Exam 2 Questions


  • On the day of the test, your question will be chosen at random.
  • You will have approximately 8 minutes to answer.
  • You will be graded according to your comprehension, focus, fluidity, correct use of technical vocabulary, and overall composure according to the oral exam rubric.
  • While others are speaking you will be evaluating them anonymously on a grading sheet that you will turn in to the instructor at the end of the exam period.
  • ALL persons scheduled to take their exam on a given day should show up at 10:30 AM and remain quietly until it is their turn to take the test.
  • Being late and other distracting behaviors will harm the performance of the person taking the test. All such behaviors are unacceptable and will result in according deductions from the test score, up to and including failure for serious distractions.
  • No late or make up exams will be given.

The Questions

1. Suppose I see a man robbing an old woman in the street, and I form the moral judgment that it is morally wrong for him to do this act. How would Butler explain the process that leads to my judgment?

2. Give and explain John Stuart Mill's argument for the Principle of Utility. Give a thoughtful critique of this argument.

3. Suppose that I am considering stealing a box of pens from my workplace for personal use. Apply Kant's test of the Categorical Imperative to convince me that this act is morally wrong.

4. Adrian learned his moral values from his parents. He doesn't think much about morality, but most of the time simply does what his bosses, elders, and traditions in general tell him to do. He is happy and secure. Nick is a member of the same culture as Adrian, but went through a moral crisis in young adulthood that led him to see that he could never bring himself to agree with the values of that culture. He has, ever since, been doing the hard, painful work of crafting his own moral approach to the problems of life, knowing that people like Adrian will never understand him. How would Nietzsche evaluate the characters of Nick and Adrian as sketched here?

5. Explain Martha Nussbaum's notion of thick and then moral concepts. At which level, the thick or the thin, does she think that values must be seen as constant across all human lives? If Nussbaum is right, what are the implications for normative moral relativism?

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