Ethics Study Guide

Topics: Immanuel Kant, Categorical imperative, Hypothetical imperative Pages: 11 (2627 words) Published: March 18, 2013
Introduction to Ethics—Study Guide—Test 1

There will be a multiple choice section on the test. If you prepare well for the short answer and essay sections you should not have any problem with the multiple choice section: Example Question: who thinks that the consequences of an action are the only thing that matters for evaluating actions (a…,b…,c…,d…)? Some help:

a priori - Knowledge independent of experience
a posteriori - Knowledge dependent on experience
analytic - X is true on virtue of meaning alone
synthetic - X is not true on meaning alone
What is goodness?
Simple unanalyzable property grasped by intuition.
What is the argument for his view of goodness?
Goodness is complex, simple, or non-existence
Goodness is not complex: not complex because whatever its parts are would be its meaning.
Goodness is non-existent
Therefore goodness is simple
What is the open question argument?
This is reasoning he gives for step 2.
For any definition of goodness, we can always ask of the definition is it good. And that makes it open What is the role of intuition?
It's role is to grasp goodness, because goodness is simple. Ayer
What is the principle of verifiability?
A sentence is a statement if and only if it is either analytic or empirically verifiable.
Analytic is true in virtue of meaning alone.
Ex: All bachelors are single men
Emperically verifiable involves a process to show its validity. What is emotivism?
Ethical utterances are statements of emotion neither true nor false What is the relationship between the principle of verifiability and emotivism?
Saying the statement Emotivism is true according to emotivism is an ethical utterance
which is neither true nor false and cannot be varified.
What is the situation that Mac describes in the first chapter?
All of science is lost
What are the three ethical issues that Mac discusses?
1. Abortion
2. War
3. Health care and education
What are the three theses that Mac discusses that explain the irresolvability of ethical disagreement?
1.The conceptual incommensurability - two conflicts that cannot be translated. Appeal to different sets of values
2. Appeal to personal reasons - "Do this because I want you to" based on personal features. Impersonal reasons " Do it because it is your duty" Not based on personal features. We treat it as based on preference when its not.

3. History - Culture rejects something necessary for the rational justification of morality but hold on to it nonetheless. Why is emotivism a challenge to Mac’s claim that ethical disagreement is resolvable?

Emotivitsm challenges because it appeals to personal preference. What are the three problems that Mac raises for emotivism?
Circularity objection - Moral utterances are expressions of feeling -feeling of approval- Moral Approval=Moral Utterances.
Use vs. meaning objection - It confuses impersonal reasoning giving force with personal reason giving force, Emotivitism says that Personal Reasoning = Impersonal Reasoning(it clearly doesn't)

Expression Obj- Expressions of feeling are not a function of meaning but of use.

What is the only thing that has unconditional value?

The only thing is good will. All other actions or objects have an ability to be
used for good or evil.

What are the three different types of action?

Instrumental Inclination - Acts done in conformity with duty but for the sake of something else. ex: shopkeeper
Immediate inclination: actions done in conformity with duty, but it is also what you desire. Ex: Joy spreader

Acts done in conformity with duty and done for sake of duty alone. Ex: Job still does it after he loses everything. What is a categorical imperative?

Morals or laws. An action which is necessary regardless of end

What is a hypothetical imperative?

Action that is practically necessary as a means of...
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