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Chapter: 12- Annette C. Baier: The Need for More Than Justice

Book: Contemporary Moral Problems

Author: James E. White

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Contemporary-Moral-Problems-James

White/dp/0495553204/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234122156&sr=1-1

Quote: “The best moral theory is one that harmonizes justice and care.”

What I expect to learn:

The learning expectation for this chapter review would be discussion about justice and care.

Chapter Review:

For me, this chapter is all about discussing justice and care. Baier distinguishes between the justice perspective of philosophers such as Kant and Rawls and the care perspective Gilligan found in her studies of the moral development of women. Baier argues that the justice perspective by itself in inadequate as a moral theory. It overlooks inequalities between people, it has an unrealistic view of freedom of choice, and it ignores the importance of moral emotions such as love. The best moral theory, she claims, is one that harmonizes justice and care.

The theory of moral development has two dimensions the first is to aim at achieving satisfying community with others, the other aiming at autonomy or equality of power. The relative predominance of one over the other development will depend both upon the relative salience of the two evils in early childhood, and on early and later reinforcement or discouragement in attempts made to guard against these two evils. Baier said that these provides the germs of a theory about why, given current customs of childrearing, it should be mainly woman who are not content with only the moral outlook that she calls the justice perspectives, necessary though that was and is seem by them so have been to their hard worn liberation from sexist oppression. They, like the blacks, used the language of rights and justice to change their own social position, but nevertheless see limitations in that language, according to Gilligan’s findings as a moral psychologist. She reports the “discontent: with the individualist more or less Kantian moral frame woks that dominates Western moral theory and which influenced moral psychologist such as Lawrence Kohlberg, to whose conception of moral maturity she seeks an alternatives. The target of Gilligan’s criticism is the dominant Kantian traditions.

The three important differences between Kantian liberals and critics Baier says are, first it was dubious record, second was its inattention to relations inequality or its pretence of equality. The third reason is its exaggeration of scoop of choice, or its inattention to unchosen relations.

What I’ve learned:

What have I learned is that real morality is when there is justice and care.

Integrative Questions:

1. What is justice perspective?

2. What is care perspective?

3. What is the best moral theory according to Baier?

4. What is Kohlberg’s theory of moral development?

5. What are the three important differences between Kantian liberals and their critics?

Review Questions:

1. Distinguish between the justice and care perspectives. According to Gilligan, how do these perspectives develop?

Baier distinguishes between the justice perspective of philosophers such as Kant and Rawls and the care perspective Gilligan found in her studies of the moral development of women. Baier argues that the justice perspective by itself in inadequate as a moral theory. It overlooks inequalities between people, it has an unrealistic view of freedom of choice, and it ignores the importance of moral emotions such as love. The best moral theory, she claims, is one that harmonizes justice and care.

2. Explain Kohlberg’s theory of moral development. What criticisms do Gilligan and Baier make of this theory?

The theory of moral development has two dimensions the first is to aim at achieving satisfying community with others, the other aiming at autonomy or equality of power. The relative predominance of one over the other development will depend both upon the relative salience of the two evils in early childhood, and on early and later reinforcement or discouragement in attempts made to guard against these two evils. Baier said that these provides the germs of a theory about why, given current customs of childrearing, it should be mainly woman who are not content with only the moral outlook that she calls the justice perspectives, necessary though that was and is seem by them so have been to their hard worn liberation from sexist oppression. They, like the blacks, used the language of rights and justice to change their own social position, but nevertheless see limitations in that language, according to Gilligan’s findings as a moral psychologist. She reports the “discontent: with the individualist more or less Kantian moral frame woks that dominates Western moral theory and which influenced moral psychologist such as Lawrence Kohlberg, to whose conception of moral maturity she seeks an alternatives. The target of Gilligan’s criticism is the dominant Kantian traditions.

3. Baier says there are three important differences between Kantian liberals and their critics. What are these differences?

The three important differences between Kantian liberals and critics Baier says are, first it was dubious record, second was its inattention to relations inequality or its pretence of equality. The third reason is its exaggeration of scoop of choice, or its inattention to unchosen relations.

4. Why does Baier attack the Kantian view that the reason should control unruly passions?

Baier attacked the Kantians view because the Kantian picture of a controlling reason dictating to possibly unruly passions also tends to seem less useful when we are led to consider what sort of person we need to fill the role of parent, or indeed want in any close relationship. It might be important to fathers figure to have rational control over their violent urges to beat to death the children whose screams enrage them, but more than control of such nasty passions seems needed in the mother or primary parent, or parent-substitute by most psychological theories. They need to love their children’s not just to control their irritation so the emphasis in Kantian theories on rational control of emotions. Rather than on cultivating desirable forms of emotions, in challenged by Gilligan, along with the challenge to the assumption of the centrality of autonomy, or relations between equals, and of freely chosen relations.

