Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 45

The copyright notice shall be in the form Philippine Copyright 2009 by

Randee Ceasar T. Bato


Book Reviews on Contemporary Moral Problems
Seventh edition
Chapter One- Ethical Theories

Randee Ceasar T. Bato

All rights reserved 2009


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share
Alike 3.0 Philippines License.

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ph/
Book Review Chapter 1: Ethical Theories:

James Rachels: Egoism and Moral Skepticism

Library Reference: N/A

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Contemporary-Moral-Problems-James-
White/dp/0534584306/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233793391&sr=8-1

Quote: “the agents merely doing what he most wants to do”

For me, this quote is an example of unselfish act, because the agent only thinks
what he wants to do, basically for himself without thinking the others. This is the first
argument in psychological egoism.

Learning Expectation:

My expectation for this is to learn what this Egoism and Moral Scepticism is all
about, because for me the word has its depth meaning that everyone should understand to
have a greater view of ethics. Actually, I am not good in philosophy, because it needs
much larger view of seeing things, which of course I am not in good at.

Review:

The first part of this chapter explains the Egoism and Moral Septicism. But before
anything else let me first introduce the author of this topic none other than James
Rachels, he is a University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alabama at
Birmingham as what it was stated in this chapter. This author had written books that
tackle on philosophy.

To have a view of Egoism, let me give you an idea on what is it all about,
according to the author, egoism is divided into two, and these are psychological and
ethical egoism. The first explains on the selfishness of a person, meaning these people
would actually do things because they want to and also they have benefits of doing it so.
Whether we admit it or not, the selfishness is actually in our nature, it is just a matter on
how we handle that kind of selfishness. Then for ethical egoism, it is another way around,
meaning it is an opposite of psychological egoism or unselfish way of doing things.

Humans do things because we want to and also it is where we feel our interests. Our
interest serves our motivator to do things. Doing things that are in our interests do not
give us a tiring feeling, but rather we enjoy it.
What I’ve learned:

I have learned about egoism, what this thing is all about, and how it affects our
way of living. We know in our self what kind of a person we are, it maybe, we are little
selfish, selfish as the word implies, or a man who doesn’t think only for himself, but
rather who thinks that can give a benefit to all.

Questions:

1. Who will judge if we are selfish or not?

2. Does it really affect the others?

3. If doing the ethical egoism, is there assurance that no one will become poor?

4. These ideas will help me to become a better person? How?

5. How can these ideas contribute to a person?

Some of the answers are taken in this source.

Source:
James Rachels “Egoism and Moral Skepticism,” from A New Introduction to Philosophy,
ed. Steven M Cahn. (Harper & Row, (1971).

Book Review Chapter 1: Ethical Theories:

John Arthur: Religion, Morality and Conscience

Library Reference: N/A

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Contemporary-Moral-Problems-James-
White/dp/0534584306/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233793391&sr=8-1

Quote: “Without religion or religious motivation, people could not be expected to do the
right thing; that religion is necessary to provide people guidance in their search for the
correct course of action; and that religion is essential for there even to be a right or
wrong”

This quote is actually true, because for me religion serves as our guide to see if
our actions are really accepted in the views of other people. Religion will decide if what
we are doing is in bad or good, but of course will actually depend on the point of view of
a person, whether what he is doing is good or bad. We can not please that person that it is
wrong or right, his/her conscience will determine of his/ her actions. The bottom line of
this quote is that religion is very important in our lives.

Learning Expectation:

I would like to learn more things about religion, how this religion will help us to
determine the good from wrong acts. Is it morality and conscience depend on religion?
Maybe yes, but all I want is to know how. Our conscience is the answer to do good
things? Because from what I knew about conscience, if you have conscience of what you
are doing, it means that you know that what you are doing is good. So reading this
material hope will increase my knowledge on these things.

Review:

Basically this part of the chapter talks about religion, morality and conscience as
what the title stated. For me, religion will enhance your morality, meaning this will give
you deep understanding about good things. Is it true that without religion or religious
motivation people could no longer be expected to do right thing?

After reading this theories regarding religion, it actually answers my questions.


Religion is very vital for us human being, because it will really give a help to distinguish
the good things from bad things. Our conscience will now enter to judge if what he have
done was really a good thing or a bad thing,
What I’ve learned:

I learned how important religion is, and how it really affects in our lives. The
impact of our religion in ourselves will determine what kind of a person we are.

Integrative Questions:

1. How religion affects our morality?

2. Our morality depends on our religion?

3. Can we live without religion?

4. is there any person living in doing good things but does not have any religion?

5. Can we just rely on our conscience?

Some of the answers are taken in this source.

Source:
John Arthur,” Religion, Morality, and Conscience,” from m Morality and Controversies
4th ed., ed. John Arthur(Premise Hall, 1996), pp. 21-28.

Book Review Chapter 1: Ethical Theories:

Friedrich Nietzsche: Master and Slavery Morality

Library Reference: N/A

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Contemporary-Moral-Problems-James-
White/dp/0534584306/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233793391&sr=8-1

Quote: “Exploitation does not belong to a depraved, or imperfect and primitive society:
it belongs to the nature of the living being as a primary organic function; it is a
consequence of the intrinsic Will to Power, which is precisely the Will of Life.”

Learning Expectation:

I would like to learn more things about Master and Slavery Morality, how this
Master and Slavery Morality will help us to determine the good from wrong acts. How
can one master the slavery of morality? These are some questions at the back of my
mind.

