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PRTO 1000

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Part A: Multiple Choice/True-False. Roughly 35 - 40 questions. Hints about Part A: 1) What are the 7 Randian virtues? 1. Rationality: full mental focus on all decisions, choice, and values 2. Productiveness: recognition of the fact that productive work is the process by which you sustain yourself and calls upon your highest attributes 3. Pride (moral ambitiousness): total commitment to achieving own moral perfection 4. Honesty: refusal to accept facts for other than what they are 5. Independence: acceptance of responsibility of forming own judgment (mind) and living by work of your mind (material) 6. Integrity: loyalty or consistency between values and actions 7. Justice: the virtue of judging peoples’ character and giving them what they deserve 2) What are the 11 Aristotelian moral virtues? 1. Courage a. Recklessness vs. cowardice b. Cardinal virtue c. Gets you beyond yourself 2. Self-control a. Insensitive people b. Bodily pleasures c. Gets you beyond yourself d. Cardinal virtue 3. Justice a. No deficiency or excess: virtue in which you practice all 11 b. The just person practices the virtues for the community at large c. Cardinal virtue 4. Generosity a. Spending money for the right things at the right time b. Wasteful vs. stingy c. Different than Rand d. Deals with money 5. Magnificence a. Large scale spending is justified sometimes (weddings, building stokes) b. Vulgarity vs. meanness c. Deals with money 6. Ambition a. Overly ambitious vs. lack of ambition b. Deals with honor 7. High-mindness a. The crown of virtues b. Deserving of the highest honors c. Vain vs. small minded d. Being humble is not justified e. Deals with honor 8. Gentleness a. Short tempered vs. apathetic b. Angry at the right time, for the right reasons, and at the right people 9. Friendliness a. Giving pleasure and pain at the right time, in the right way, and for the right b. The flatterer vs. grouchy c. Deals with social relations 10. Truthfulness a. Honest about your personal qualities (strengths and weaknesses) b. Boastful vs. self-deprecating c. Deals with social relations 11. Wittiness a. Humor b. Buffoon vs. overly serious 3) What are the 7 measurements of utility? 1. Intensity of pleasure/pain 2. Duration 3. Certainty (probability) 4. Propinquity (how soon will the expected effects become evident) 5. Fecundity (probability of it leading to further pleasure or pain) 6. Purity (probability of it not leading to further pleasure or pain) 7. Extent (number of people effected) 4) From the material prior to the midterm, review the Michael Porter, Milton Friedman, John Mackey, and Marjorie Kelly pieces. Michael Porter • Five forces analysis to determine the attractiveness of an industry o Existing Rivalries  An industry is attractive if existing rivalries are low  If there are many competitors and they offer equally attractive products and services then rivalry is high  If equal in size and power, rivalry is high  High exit barriers mean high rivalry o Buyers  Less buyers means higher buyer power  More substitute products means higher buyer power  Less product differentiation means higher buyer power  Weak brand identity means higher buyer power  Low switching costs means high buyer power o Suppliers  If there are a few suppliers, and if they provide a unique service then the supplier power is high  Supplier power is high when it does not depend on an industry for revenue o Substitutes  Are there other ways for a customer to do what you provide  Low switching costs means there is a high threat of substitutes  High threat of substitutes if high price performance trade offs o Threat of New Entrants  If there are low barriers to entry, then there is a high threat of new entry Milton Friedman • Social responsibility • Friedman says that corporate executives have no social responsibilities because: o The #1 goal of a corporation is to make money o Job of a corporate executive is to do what’s best for investors/shareholders o Violation of trust o They are not trained in social responsibility • Only should act with social responsibility when it benefits the company • It is immoral for an executive to act with social responsibility John Mackey • Mackey on the other hand, the CEO of Whole Foods, says social responsibility is a huge part of business • Uses things such as 5% days to raise money • Huge profit is a means to an end – focusing on all factors of production • He focuses on employees, consumers, executives, community members, vendors, and investors Majorie Kelly • Criticizes the notion that corporations ought to maximize returns to shareholders and the idea that shareholders are the owners of the corporation • She claims that: o Stock price does not fund company except at the IP o A company does not owe the shareholder anything o Stock price is only useful for establishing liquidity o Shareholders switch stocks frequently o Reliance on improving stock price creates an aristocracy that doesn’t fit with the free market o Focus is also creating decapitilization 5) Review the following Monday evening classes: Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Management and Organization, and Mr. Chris Lowney’s presentation. Part B: Short essay questions (THREE of these eight will appear on the final exam): 1) One of the major themes that we have explored in Portico is the tension between living for oneself and living for others. Select TWO of the following four short stories/passages that we read in class and explain how they explore this theme: The Bishop and the Candlesticks, The Undesirable Table, Enduring Love, How to Be Good. 1. Bishop and The Candlestick a. He lives for another by giving him another chance in life, despite having stolen from him. 2. The Undesirable