Explore the main contours of Mill’s version of utilitarianism? Can utilitarianism stand as a good moral theory in the wake of such objections? (Be sure to use examples to explore this topic).
Explore the main contours of Mill’s version of utilitarianism
PH 108-—MORAL AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS—FINAL EXAMINATION
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8 (8:15-11:15 USUAL CLASSROOM)
You are expected to answer 5 different questions. All questions carry equal weight. Spend most of the answer on the thinkers or theories in question.
1. Firstly, Explore the main contours of Mill’s version of utilitarianism. What are some of the common criticisms of utilitarianism? Secondly, Can utilitarianism stand as a good moral theory in the wake of such objections?
(Be sure to use examples to explore this topic).
2. Also, Unpack how Kant defines moral goodness in his deontological theory. Additionally, What does he mean by the categorical imperative (what are two key versions of it?—be sure to use concrete examples to flesh out how it operates in Kant’s moral vision). Further, What do you see as a chief strength and key weakness of Kant’s theory? Also, In your eyes, is it a good theory to live by? Why or why not?
3. Are humans psychological egoists or are humans capable of altruism (use Plato’s “Ring of Gyges” as the main gateway here; offer a brief explanation of how Plato’s story tries to support psychological egoism)? Furthermore, Or should humans be ethical egoists? Be sure to explain the difference between psychological and ethical egoism. Further, Investigate Ayn Rand’s defense of ethical egoism, along with her attacks on altruism. Lastly, Do you side with either theory? Why or why not?
4. Recount the difference between positive (welfare rights) and negative (liberty) rights.
Explain Locke’s account of human rights. What human rights do you take to be important and why? Also, What are some of the pros and cons of human rights talk? To show some of the complexities of the human rights debate, delve into the debate on either affirmative action or same sex marriage or cloning (hint: if you answer this question, it is advised that you read the relevant sections in the textbook). Where do you stand on the debate and why?
5. Explain Aristotle’s account of how to become virtuous (hint: be sure to discuss both the intellectual and moral virtues). What does Aristotle mean by the Golden Mean, and illustrate it by using a concrete example. Explain why using reason excellently is pivotal in becoming virtuous for Aristotle. How might the two branches of virtues operate together? Do you think anyone lives up to Aristotle’s notion of a virtuous human being? If so, who, and in what way does this person exemplify virtue? Can there be agreement about what counts as a virtue?