Review:

The author of this topic is Friedeich Nietzsche, for the acknowledgment of his
work, let me first introduce him using the information given in this reading material. He
was German poet and philosopher who is often viewed as a source of modern
existentialism and deconstruction.

According to the author, he states that a healthy society should allow people with
power to exercise their “will to power” their drive toward the domination and exploration
of the poor. We all know that a person who is great already mastered his morality. A
person, who mastered his morality, has these strengths, power, and liberty to view things
according to what he thinks. On the other side person who has this inferiority feeling, are
those who will never succeed because they have the quality of becoming weak.

What I’ve learned:

I have learned the Master and Slavery Morality, and how it really affects to our
way of living. It only matters on how we view things in our life.
Questions:

1. A healthy society is applicable for today’s setting?

2. How will you know if you have a healthy society?

3. A healthy society means no one is poor?

4. How can a community attain a healthy society?

5. Is it hard to attain a healthy society?

Some of the answers are taken in this source.


Source: Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond and Good Evil, translated b Heken Zimmern, pp.
223-32(Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books). Copyright 1989.

Book Review Chapter 1: Ethical Theories:

Mary Midgley – Trying Out one’s New Sword

Library Reference: N/A

Quote: “Tsujigiri, literally “crossroads cut.” A samurai sword


had to tried out because, if it was to work properly, it had to
slice through someone at a single blow, from the shoulder to
the opposite flank. Otherwise, the warrior bungled his stroke.
This could injure his honor offend his ancestors, and even let
down his emperor. So tests were needed, and the wayfarer had
to be expended. Any wayfarer would do- provided of course,
that he was not another Samurai.

What I expect to learn:

I would like to learn what “try out one’s new sword” means. How can it
affect in our lives, and how can we attain this. These are some questions at
the back of my mind.

Review:

To begin with, let me first define what this Moral isolationism is all about
using the information given in this reading material. Moral isolationism is a
doctrine of immoralism, because it hinders any moral reasoning. It is also
mentioned that no one can understand culture except his own, for me it is true that
is why some cultures have these conflicts with each other, because they don’t
understand others beliefs, they only rely on their culture without knowing that
other cultures might give a greater view of a subject matter.

Misunderstanding between different cultures is not good, because


sometimes they tend to forget to give respect to each other that may turned into a
case of racism. We must know how to back off whenever we already stepped the
pride of other cultures. The isolating barriers determine the differences of
cultures.

Trying out’s new sword relates to the Japanese culture wherein it


describes tsujigiri which means trying out a new sword to another man’s body.
We can do lot of things to aid the isolation of cultures from our culture, by just
simply reading other culture’s beliefs may help us to understand their culture.
Basically, the main point of this theory is that we must learn how to respect,
understand, and appreciate other cultures.

What I learned:

 Moral isolationism
 How to appreciate other culture
 The effects of Moral isolationism
 Isolation barriers

Integrative Questions:

1. What are the effects of isolationism?

2. How can it be applied to our daily living?

3. What is isolationism?

4. How can we understand other cultures?

5. What is tsujigiri?

Some of the answers are taken in this source.


Source: Trying Out One’s New Sword by Mary Midgley.

Book Review Chapter 1: Ethical Theories:

John Stuart Mill – Utilitarianism

Library Reference: N/A

Quote:

“It has been remarked, that questions of ultimate ends do not admit
of proof, in the ordinary acceptation of the term.”

What I expect to learn:

I would like to learn what “utilitarianism” means. How can it affect in our
lives, and how can we attain this. These are some questions at the back of
my mind.

Review:

To have a first view of utilitarianism, let me define utility using this


reading material. The principle of utility states that actions or behaviors
are right in so far as they promote happiness or pleasure, wrong as they
tend to produce unhappiness or pain. This information states that if we
experience happiness it simply means that we have done good things, it
maybe for the benefit of ourselves or to other people, but if we feel so
much pain, it is just other way around, because we have done bad things
that affects ourselves as a person or made distressful feeling to others.

The bottom line of this theory is basically doing something that


can boost pleasure for us that will result to happiness. But to think of it
Happiness is more than pleasure, because in pleasure you will just relax
for a matter span of time only, unlike in the happiness you will feel the
contentment.

We must understand the feelings of others by simply doing good


things that will benefit us a person and also will give benefits to other
people.
What I learned:

• Utilitarianism
• the difference between happiness and pleasure
• The importance of happiness
• The principle of utility

Integrative Questions:

1. What does it mean relating to the principle of utility?

2. What is utilitarianism?

3. How does it affect our lives?

4. Explain utilitarianism

5. How can we attain happiness?

Some of the answers are taken in this source.

Source: From Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill


Book Review Chapter 1: Ethical Theories

James Rachels – The Debate over Utilitarianism

Library Reference: N/A

Quote: “The utilitarianism doctrine is that happiness is desirable, and the only thing
desirable as an end; all other things being desirable as means to that end.” (John Stuart
Mill, Utilitarianism [181] )

What I expect to learn:

I would like to learn what “The Debate over Utilitarianism” means. How can it affect in
our lives, and how can we attain this. These are some questions at the back of my mind.

Review:

The book says that there are three propositions of classical utilitarianism, and using this
reading material, I will mention the three prepositions. First, actions are to be judged
right or wrong solely in virtue of their consequences. Right actions are, simply, those that
have not the best consequences. Second, the only thing that matters is the amount of
happiness or unhappiness that is caused. Right actions are those that produce the greatest
balance of happiness over unhappiness. Third, in calculation the happiness or
unhappiness that will be caused, no one’s happiness is to be counted as more important
than anyone else’s.

