They are mean states between two possible vices, a vice of deficiency and a vice of excess. A virtuous act is one that is an habitual response that stems from a virtue of character (we don’t have to force ourselves to do it, but rather is “in character”). Aristotle also says that a virtuous act is one that results from a conscious decision to perform that act, that is, we must accept ownership of the action, it must be our choice (if someone does something unknowingly or involuntarily we don’t praise their virtue). And, Aristotle says that we must choose that action because it is virtuous (and not because we hope to gain or for some other ulterior motive). Now we can see what the best sort of life is according to Aristotle, we can see what it means to flourish as a human being. Human flourishing (which Aristotle calls eudaimonia) is a
  • 22. life of activity of reason expressing virtue, that is, a life in which we use our rational and emotional capacities in the best ways (so that our actions “express virtue”) in making decisions and acting on them. We then excel at being human. This is sometimes called “self-realization” or “self-actualization”—we achieve the best of our capacities in the circumstances of our lives. We realize our best potential as human beings, actualize our potential in the best possible ways. We have then achieved human flourishing, eudaimonia. (The Greek term ‘eudaimonia’ is sometimes translated as “happiness”. This is unfortunate, because the term ‘happiness’ means many different things to different people, and because human flourishing is much more than just being happy, and is certainly not the same as pleasure as we noted above. Aristotle does think, though, that the person who flourishes turns out to be, as a by- product, the happiest person at least in the sense of contentment and fulfillment.) In answer to the question “which actions are morally right and which are morally wrong”, Aristotle says that the morally right actions are virtuous acts (and morally wrong acts are those that stem from vices or ignorance). And Aristotle takes pains to caution us that we cannot simply state a set of rules to follow that will tell us, in every circumstance, what the right and wrong actions are. This is because life is often very complex; there are usually too many variables at play in situations in which we must decide how to act to allow for a rule that generalizes over cases—there will always be too many exceptions for any proposed rule
  • 23. covering more than one particular situation. So how does a virtuous person know what counts as the virtuous act in particular situations? Aristotle’s answer is that once a person acquires the virtues, that is, becomes a certain kind of person, they begin to see the world in a certain way. They become sensitive to the nuances of situations that enable them to decide, guided by their habitual responses, what the virtuous thing to do is. Aristotle tells us that “virtuous action is a matter of perception”. And this is an intuitive idea. The angry person sees the world in a certain way—even an accidental bump is perceived as an insult or attack. The even-tempered person, however, sees the world differently, and this enables them to decide on the virtuous act. Chapter 8: Ethics of Relationship Relationships (with other people, with non-human animals, and with, our ecological relationships) are often thought of as valuable, sometimes of paramount value. And being in various relationships helps us learn about caring and compassion, which in turn can help 9 determine what we ought to do, how we ought to live, how we ought to treat others, and how we ought to structure our society. Here we consider the fact that all people are bound to others in
  • 24. many different ways (even the hermit, however indirectly), and then ask what the moral significance of those relationships is. We notice immediately that care and compassion are fundamental to nurturing relationships with others, so we can ask what care and compassion for others would require when answering moral questions. After all, we often say that our treatment of others (and ourselves) should be caring and compassionate, and that failing to be caring and compassionate is a moral failing. Again, of course, there are many different conceptions of what care and compassion are and of what they require in actual decision-making in specific cases. So think about what care and compassion would look like in concrete terms in the complex situations of actual life. In your reading in Weston, focus particularly on the moral perspective of Care Ethics (pp. 245- 257). Care Ethics is perhaps the most difficult of our four perspectives to understand in concrete, practical terms. Both Kant and Utilitarianism give a rule to follow for making decisions (and Libertarianism does as well). The rules themselves may be somewhat difficult to decode and execute, but at least we have a single rule to apply to every case in which we need to know what is morally required and morally permitted. Aristotle does not give us a rule, but he does present a detailed conception of the best life as well as a clear plan for developing the virtues necessary to achieve it (along with a detailed list of virtues). Care Ethics has none of these features, neither a rule nor a fixed conception of the good life. Rather, Care Ethics says that the lessons we learn from being in
  • 25. nurturing relationships with others should form our moral guidebook. So when I ask "what should I do?" we find an answer by asking "what would be the best way to care for and nurture those effected by my actions?"; another way to put it is that we must seek to express care and compassion towards others. This applies also to questions of government policy and law: what would best express care and compassion for those that would be impacted? Care ethics also asks us to recognize our interdependence with others--our lives are deeply connected and inter-twined with the lives of others, so that imposes certain responsibilities to care for others and certain limitations on our individual freedoms. What those responsibilities and limitations are must be determined in particular cases (much as in virtue ethics): By being sensitive to others, and perceptive, and having developed a sense of caring or compassion, we will be able to understand through empathy what our responsibilities to others are. So a big challenge in using Care Ethics in concrete particular cases will be to figure out what precisely the demands of care and compassion are. Another challenge is to figure out what the precise nature of our connectedness to others is in actual cases. And Care Ethics faces two further challenges. First, Care Ethics says that we should model our moral thinking on the nature of nurturing relationships in the context of family. This raises the worry that Care Ethics is too parochial, too focused on our family group or social group, to serve as a moral theory about how we should treat