Table a. The people at the table choose to live for themselves and ignore the problems outside the restaurant b. They choose to live for themselves rather than to live for others and have no care or regard for the poverty right outside of them 3. Enduring Love a. The people in this story who were holding onto the hot-air balloon as it was beginning to float away ultimately chose to live for themselves as they all started to let go right before the balloon would have started to fall again b. Except for the one man, John Logan who continued to hang onto the balloon as it rose higher and higher with the boy in it c. It is presumed that both the boy, Harry, and John Logan both died d. The people in this story chose to live for Harry until they actually had to potentially make a life or death decision and at that moment, everyone but John Logan chose to live for themselves 4. How to Be Good a. This story is about David Carr, who after being a pessimistic selfish person for years, chooses that he wants stop having children living on the street and he comes up with an idea for every person in the town to house one of the homeless children b. David and five other families choose to house a kid while all the others choose to not have a kid c. The people who chose to have a kid chose to give up their spare bedroom in order to give a kid a place to live – these people choose to live for others while the other people in the town choose to live for themselves II. In her essay, “How Does One Lead A Rational Life in an Irrational Society,” Ayn Rand is critical of what we called the “extreme form” of moral relativism. Succinctly present two of her criticisms of moral relativism. If you say that your right and someone else is right and agree upon that, then you lose conviction in (using reason you have determined that certain things are wrong—morally coping out)—lacking integrity if it’s not put in to practice (If it’s someone you care about then you should convince him. The other criticism is that you’re making it harder for good people to do good and evil people to do evil because when you see something that shouldn’t be, you don’t take a stand (creates corruption and mediocrity). III. In Plato’s “Crito,” Socrates argues that if he escaped from prison without the city’s consent, he would be mistreating those whom he should least mistreat. Who/What would Socrates be mistreating if he escaped, and why would that be a particularly grave form of mistreatment according to him? IV. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of utilitarianism, as articulated by Jeremy Bentham and attacked by Manuel Velasquez. Be sure to explain what utility is and mention the seven measurements of utility. Utility is the term that is used to refer to the net benefits of any sort produced by an action. Therefore, utilitarianism is “used for any theory that advocates selection of that action or policy that maximizes benefits or minimizes costs. Utilitarianism measures the consequences of actions based on their intensity, duration, certainty, fecundity, purity, propinquity, and extent of what or whom they affect. The first problem that Velasquez sees with Utilitarianism is that it is often impossible to “measure” the pleasure or pain felt by a person as utilitarianism requires. We cannot experience these emotions for someone else, and therefore, we can’t know how it compares to another person’s pleasure or pain. There is no objective basis in the measurement. Another problem that arises with Utilitarianism is the idea that certain things such as life can’t have their valued measured. If a decision that cost a great sum of money would add 5 years to a person’s life, it is impossible to decide if this could be worth it or not. The next problem deals with the duration, propinquity, fecundity, and purity of the problem in the fact that it is often very hard to determine consequences of a decision long term. Utilitarianism requires that you take in to account not just the immediate consequences of a decision, but the results that will arise in the future as well. However, these things aren’t easily predicted in a single moment. Additionally, there is a lack of clarity in what counts as benefit and what counts as cost. Certain groups of people may view something as ethical while another sees it in the opposite way. These differences in opinion can change the utility of a decision depending on whom it effects. Finally, Velasquez notes the last problem is that utilitarianism assumes that all goods are tradable to some extent, or in other words, everything has its price. However, there are clearly things such as life, freedom, and health, that cannot hold the equal quantity of another good. V. Explain how the short story by Ursula Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas,” could serve as a criticism of utilitarianism. In The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, the people of Omela live in a Utopia where there are never any issues, but this is all only possible because of the child that suffers in misery for the entirety of his life in a confined room with little food and water and frequent beatings. The Utilitarian approach would say that this is justifiable because of the immense amount of pleasure that is felt by the greater population that continues so long as this child remains in an absolute state of despair. The great pleasure of this many outweigh the pain that just one person shows. However, Le Guin’s story brings about a discomfort that proves that the greatest good for the greatest number, regardless of the means of obtaining this, is not always a morally ethical approach. The title, “The Ones Who Walk Away from the Omelas” proves in itself that certain people in the population do not find this to be justifiable and are willing to walk away from a life