Then it also mentioned the difference between Act –Utilitarian and rule – Utilitarian. Act-
utilitarian would tempt to bear false witnesses against the innocent man because the
consequences of that particular act would be good; while in rule- utilitarianism states that
don’t bear false witness against the innocent is faithfully adhered to.

In the Act –Utilitarian people used to make false witnesses against other people for
them to have an outcome of good, and this thing is not good for others, because it mislead
other people in good outcome, it only benefits the one who made the action, and for rule
– utilitarianism it is the other way around, because it hinders people to make false
witnesses against to other people. It is accepted compare with the Act – Utilitarian,
because these will help other people. It doesn’t only think of himself, but rather other
people.

What I learned:

· The difference of Act and Rule Utilitarian

· Utilitarianism

· Ideas presented on defending utilitarianism


· Justice
· Rights

Integrative Questions:

1. What is utilitarian?
2. What is Act Utilitarian?
3. What is Rule Utilitarian?
4. What is the first line of defense?
5. What is the second line of defense?

Some of the answers are taken in this source.

Source: From James Rachels, The Elements of Moral Philosophy (New York: McGraw –
Hill Publishing Company, 1986).
Book Review Chapter 1: Ethical Theories

Immanuel Kant – The Categorical Imperative

Library Reference: N/A

Quote:

“It is impossible to conceive anything at all in the world, or even


out of it, which can be taken as good without qualification, except
a good will. Intelligence, wit, judgment, and any other talents of
the mind we may care to name, or courage, resolution, and
constancy of purpose, as qualities of temperament, are without
doubt.”

What I expect to learn:

I would like to learn what “Categorical Imperative” means. How can it


affect in our lives, and how can we attain this. These are some questions at the
back of my mind.

Review:

Before anything else let me give you guys an idea about good will. What is good
will? Using this reading material it explains good will as it is not good because of
what it affects or accomplishes- because of its fitness for attaining some proposed
end: it is good through its willing alone-that is good in itself.

As a human beings we know what is good will, and how it affects us a person. My
idea on good will is that , we do things because we want them to do voluntarily,
without relying on the external forces that affects our actions.

Then it also explains what is Categorical imperative “Act only in that maxim
through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal
law”. For hypothetical imperative the ordinary reason of mankind also agrees with
this completely in its practical judgments and always has the aforesaid principle
before its eyes.
What I learned:

• The good will


• The categorical Imperative
• How it affects our lives

Integrative Questions:

1. What is the good will?

2. How can it affects our lives?

3. Reasons of doing in a good will base?

4. What is the outcome of good will?

5. What makes us pursue doing good will?

Some of the answers are taken in this source.

Source: Immanuel Kant, “The Categorical Imperative,” from the Moral Law: Kant’s
Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals trans. H.J. Paton (New York: Barnes &
Noble, Inc. 1948).
Book Review Chapter 1: Ethical Theories

Aristotle – Happiness and Virtue

Library Reference: N/A

Quote:

“All human beings seek happiness, and that happiness is not


pleasure, honor, or wealth, but an activity of the soul in
accordance with virtue.”

What I expect to learn:

I would like to learn what “Happiness and Virtue” means. How can it
affect in our lives, and how can we attain this. These are some questions at the
back of my mind.

Review:

On the first part of this theory, it is mentioned that there are two kinds of
virtue, and these are moral and intellectual. It the book it explains the moral
virtues, and it states there that moral virtue comes from training and habit, and
generally is a state of character that is a mean between the vices of excess and
deficiency. It simply means that moral virtue is something about the goodness of
the outcome of how we think and our act.

We can attain Happiness and virtue, if we only follow the morality. Because as I
have said in my previous book review, if we have done good things, the outcome
of it will be happiness and at the same time we gain virtue. The notion of
happiness today is much different from the notion before, because nowadays
people think that happiness can achieve if we are in the state of pleasure and if we
have the wealth that we are asking for.

For me, if you have a good health, you are in the state of happiness, but people
don’t think in that way, because for them happiness is the result of having
pleasure.

What I learned:

• Happiness and virtue


• Pleasure
• the differences between Pleasure and Happiness
Integrative Questions:

1. What is Pleasure?

2. What is virtue?

3. What is happiness?

4. How can one achieve happiness?

5. How can one person know what he is doing is in line with virtue?

Some of the answers are taken in this source.

Source: Aristotle, Happiness and Virtue, Books I: 3-5,7-9, 13; II 1,6,7, 8 from Ethica
Nicomachea, trans. W. D. Ross in the Oxford Translation of Aristotle, vol. 9(Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 1925).
Book Review Chapter 1: Ethical Theories:

Joel Feinberg – The Nature and Value of Rights

Library Reference: N/A

Quote:

“No action can have supreme kind of worth, unless its whole
motivating power derives from the required by duty.”

What I expect to learn:

- I would like to learn the “The Nature and Value of Rights”.

- The rights of a person

- The nature of Rights

Review:

Let me give you first an idea about Nowheresville with the help of this reading
material. Nowheresville introducing the idea of duty into and letting the sense of
duty be a sufficient motive for many beneficent and honorable actions. It is
different because duties are permitted that smuggled with the rights.

When the notion of requirement is in clear focus it is likely to seem the only
element in the idea of duty that is essential, and the other component notion that a
duty is something due someone else drops off. Thus, in the widespread but
derivative usage “duty tends to be used for action we feel we must do. This is a
concept of personal desert.