  • 26. others. After all, most of us would do things for friends and family that we would not do for others, for strangers. But this may have worrisome moral implications if we think that, at least in some cases, we must care for strangers as well, even at the expense of friends or family or ourselves. Consider governmental policy decisions—there we must think of the society as a whole in the long-term. Or consider the law; a judge must be impartial. Or consider our obligations to nature (if indeed we have any)—some will say we must not use nature just to further the immediate needs of our family or small social group. Second, Care Ethics puts emotion and emotional connections with others at 10 the center of moral decision-making. We must rely on our emotional connections with others as a guide.3 But emotions can be capricious, inappropriate, and highly variable across situations and time. This is one reason that Kant counsels us not to rely on emotion as a moral guide; in essence, the worry is that I should not treat someone well or badly just because I happen to feel like it. So understanding Care Ethics requires us to also learn how Care Ethics might accommodate these worries. 3 This may seem similar to Aristotle’s theory at first, but remember that Aristotle thinks we must use reason to
  • 27. “control” the emotions. That is the function of the virtues of character. So for him, in some sense, reason “comes first” and must be used to shape and control emotion. Week One Instructor’s Notes Welcome to the study of ethics. Be sure that you are familiar with all the course documentation that has been posted to our D2L site. You will be held responsible to conduct yourself in exact accordance with all course instructions and policies. In these Instructor’s Notes for the first week I want to help orient you in the subject you are going to study. So first I give a description of what ethics, also known as “moral philosophy”, is all about. Then I will briefly say something about how ethics is pursued from a philosophical perspective, the methodology of ethics. What Ethics is All About The branch of philosophy called Moral Philosophy (also called Ethics) can be divided into two sub-branches, metaethics and normative ethics. In metaethics we address two kinds of question. First, we attempt to define the
  • 28. terminology that is commonly used in discussions about ethics, discussions about what we ought to do, what policies we ought to devise, how we ought to treat others. Terms like ‘morally right’, ‘human rights’, ‘obligation’, ‘virtue’, ‘empathy’, ‘fair’, ‘democratic’, ‘well-being’, ‘justice’, ‘benevolence’, ‘care’, ‘informed consent’ ‘autonomy’, and so forth are common in ethical discussions. Part of the job of metaethics is to attempt to define these terms, and again, the job of definition is extraordinarily difficult. Each of these concepts is complex, and there is disagreement over how each is to be correctly defined. For example, there are many different kinds of human right; some rights (“general rights”) are said to be enjoyed by everyone (such as the right to life), while other rights (“specific rights”) are said to be enjoyed only by those with certain characteristics (for example, only those who are eighteen or older have the right to vote). Some rights are rights to have something (“positive rights”, like a right to basic nutrition), while other rights are rights to not be interfered with (“negative rights”, like the right to freedom of expression). And what does it mean, exactly, to say that someone has a right to something? This appears to be a complex characteristic involving obligations on the part of others. Further, we of course must ask “what rights do people have?”. The Bill of Rights gives one sort of answer to this question, while the Universal Declaration of Human Rights gives another. Other terms, like ‘justice’ and
  • 29. ‘virtue’, are even more complex, even more difficult to define. The second job of metaethics is to attempt to answer the question “are any moral rules or claims or judgments true, and if so, how can we prove that they are true, how can we justify them?”. We are asking here the age-old and controversial question of whether there are any moral truths, whether there are any moral facts, or whether morality is simply a matter of convention or opinion or personal taste. If I say “Marva should not steal from the corner store”, I have made a claim about what is morally right; is my claim true, is it a fact that stealing from the corner store is wrong? And if so, how could I prove that what Marva is doing is wrong? There do not seem to be any scientific experiments I can perform or mathematical proofs I can give to show that what Marva is doing is wrong. In answering this question, philosophers divide into two camps: on the one hand are the moral realists and on the other are the moral anti - realists. Moral realists make three claims: (i) there are moral facts or truths, (ii) these facts or truths are independent 2 of anyone’s opinions or beliefs, and (iii) we know some of these facts or truths.1 So the moral realists think that there is a moral order to the universe, that there are truths or
  • 30. morality; it is either right or wrong, in fact, to steal from the corner store or to invade Iraq or to euthanize the incurably sick. Moreover, these truths of morality have nothing to do with people at any given time think the truths or morality are. The moral facts are like physical or mathematical facts—it does not matter what people’s opinions or beliefs about those facts are. Even though many people believed at one time that the earth was flat, they were simply wrong. The earth, then as now, was roughly a spheroid, no matter what people’s opinions happened to be. Someone may not believe that -1+1=0, but they would just be wrong about the facts; the sum of -1 and 1 is not dependent on anyone’s beliefs or opinions about what that sum is. The moral realists say that morality is the same; there are right and wrong answers to moral questions, questions about how to live and how to treat others, and those answers do not depend in any way upon what people happen to believe the answers to those questions are; people can be mistaken about what the correct answer to a moral question is. Moral realism is a popular view about morality; many people seem to believe that moral discussions have a point, and that there is a correct answer to most moral questions. Many people seem to think that capital punishment and abortion are either right or wrong, and it is our duty to find out which. Moral antirealism, on the other hand, comes in may different forms depending upon which of the three components of moral realism is denied.
