Philosophy Ethics

PART I: Answer all the questions below. Answers should consist of roughly 3-5 sentences. Be sure to write in complete sentences and to answer all parts of a question.

1. Explain what the principle of double effect is and why it applies in the lever but not the footbridge version of the trolley dilemmas.

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2. Explain the extent to which Kant’s categorical imperative permits one to tell a “white lie”, i.e. a lie based on good intentions.

3. Explain Mill’s response to the argument that utilitarianism diminishes human worth in making pleasure the only thing that is intrinsically good.

4. Explain the difference between instrumental and intrinsic goods, and provide an example of each.

5. Explain the difference between first and second order desires in relation to the concept of autonomy in Kant.

6. What is Bentham’s psychological hedonism, and how does it explain one’s going to work even when one wants to sleep in?

7. With reference to at least three components of Bentham’s hedonic calculus, explain the extent to which utilitarianism permits one to tell a “white lie”, i.e. a lie based on good intentions.

8. Explain why, according to Epicurus, we ought not to be afraid of death.

9. Explain what teleology is and how it determines Aristotle’s use of the term “good”

10. Explain how the principle of double effect can be applied to two cases other than the trolley dilemmas.

PART II: Short Essay. Answers should consist of roughly 4-5 paragraphs.

1. With reference to specific passages in the Singer text, compare and contrast Aristotle’s eudaimonistic, Epicurus’ hedonistic, and Epictetus’ Stoic theories of happiness. Be sure to explain:

(a) the key concepts in each theory (telos, potentiality, actuality and virtue in Aristotle; materialism, hedonism and the different types of desires in Epicurus; the prohairetic, the aprohairetic, and apatheia in Epictetus)
(b) the extent to which the three theories allow for the possibility of children or non-human animals being happy and why
(c) the relation between pleasure, happiness and one’s behavior
(d) which theory, or which aspects of which theories, best express how you understand happiness and why

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