Ethical Systems/Midterm Study Questions and Prompts

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STUDY QUESTIONS: Five of the following seven questions/prompts will be on your midterm. Unfortunately, I cannot reveal which questions will actually appear on the test so you should be prepared to answer all of them. Study carefully as I am looking for detailed responses that include references to the readings (quotations or comprehensive use of paraphrasing are best), explanations of any reading references, and real-­‐world examples.

  1. Describe the lens of value that determines morality within Kant’s ethical system. How does happiness relate to this view?

  2. Describe the type of hedonism for which Epicurus advocates. How do his ideas on ethics compare with the systems of Mill and Aristotle?

  3. Explain how metaphysics is at the core of both Aristotle and Kant’s normative ethical systems. In what way do their uses of idealism differ?

  4. Explain why John Stuart Mill’s ethical theory of “Utilitarianism” is a hedonistic system. How does the debate between the qualitative versus the quantitative affect the lens of value when establishing morality?

  5. Discuss the dialectic that exists between a consequentialist/utilitarian ethical system and deontological ethical system in terms of their empirical or metaphysical characteristics.

  6. Describe how the concept of a “state of character” is central to Aristotle’s ethical system. What roles do the golden mean and habit play in the formation of a virtuous character?

  7. What are Immanuel Kant’s classifications of imperatives and how are they positioned within his brand of deontological ethics?

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