When a person is said to deserve something good fro us what is meant in parts is
that there would be certain propriety in our giving that good thing to him in virtue
of some specific thing he has done. We must value our rights in a sense that we
should know the nature of our rights.

We must understand this statement “If a people have a right to do something, then
it is wrong to interfere with them.
What I learned:

• The Nature and Value of Rights


• Nowheresville
• Rights and duties

Integrative Questions:

1. What is Rights?

2. What is duty?

3. What is Nowheresville?

4. What is the sovereign monopoly of rights?

5. What does it mean required by duty?

Some of the answers are taken in this source.

Source: From Joel Feinberg, “The Nature and Value of Rights,” The Journal of Value
Inquiry 4 (1970) – 243 – 57, 1970, Martinus Nyhoff Publishers Dordrecht, Netherlands.
Book Review Chapter 1: Ethical Theories:

Ronald Dworkin - Taking Rights Seriously

Library Reference: N/A

Quote:

“Conservatives and liberals do agree that sometimes a man does not do the
wrong thing to break a law, when his conscience so requires. They disagree,
when they do, over the different issue of what the State’s response should be.
Both parties do think that sometimes the State should prosecute. But this is
not inconsistent with the proposition that the man prosecuted did the right
thing breaking the law.”

What I expect to learn:

- How to take right seriously


- What are effects of our rights
- What will happen if we take our rights seriously

Review:

According to Dworkin people have the right to do something, and then it is wrong
to interfere with them. The notion of rights rests on the idea of treating people
with self-respect as members of the moral community, including the idea of
political equality. These ideas define the right in the strong sense.

We must treat other people with self respect, so that you will have a healthy
community that lives in a moral society.

Taking our rights seriously is very important for us to have the happiness we are
longing for. If we know our rights, it means that we can live with integrity and
dignity that one person should have.

What I learned:

• Our rights

• How to take rights seriously

• The result of knowing our rights


Integrative Questions:

1. How to take rights seriously?

2. How will someone break the law?

3. What are the rights?

4. DO we need to take our rights seriously?

5. What will happen in taking rights seriously?

Some of the answers are taken in this source.

Source: Taking Rights Seriously by Ronald Dworkin (Cambridge Mass: Harvard


University Press). Pp. 184-05. Copyright 1977, 1978, 1985 by Ronald Dworkin.
Book Review Chapter 1: Ethical Theories

John Rawls – A Theory of Justice

Library Reference: N/A

Quote:

“Justice as fairness begins, with one of the general of all choices which
persons might make together, namely with the choice of the first principles of
a conception of justice which is to regulate all subsequent criticism and
reform of institutions”

What I expect to learn:

- What is justice
- What a theory of justice dictates
- How it affects our lives
- Is it for everyone?

Review:

We all know that each person has its own point of view regarding justice. But
to have a formalize view about justice, John Rawls who is a professor of
philosophy at Harvard University, and the author of Justice As Fairness,
according to him there are two principles of justice. The first principle
involves equal basic liberties, and the second principle concerns the
arrangement of social and economic inequalities.

The theory of Rawls, states that these are the principles that free and rational
persons would accept in a hypothetical original position where there is a veil
of ignorance hiding from the contractors all the particular facts about
themselves

For me justice is something that should prevail in this world, so that there will
be no problems regarding taking advantage over the other. Because in real
setting, not all of us receive equal justice, because those people who receive
justice are those people who have the power and money, but it should not be
the case, because justice should be given equally no matter what the statues
of a person, whether he is poor or rich.

What I learned:

- What is justice
- What a theory of justice dictates
- How it affects our lives
- Justice as fairness
- Is it for everyone?

Integrative Questions:

1. What is justice?

2. What do you men by justice as fairness?

3. Is justice applicable for everyone?

4. How can everyone attain justice?

5. Give the two principles of justice?

Some of the answers are taken in this source.

Source: Theory of Justice by John Rawls (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press).
pp. 11-16 , 60 -65. Copyright 1971 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.
Book Review Chapter 1: Ethical Theories:

Annette Baier – The Need for More than Justice

Library Reference: N/A

Quote:

“Justice Perspective by itself is inadequate as a moral theory. For care


perspective it is a felt concern for the good of others and for community
with them.”

What I expect to learn:

- What are care perspectives?

- To know the need for more than justice

- How justice affects our lives?

Review:

Everyone wants to have justice, so we all seeking for it. If everyone


will have an equal justice, no one will be deprived and underestimate
because there will be laws that permeates justice to prevail.

People will become stronger if they will have this so called justice. Like
for example those people who make a rally, these people want to have
a fair way of living. Their voices will serve as their main weapon to tell
the world what are their aspirations. We fight for justice, because this
thing is for everyone, we must have equal rights and it is given to
anybody.

No one should have more rights over the other, because we are
created equally, so we must have equal rights to have a good justice.

For me, I salute these people in the judiciary not just because my
Mom and my Dad is part of that, but rather as I look at it, all the
decisions that these justices had been made are in the accordance of
the law. There was a time that our judiciary had a scandal, but
because of the good leadership of the justices to retain the integrity
that they have for the long time, the scandal easily banished.
What I learned:

- care perspectives

- the need for more than justice

- the effects of justice

Integrative Questions:

1. How to have justice?

2. Is it for free?

3. How will you if someone violate your rights?

4. Is there any thing that is much important than our rights?

5. What do you mean by counterculture?

Some of the answers are taken in this source.

