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PHIL 2923 Study Guide - Final Guide: Wilt Chamberlain, Justice As Fairness, Productive Forces

2 pages81 viewsWinter 2016

Course Code
PHIL 2923
Louis- Philippe Hodgson
Study Guide

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PHIL 2923 – Study Questions for Final Exam
The exam will be on Tuesday, April 12, from 10 to 12 in YH A100. Please arrive ten minutes
early so we can start on time.
The questions in the exam will be based on (but not identical to) the following. Keep in mind as
you review that your answers will have to hold on one page; concision is key. I encourage you to
work in small groups as you’re preparing, both to share the work and to compare answers.
Why would the state of nature necessarily be a state of war of all against all according to Hobbes?
What are the presuppositions of his argument?
What is a law of nature according to Hobbes? Why would the laws of nature not be valid in the
state of nature? (Compare what Locke has to say on this point.)
What kind of sovereign does Hobbes’s argument call for? Why would a limited sovereigna
queen whose powers are limited by parliament, saynot suffice on this theory?
What is Locke’s theory of property rights? You should notably be able to explain the following
ideas: the exclusive right a person has to her own body and labor; how external objects are
acquired through labor; and the two provisos that have to be met for such an acquisition to be
Why should human beings leave the state of nature according to Locke? What are the three
problems that arise in the state of nature, and how does the state help solve them?
What kind of sovereign does Locke’s argument call for? Why would an absolute sovereign not
be acceptable on this theory?
Explain Rousseau’s main objection to Hobbes’s claim that the state of nature would be a war of
all against all. Based on our reconstruction of Hobbes’s argument, present a reply that he could
make to Rousseau.
Explain the distinction, and also the link, between independence and liberty on Rousseau’s view.
Under what conditions is the loss of liberty possible according to him?
What are the main stages of the development of human societies according to Rousseau? Make
sure you can explain the main changes that take place at each stage, and the role that these
changes play in Rousseau’s general argument.
What is “amour propre” (egocentrism in the Cress translation) according to Rousseau? What
role does this passion play in undermining freedom?
What conditions must be fulfilled for the assembled people to express the general will according
to Rousseau? How do these conditions make it the case that the general will comes from all and
applies to all? Do they address the worries one might have about a potential tyranny of the
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Marx distinguishes between productive forces and relations of production. How do these two
aspects of the economic system relate to one another? How do their evolving relations explain
historical progress according to Marx’s materialist theory of history?
What is the class antagonism that characterizes the capitalist mode of production according to
Marx? In what sense are proletarians exploited by the bourgeoisie in this system? Why do
capitalists exploit workers? What makes this kind of exploitation possible?
What does it mean to say that principles of justice apply to the “basic structure” of society? Why
is the basic structure particularly important according to Rawls? Explain in what sense Rawls’s
theory is meant to realize an ideal of pure procedural justice.
What is the original position, and what role does it play in Rawls’s theory of justice? Why does
Rawls think the parties in the original position would choose the correct principles of justice?
Make sure you explain the idea of the veil of ignorance and its role in Rawls’s reasoning.
What is reflective equilibrium? What role does the notion play in Rawls’s theory of justice?
What principles of justice would the parties in the original position agree on? Why (and under
what conditions) does Rawls think that they would grant the principle of liberty priority over the
difference principle? Why does Rawls think that the difference principle would be adopted in the
original position?
Explain the difference Nozick makes between patterned and non-patterned conceptions of justice.
Give different examples of patterned conceptions. Is Rawls’s theory such a conception?
Why does Nozick think his entitlement theory is not a patterned conception? Explain the basic
principles of Nozick’s theory of justice, and why these principles would not yield a distribution
that fits any meaningful pattern.
What does Nozick’s Wilt Chamberlainargument consist in? What does it show exactly? What
can Rawls reply to it?
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