PHI 205 Introduction to Philosophy

Answer questions 1 through 3 below in approximately 1 – 2 pages each question (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, reasonable font such as Times 12 pt). More likely 1.5 – 2 pages. Upload your completed assignment in .doc or .docx format to the link on Moodle. For each question, grading will be based on the following considerations:

  • Did you answer every part of the question completely?
  • Did you define key concepts and describe the arguments and views you discuss?
  • Did you provide cogent reasons in favor of your answers?
  • Did you express yourself clearly?

Remember, your goal is to demonstrate that you understand the topics. Make sure you include enough detail, in your own words, to show that you understand the topics.

You can use information from articles we have read for class, as well as outside sources. If you do rely on a source for anything you say, cite that source clearly using a standard citation format (my favorite is Chicago, but you can use others if you prefer). See the articles at the “Avoiding plagiarism and citing sources” link, found on Moodle under the Exams and Paper section.

  1. Does the idea from Kantian ethics that people are valuable because of their autonomy still make sense if a compatibilist theory of free will is true? Choose ONE compatibilist theory, either Frankfurt’s or Wolf’s, to answer this question. Explain your reasoning.
  2. In what ways would John Rawls’ Veil of Ignorance and utilitarianism give different advice about how to prioritize rescuing people trapped by a landslide? Explain by explicitly comparing what each theory recommends.
  3. Explain one kind of racism discussed by Appiah that (plausibly) counts as a vice, according to virtue ethics. If Chisholm is correct that our free actions are the result of agent (immanent) causation, can anyone be held responsible for this kind of vice of racism? Explain your answer.