  • 31. And each form of antirealism is also quite popular. For example, one form of moral antirealism called moral skepticism denies claim (iii) of the moral realist. The moral skeptic says that we can never have adequate justification for any moral claim (or rule or judgment), and so we have no moral knowledge. The moral skeptic leaves open the possibility that there are moral facts or truths, but just denies that we can ever know what any of those moral facts might be. Another form of moral antirealism, moral relativism, accepts the realist’s claims (i) and (iii), but denies (ii). The moral relativist says that there are indeed moral truths, but those truths are dependent upon belief. In particular, moral relativism comes in two common forms (and there are others as well), individual moral relativism and cultural moral relativism. Individual moral relativism says that what is morally correct (true) for a person is determined by whatever that person believes is morally correct (true), that is, moral truth for a person is relative to their personal beliefs. So if I believe that stealing is wrong, then for me it is wrong; but if someone else believes that stealing is morally acceptable, then for them stealing is morally acceptable. Cultural moral relativism says that what is morally correct for a person is determined by (you guessed it) that person’s culture. If stealing from the corner store is acceptable in a person’s culture, then it is morally acceptable for that person to steal from the corner
  • 32. store.2 1 For readings on moral realism and anti-realism, see G. Sayre- McCord, ed., Essays on Moral Realism. 2 Clever arguments have been given in favor of both forms of relativism, but both forms of relativism also suffer from severe conceptual difficulties. In the case of individual relativism, we wonder about the status of the claim “what is morally correct for an individual is determined by their beliefs”; is that itself a moral claim? If so, relativism is somehow self-defeating, for if that claim is itself a moral claim, then it is only true for 3 Other forms of moral antirealism include expressivism and moral nihilism. Expressivism is a denial of (i); the expressivist says that moral statements are just expressions of emotion, and so are not true or false. Saying that “Marva ought not steal from the corner store” is just to say something like “Marva’s stealing, YUCK” or “Boo on Marva’s stealing”. (When I stub my toe and say “Ouch”, my sentence, ‘Ouch’, is not true or false but is rather just an expression of feeling). Moral nihilists also deny (i), but make the radical claim that all moral language is utterly meaningless, and when people are engaged in moral discussions they are doing nothing more
  • 33. than uttering gibberish at each other. Of course, the nihilist must then explain why this strange practice of making meaningless noises at each other has developed in human societies, and why people typically take this activity as being so important. Part of the work of metaethics is to decide whether moral realism or some form of moral antirealism is correct. Normative ethics has the task of figuring out what actually is morally required, morally acceptable, and morally wrong. The word ‘normative’ has ‘norm’ as its root; a norm is a rule for behavior. So the job here is to discover the correct norms for behavior. In normative ethics we ask, for example, “how should I treat others, what obligations do I have to others”? If I see someone in need and I am able to help, must I help? And how much help must I give? If I see someone collapse, is it morally acceptable for me to simply walk right by? Must I give ten percent of my income to help those in need? And what do I do if my obligations to others conflict? For example, sometimes my obligations to my family conflict with my obligations to my friends. Which obligations should take precedence? What should I do if my obligations to family conflict with my obligations to country? Because it also seems that people can have obligations to themselves, normative ethics also asks what my obligations to my self are. We are inclined to say that someone who spends all day every day watching infomercials, eating
  • 34. only Dorritos, and drinking whiskey with one hand and shooting up heroin with the other, is someone who has a character flaw, a moral flaw, because they are not fulfilling their obligations to themselves. Not all philosophers who work in normative ethics think that we will never be able to state exceptionless rules for moral behavior because the variables that determine morally right action in particular cases are so complex that no rule we can formulate in advance will be correct in all cases. Aristotle is an example of such a philosopher.3 someone who believes it; if someone does not believe it, but rather endorses moral realism, then it seems that for them morality is not relative to what they happen to believe. In the case of cultural relativism, there is a great deal of conceptual work that has to be done before we can even begin to understand what the cultural relativist is saying exactly. We must know what it means for a moral rule or claim to be “accepted in a culture”. What exactly is a culture, and how do cultures determine a moral code? What happens if a culture’s moral code is inconsistent, that is, says contrary things about a particular moral question? It seems that cultures are often inconsistent in just this way. How do we determine what a person’s cultural affiliation is? And can a person be a member of more than one culture? If so, what if the moral codes of those cultures
  • 35. conflict? 3 His great work on normative ethics is the Nicomachean Ethics; the translation by T. Irwin available from Hackett publishers is excellent. 4 Aristotle believed that the job of normative ethics was not to find rules for morally correct behavior, but rather to discover what a person ought to seek in life, what he called “the highest good”. Normative ethics, for Aristotle, was the study of how to live the best life, what the best thing to seek in life is. He thought that the highest good was what he called eudaimonia, which means something like “flourishing as a human being”. So the study of normative ethics is the study of what it means to flourish as a person, what it means to be an excellent example of the species. For Aristotle, flourishing as a human being involves becoming a virtuous person; so part of the work of normative ethics is to say what the virtues are and to determine how they can be acquired. In normative ethics we also tackle moral questions that arise in particular kinds of context. For example, in medical ethics we consider moral questions that arise in health care: for example, is euthanasia morally acceptable, at least in certain kinds of case?, must a doctor inform their patient of all relevant information about their case, even if
