PHLA11H: THE EXAM will last two hours. It will include: 50 multiple choice questions,
bearing on who said what, recognition of important philosophical concepts studied, etc.(50%): 2
essay answers, out of four proposed (50%).
QUESTIONS FOR REVIEW:
Some of the following are specific questions about the content of your readings or lectures:
sometimes these admit of definite answers. Others are big questions, to which you are not
expected to have black-and-white solutions, but you should be able to discuss them intelligently.
1. What is the point of the thought experiment called the "trolley problem"?
To review ethical choices when it seems you are doing it or an outside force is killing some-
one. When does morality come in?
5 people on a track about to be killed by a trolley, use a switch, change the course of the trol-
ley and kill only one person
OR there is a fat man on a bridge would you push the man and the trolley would be halted
from killing the five people or would you not push the fat man and let the five people die
Most would save 5 people at the cost of 1 but not push the fat man why?
the difference is the intuitions that people have that apply to one moral theory
strict utilitarian would push the fat man and flip the switch to kill the 1 person because it
would bring the greatest happiness to the greatest amount of people
but the kantian would say that I should treat the fat man as a means and not an end so, it
would not be in his interest to push him
the consequences are worse if you do nothing
2. If you were in a starving group and decided someone had to be eaten, on what ethical basis
might you decide whom to kill and eat?
The least useful, the oldest, the youngest, the biggest, the one that volunteers, the one who
dies first, at random, all starve etc
Ethical base perspectives that we looked at
Kantian ethics the rule is treat other rational beings as end not means. So, by killing them
you are not treating them as ends in themselves.
Or a strict utilitarian will look at it as if the person is weak or will then it is out the group's
interest to kill that person and eat them so, that the group can no longer be starving and there-
fore create the most happiness for the greatest number of people.
But what about your emotional reaction or response?
Remember Bennett when Huck was guided by his conscience and what it would happen if peo-
ple listened to their conscience
1 3. What features distinguish philosophical questions from other sorts of questions?
Phrased in terms of meaning. Aims to change a persons view
4. How is philosophy like and unlike religion? How is it like and unlike science?
Like/unlike religion: understanding place of humans in universe/ central attitude is skepti-
cism; NOTHING IS SACRED
Like/unlike science: Aims at rigour of argument/ no methods
5. Define 'deductive argument; valid argument; sound argument; are all non-de-
ductive arguments inductive?
if all the premises are true, then the conclusion HAS to follow. (not possible for it not to follow)
Ex. All men are mortal (true)
Socrates is a man (true)
Socrates is moral (conclusion follows)
VALID (but unsound) DEDUCTIVE ARGUMENT:
The premises MUST entail the conclusion. (If its unsound, one of more premises are false)
Ex. All art movements started in India (true)
Bauhaus was an art movement (false)
Bauhaus started in India (conclusion follows)
SOUND (and invalid) ARGUMENT:
Premises are true, but conclusion does not follow.
Ex. Socrates is a man (true)
Socrates is mortal (true)
All men are mortal (conclusion does not follow)
Only works if you made it an inductive argument by saying all men are PROBABLY mortal
If it is non-deductive it is usually inductive. Most things in life and ethics is inductive and probable. Ex. I ran out of gas
when I drove this long, I will PROBABLY run out of gas again
6. Explain why any argument must meet both subjective and objective standards.
Must persuade audience (subjective)
Must satisfy questions and doubts (objective)
If only subjective (no facts), misleads audience
If only objective (no persuasion), it is pointless
7. The meaning of life: In the myth of Sisyphus, how might Sisyphus's life be made meaningful?
a desire to do it
A goal to be achieved
8. What is the difference between normative ethics and metaethics?
2 Normative ethics is a judgmental explanation for actions, in which morality is either just
good or bad. Metaethics tries to explain what morality and values is rather than fallaciously la-
beling it as if we knew.
9. What is the difference between justifying reasons and explanatory reasons?
Explanatory reasoning is more cause and effect. Ex. Why did the vase break?
Cause it hit the floor.
While justifying is more giving reasons for action, though as the reasoning gets
longer and more complicated it gets worse. It might become circular, finds a foun-
dation, too many inter-connection, or infinite regress (keeps going).
Only sentient beings can reason (such as humans) which is why philosophers
are interested in it
10. What is the distinction between intrinsic and instrumental values?
Intrinsic items are valuable in itself ex. A painting you worked hard on and love, instrumental
items are valuable because it can get the thing you want ex. Money buys cars which makes you
11. * How do Mill's & Aristotle's views of human happiness resemble and differ from one
- most pleasant
-not momentary or changeable from one moment to the next
-Self sufficient, in two senses:
1. It doesnt need to be reinforced
2. Requires a minimum of external items
- Intrinsically, no instrumentally valued
- Hierarchy of ends has to end in Human Happiness
- Actions are good if they produce happiness
- Actions are bad if they produce the reverse of happiness
- Everyone should attempt to make the greatest amount of happiness for those around them as
well as themselves
- Happiness is a mean or end to action either intrinsically or instrumentally
3 12. Aristotle seems to argue from: Each action aims at some good to There is a good to which all
actions aim. Is this a valid inference? Explain why it is or why it is not.
Aristotle- not a valid inference, compared it to numbers, to any number there is a bigger
number, there is a number bigger than any number you choose, this is false, depends who gets
to choose the number first because if you get to choose the number first then there will always
be a higher one
Ex. every journey has a destination, every action has an ultimate goal which is happiness,
aiming for the sake of happiness, this is plausible, jobs=$=car=me feeling good or happiness,
this is a little bit meaningless because its like you go to the airport and ask "I need a ticket to
get to my destination"
It implies that all action aims at a single goal. But thats similar to saying that
all travelers are bound to go to some destination and that all travelers are bound
to one and the same destination, as you can see it doesnt logically follow.
13. Ethical and psychological egoism: What is the difference? How are they related?
Psychological egoism is the view that people can ONLY act on their self-interest.
Ethical egoism is the theory that moral agents OUGHT to do what is in their self-
interest. moral law
Similar: Both characterize that people should act in their self-interest
Relationship: Its one or the other, since both are impossible together. Moral law
can always be violated while natural law cannot.
14. Give brief characterization of the following concepts: deontology; teleology; virtue ethics;
consequentialism; utilitarianism; emotivism; emotionalism; reflective equilibrium.
Deontology: Adhere to rules and regulations (what you may or may not do)
maybe cause you promised or the law (obligation/duty)
In Kants version, it is determined by universalizability
Can it be a universal law? Yes, do it; No, dont.
Ex. Killing is wrong cause it is unwanted by the being (universal)
Killing is wrong cause itll ruin my nails(subjective & not universal)
Looks at conduction of behavior rather than consequence