Introduction to Philosophy, exam 1 topics
This is just a list of terms, examples, concepts, etc. that you ought to be familiar with, and some questions you should be able to address. Simply memorizing terms isn't sufficient for understanding the class material, of course, but this might be of some use to you as a start to approaching what you ought to know. This list is in addition to the items mentioned explicitly in the essay questions; I've haven't included all those items here, for the sake of saving time and space. Look over the list of possible reading response paper topics too to get a handle on what we've covered.
Benedict and Pojman on relativism
Divine Command Theory
- Some examples of standards of normality and abnormality varying widely from culture to culture: homosexuality, Melanasians and 'paranoia,' the Kwakiutl, killing innocent people in return for a relative of yours dying.
- How conforming to norms of 'normality' allow people to live well and gain prestige, whereas those who deviate get social contempt and disapproval.
- Relationship between the normal and the good.
Nussbaum on FGM
- The diversity thesis and the dependency thesis: why the diversity thesis on its own does not prove ethical relativism true.
- Ethical subjectivism (individual ethical relativism): what it is and P's criticisms of it: makes morality useless, (absurdly) implies that Hitler and Gandhi equally good, makes morality aesthetic.
- Conventionalism (social ethical relativism): what it is and P's criticisms of it: relativism and toleration, relativism and judging other cultures, relativism and ethical reform, what counts as a culture.
- Who's to judge, according to Pojman?
- Why FGM and not 'female circumcision'?
- Features of FGM that make it morally objectionable: Lack of consent, irreversible, health consequences
- Is condemning FGM 'ethnocentric'? The 4 charges against condemning FGM, N's replies to each.
- Nussbaum on patriarchal societies, social practices that marginalize 'out' groups.
- Traditional justifications of FGM, Nussbaum's replies
- What 'right' means, according to Paley
- What makes God's commands are obligatory
- Our motive for obeying God's commands
- Difference between prudence and duty
- How we know God's will (2 sources)
- What God wills us to do
- The Euthyphro objection
- Leibniz on the DCT
- Relationship between God's goodness and God's will
- The goodness of God's creation
- How DCT destroys the love of God
- The good will, what it is, why its the only thing good w/o qualification
- Why morality cannot be used upon empirical truths (psychology, sociology); the 'is/ought' gap
- Moral worth: in accordance with duty, from duty, in accordance with desires, from desires
- Hypothetical vs. categorical imperatives, types of hypothetical imperatives
- Why moral law must command categorically
- Universalizing version of the CI; how it works
- 'End in itself' formulation of the CI; how it works. O'Neill's examples.
- What the principle of utility is
- Why we cannot avoid it
- Ways of weighing pleasures and pains
- Reply to the 'no time to calculate' objection
- Reply to the 'doctrine of swine' objection
- Reply to the 'godless doctrine' objection
- Internal and external sanctions for morality
- The nature of our conscience
- Conscience, sympathy, and how these helps uphold utilitarian standards
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