of eternal happiness, simply due to the fact that one unidentified child suffers so much pain. This proves that situations are much more complex then to just simply look at the ends in all cases. The means to bringing about happiness for a population requires much more concern for the life of every individual, rather than just the greatest number. In the end, the fact that people do chose to leave proves that happiness at the expense of someone else may not truly be pleasurable in the end, making Utilitarianism a difficult ethical framework to abide by. VI. In “The Parable of the Sadhu,” Buzz McCoy claims that they failed because of both the absence of leadership and of a “collective or institutional ethic” (5). What does McCoy mean by that (5; 7)? How does McCoy conceive of ethics and business ethics (7)? According to McCoy, what are the responsibilities of a leader (or manager) within a company (7)? The differing backgrounds among the people they were with provided them with a multitude of opinions on the situation, which made it difficult to come to a solid conclusion as to what the best solution to the problem was. A leader is responsible for getting a group consensus instead of just passing a problem along like they all did. Leaders are people who are “effective managers, action-oriented people who resolve conflict, are tolerant of ambiguity, stress, and change, and have a strong sense of purpose for themselves and their organizations. In the  corporate world, in a safe and protected environment, they are going to perform better.  If an  individual does not feel like they have the support of the group, they are going to feel  uncomfortable making decisions.  Additionally, organizations that do not have a consensus for  general morality tend to fall apart during times of adversity because individual values tend to  take precedent in order for the individual to save themselves first rather than the organization.  VII. In John Hospers’ article “The Problem with Relativism,” he presents a handful of criticisms of cultural relativism. List and explain two of them. The Problem with Relativism explains that one of the biggest issues is that the means to discovering what is right and wrong is often determined by a simple majority. However, this is too unsatisfying because majorities can easily change and just because 51 percent of a population think something is right and the other 49 percent think it to be wrong, is not enough reason to declare something morally correct. Majorities can too often be mistaken. Another issue that arises with cultural relativism comes from the idea that moral rights and wrongs and determined by the groups that we belong to. The problem with this is that people belong to many groups whether it is something as large as a nation or religion or as small as a city, school, or club. These various groups that we are apart of can often have overlapping and differing moral rights and wrongs. In these situations, you can’t use one group’s ethical beliefs because they go against that of another’s. VIII. Based upon your reading of the Boston Beer Case, (1) identify two admirable leadership qualities that Jim Koch displayed. (2) Use facts presented in the case to elucidate how Koch demonstrated these two qualities. (3) Explain why you think these two qualities are praiseworthy. Jim Koch first and foremost displayed honesty. When he discovered the glass in the product, he took immediate action with the company and informed the customers of the problem, even though he knew it was risky and would result in massive losses for the company. He took a Kantian approach to the situation by valuing human life above all else and treating people as an end in themselves rather than just a means to a profit. Additionally, Koch practices honesty among his employees by implanting the “_____ you” rule, allowing his employees to say what they feel, so long as they can back it up. This eliminates the problems that often arise in companies due to people being too nice to offer constructive criticism. This honesty that Koch displayed is an incredibly valuable quality because it allowed him to build trust with his customers and show that if they are not putting their best product in to the consumers hands, then they are willing to take the blame and suffer the consequences. In terms of his company, the honesty allows for ideas to be evaluated openly and best solve problems in a controlled but comfortable environment. Another quality that Koch clearly displays is generosity. This is seen multiple times in the history of his company but most notably when the price of Hops was increased to prices too high for most other beer companies to afford. Koch’s company could have used this opportunity to monopolize the industry and thrive based on their excess amount of Hops. However, he chose to sell his Hops to these other companies at their lower price simply because it seemed like the right thing to do, and he wanted the industry to thrive. Again, Koch shows generosity with his organizations such as the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, The Longshot Homebrew Competition, and Boston Strong 26.2 Brew. Boston Beer Company’s increase in share prices between 2009 and 2013 actually prove their generosity clearly did not harm the profits in any way, so in these cases, generosity worked in their favor (thus justifying it in the mind of Milton Friedman) to benefit the company. Generosity shows that a person or company cares about more than just profit and is looking to better humanity through their company resources. 2) Based upon the passages of The Prince that we read in class, provide a sketch of Machiavelli’s ethical horizon. Questions to consider: - What does Machiavelli say about human nature? Peop
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