Quiz 12 (Angel-format input file)
True or false? 1 point each SELECT: 2 Q: John Stuart Mill was a consequentialist moral philosopher. A. True B. False ANSWER: A POINTS: 1 TYPE: MC Q: "If you want X, then you ought to do Y" is the general form of a categorical imperative. A. True B. False ANSWER: B POINTS: 1 TYPE: MC Fill in blanks 1 point each SELECT: 2 Q: The branch of philosophy concerned with questions of value (the good) and obligation (the right), as regards human conduct, is called ______________________________. A. ethics B. value theory C. axiology D. ethical philosophy ANSWER: A, ethics, B, value theory, C, axiology, D, ethical philosophy POINTS: 1 TYPE: FB Q: ________________________ formulated the "calculus of felicity", which gives seven ways to rate pleasure. This same philosopher articulated the principle that "pushpin is as good as poetry". A. Bentham B. Jeremy Bentham ANSWER: A, Bentham, B, Jeremy Bentham POINTS: 1 TYPE: FB Q: ________________________ is an influential moral theory that claims we should pursue the greatest pleasure or happiness of the greatest number of people. A. utilitarianism B. act utilitarianism C. rule utilitarianism D. consequentialism E. hedonism ANSWER: A, utilitarianism, B, act utilitarianism, C, rule utilitarianism, D, consequentialism, E, hedonism POINTS: 1 TYPE: FB Essays 2 points each SELECT: 4 Q: Compare and contrast the utilitarian views of Bentham and Mill. POINTS: 2 FEEDBACK: For Bentham, "pushpin is as good as poetry"; i.e., no pleasures are intrinsically better than any others. The utilitarian ideal is to maximize pleasure, as calculated by the Calculus of Felicity; but no pleasure gets any more points than any other at the start. For Mill, some pleasures (those unique to humans) are qualitatively better. He says no one who has experienced both kinds of pleasure could prefer the animal pleasures over the properly human ones. So poetry is better than pushpin.
For Bentham, animals have rights because they can experience pleasure and pain, and "pushpin is as good as poetry". If the utilitarian ideal is simply to maximize pleasure, and animals experience pleasure, their pleasure must count in out moral calculations. We thus have stringent duties to animals. For Mill, since animals can't experience the higher-order pleasures, their pleasures matter less, and our duties to animals are less stringent. TYPE: ES Q: Why might utilitarianism offend our sense of justice? Give example(s). What would a defender of utilitarianism respond to the justice objection? POINTS: 2 FEEDBACK: Utilitarianism seems to allow people to be treated unjustly, as in the example in the text, in which a person committing a trivial traffic offense is sentenced to death to set an example. It seems like a utilitarian would have to say this if okay if the death sentence actually did have the effect of saving other lives. But a utilitarian might say this counterargument is a straw man: society as a whole would NOT be happier if people did not have the expectation of fairness in court. Or a utilitarian might just say, "Yeah, life is unfair." TYPE: ES Q: What is Kant's criterion for moral acceptability of a maxim, according to the first formulation of the categorical imperative? Give an example of a maxim that satisfies Kant's criterion and explain why the maxim you pick would be morally acceptable for Kant. POINTS: 2 FEEDBACK: Kant says a maxim is moral if it is universalizable without contradiction. In order words, if I might still perform my act in a world in which everyone acts like me, then I can perform my act. "I can lie" does not pass this test. The success of a lie depends on its being believed. But if everyone lied, I couldn't lie successfully -- if everyone lied, no one would take anybody's word for anything. So lying would be impossible in a world of liars. This shows that lying requires me to will that others NOT lie: i.e., it reveals special pleading. TYPE: ES Q: What does the second formulation of the categorical imperative command? POINTS: 2 FEEDBACK: The respect form of the categorical imperative (what philosophers generally call the "Second" formulation) says we should always treat rational beings, including ourselves, as ends-in-themselves and never as means. In other words, we must respect rational beings, including ourselves, and we are not allowed to use other rational beings, or let ourselves be used. TYPE: ES Q: Explain the difference between act and rule utilitarianism. POINTS: 2 FEEDBACK: Act-utilitarianism tells us to do whatever specific act, performed by a specific agent in specific circumstances, maximizes utility (i.e., produces the most pleasure/happiness for the most people).
Rule-utilitarianism says we should the act that if performed by everyone in similar circumstances, would maximize utility. TYPE: ES