Sunday, May 23, 2010

Review for Final

The Final Exam will consist of two parts: 1) Short identification; and 2) Essay questions.

Part 1 will be closed book and all boldface terms from the weekly notes are fair game. Students will respond to their selected terms in paragraphs that demonstrate accuracy, understanding and fluency.

Absolutism vs. relativism
Near, or Almost Absolute
Naturalistic Fallacy
Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
Abstract Necessities
Four Idols:
1) Tribe
2) Cave
3) Market
4) Theatre
G.E.M. Ancsombe, "Modern Moral Philosophy"
1) Analytic
2) Internal
3) External/Empirical
4) Subjective/categorical (aesthetic, moral, political)...
Freedom vs. Determinism
Soft Determinism
Universal Causation
Free Will
Hobbes vs. Locke
John Rawls (1921-2002)
Reward and Punishment
Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)
John Locke (1632-1704)
The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1777/79)

Part II (Spring 2013 will not write Part II) will be open book, and students can use the articles by Goldberg, Marlin, and Anscombe. Computers will be available for word processing. All essays (students will write one) should be properly planned and organized, with fully-developed introductions and conclusions. Follow the Essay Checklist (below).

Here are themes to consider for the second section of the Final:

1. Consider the divisions or categories of moral philosophy our authors talk about: utilitarianism, egoism, deontology, virtue ethics, and so on. What are the strengths and weaknesses of these various approaches in considering such questions as: What should I do in a given situation? Or, why should I be "good?"

2. Reflect upon John Marlin's critique of cynicism and careerism, and consider how these threats to ethics influence decision making in a variety of professional contexts: military, law, law enforcement, corrections, politics, education, human services, health care, and so on.

3. Consider G.E.M. Anscombe's paper on "Modern Moral Philosophy." Describe her three theses and summarize the main points of her argument. Against the backdrop of Western intellectual history, describe the significant political-religious-cultural movement that has transformed our understanding of moral philosophy. 

4. The film A Clockwork Orange presents us with a variety of difficult questions concerning freedom of choice, the politics of social control, the nature of justice, and the nature of good and evil. Describe how the film presents these themes, and resolve your understanding by reflecting upon them in a clear and organized fashion. As the film shows, these issues are shot through with paradox, contradiction and irony. Can we hope to come to some sort of conclusion about them? 

5. What is your philosophy of Human Rights? Perhaps it might be useful to begin with a discussion of your understanding of human nature itself, keeping in mind of course G.E.M Anscombe's cautioning remark that we are "conspicuously lacking" an adequate philosophy of psychology.

6. Technocracy and moral  philosophy: Write an essay in which you consider the relationship between normative ethics (or prescriptive moral philosophy) and technocracy.  Explain how analytic philosophy (or meta-ethics) critiques moral philosophy.

Essay Checklist:

I. Introduction
A. Create Interest
B. Thesis
C. Main Points

II. Body Paragraph
A. Topic Sentence--General Statement
B. Supporting Sentences--Specific Statements
C. Fully Developed
D. One Topic per Paragraph

III Conclusion
A. Thesis
B. Main Points
C. What's Next?
D. Closure