  • 36. doing so will have an adverse effect on the patient’s health?, is basic health care a general human right?. In environmental ethics we consider questions concerning our moral obligations to the non-human environment: must human communities fit more closely with nature?, may we eat meat?, may we use non-human animals for medical experimentation?, do we owe any obligation to future generations to conserve vital resources?, should forests be preserved?, and other such questions. In political philosophy we consider questions about the proper nature of government and the limits of government authority (is democracy the most fair form of government?, is a proportional parliamentary system the most just form of democracy?, to what extent should government regulate economic activity?, when is it morally acceptable to declare war?, is a flat tax more just than a progressive tax system?, is civil disobedience morally legitimate?, should personal wealth be limited to aid the poor?). We also consider questions of legal theory in political philosophy (sometimes called philosophy of law), for example, should guilt be determined by jury?, what limits should be observed by agents of the state during investigations?, is it appropriate for investigators to lie to suspects they are interrogating?, should torture be used in interrogation?, is capital punishment morally acceptable?, and so forth. An example of an argument from normative ethics is an argument devised by the
  • 37. Libertarian philosopher John Hospers, an argument designed to prove that everyone has a right to own private property. We often take this for granted, but we should always try to find good reason for our beliefs. Moreover, there are some who have claimed that private property is a form of theft and ought to be abolished, and many more who claim that the right to property ought to be severely limited in many kinds of circumstance. So having an argument to establish a right to private property will help us see what sorts of limits on property ownership might make moral sense. Here is Hospers’ argument: (1) Everyone has the right to live as they choose, compatibly with the same right of everyone else. (the Libertarian Principle) (2) In order to exercise my right to live as I choose I wi ll need to own the tools to do so, I will need some private property. (3) Everyone has a right to whatever is necessary in order to exercise any rights that they have. Thus, everyone has a right to private property. 5 The first premise is the basis of the Libertarian theory of morality, we can call this the Libertarian Principle. The idea is that since no person owns
  • 38. another, we all have the right to live according to our own decisions, as long as we do not interfere with anyone else’s decisions about how to live their lives. This is why Libertarians oppose taxation, seat belt laws, and drug regulations. Premise (2) points out that if I am going to live according to my choices, I will need ready access to the tools necessary to do that. For example, if I choose to go to school, I need to own some books, a pen, and some paper. I could not be successful in school if anyone could simply use my books whenever they wanted; often I would not be able to read the book when I needed to. By owning the book I am ensured that when I need to read it, in order to live in accord with my choice to study, I will be able to read it. Premise (3) makes the claim that if there is something necessary for me to enjoy a right that I have, I must have a right to that which is necessary. Otherwise, there is no real sense in which I have the first right. For example, in order to exercise my right to freedom of expression, it is necessary that I be able to appear in public without my mouth being gagged. So if I really have the right to freedom of expression, I must also have the right to appear in public without my mouth being gagged. The premises of this argument are certainly attractive, and the conclusion does seem to follow from those premises. But certainly there are objections that can be made if we think carefully and creatively enough. As an exercise,
  • 39. construct a couple of objections to the Libertarian argument. Methodology of Ethics We address the questions of metaethics and normative ethics in the following manner. First, we state an answer to the question at hand, being sure to give working definitions for those terms in the answer that are complex, controversial, or ambiguous. We then must state an argument that supports the answer. That is, we must give reasons that will prove that our answer is correct. The reasons given in an argument are called its premises. The example above concerning the Libertarian view of property rights is an argument offered to support the conclusion that everyone has a right to private property (perhaps offered in answer to the question “is private property morally permissible?”). Claims (1), (2) and (3) are the premises of that argument. A philosophical approach to ethics is thus a reasoned or principled approach in which we try to identify those general moral reasons or principles that show that our moral conclusions are correct. Once an argument has been offered for a moral position, it will be our job to ask two questions. First, we will ask what insights, what truths are expressed in the argument. Even when we disagree with its conclusion or one or
  • 40. more of its premises, when an argument has been carefully presented there are usually helpful insights and moral truths expressed in the premises and conclusion. Our first job is always to ask what those truths are. Second, we attempt to construct objections to the argument, even when we agree with the premises and the conclusion. There are two kinds of objection that can be made to an argument. On the one hand, we may object that one or more of the premises is false. On the other hand, we may object that the conclusion would not follow from the premises even if the premises were all true, that is, we might object that the argument is invalid. 6 After objection, the discussion continues, by answering objections and proposing new arguments and conclusions. Course Structure Our focus this term will be normative ethics (although in the last week of the term we will do some reading on questions of metaethics). And we will approach questions of normative ethics from the perspective of four different conceptions of what is valuable or morally significant. Chapter 4 of the Weston text explains how this approach will work,
  • 41. and then Chapters 5, 6, 7, and 8 explain each of the four different value perspectives in detail. Then we will learn some tools for seeing how to best apply those different perspectives to actual moral questions that we face; that is the subject of Chapters 9 through 14 of Weston (of which we will read most though not all). Finally, we will see how different philosophers apply different values to actual moral questions, and everyone will get exercise in applying the different values as they see fit in those same cases; that is the subject of Parts 1, 2, and 3 of the George text. Part 4 of George discusses various questions in metaethics. So in summary, you will (a) learn about four different moral perspectives, (b) learn strategies for applying those perspectives to actual moral questions, and (c) apply those perspectives to actual moral questions as part of a dialogue with professional philosophers. 1 EXAMINATION INSTRUCTIONS PHIL 1103 Summer There are two examinations given during the term. The due dates for the examinations are given on the Course Calendar. There is an
