Life, the Universe, and Everything

A Course Blog for GET1029/GEK1067

Category: Rich and Poor

Quiz 04 Debrief

The outcome is ok (median = 5), but many more of you were thrown off by Questions 6 and 7 than we originally anticipated. Click through to see…

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Argument by Moral Analogy

Some of you have noticed how Norcross’ Puppy Argument, Singer’s Drowning Child Argument, and what I called Huemer’s “Sam” Argument share the same overall argumentative strategy. This a post about that overall strategy.

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Quiz 04 Hints

Note: Some small edits made, all marked in red. To make things clearer, etc. Also, now that I’ve completed my answers for the W05 Q/A, do take a look. Some of the items there are… relevant.

  • Question 6

Clarification added to Options A and D in the quiz itself.

W05 Q/A (Done!)

Was somewhat tied up over the weekend so was unable to get to this. I’ve answered up till just before the “common objections” part.

The first ones below, mainly on the demandingness of objection.

Why do you feel that the responses to ‘personal interest’ and ‘integrity of character’ are different?

Only because, conceivably, they don’t have to go together–as long as it is at least conceivable that, sometimes, upholding integrity of character requires paying a personal the cost, and conversely, pursuing what’s in one’s interest implies setting aside integrity of character. But of course it’s also possible that they go together, perhaps even perfectly. Since I’ve not settled the issue, it’s better to keep them distinct for now.

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The Concorde Project, and other Stuff

Something mentioned in the Singer reading, and likely unfamiliar to the young ones…

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What Are The Most Important Moral Problems of Our Time?

Math with Infinity

Consider again the standard Trolley Problem where by switching the rails, you can save five people from certain death by allowing the trolley to crash into one. Supposedly, most people think that switching the rails in the scenario is at least permissible, if not obligatory. Utilitarians have a straightforward way to explain the judgment–the five lives are worth more than the one, five times as much, in fact (assuming that each of the lives involved is worth about the same).

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