Source: Annette C. Baier, “The Need for more than Justice,” from Canadian Journal
of Philosophy, Supplementary Vol. 13, 1988, published by University of Calgary
Press.
James Rachels: Egoism and Moral Scepticism

Review Questions:

1. Explain the legend of Gyges. What questions about morality are raised by the
story?

- Some of the questions that can get from the Legend of Gyges about morality are the
following; Is it right to help the prisoners to get out from the jail? Would you kill
someone for the benefit of yours? These are some questions that questioned the
morality.

2. Distinguish between psychological and ethical egoism.

- Psychological egoism is the view that all men are selfish in everything that they do,
while ethical egoism is the view that regardless of how men do in fact behave, they
have no obligation to do anything except what is in their own interests.

3. Rachels discusses two arguments for psychological egoism. What What are
these arguments, and how does he reply to them?

- The first argument if we describe one person’s action as selfish and another
person’s action as selfish, we are overlooking the crucial fact that in both cases.
There are two set of actions in this first argument, these are set of actions which we
may not want to do, but we do anyway as means to an end which we want to
achieve, and second case, actions that we do, not because we want to, nor even
because there is an end which we want to achieve, but because we feel ourselves
under an obligation to do them. The second argument states that the action is
“unselfish” only at a superficial level of analysis.

4. What three commonplace confusions does Rachels detect in the thesis of


psychological egoism?

- The 1st confusion is selfishness with interest, the second confusion is the
assumption that every action is done either from self-interest or from other
regarding motives, and the 3rd confusion is the common but false assumption that
a concern for one’s own welfare is incompatible with any genuine concern for the
welfare of others.

5. State the arguments for saying that ethical egoism is inconsistent. Why doesn’t
Rachels accept this argument?

- A man who any sympathy at all would sorely recognizable as a man and that is
what makes ethical egoism such a disturbing doctrine in the first place.

6. According to Rachels, why shouldn’t we hurt others, and why should we help
htoers? How can the egoist reply?
- We shouldn’t submit hurt others, but rather help them for us to have a virtue as part
of our obligation, and doing these actions would harm others.

Discussion Questions:

1. Has Rachels answered the question raised by Glaucon, namely, “Why be


moral?” If so, what exactly is his answer?

- Yes, for us to know the right action.

2. Are genuine egoists rare, as Rachels claims? Is it a fact that most people care
about others even people they don’t know?

- Yes.

3. Suppose we define ethical altruism as the view that one should always act for the
benefit of others and never in one’s own self-interest. Is such a view immoral or
not?

- Not, because he acts for the benefit and not to his interest.

Some of the answers are taken in this source.

Source:

James Rachels “Egoism and Moral Skepticism,” from A New Introduction to Philosophy,
ed. Steven M Cahn. (Harper & Row, (1971).
John Arthur: Religion, Morality, and Conscience

Review Questions:

1. According to Arthur, how are morality and religion different?

- Arthur discusses that there are three ways morality has been thought to depend on
religion: that without religious motivation people could not be expected to do the
right thing; that religion is necessary to provide the guidance to people in their search
for the correct course of action; and that religion is essential for there even to be a
right or wrong. He claims that morality is a social, the goodness to do the duty, rights,
and obligations.

2. Why inst religion necessary for moral motivation?

- The religious motives are far from the only ones people have. We were raised to be a
decent person, and that’s what we are, so it is clear that many motives for doing the
right thing have nothing whatsoever to do with religion.

3. Why isn’t religion necessary as a source of moral knowledge

- Because no one sure his or her religion is the right one

4. What is the divine command theory? Why does Arthur reject this theory?

- The divine command theory means that God has the same sort of relation to moral
law as the legislature has to statutes it enacts: without God’s commands there would
be no moral rules. Arthur rejected this theory because there is no objective
explanation of the difference between the right and wrong.

5. According to Arthur, how are morality and religion connected?

- According to him, morality is influenced by religion, as is religion by morality.

6. Dewey says that morality is social. What does this mean, according to Arthur?

- What is right, and accords with the true dictates of conscience, might in fact not
meet the approval of others. Conscience is “social” not in the sense that morality is
determined by surveying what others in society think.
Discussion Questions:

1. Has Arthur refuted the divine command theory? If not, how can it be defended?

- It can be defended that without GOd's commands there would be no moral issues,
just as without a legislature there would be no statutes.

2. If morality is social, as Dewey says, then how can we have any obligations to
nonhuman animals?

- Doing the right thing for the benefit of the nonhuman animals, because it is our
obligation to preserve them.

3. What does Dewey mean by moral education? Does a college ethics class count
as moral education?

- Yes, because it discusses some acts that can be classified by moral or immoral

Some of the answers are taken in this source.

Source:

John Arthur,” Religion, Morality, and Conscience,” from m Morality and Controversies
4th ed., ed. John Arthur(Premise Hall, 1996), pp. 21-28.
Friedrich Nietzsche: Master- and Slave-Morality

Review Questions:

1. How does Nietzsche characterize a good and healthy society?

- Nietzsche characterizes a good healthy society should allow superior individuals to


exercise their “will to power” their drive to toward to domination and exploitation
of the inferior.

2. What is Nietzsche’s view of injury, violence, and exploitation?

- One should put will on a par with that of others; this may result in a certain rough
sense in good conduct among individuals when the necessary conditions are given.

3. Distinguish between master-morality and slave-morality.

- Master morality emphasizes power, strength, egoism, and freedom, as


distinguished from a “slave morality” that calls for weakness, submission,
sympathy, and love.