  • 42. automatic four-day grace period for the first examination should you wish to make use of that (note that although there is no point penalty, submissions made during the grace period do not qualify for written commentary). There is no grace period available for the second examination. Each examination will consist of four essay questions concerning the assigned readings up to that point in the term. Use the Instructor’s Notes, the textbook readings, and your work on the weekly Reflection Exercises to formulate your answers. Be sure to make good use of the Instructor’s Notes in addition to the course textbooks. Do not rely on outside sources. Your answer to each question should be a minimum of about two double-spaced pages; please try not to write more than four pages for each question. Make use of the checklist for submission at the end of this document. You must state each question before giving your answer, and make it clear where you are answering each part of each question (for example, by using headings like “Question 1 Part 1”). The examination questions will be available one week before the due date for
  • 43. each examination. Once you see the examination questions, it is fine for you to discuss the questions with others in Discussion. However, be sure that your write your own answer; the course policy concerning plagiarism is given in the Course Syllabus. Your final answer must be your own work; you may use material from the course readings, but you must list the source and page, including the Instructor’s Notes. Using sources outside of the course texts and Instructor’s Notes can be risky because many sources one finds on the internet are unreliable; so if you used an incorrect source outside the course materials your answer would include incorrect information. The required course readings, including the Instructor’s Notes, are all you need in order to be able to answer the exam questions fully and correctly. A proper citation is necessary for all direct quotation and for paraphrase from any source used (a paraphrase is when you use your own words to express an idea found in a source). Course texts, Instructor’s Notes, as well as any and all outside sources must be properly cited. A proper citation consists of two elements. First there must be an in- text or footnote indication of the source and the page. An in- text indication will be put in parentheses directly following the quote or paraphrase, for example “(Weston p. 35)”. A Footnote may be formatted as “Weston p. 35”. Second, there
  • 44. must be a list of works cited at the end of your examination; this list must include the author (if known), the title, and a URL if applicable. These are the only requirements for citation formatting; if you want you may use enhanced formatting if you are familiar with APA or MLA citation formatting, but this is not required. Failure to give a proper citation is plagiarism; be sure you understand policy in the Course Syllabus concerning consequences of plagiarism. Your submission will be 2 examined by Normandale’s sophisticated suite of plagiarism detection software platforms and compared with very large databases (which include previous submissions to this and other colleges and universities, material submitted by other students, as well as internet, electronic, and print sources). Use of materials without proper citations is plagiarism, and all instances of plagiarism detected will be permanently documented as part of your course record and will be subject to the penalties described in the Course Syllabus. That permanent documentation may also be forwarded to the Dean of Students. Aim for clarity and detail in your answers. You should be as detailed as
  • 45. possible in your answers; imagine having to explain your answer very carefully to someone who is not quite understanding. Be sure to dig into the terminology you are using. For example, when talking about “well-being” it is important to notice that there are different kinds of well-being (economic, physical, emotional, social) and that there is a difference between long-term and short-term well-being. One or two sentences is never enough to explain in detail. A checklist for writing strong answers appears at the end of this document. If you submit your first examination before the grace period you will receive an examination report with written commentary after I evaluate your exam; use the Exam Report Instructions and Grading Codes document (found under Content->Instructions) to interpret your examination report and to help you write stronger exams in future. Your exam report will be left as Feedback in the Assignments submission folder where you submitted your examination. It will include your grade for the assignment, Overall Feedback, and Inline Feedback (if you qualify). In the Assignments folder where you submitted your exam, find the “Feedback” column and click “Unread”. You will automatically see your Overall Feedback, but be sure to also click on “View Inline Feedback” to see my comments in your text. If you submit your
  • 46. first examination during the grace period your examination report will only include inline feedback with point values for each part of each question. There is no grace period for the second examination. Your examination must be prepared as a Word document or pdf file. Your name must appear at the top of your examination. Before giving your answer you must state each question. You must number each answer with the number of the question. Because each question has two or three parts, you must use headings to separate your answers to different parts of each question. You must number the pages of your examination and double- space your answers. Your examination must be submitted to the appropriate folder under Assignments in D2L. Examinations that are not submitted in accordance with the requirements given in this instruction document will not be accepted. Again, as stated in the Course Instructions and the Course Syllabus, correct use of the required technologies (software, hardware, and internet connection) is entirely your responsibility. The due dates and times for each examination
  • 47. are given on the 3 Course Calendar document, as well as the time of the grace period for the First Examination. Checklist for submission • Clarity: assume that the reader is not understanding, so take your time and explain carefully, using examples as part of your explanation. Use paragraphs to separate different ideas or elements of your answer. Don’t just write in a stream of consciousness—create an outline before you start writing and carefully organize your thoughts. And be sure to check your grammar and spelling. • Detail: dig into the question and get detailed, drawing distinctions and examining the specifics (refer to the tips above). • Correctness: be sure that your answers conform to what we find in the Instructor’s Notes and the Weston text. • Rely on your own words: a strong answer will be primarily in your own words, and whenever you do use a direct quotation be sure to then also state the idea in your own words immediately after.