Discussion Questions:

1. What does Baier mean when she speaks of the need “to transvalue the values of our patriarchal past”? Do new values replace the old ones? If so, then do we abandon the old values of justice, freedom, and right?

2. What is wrong with the Kantian view that extends equal rights to all rational beings, including women and minorities? What would Baier say? What do you think?

3. Baier seems to reject the Kantian emphasis on freedom of choice. Granted, we do not choose our parent, but still don’t we have freedom of choice about many things, and isn’t this very important?

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Chapter: 11- John Rawls: A Theory of Justice

Book: Contemporary Moral Problems

Author: James E. White

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Contemporary-Moral-Problems-James

White/dp/0495553204/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234122156&sr=1-1

Quote: “Each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive basic liberty compatible with a similar liberty for others.”

What I expect to learn:

The learning expectation for this chapter review would be discussion about equal rights.

Chapter Review:

For me, this chapter is all about discussing the justice and equal rights. Rawls’s theory states that there are two principles of justice: The first principle involves equal basic liberties, and the second principle concerns the arrangement of social and economic inequalities. According to Rawls theory, these are the principles that free and rational persons would accept in a hypothetical original position where there is a veil of ignorance hiding from the contractors all the particular facts about themselves.

The first principle of justice states that each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive basic liberty compatible with a similar liberty for others. The second principle of justice states that social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both reasonably expected to be to everyone’s advantage and attached to positions and offices open to all.

What I’ve learned:

What have I learned is that it is really important that people should have equal rights in every aspect of life.

Integrative Questions:

1. What is Rawls’s theory?

2. What are the two principles of justice?

3. State Rawls’s first principle of justice.

4. State Rawls’s second principle of justice.

5. What is the main idea of the theory of justice?

Review Questions:

1. Carefully explain Rawls’s conception of the original position.

Rawls’s theory states that there are two principles of justice: The first principle involves equal basic liberties, and the second principle concerns the arrangement of social and economic inequalities. According to Rawls theory, these are the principles that free and rational persons would accept in a hypothetical original position where there is a veil of ignorance hiding from the contractors all the particular facts about themselves.

2. State and explain Rawls’s first principle of justice.

The first principle of justice states that each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive basic liberty compatible with a similar liberty for others.

3. State and explain the second principle. Which principle has priority such that it cannot be sacrificed?

The second principle of justice states that social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both reasonably expected to be to everyone’s advantage and attached to positions and offices open to all.

Discussion Questions:

1. On the first principle, each person has an equal right to the most extensive basic liberty as long as this does not interfere with a similar liberty for others. What does this allow people to do? Does it mean, for example, that people have right to engage in homosexual activities as long as they don’t interfere with others? Can people produce and view pornography if it does not restrict anyone’s freedom? Are people allowed to take drugs in the privacy of their homes?

This allows people to do anything that won’t affect others. This means that everyone can do anything as long as it is legal and nothing to do other people’s feelings.

2. Is it possible for free and rational persons in the original position to agree upon different principles than give by Rawls? For example, why wouldn’t they agree to an equal distribution of wealth and income rather than an unequal distribution? That is, why wouldn’t they adopt socialism rather than capitalism? Isn’t socialism just as rational as capitalism?

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Chapter: 10- Ronald Dworkin: Taking Rights Seriously

Book: Contemporary Moral Problems

Author: James E. White

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Contemporary-Moral-Problems-James

White/dp/0495553204/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234122156&sr=1-1

Quote: “If a people have a right to do something, then it is wrong to interfere with them.”

What I expect to learn:

The learning expectation for this chapter review would be it would describe the meaning of taking rights seriously.

Chapter Review:

For me, this chapter is all about discussing the meaning of taking rights seriously. Dworkin explained that right in the strong sense means that if a people have a right to do something, then it is wrong to interfere with them. For example, if citizen have a right to free speech, then it is wrong for the government to interfere with the exercise of this right. He also distinguishes between legal and moral right. Moral Rights are rights which are not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs or a particular society or polity in contrast. Legal rights are rights conveyed by a particular polity, codified into legal statutes by some form of legislature, and as such are contingent upon local laws, customs, or beliefs. According to Dworkin the institution of right must require an act of faith on the part of the minorities and the second was the Government will not reestablished respect of law without giving the law some claim to respect.

What I’ve learned:

What have I learned is that it is really important that people should respect every people’s human rights.

