Ethics-Final Review

  1. What does the approach known as proceduralism claim?
    Ethical theorizing should begin by identifying a method for distinguishing right from wrong.
  2. When is an action morally right, according to contractarianism?
    When it is permitted by the rules that free, equal, and rational people would agree to.
  3. What is the term for a situation in which everyone is made worse off when all pursue self-interest?
    Prisoner's dilemma.
  4. What was Thomas Hobbes's term for a condition in which there is no government to maintain order?
    The state of nature.
  5. What did Hobbes think is the only way to escape from the condition mentioned in question 4?(state of nature)
    To mutually agree on a set of rules for social cooperation.
  6. How do contractarians seek to justify basic moral rules?
    By showing that free, equal, and rational people would agree to such rules.
  7. How does contractarianism regard the status of moral rules?
    They are objective.
  8. When is it permissible to break moral rules, according to contractarianism?
    Whenever most others consistently fail to abide by them.
  9. What is Rawls's veil of ignorance?
    An imaginary device for ensuring that contractors make fair choices.
  10. When does contractarianism claim that civil disobedience is justified?
    Whenever a law is grossly unjust.
  11. proceduralism
    The view that says that we must follow a certain procedure in order to determine which actions are morally right, or which moral claims are true.
  12. Social contract theory
    • A view in political philosophy that says that governmental power is legitimate if and only if it would be accepted by free, equal, and rational people intent on selecting principles of cooperative living.
    • Also, a view in normative ethical theory that says that actions are morally right if and only if they are permitted by rules that free, equal, and rational people would agree to live by, on the condition that others obey these rules as well.
  13. prisoner's dilemas
    A situation in which everyone involved would be better off by reducing his or her pursuit of self-interest.
  14. State of nature
    A situation in which there is no central authority with the exclusive power to enforce its will on others.
  15. veil of ignorance
    An imaginary device that removes all knowledge of one's social, economic, and religious positions; one's personality traits; and other distinguishing features. It is designed to ensure that the important choices of social contractors are made fairly.
  16. Which of the following best characterizes the attitude of Hobbes's character “the Fool”?
    He believes that breaking promises is unjust but doesn't care.
  17. Which of the following best describes the free-rider problem?
    People can sometimes enjoy common goods without contributing to them.
  18. What is the ultimate point of morality, according to contractarians?
    To promote self-interest through mutually beneficial agreements.
  19. What is the term for the idea that we have agreed to obey the law simply by living where we do?
    Tacit consent.
  20. What is the conclusion of the Consent Argument?
    Many people do not have a duty to obey the law.
  21. According to contractarianism, what fixes our basic moral duties?
    The agreements we would make if we were free, rational, and seeking cooperation.
  22. What is Rawls's veil of ignorance thought to ensure?
    • The contractors will always agree among themselves.
    • The agreements of the contractors will be fair.
  23. Which of the following is a problem for the idea of veil of ignorance?
    It is unclear why we should follow agreements made by people unlike us.
  24. According to contractarianism, what motivates the contractors to select the rules they do?
    Rational self-interest.
  25. Which of the following are members of the moral community, according to contractarianism?
    All contractors.
  26. free-rider problem
    • A situation in which people are able to obtain a share of some common good without contributing to it.
    • In such situations, it appears to be rational (if your withholding go unnoticed) to refrain from contributing thus enjoying the good at no expense to yourself. The problem is that if enough people act rationally, then there will not be enough resources to produce the relevant good, thus harming everyone
  27. tacit consent
    Agreement that is expressed through silence or inaction.
  28. Consent Argument
    • 1. duty to obey law if consented
    • 2. did not consent to obey law
    • 3. do not have duty to obey law
  29. What lesson have many people taken from the story of the Ring of Gyges?
    People are fundamentally self-interested.
  30. Which of the following is impossible, according to psychological egoism?
    Acting to benefit others for the sake of others.
  31. Why isn't psychological egoism considered an ethical theory?
    It aims to tell us how we do behave, not how we should behave.
  32. What does psychological egoism say about acts of altruism?
    They are impossible
  33. Which of the following best describes the relationship between psychological egoism and ethics?
    The truth of psychological egoism would mean that most of what we take for granted about morality would be mistaken.
  34. What is strictly conscientious action?
    Any action performed because one believes it to be morally required
  35. Which of the following must be true in order for the Argument from Expected Benefits to succeed?
    • Anytime we act, we expect to be better off.
    • Anytime we act, we aim at making ourselves better off.
  36. If one cannot conceive of any evidence that would refute psychological egoism, what does this suggest about the theory?
    The theory is not being held rationally.
  37. According to the text, what does the evidence suggest about psychological egoism?
    It is probably false, but it might be true.
  38. What would the psychological egoist say about someone who acts to avoid a guilty conscience?
    Such a person acts out of a self-interested desire to avoid guilt.