  • 48. • Citations: be sure to use proper citations as described above. • Be sure to state the entire question before giving your answer (this is required). • Be sure to use headings as described above to separate where you are addressing each part of each question. • Be sure to make use of the Instructor’s Notes in helping formulate your answers, as well as the relevant readings in the course textbooks. 1 COURSE SYLLABUS PHIL 1103-00, Ethics First Summer Session 2022 Normandale Community College MnTC goals 6 and 9; 3 credit hours. Instructor Stephen Donaho, Ph.D. email: [email protected] Please reach out by email anytime, using your Normandale student email account. In order for me to reply you must use your Normandale student email account. And check your Normandale student email regularly for
  • 49. messages about our class and from the College. Your Normandale student email is designated as an official means of communication with you. I check email every business day of the semester except course holidays (on the weekends email is checked at least once on Saturdays). Any emails you send are very important to me and I endeavor to get back to you within 24 hours or sooner unless your message is delivered during the weekend or on a holiday, in which cases a reply may take longer (though not necessarily). Office Hours, Meet with me by Zoom Tuesdays 5:30pm-6:30pm and Wednesdays 10am-noon. https://minnstate.zoom.us/my/stephendonaho.ncc (Password: 849888) Required texts A. Weston, A 21st Century Ethical Toolbox, 4th edition, Oxford University Press. A. George, ed., What Should I Do?: Philosophers on the Good, the Bad, and the Puzzling, Oxford University Press. The Weston and George texts are available from the Normandale bookstore and many online booksellers. Be sure to get exactly the titles and editions that I listed here. Other readings may be assigned in the form of Instructor’s Notes (available under Content) and web pages (available under Links). The weekly instructions will always specify the texts needed and the reading assignment for each week.
  • 50. You will also need to use a good online English dictionary during the term to help you understand the course readings. I can also recommend the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy—available entirely online—as a resource to help you understand the course readings. (And of course, I will always be happy to discuss any of the course materials with you and try to answer any questions that you may have in grappling with the ideas we will be discussing—see the ‘Help’ section below). How to study and complete assignments Under Content in D2L you will find a module called “INSTRUCTIONS”; there you will find Course Instructions, Examination Instructions, Reflection Exercise Instructions, Discussion Instructions, and Moral Analysis Writing Assignment Instructions. Be sure to read each of those documents carefully, and then refer back to them as the course progresses. 2 Each week of the term you will be given instructions for that week; follow the instructions for the week in order each week. Do not fall behind—you will learn best and have the best experience if you do each step of the instructions each week every week. You are also less likely to be successful and get the best grade possible if you fall
  • 51. behind and try to cram. Be sure you know how to use D2L. Help using D2L is available from several sources on several platforms, and there is a D2L “demonstration course” you can access from your student D2L homepage. The How to Get Tech Help document lists those options for getting help using D2L. Problems with your hardware, personal software, and internet connection are your personal responsibility. Technical deficiencies do not excuse any student from any course requirements. All assignments must be submitted as MS Word or pdf documents; assignments not submitted as a MS Word or pdf document will not be accepted. All students registered at Normandale have free access to Microsoft Office which includes Microsoft Word; you can access your free account from your student D2L page. Course Schedule Schedules for assignments, topics, and holidays are given in the Course Calendar document found under Content. Expected Work Weekly reading and reflection: Each week of the term a set of Weekly Instructions will be given which will include readings from the course texts. You will be instructed to read the texts in a particular way, and then instructed to work on Reflection Exercises for that week. Although they are not to be submitted for a grade,
  • 52. write answers for all reflection exercises each week—this is a crucial step in learning and creatively engaging with the problems of Ethics. The Weekly Instructions will at times also instruct you to work on upcoming examinations or writing assignments. The Weekly Instructions for each week of the term will be available under Content for each week of the term. Because you will earn three credits for this course offered over the short five-week summer term, the State of Minnesota expects that you will do quite a bit of work each week. Examinations: There will be two examinations during the term. Each examination will consist of four essay questions covering the course material up to that point in the term. Expect to write two pages for each essay question. The examination questions will be available one week before the due date for each examination, and will be available under Content. The examination instructions are given in the Examination Instructions document under Content->Instructions. Examinations must be formatted and submitted in accordance with the examination instructions; examinations that are not so formatted and submitted will not be accepted. The examination due dates are given on the Course Calendar (as well as dates for a grace period beyond the due date for the first examination).