4. Explain the Will to Power.

- Based on my understanding the “will to power” is one’s determination to have


domination over the other, and one’s willingness to gain authority.

Discussion Questions:

1. Some people view Nietzsche’s writings as harmful and even dangerous. For
example, some have charged Nietzsche with inspiring Nazism. Are these
charges justified or not? Why or why not?

- It needs to be justified, because these things will serve as a guide for everyone.

2. What does it mean to be “a creator of value”?

- A creator of values should consider actions that are morally accepted. In this case
you will not hurt the feeling of others, but rather help them to be inspired to do
good deeds.

Some of the answers are taken in this source.

Source: Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond and Good Evil, translated b Heken Zimmern, pp.
223-32(Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books). Copyright 1989.
Mary Midgley: Trying Out one’s New Sword

Review Questions:

1. What is “moral isolationism”?

- Moral isolationism is a doctrine of immoralism because it forbids any moral


reasoning, and from the views of anthropologists, it is where we cannot criticize
cultures that we do not understand.

2. Explain the Japanese customer of tsujigiri. What questions does Midgley ask
aabout this custom?

- The meaning of tsujigiri is to” try out one’s new sword on a chance of wayfarer” ,
Literally “crossroads-cut”. These are questions that Midgley asks from the
culture; does the isolating barrier work both ways? Are people in other cultures
equally unable to criticize us?

3. What is wrong with moral isolationism, according to Midgley?

- According to Midgley moral isolationism it should not forced upon us, and indeed
that it makes no sense at all. People usually take it up because they think it is a
respectful attitude to other cultures. In fact, it is not respectful. Nobody can respect
what is entirely unintelligible to them.

4. What does Midgley think is the basis for criticizing other cultures?

- The isolating barrier is the basis of criticizing other cultures, because without the
isolating barrier there will be no cultures formed.

Discussion Questions:

1. Midgley says that Nietzsche is an immoralist. Is that an accurate and fair


assessment of Nietzsche? Why or why not?

- No, because everyone has its own belief in which we must respect.

2. Do you agree with Midgley’s claim that the idea of separate and unmixed cultures
is unreal? Explain your answer.
- Yes, because there is no such thing as separate cultures, it is just that there is an
isolation barrier.

Some of the answers are taken in this source.

Source: Trying Out One’s New Sword by Mary Midgley


John Stuart Mill: Utilitarianism

Review Questions:

1. State and explain the Principle of Utility. Show how it could be used to justify
actions that are conventionally viewed as wrong, sucha as lying and stealing.

- The principle of utility states that actions or behaviors are right in so far as they
promote happiness or pleasure, wrong as they tend to produce unhappiness or
pain.

2. How does Mill reply to the objection that Epicureanism is a doctrine worthy only
of swine?

- According to him, they are accusers, who represent human nature in a


degrading light, since the accusation supposes human beings to be capable of no
pleasures except those of which swine are capable.

3. According to Mill, whose happiness must be considered?

- For him, the happiness to be considered is those human beings, because they
faculties more elevated than animal appetites.

4. Carefully reconstruct Mill’s proof of the Principle of Utility.

- The principle of utility is basically doing something that can boost pleasure for
us that will result to happiness.

Discussion Questions:

1. Is happiness nothing more than pleasure, and the absence of pain? What do you
think?

- Happiness is more than pleasure, because in pleasure you will just relax for a matter
span of time only, unlike in the happiness you will feel the contentment.

2. Does Mill convince you that the so-called higher pleasures are better than the
lower ones?
- Yes, but of course we must still consider others preferable.

3. Mill says, “In the golden rule of Jesus of Nazareth, we read the complete spriit of
the ethics of utility.” Is this true or not?

- It is true.

4. Many commentators have thought that Mill’s proof of the Principle of Utility is
defective. Do you agree? If so, then what mistake or mistakes does he make? Is
there any way to reformulate the proof so that it is not defective?

- It is defective in a sense that we can not sustain happiness, because there is no such
thing as constant except change.

Some of the answers are taken in this source.

Source: From Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill


James Rachels: The Debate over Utilitarianism

Review Questions:

1. Rachels says that classical utilitarianism can be summed up in three


propositions. What are they?

- First, actions are to be judged right or wrong solely in virtue of their consequences.
Right actions are, simply, those that have not the best consequences. Second, the
only thing that matters is the amount of happiness or unhappiness that is caused.
Right actions are those that produce the greatest balance of happiness over
unhappiness. Third, in calculation the happiness or unhappiness that will be caused,
no one’s happiness is to be counted as more important than anyone else’s.

2. Explain the problem with hedonism. How do defenders of utilitarianism respond


to this problem?

- The problem that arises with Hedonism is that it misunderstands the nature of
happiness. For the defenders, happiness is a response we have to the attainment of
things that we recognize a goods, independently and in their own right.

3. What are the objections about justice, rights, and promises?

- Justice requires that we treat people fairly, according to their individual needs and
merits. Rights are moral entitlements that one should have equally. Promise is a
transaction of different parties, whether to render service or give something as what
they have discussed.

4. Distinguish between rule- and act- utilitarianism. How does rule-utilitarianism


reply to the objections?

- Act-utilitarian would tempt to bear false witnesses against the innocent man
because the consequences of that particular act would be good; while in rule-
utilitarianism states that don’t bear false witness against the innocent is faithfully
adhered to.
5. What is the third line of defense?