Integrative Questions:

1. What is right in the strong sense?

2. What is legal right?

3. What is moral right?

4. What are the two models of how a government might define the rights of its citizens?

5. The institution of right must require what?

Review Questions:

1. What does Dworkin mean by right in the strong sense? What rights in this sense are protected by the U.S. Constitution?

According to Dworkin, right in the strong sense means that if a people have a right to do something, then it is wrong to interfere with them. For example, if citizen have a right to free speech, then it is wrong for the government to interfere with the exercise of this right.

2. Distinguish between legal and moral right. Give some example of legal rights that are not moral right, and moral right that are not legal rights.

Moral Rights are rights which are not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs or a particular society or polity in contrast Legal rights are rights conveyed by a particular polity, codified into legal statutes by some form of legislature, and as such are contingent upon local laws, customs, or beliefs.

3. What are the two models of how a government might define the rights of its citizens? Which does Dworkin find more attractive?

4. According to Dworkin, what two important ideas are behind the institution or rights?

According to Dworkin the institution of right must require an act of faith on the part of the minorities and the second was the Government will not reestablished respect of law without giving the law some claim to respect.

Discussion Questions:

1. Does a person have aright to break the law? Why or why not?

For me, yes, because if they break the law for they believe that what they will do is right, then it’s valid as long as they can prove their right.

2. Are rights in the strong sense compatible with Mill’s utilitarianism?

Yes, because Mill’s utilitarianism is all about promoting happiness and rights are promoted to attain freedom, when there is freedom, people feel happy.

3. Do you think that Kant would accept right in the strong sense or not?

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Chapter: 9- Joel Feinberg: The Nature and Value of Rights

Book: Contemporary Moral Problems

Author: James E. White

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Contemporary-Moral-Problems-James

White/dp/0495553204/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234122156&sr=1-1

Quote: “We can make the human beings in it as attractive and virtuous as possible without taxing our conceptions of the limits of human nature.”

What I expect to learn:

The learning expectation for this chapter review would be it would describe the meaning of human rights.

Chapter Review:

For me, this chapter is all about discussing the importance of human rights. Feinberg demonstrate the importance of human rights by imagining Nowheresville, a world like our own except that people do not have rights. As a result, people in this world cannot make moral claims when they are treated unjustly. They cannot demand or claim just treatment, and so they are deprived of self-respect and human dignity. Feinberg also explains the doctrine of the logical correlativity of rights and duties is the doctrine that all duties entail other people’s rights and all rights entails other people’s duties. Fienberg also explain that a personal desert is when a person is said to deserve something good from us what is meant in parts is that there would be certain proprietary in our giving that good thing to him in virtue of kind of person he is, perhaps, or more likely, in virtue of some specific thing he has done.

What I’ve learned:

What have I learned is that it is really important that humans consider every ones human rights.

Integrative Questions:

1. What is Nowheresville?

2. Explain the doctrine of the logical correlativity of right and duties.

3. Explain the concept of personal desert.

4. Explain the notion of a sovereign right-monopoly.

5. What are claim-rights?

Review Questions:

1. Describe Nowheresville. How is this world different from our world?

Nowheresville, a world like our own except that people do not have rights. As a result, people in this world cannot make moral claims when they are treated unjustly. They cannot demand or claim just treatment, and so they are deprived of self-respect and human dignity.

2. Explain the doctrine of the logical correlativity of right and duties. What is Feinberg’s position on this doctrine?

The doctrine of the logical correlativity of rights and duties is the doctrine that all duties entail other people’s rights and all rights entails other people’s duties.

3. How does Feinberg explain the concept of personal desert? How would personal desert work in Nowheresville?

According to Fienberg, Personal desert is when a person is said to deserve something good from us what is meant in parts is that there would be certain proprietary in our giving that good thing to him in virtue of kind of person he is, perhaps, or more likely, in virtue of some specific thing he has done.

4. Explain the notion of a sovereign right-monopoly. How would this work in Nowheresville according to Feinberg?

The notion of Sovereign right-monopoly is about the latter case that he could be said not merely to deserve the good thing but also have a right to it as his due; and of course we will not have that sort of things in Nowheresville. That weaker kind of proprietary which is mere dessert is simply kind of fittingness between ones party’s character or action and another party’s favorable response, much like that between humors, laughter, or good performance applause.

5. What are claim-rights? Why does Feinberg think they are morally important?

Claim rights are conceptual linkage between personal rights and claiming.

Discussion Questions:

1. Does Feinberg make a convincing case for the importance of rights? Why or why not?

Yes, because Feinberg explained the importance of rights through describing Nowheresville.