  • 53. 3 Moral Analysis Writing Assignment: You will be given a writing assignment to work on beginning in the second week of the term; the assignment will be due at the end of the term (the due date is given in the Course Calendar). The instructions for the writing assignment are given in the Moral Analysis Writing Assignment Instructions document that will be available under Content->Instructions. Your writing assignment must be formatted and submitted in accordance with the writing assignment instructions and this syllabus; papers that are not so formatted and submitted will not be accepted. I am happy to look at a draft of your writing assignment before it is due; requirements for submitting a draft for help are given in the Writing Assignment Instructions and deadlines for the optional draft is on the Course Calendar. The due date for writing assignment is given on the Course Calendar. Discussion: Weekly participation in discussion is required. The Discussion Instructions document is found under Content->Instructions. All participation in course discussion must conform to the discussion policies given in the Discussion Instructions document. Course Learning Objectives As a result of doing the work for this class, students will be
  • 54. able to: Examine, articulate, and apply one’s own ethical view. Understand and apply core moral concepts (e.g., politics, rights, obligations, justice, liberty) to specific issues. Analyze and reflect upon the ethical dimensions of legal, social, and scientific issues. Identify ways to exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the history of moral thought. Understand these ethical works as representations of various historical and social values. Articulate informed personal responses to classical and modern ethical works. Respond critically to works of ethical analysis and their applications. Analyze an ethical claim, understand its assumptions and evaluate the consequences that may follow. Recognize and articulate the value assumptions that underlie affect decisions, interpretations, analyses, and evaluations made by oneself and others. Use diverse ethical theories and imaginatively generate alternative moral reasoning that results in alternative solutions.
  • 55. Help I am happy to answer questions by email and I hope that everyone asks questions whenever they have them, either about the course instructions or about the course material. Be sure to ask any questions that come up. I am also available to meet by Zoom on Tuesdays 5:30pm- 6:30pm and Wednesdays 10am-noon. https://minnstate.zoom.us/my/stephendonaho.ncc (Password: 849888) Submission of examinations and the writing assignment 4 • Submissions must be made to the appropriate folder under Assignments in D2L, and must be a file in MS Word or pdf. Submission deadlines are listed in the Course Calendar (under Content). • Late submissions of the First Examination are accepted during the grace period following the due date and time; the length of the grace period is given in the Course Calendar document (found under Content). There is no point or grade penalty for submissions made during the grace period but they do not qualify for written commentary from the instructor in the First Exam
  • 56. Report. Late submission after the due date of either the Second Examina tion or the Moral Analysis Writing Assignment is not permitted because they are due on the last day of the course—you must plan ahead. You should aim to have finished the work for the term by the end of the day before the last day of the term, and I have structured your work for the last week so as to give you the space to do that. • An optional draft of the Moral Analysis Writing Assignment may be submitted— this is not required. The submission requirements and instructions for submitting a draft are given in the Moral Analysis Writing Assignment Instructions document. • Submissions that do not meet the format requirements are not accepted (any format requirements given here and in the Examination Instructions and Moral Analysis Writing Assignment Instructions documents found under Content- >Instructions). • It is entirely your personal responsibility to be sure that your hardware, software, internet connection, and knowledge of D2L are sufficient to participate in this online course. Deficiencies in technology or technical knowledge will not excuse any student from course instructions, requirements, or expectations. Again, for help with technology
  • 57. see the How to Get Tech Help document found under Content. Academic honesty All students are expected to know the academic honesty policy of the College. Plagiarism on one assignment will result in the grade F for that writing assignment or examination (or ‘not acceptable’ in the case of a discussion posting), and may result in a final course grade of F and a report to the Dean of Students. The College may impose further penalties. Proper citations must be given for all material from any source used in exam essays and the Moral Analysis writing assignment. This includes both direct quotation and paraphrase, that is, direct quotations as well as putting ideas or information from sources in your own words. Sources include required course texts and Instructor’s Notes in addition to any outside source (print, internet, video, the work of other students, tutors). Formatting and requirements for proper citations are described in the Examination Instructions document and in the Moral Analysis Writing Assignment Instructions document (both found under Content- >Instructions). Your submissions will be examined by Normandale’s sophisticated suite of plagiarism detection software platforms and compared with very
  • 58. large databases (which include previous submissions to this and other colleges and universities, material submitted by other students, material prepared by professional cheaters, as well as 5 internet, electronic, and print sources). Use of materials without proper citations is plagiarism, and all instances of plagiarism detected will be permanently documented as part of your course record and will be subject to the penalties described above. That permanent documentation may also be forwarded to the Dean of Students. Grades Each of the examinations and the writing assignment will be worth 100 course points. But as an incentive to improve, the lowest score will be dropped from the final course grade calculation. You should aim to do as well as possible on the First Examination and then use the comments you will receive to help you write a stronger Second Examination and a strong Writing Assignment. I will check participation in Discussion for randomly selected weeks during the term. Following the Discussion Instructions document will
