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Philosophy Exam review part 2.docx

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Philosophy 1020
John Thorp

Philosophy Exam review part 2 Ethics, Political Philosophy & The Meaning of Life 1. How do moral relativism and moral absolutism differ? - Moral relativism is Ruth Benedict's idea that morals are relative to societies and cultures - Moral absolutism is the idea that there is an absolute moral code that every culture and society abides by - They differ metaphysically - To a oral relativists there are no moral facts 2. How do the ideas of 'selfishness' and 'self-interestedness' differ? - Egoism and altruism - James Rachel -Behaviour is made selfish or self-interested based on the object(goal) of our act - 3. What is the hedonic calculus, and how can it be applied to Philipa Foot's trolley problem? -Bethem -Hedonic calculus is a decision based on what will cause the most pleasure and least amount of pain -The trolley problem is the decision to switch the trains direction to kill the least amount of people -Kant would say it would be better for us not to act, rather than to act and murder - 4. What is the trichotomy of acts proposed by Kant? - Idea of deontology and how an act can be classified under three ideas -Morally required-> what we are required to do -Morall permissible -> what you can do (helping a neighbour) -Morally impermissible-> things you cannot do (lying, stealing) -Superagatory -> Going above and beyond the cal of duty -Hypothetical imperative: if you want to achieve some end, then you achieve some mean (If_Then_) -Categorical imperative: Universal law Formula for humanity -If you can will it for you, and at the same time everyone can do it, then it is morally permissible -Don't use people as a mere means to an end 5. What is virtue ethics? -Aristotle -The golden means: the middle of two vices of obesity and anorexia -Only intelligent, educated people can be virtuous -If you are not virtuous, you should pretend to be virtuous and eventually you will become virtuous out of habit -virtue is a path to happiness - What makes an action virtuous is not the action itself but the character behind the action 6. What does Virginia Held seek to achieve with her feminist ethics? - Two main goals -Get rid of presuppositions of traditional moral theories -Private vs the public, idea of the self, questioning prizing pure rationality -Involving emotion into ethics, you should feel emotionally towards people of kin -She says ethics shouldn't rely purely on reason, emotions are a key part of living a moral life -Men dominate the public sphere and women dominate the private sphere -There is no clear division between the private and public sphere
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