2. Can you give a noncircular definition of claiming-right?

Claiming Right is something that describes that right is connected with claim.

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Chapter: 8- Aristotle: Happiness And Virtue

Book: Contemporary Moral Problems

Author: James E. White

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Contemporary-Moral-Problems-James

White/dp/0495553204/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234122156&sr=1-1

Quote: “All Human Beings Seek Happiness.”

What I expect to learn:

The learning expectation for this chapter review would be all about the relationship of happiness and virtue.

Chapter Review:

For me, this chapter is all about studying of how a person defines happiness and virtue. For Aristotle, happiness is not pleasure, honor, or wealth, but an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue. Happiness is related to virtue by means that virtue is something that he/she likes to do like vices; it makes him/her happy. Lastly, happiness is related to pleasure because pleasure surely makes a person happy because it is something that a person always wants. Aristotle also explains that virtue is something that a product of training and habits, it is also the mean between the vices of excess and deficiency.

What I’ve learned:

What have I learned is that not all happiness is about pleasure, honor or wealth but also with vices of excess and deficiency.

Integrative Questions:

1. What is the happiness?

2. What is virtue?

3. What is moral virtue?

4. What is intellectual virtue?

5. What is the meaning of the vices of excess and deficiency?

Review Questions:

1. What is happiness, according to Aristotle? How is it related to virtue? How is it related pleasure?

Happiness according to Aristotle is that happiness is the best, noblest, and most pleasant thing in the world. For me, that means that happiness is doing anything that makes a person feel comfortable and contented. Happiness is related to virtue by means that virtue is something that he/she likes to do like vices; it makes him/her happy. Lastly, happiness is related to pleasure because pleasure surely makes a person happy because it is something that a person always wants.

2. How does Aristotle explain moral virtue? Give some examples.

Moral Virtue according to Aristotle comes from training and habit and generally is a state of character that is a mean between vices of excess and deficiency. For example, Aristotle portrays the virtue of courage as a mean between the extremes of rashness (an excess) and cowardice (a deficiency).

3. Is it possible for everyone in our society to be happy, as Aristotle explains it? If not, who cannot be happy?

Yes, according to Aristotle all human beings seek happiness thats why everyone is possible to be happy.

Discussion Questions:

1. Aristotle characterizes a life of pleasure a suitable for beasts. But what, if anything, is wrong with a life of pleasure?

2. Aristotle claims that the philosopher will be happier than anyone else. Why is this? Do you agree or not?

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Chapter: 7- Immanuel Kant: The Categorical Imperative

Book: Contemporary Moral Problems

Author: James E. White

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Contemporary-Moral-Problems-James

White/dp/0495553204/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234122156&sr=1-1

Quote: “It is impossible to conceive anything at all in the world, or even out of it, which can be taken as good without qualification, except a good will.”

What I expect to learn:

The learning expectation for this chapter review would be all about self-love.

Chapter Review:

For me, this chapter is all about studying of what a person can do for self-love. In this chapter, Kant described that the good will is that it is impossible to conceive anything at all in the world, or even out of it, which can be taken as good without qualification, except a good will. A good will is not good because of what it effects or accomplishes – because of its fitness for attaining some proposed end: it is good through its willing alone – that is, good in itself. He also described what is hypothetical and categorical imperatives. According to Kant, when he conceives Hypothetical Imperatives in general, he does not know beforehand what it will contain – until its condition is given. But if he conceives Categorical Imperatives, he knows at once what it contains. He also explains that the categorical imperative can be used to justify immoral actions.

What I’ve learned:

What have I learned is that to much self-love could cause immorality.

Integrative Questions:

1. What is good will?

2. What are hypothetical imperatives?

3. What are categorical imperatives?

4. What do motive of duty has no moral worth means?

5. Is taking ones life immoral?

Review Questions:

1. Explain Kant’s account of the good will.

Kant’s account of the good will is that it is impossible to conceive anything at all in the world, or even out of it, which can be taken as good without qualification, except a good will. A good will is not good because of what it effects or accomplishes – because of its fitness for attaining some proposed end: it is good through its willing alone – that is, good in itself.

2. Distinguish between hypothetical and categorical imperatives.

According to Kant, when he conceives Hypothetical Imperatives in general, he does not know beforehand what it will contain – until its condition is given. But if he conceives Categorical Imperatives, he knows at once what it contains.

3. State the first formulation of the categorical imperative (using the notion of a universe law), and explain how Kant uses this rule to derive some specific duties toward self and others.

The only further question to ask is whether this principle of self-love can become a universal law of nature. It is then seen at once that a system of nature by whose law the very same feeling whose function is to stimulate the furtherance of life should actually destroy life would contradict itself and consequently could not subsist as a system of nature.

