[PHIL 101] - Midterm Exam Guide - Everything you need to know! (10 pages long)

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7 Feb 2017
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PHIL 101
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Chapter 1
Ethics & Critical Thinking
Critical thinking, analysis and examination of arguments concerning ethics is
essential
Whats the Question?
must be precisely clear with what is an/the issue
get clear on the conclusion
is the argument relevant?
depends on the conclusion
1st step in evaluating arguments is to be clear on exactly what's at issue, defining
exactly what the conclusion is
Consistency
internal contradictions = no, Emerson quote says its ok to change not to be
inconsistent, it does NOT defend messy thinking
Studying Ethics
not determining what is right or wrong/what is ethical or not, you are not learning
to be ethical
the book/course is designed to give an opportunity to think more about some major
issues in meta-ethics (nature of ethics themselves)
Nature of Ethical Principles
what are you willing to count as ethics/moral principles?
God's commandments?
federal/state/local laws?
Complex Examples:
Plato= reason
Descartes=God/innate ideas
Moses=God/commandments
Kant=rigorous reason and awesome moral truth
Simpler Examples:
Aristotle=basic guides to living the good life
Hobbes= designed by humans to bring order & peace to society
Bentham= simple & obvious: maximize pleasure and minimize suffering
for all
Hume= morality is rooted in the basic human affection
Knowing Ethical Principles
absolute truths (not like the Loch Ness Monster debate), no contingency
what powers must we have to recognize absolute moral truths?
dictated by God?
innate
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