Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Final announcements for intro to ethics:

1. The 5th paper is required and due at the time of the final. I forgot to mention that this paper must have two peer reviews. That sheet is here:

You must turn in your paper yourself in person and through the turnitin system. You can turn it in:

Monday, December 3 from 9 AM -10 AM (the final time starts at 8, but Dr. Nobis won’t get here until 9)

Or Wednesday, December 5, 1 PM -3 PM

The 5th paper assignment is here:

2. There is an optional, extra credit 6th paper worth up to 10 points (depending on the quality of your suggestions). It is due at the time of the final. You must turn it yourself in person and through the turnitin system

Make a "Top 10 List of helpful things to do and/or not do when thinking about moral issues." For each of your suggestion of what to do (or not do), illustrate it with an example (or examples): explain why your suggestion is a good one. The goal of this assignment is for you to critically reflect on what we have done and develop a list of helpful ideas that you can use in the future (and help others use) when thinking about moral issues. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU THINK FOR YOURSELF AND COME UP WITH YOUR OWN IDEAS. DO NOT MERELY TAKE IDEAS FROM OTHERS’ (E.G., HANDOUTS IN CLASS) AND TAKE THEIR WORDS. DO NOT DO YOUR OWN THINKING! 4 pages.

3. There is an optional 3rd Exam, which you can take at either final exam time above.

Unfortunately due to the shortened semester, we weren’t able to get as far as I would like. (You, of course, have the books so you can work ahead on your own to do more philosophy!). Since we have not done as much as I would have liked since the last exam, the 3rd exam will be optional. If you don’t take it, your grade will be calculated without it. If you do take it, your grade will be calculated with it.

Study guide: you need to know the all arguments from all these sources; here’s some sample questions:

· Peter Singer, “All Animals Are Equal”

· According to Singer, racists and sexists violate “the fundamental principle of equality.” Explain what this principle is and how they violate this principle. Explain what interests are. Fully explain how Singer argues this principle applies to animals.

· Why, according to Singer, would we not want to tie our opposition to racism and sexism to “factual equality?” This addresses a response to racism and sexism that Singer thinks we wouldn’t want to accept. What is this response?

· Singer discusses a number of other hypotheses to explain why racism and sexism are wrong. What are these other hypotheses? Why are they not good explanations for why racism is wrong, according to Singer?

· Why, according to Singer’s reasoning, is it wrong that animals are raised and killed to be eaten, worn and experimented on? (His reasoning is not that they have “rights”). Is his reasoning sound? Why or why not?

· What is “speciesism” according to Singer? Why is it wrong, according to Singer? Is he right?

· Singer gives a principle for when an experiment on an animal would be morally acceptable. What is his suggestion? Is he right? Why or why not?

· Simmons, “Reasonable Humans and Animals” – HANDOUT – 3 PAGES

· Be able to present and explain – in valid, premise-conclusion form -- John Simmons’ argument from the article “Reasonable Humans and Animals.”

· Be able to present ten objections to Simmons’ argument in logically valid form, where all the premises are clearly stated, and evaluate these objections with reasons. At least 50 objections are here: Worksheet on objections to Singer and Simmons:

· RACHELS EMP, P. 94-99; “Nonhuman Animals”

KANT “Why we have no obligations to animals” – 1PAGE (HANDOUT)

· Kant claims that animals are “there merely as a means to an end” for humans, and there are no “direct” duties to animals because animals are not _________. Explain his argument here (what’s the unstated premise?). Explain the objection we discussed to his argument and explain whether it refutes Kant’s views or not.

· MACHAN: “Do Animals Have Rights?” RTD – 177- 178; 184 (skim the rest, if you want)

· Machan argues that animals have no moral “rights.” What are his reasons? Explain the objection we discussed to his argument and explain whether it refutes his argument or not.

· Machan surprisingly states that his discussion about whether animals have rights does not answer practical questions about how animals should be treated. Explain this view.

· “A Call for Unity” – handout; blog

· RTD, MLK, “Letter from the Birmingham Jail”

· EMP, “The problem of civil disobedience,” 152-155

These were assigned, but not discussed, so they are candidates for extra credit questions

· RTD, Singer “Is Racial Discrimination Arbitrary”? · RTD, Rachels, “In Defense of Quotas”