  • 59. result in a grade of “acceptable” for that week, and not following the discussion instructions earns the grade “not acceptable” for that week. Consistently making very detailed and careful posts that are relevant and clear during the semester earns ten bonus points total added to the second-lowest assignment score (ten bonus points total, not ten per post). The final course grade will be determined in the following way. First, your lowest assignment score is dropped (from the two examinations and the Writing Assignment). Then Discussion participation is checked and the ten-point bonus, if awarded, is added to the lowest of those two scores. Then I add those two scores to determine a raw letter grade calculated as a percentage of 200 course points, where A is 100-90%, B is 89-75%, C is 74-60%, D is 59-50%, and F is below 50%. Finally, participation in discussion is checked again; for each “not acceptable” beyond one, the raw letter grade will be reduced by one-half letter. This adjusted letter grade will be the final course grade. The grade of Incomplete will be assigned only under extraordinary and documented circumstances as determined by the instructor; requests for Incomplete must be made in writing before the second to last day of the semester; generally speaking, requests for the grade Incomple te will not be granted. Automatic Grade of NW for Nonparticipation: College policy requires that any
  • 60. student that is inactive in a course for more than two weeks must be assigned the semester final course grade of NW. After that grade is assigned there is no further D2L access to the course as NW is the final course grade for the semester. And those who receive that grade will not be permitted to continue in the course past that point even if a request to do so is made (given that too much material has been missed). Important Notices Information in this syllabus and other course documents is subject to alteration and amendment during the term; all alterations and amendments will be announced on the course D2L site. All students enrolled in this course will be held responsible to know the information in this syllabus, the information in all other course instruction and policy documents, and all alterations and amendments announced under Announcements or in updated course documents. 6 Normandale Community College is committed to providing equal access for students with disabilities through the services provided by the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD). If you have an educational need because of a disability,
  • 61. please make an appointment for an intake/interview to discuss these needs so that appropriate accommodations can be implemented for your Normandale courses. Appointments can be made by calling the OSD staff at 952-358- 8625, emailing [email protected], or stopping by the L2751 office. This syllabus is available in alternate formats upon request. Instructor’s professional biography Stephen Donaho holds the B.A. with honors in Philosophy from the State University of New York, and the M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota. His doctoral research was on applications of logic in the study of the semantics of natural languages. He has taught in the philosophy departments at the University of Minnesota, the University of St. Thomas, Metropolitan State University, Concordia College-New York (where he also held an appointment as Associate Professor of Liberal Studies), and is presently a tenured member of the Department of Philosophy at Normandale Community College. He is also a Resident Fellow of the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Minnesota. He has delivered lectures at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Mankato State University, Loyola-Marymount University, Canisius College, and Brooklyn College-City University of New York, as well as before the Minnesota Philosophical Society and the American
  • 62. Philosophical Association. His papers have appeared in Mind and The Journal of Philosophical Logic. SECOND EXAMINATION PHIL 1103, Summer You must complete the examination in accordance with the Examination Instructions (available under Content->Instructions). Examinations that do not comply with those instructions and all course formatting and submission requirements will not be accepted. Be sure to give proper citations for all of your sources. Be sure to answer each part of each question; it is best to include headings in your answer like “Question 1, Part 1” so that I can clearly see where you are addressing each part of each question. Be sure to use the Instructor’s Notes to help you write your answers. Question One First describe four important differences between the Utilitarian
  • 63. moral perspective and Kant’s moral perspective. Second, describe a situation in which the Utilitarian and the Kantian moral perspectives result in opposing moral requirements. Question Two First describe four important differences between the Aristotelian virtue perspective and the Ethics of Care on moral questions. Second, describe a situation in which the Aristotle’s perspective and the Ethics of Care result in opposing moral requirements. Question Three First explain how Utilitarianism might conflict with Aristotle’s virtue perspective. Second, explain how Kant’s moral perspective might conflict with the Ethics of Care. Question Four Ethical Hedonism is the view that one always ought to act so as to maximize their own personal pleasure. First explain why Utilitarianism, the Kantian perspective, Aristotle’s virtue perspective, and the Ethics of Care all disagree with Ethical Hedonism. Second, explain how each of those four perspectives can allow for personal pleasure to
  • 64. be important in the good life and moral decision-making.