4. State the second version of the categorical imperative (using the language of means and ends). And explain it.

According to Kant, this principle of self-love or personal advantage is perhaps quite compatible with his own entire future welfare; only there remains the question “Is it right?”

Discussion Questions:

1. Are the two versions of the categorical imperative just different expressions of one basic rule, or are they two different rules? Defend your view.

The two versions of the categorical imperative are just different expressions of one basic rule because are the same because both of them talks about self-love in the negative side.

2. Kant claims that an action that is not done from the motive of duty has no moral worth. Do you agree or not? If not, give some counterexamples.

No, because some undone duties can cause good for others.

3. Some commentators think that the categorical imperative (particularly the first formulation) can be used to justify immoral actions. Is this a good criticism?

Yes, because in taking your own life is obviously an example of an immoral action.

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Chapter:6 – James Rachels: The Debate over Utilitarianism

Book: Contemporary Moral Problems

Author: James E. White

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Contemporary-Moral-Problems-James

White/dp/0495553204/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234122156&sr=1-1

Quote: “Right actions are those that have the best consequences.”

What I expect to learn:

The learning expectation for this chapter review would be are those nonhuman beings considered to be given moral consideration?

Chapter Review:

For me, this chapter is all about studying happiness and its consequences. This chapter also describes what the problem with hedonism. According to Rachels, the problem about Hedonism is it gets thing the wrong way around. Hedonism misunderstands the nature of happiness. Happiness is not something that is recognized as good and sought for its own sake, with other things appreciated only as means of bringing it about.

It also distinguish what is rule-utilitarianism and act-utilitarianism. Rule-utilitarianism, the new version of the theory which rules are established by reference to the principle and individual’s acts will then be judged right and wrong by reference to the rules. Act-Utilitarianism is the original theory.

What I’ve learned:

What have I learned is that not all happiness is truly happiness till the end. Some greatest happiness has more consequences than happiness.

Integrative Questions:

1. What is the utilitarian doctrine?

2. What is hedonism?

3. What is rule-utilitarianism?

4. What is act-utilitarian?

5. Who are the utilitarians?

Review Questions:

1. Rachels says that classical utilitarianism can be summed up in three propositions. What are they?

Classical Utilitarianism is classified as:

a. First, Actions are to be judged right or wrong solely in the virtue of their consequences.

b. Second, in assessing consequences, the only thing that matters is the amount of happiness or unhappiness that is caused.

c. Third, in calculating happiness or unhappiness that will be caused, no ones happiness as to be counted as more important than anyone else’s.

2. Explain the problem with hedonism. How do defenders of utilitarianism respond to this problem?

According to Rachels, the problem about Hedonism is it gets thing the wrong way around. Hedonism misunderstands the nature of happiness. Happiness is not something that is recognized as good and sought for its own sake, with other things appreciated only as means of bringing it about.

Utilitarianism sought a way to formulate their view without assuming hedonistic account of good an evil. G.E. Moore, an English philosopher, suggested that there are three obvious intrinsic goods; Pleasures, Friendships And aesthetics enjoyment – and that is right actions are those that increase the world’s supply of such things.

3. What are the objections about justice, rights, and promises?

The objection about justice is that in the case about justice, he should bear false witness against the innocent person.

The objection about rights is what about the morality of the officer’s behaviors?

The objection about promises is why utilitarianism is vulnerable to this sort of criticism?

4. Distinguish between rule- and act- utilitarianism. How does rule-utilitarianism reply to the objections?

Rule-utilitarianism, the new version of the theory which rules are established by reference to the principle and individual’s acts will then be judged right and wrong by reference to the rules. Act-Utilitarianism is the original theory.

5. What is the third line of defense?

The third line of defense is a small group of contemporary utilitarian’s has had a very different response to the utilitarian arguments. That argument points out that the classical theory is at odds with ordinary notions of justice, individual rights, and so on; to this there response is essentially, “So what?”.

Discussion Questions:

1. Smart’s defense of utilitarianism is to reject common moral beliefs when they conflict with utilitarianism. Is this acceptable to you or not? Explain your answer.

For me, it is not acceptable because I would not reject my common moral beliefs just because there is a conflict with utilitarianism because it is what I know even before.

2. A utilitarian is supposed to give moral consideration to all concerned. Who must be considered? What about nonhuman animals? How about lakes and streams?

Utilitarian’s focuses on human beings but because nonhuman beings also can cause unhappiness with humans, then they also consider nonhuman beings.

3. Rachels claims that merit should be given moral consideration independent of utility. Do you agree?

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