- The third defense states that our moral common sense is, after all, not necessarily
reliable. It may incorporate various irrational elements, including prejudices
absorbed from our parents, our religion and the general culture.
Discussion Questions:

1. Smart’s defense of utilitarianism is to reject common moral beliefs when they


conflict with utilitarianism. Is this acceptable to you or not? Explain your answer

- It is not acceptable, because we should still rely to our moral beliefs

2. A utilitarian is supposed to give moral consideration to all concerned. Who must


be considered? What about nonhuman animals? How about lakes and streams?

- It only considers human beings.

3. Rachels claims that merit should be given moral consideration independent of


utility. Do you agree?

- Yes

Some of the answers are taken in this source.

Source: From James Rachels, The Elements of Moral Philosophy (New York: McGraw –
Hill Publishing Company, 1986).
Immanuel Kant: The Categorical Imperative

Review Questions:

1. Explain Kant’s account of the good will.


- A good will is not good because of what it affects or accomplishes- because of its
fitness for attaining some proposed end: it is good through its willing alone-that is
good in itself.

2. Distinguish between hypothetical and categorical imperatives.

- Categorical imperative is this “Act only in that maxim through which you can at the
same time will that it should become a universal law”. For hypothetical imperative
the ordinary reason of mankind also agrees with this completely in its practical
judgments and always has the aforesaid principle before its eyes.

3. State the first formulation of the categorical imperative (using the notion of a
universe law), and explain how Kant uses this rule to derive some specific duties
toward self and others.
- It will serve as its principle, and must so serve it if duty is not be everywhere an
empty delusion and a chimerical concept.

4. State the second version of the categorical imperative (using the language of
means and ends). And explain it.

- We leave unsettled whether what we call duty may not be in empty concept, we
shall still be able to show at least what we understand it and what the concept
means.

Discussion Questions:

1. Are the two versions of the categorical imperative just different expressions of
one basic rule, or are they tow different rules? Defend your view.
- The two versions of the categorical imperative just have different expressions of
one basic rule.

2. Kant claims that an action that is not done from the motive of duty has no moral
worth. Do you agree or not? If not, give some counterexamples.
- I agree.

3. Some commentators think that the categorical imperative (particularly the first
formulation) can be used to justify nonmoral actions. Is this a good criticism?
- No, because you can never justified immoral acts

Some of the answers are taken in this source.

Source: Immanuel Kant, “The Categorical Imperative,” from the Moral Law: Kant’s
Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals trans. H.J. Paton (New York: Barnes &
Noble, Inc. 1948).
Aristotle: Happiness and Virtue

Review Questions

1. What is happiness, according to Aristotle? How is it related to pleasure?

Happiness is an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue. Pleasure


will give artificial happiness in a short span of time.

2. How does Aristotle explain moral virtue? Give some examples.

According to Aristotle, moral virtue comes from training and habit, and
generally is a state of character that is a mean between the vices of excess and
deficiency. Some examples are; a man has a character that knows how to respect
others opinions. Another would be, a situation wherein a student asked to cheat
during exams by his classmate, but because of his good conscience he avoided.

3. Is it possible for everyone in our society to be happy, as Aristotle explains it? If


not, who cannot be happy?

Everyone in our society is possible to gain happiness; it will just depend


on how one person perceives to meet one’s contentment, but of course with the
accordance of virtue.

Discussion Questions

1. Aristotle characterizes a life of pleasure as suitable for beasts. But what, if


Anything, is wrong with a life of pleasure?

Life of pleasure will become wrong if it exceeds to the limit of the perfect
virtue, and this thing is not good to people who committed this kind of act.

2. Aristotle claims that the philosopher will be happier than anyone else, Why is
This? Do you agree or not?

I agree, because Philosopher can contemplate truth, and he is the most


self sufficient.

Some of the answers are taken in this source.

Source: Aristotle, Happiness and Virtue, Books I: 3-5,7-9, 13; II 1,6,7, 8 from Ethica
Nicomachea, trans. W. D. Ross in the Oxford Translation of Aristotle, vol. 9(Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 1925).
Joel Feinber: The Nature and Value of Rights

Review Questions:

1. Describe Nowheresville. How is this world different from our world?

- Nowheresville introducing the idea of duty into and letting the sense of duty be a
sufficient motive for many beneficent and honorable actions. It is different because
duties are permitted that smuggled with the rights.

2. Explain the doctrine of the logical correlativity of right and duties. What is
Feinberg’s position on this doctrine?

- When the notion of requirement is in clear focus it is likely to seem the only
element in the idea of duty that is essential, and the other component notion that a
duty is something due someone else drops off. Thus, in the widespread but
derivative usage “duty tends to be used for action we feel we must do.

3. How does Feinberg explain the concept of personal desert? How would personal
desert work in Nowheresville?

- When a person is said to deserve something good fro us what is meant in parts is
that there would be certain propriety in our giving that good thing to him in virtue
of some specific thing he has done.

4. Explain the notion of a sovereign right-monopoly. How would this work in


Nowheresville according to Feinberg?

- Sovereign monopoly of rights it is the ruling because of the rights to control.

5. What are claim-rights? Why does Feinberg think they are morally important?\

- Claim rights, these are the demands of the person that are related to the right of a
person. , and also a petition to make claim or seek by virtue of supposed right.

Discussion Questions:

1. Does Feinberg make a convincing case for the importance of rights? Why or why
not?
- Yes, he made a convincing case for the importance of rights

2. Can you give a noncircular definition of claim0-ight?


- Claim right is something that you have to argue as part of your rights.

Some of the answers are taken in this source.

