The area of ethics known as “meta-ethics” is concerned with:
The thought of Socrates
The thought of Plato
The consequences of ethical decisions
The questions that may need to be answered before talking about issues of right and wrong.
Plato’s “Republic” is a dialogue between various characters. The character who defends the view that moral action is doing what is in the best interest of those with less power is:
Which of the following was NOT one of the positions on human nature that we examined in these modules?
That human nature is basically good
That human nature is basically bad
That human nature can be partiallly explained in terms of animal nature
That “human nature” is an indefinable concept
Why is the study of human nature so significant to ethics? Because…
…if we had no nature at all, then only God’s divine law would prevail
…if we could determine what our nature was, then we would know what was best for us
…if we could determine whether human nature was basically good or bad, then we could jettison all ethical theory
…if we determine that there are too many competing theories of human nature, then living in society becomes impossible
For Aristotle, being virtuous is not about doing the right acts and avoiding the wrong ones, but rather
ethics is about subordinating women to men’s wishes
ethics is about caring for each other
ethics is about obeying one’s superiors
ethics is about a state of being, namely being virtuous
For Thomas Hobbes, morality comes from the “right of Nature,” which is our right to what?
To revolution against an unfair government
To take as many resources as we can defend
Which human trait does Rousseau think that we would be lost without, and which is the basis of “laws, moral habits, and virtues”?
David Hume and Immanuel Kant agree on which one of the following four propositions?
Morality is based in our sympathy for other human beings
Morality is an expression of duties that we have regardless of our emotions or desires.
What is viewed as moral or immoral is relative to different cultures
The demands of morality are not about achieving our own self-interest
What is cultural relativism?
The view that there are important differences in ethical beliefs and practices across cultures
The view that because there are important differences in ethical beliefs and practices across cultures, there cannot be any universally true moral principles
The view that because there are important differences in ethical beliefs and practices across cultures, what each culture believes is right is right for that culture, even if other cultures differ
The view that there are no important differences in ethical beliefs and practices across cultures
Which of the following is NOT a good reason for rejecting the idea of ethical relativism?
Ethical relativism makes us give up the idea of moral progress
Ethical relativism implies that we can’t criticize seemingly immoral practices in other cultures, like the Holocaust
Ethical relativism implies that we have to disobey all laws of our society
Ethical relativism implies that we just have to accept the moral status quo in our own society
How would Darwin finish this statement, which expresses the central idea in the excerpt we read from “The Descent of Man”: “Any animal whatever, endowed with well-marked social instincts, the parental and filial affections being here included, would…”
…form a culture.”
…descend into anarchy.”
…become a human concerned with protecting his/her rights.”
…acquire a moral sense.”
For Hobbes, our life in society can be traced back to our “enlightened egoism.” Darwin, who sees sociability in animal species beyond the human, thinks that rules, duties, and obligations are
part of a natural adaptation
largely an illusion that makes us conform to authority
the result of a “social contract”
destructive of our moral sense
Which of the following propositions could Marx & Engels agree with Friedrich Nietzsche on?
Humans are little more than animals easily impressed by authority
Humans are primarily animals who create value through their labor
Much of what passes for “universal” morality is really just made of rules in the interests of a special group or class
Democracy is the worst form of government
Freud’s theory of conscious and unconscious behavior is based on an opposition between the id and the superego. If we map this opposition onto culture, as Freud did, the superego would probably be analogous to
laws of the state.
all of the above.
Carol Gilligan draws the conclusion that there may need to be distinct male and female moralities. Her argument is, in part, that (1) Rules are not given, but grow up in culture over time and (2) Certain theories about ethics that claimed to be neutral between the sexes proved not to be so. What’s missing from this argument?
(3) Men are completely rational, while women aren’t.
(3) Women aren’t completely rational, but they tend to appear so.
(3) Male bias characterizes most ethical theories.
(3) Male philosophers have accurately defined human nature.
Who is the author of the following text? “Hereby it is manifest, that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war, as is of every man, against every man.”
Who is the author of the following text? “Humanity, righteousness, propriety, and wisdom are not drilled into us from outside. We originally have them with us.”
Who is the author of the following text? “Again, it is from the same causes and the same means that every virtue is both produced and destroyed, and similarly every art; for it is from playing the lyre that both good and bad lyre-players are produced.”
Who is the author of the following text? “A superior, independent intellect, a will to stand alone, even a superior rationality are felt to be dangers; everything that lifts the individual above the herd and causes fear in his neighbors is from now on called evil….”
Who is the author of the following text? “Duty! Thou sublime and mighty name that dost embrace nothing charming or insinuating but requirest submission and yet seekest not to move the will by threatening aught that would arouse natural version or terror but only holdest forth a law which of itself finds entrance into the mind and yet gains reluctant reverence….”
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