  39. Psychological egoism
    The view that all human actions are motivated by self-interest, and that altruism is impossible.
  40. Altruism
    The direct care and concern to improve the well-being of someone other than yourself.
  41. Egoist claim
    All human actions are aimed at avoiding some personal loss or gaining some personal benefit (or both), either in the short run or in the long term (or both).
  42. The Implications of Egoism Argument
    • 1.If psychological egoism true, cant be altruistic
    • 2.If cant be altruistic, no duty to be altruistic
    • 3.If psychological egoism true, no duty to be altruistic
    • 4. psychological egoism true
    • 5. no duty to be altruistic
  43. Argument from Our Strongest Desires
    • 1. Whenever you do something, motivated by strongest desire.
    • 2. Whenever motivated by strongest desire, pursuing self-interest
    • 3. Therefore, whenever do something, pursuing self-interest.
  44. Strictly conscientious action
    Action motivated by the thought or the desire to do one's duty for its own sake, rather than form any ulterior motive
  45. Argument from Expected Benefit
    • 1. Whenever do something, expect to be better off.
    • 2. Expect to be better off, aiming to promote self-interest
    • 3. Whenever do something, aiming to promote self-interest
  46. Argument from Avoiding Misery
    • 1. If never do action  promising self-misery, all actions to avoid self-misery.
    • 2.Never do action promising self-misery
    • 3. Action done to avoid self-misery, which is self-interest.
  47. Appealing to the Guilty Conscience
    Having a clean conscience is a self-interest benefit, and so people act to avoid guilt.
  48. Expanding the Realm of Self-Interest
    When we act to take care of others as a mother would a child we are acting to avoid a personal loss or gain personal benefit
  49. What is ethical egoism?
    The theory that actions are morally right just because they promote one's self-interest.
  50. Which of the following accurately describes the relationship between ethical egoism and psychological egoism?
    If psychological egoism is true, this supports ethical egoism.
  51. What wold an ethical egoist say about a situation in which self-interest and morality conflict?
    Such a situation is impossible, according to ethical egoism.
  52. Which of the following rights do we have, according to ethical egoism?
    A right to pursue our own self-interest.
  53. According to the text, what is wrong with the Self-Reliance Argument?
    • It is not true that all would be better off if everyone tended to his or her own needs.
    • The egoist cannot endorse the claim that we ought to do what benefits everyone.
  54. What is the relationship between libertarianism and ethical egoism?
    Libertarianism and ethical egoism are inconsistent.
  55. According to the text, what is the best argument for ethical egoism?
    Our moral obligations give us reasons, and all reasons come from self-interest.
  56. Which of the following is a problem for ethical egoism?
    It violates core moral beliefs.
  57. According to ethical egoism, how should we regard the basic needs of others?
    We should completely discount them.
  58. Which of the following claims about ethical egoism is not true.
    It claims that everyone always behaves selfishly.
  59. Ethical egoism
    The normative ethical theory that says that actions are morally right just because they maximize self-interest.
  60. Argument from Paradigm Cases
    • 1.If ethical theory requires killing, rape, or theft, for self-interest, theory cannot be true.
    • 2. Ethical egoism requies those things, because sometimes for self-interest.
    • 3. Therefore, ethical egoism cannot be true
  61. Egoism requires
    Some actions that seem highly immoral
  62. Egoism forbids
    Us from doing some actions that seem clearly morally good
  63. Egoism permits
    us to escape some very important moral duties
  64. Self-Reliance Argument
    • 1. Everyone mind business & tend to needs, everyone better off.
    • 2. Do what makes everyone better off
    • 3. Everyone mind business and tend to needs
  65. Libertarian Argument
    • Claim that our moral duties have only two sources: consent and reparation.
    • Volontarily agreeing or have violated a persons rights so duty to repair wrong.
  66. Best Argument for Ethical Egoism
    • 1. If morally required to do, have a good reason to do.
    • 2. If good reason to do, must make better off.
    • 3. Therefor morally required to do, must make better off.
  67. Egoism Violated Core Moral Beliefs
    • If theory violates common sense, and their is no compelling argument for that theory, then we are justified in rejecting it.
    • Ethical egoism does so in allowing rape, kill, torture, humiliate for self interest which is not common sense
  68. Egoism Cannot Allow for the Existence of Moral Rights
    Moral rights gives a person control over certain aspects of their life, even if it is to another person's advantage. Ethical egoism doesn't acknowledge this and offers no protection.
  69. Egoism makes my interest all-important
    Interest of others count for nothing and we treat our own interest as the only thing of importance. Egoism cannot explain why we are allowed to discount the needs of others who's needs may be identical to our own.
Card Set
Ethics-Final Review
Ch 13,14;7,8