Source: From Joel Feinberg, “The Nature and Value of Rights,” The Journal of Value
Inquiry 4 (1970) – 243 – 57, 1970, Martinus Nyhoff Publishers Dordrecht, Netherlands.
Ronald Dworkin: Taking Rights Seriously

Review Questions:

1. What does Dworkin mean by right in the strong sense? What rights in this sense
are protected by the U.S. Constitution?

- According to him people have the right to do something, and then it is wrong to
interfere with them. The notion of rights rests on the idea of treating people with
dignity as members of the moral community, including the idea of political
equality.

2. Distinguish between legal and moral right. Give some example of legal rights that
are not moral right, and moral right that are not legal rights.

- Legal rights are relating to the constitutional laws, while moral laws these are also
known as natural laws, rights which are not contingent upon the constitutional
laws, and it is a law of behavior underpinning the morality of a civilization.
Examples of legal rights, “no trespassing” it is the right of the owner to tell people
not to enter without his/her authorization, & law of contracts. For moral laws, do
not lie, and honor your father and your mother, these are just some of the moral
laws.

3. What are the two models of how a government might define the rights of its
citizens? Which does Dworkin find more attractive?

- The first model, it is the metaphor of balancing the public interest against personal
claims is established in our political and judicial rhetoric. The second model is more
familiar idea of political equality. It is the freedom of decision whatever the effect
to the general good, and all men must have the same of freedom. I think he attracts
to the second model.

4. According to Dworkin, what two important ideas are behind the institution or
rights?

- First, the government might show that the values protected by the original right not
really at stake in the marginal case. Second, it shows that if the right is defined to
include the marginal case.
Discussion Questions:

1. Does a person have aright to break the law? Why or why not?

- No, because we all know those laws should not be broken by anyone, or else
consequences will follow.

2. Are rights in the strong sense compatible with Mill’s utilitarianism?

- No.

3. Do you think that Kant would accept right in the strong sense or not?

- He would accept rights in the strong sense.

Some of the answers are taken in this source.

Source: Taking Rights Seriously by Ronald Dworkin (Cambridge Mass: Harvard


University Press). Pp. 184-05. Copyright 1977, 1978, 1985 by Ronald Dworkin.
John Rawls: A Theory of Justice

Review Questions:

1. Carefully explain Rawls’s conception of the original position.

- We have our original position, stating that all of us must have equal rights

2. State and explain Rawls’s first principle of justice.

- . Basically, the first principle of justice it is related to equal basic liberties.

3. State and explain the second principle. Which principle has priority such that it
cannot be sacrificed?

- In the second principle, it is concern to the arrangement of social and economic


inequalities. The first principle has more priority over the other principle.

Discussion Questions:

1. On the first principle, each person ahs an equal right to the most extensive basic
liberty as long as this does not interfere with a similar liberty for others. What
does this allow people to do? Does it mean, for example, that people have right
to engage in homosexual activities as long as they don’t interfere with others?
Can people produce and view pornography if it does not restrict anyone’s
freedom? Are people allowed to take drugs in the privacy of their homes?

- People don’t have the right to engage in homosexual, because there are moral
laws that should be followed, although we can not call it as liberty if there are
laws to be followed, but why I am trying to say is that before we came here in this
world, that law is already there.

Some of the answers are taken in this source.

Source: Theory of Justice by John Rawls (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press).
pp. 11-16 , 60 -65. Copyright 1971 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.
Annette C. Baier: The Need for More than Justice

Review Questions:

1. Distinguish between the justice and care perspectives. According to Gilligan, how
do these perspectives develop?

- According to the reading material, justice perspective by itself is inadequate as a


moral theory. For care perspective it is a felt concern for the good of others and for
community with them.

2. Explain Kohlberg’s theory of moral development. What criticisms do Gilligan and


Baier make of this theory?

- Moral development aims satisfying community with others, and the other is
aiming of equality of power.

3. Baier says there are three important differences between Kantian liberals and
their critics. What are these differences?

- the virtue justice, construed as respect for equal rights to formal goods such as
having contracts kept, due process, equal opportunity, to basic liberties of speech,
free association and assembly, religious worship is that none of these goods do
much to ensure that the people who have and mutuall respect such rights will have
any other relationships to one another than the minimal relationship needed to keep
such a civil society going.

4. Why does Baier attack the Kantian view that the reason should control unruly
passions?

- He attack the Kantian view because the challenge to the individualism of the
western tradition to the fairly emended belief in the possibility and desirability of
each person pursuing his own good in his own way, constrained only by a minimal
formal common good, namely working legal apparatus that enforces contracts and
protects individuals from undue interference by others.
Discussion Questions:

1. What does Baier mean when she speaks of the need “to transvalue the values of
our patriarchal past”? Do new values replace the old ones? If so, then do we
abandon the old values of justice, freedom, and right?

- Nothing to be replaced and nothing also to be abandoned in terms of the values.

2. What is wrong with the Kantian view that extends equal rights to all rational
beings, including women and minorities? What would Baier say? What do you
think?

- For me there is nothing wrong with his views

3. Baier seems to reject the Kantian emphasis on freedom of choice. Granted, we


do not choose our parent, but still don’t we have freedom of choice about many
things, and isn’t this very important?

- It is very important to have freedom of choice, but there are some cases that we
don’t have a choice.

Some of the answers are taken in this source.

Source: Annette C. Baier, “The Need for more than Justice,” from Canadian Journal
of Philosophy, Supplementary Vol. 13, 1988, published by University of Calgary
Press.

Оценить