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READING CRITICALLY Analyzing Confucius on the Social Order


Both Confucius and Aristotle (see

Section 9.2) feature the concepts of virtue and of the Golden Mean as integral parts of their philosophies. How are they similar and different?
Do you agree that Confuciuss

concept of li, the rules of propriety, could lead to a more harmonious society? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Would this concept work in a modern, multicultural society?
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PLATO The Virtuous Soul and the Just State


Virtue Soul State Function

Wisdom

Reason Philosopher

Ruler/King

Courage

Spirit

Guardians

Protect

Temperance Appetites

Workers

Provide/Nourish

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READING CRITICALLY Analyzing Aristotle on Community


Aristotle believes that humans are first and foremost social creatures who can only

fulfill their potential as members of a social community, and that people who could exist independently of human community must be either a beast or a god. Do you agree? Why or why not?
Aristotle believed that slaves were fulfilling their natural function in society by

promoting the general interest for all. He also argued that if slaves were freed, they would be unhappy and unable to cope with the challenges of living. What arguments would you make to convince him that his view of slaves is unjust?
Aristotle also believed that women should not be considered the equals of men, and

that fulfilling their potential meant recognizing and accepting their secondary status. What arguments would you make to convince Aristotle that his view is mistaken? How might he respond?
Justice, for Aristotle, is the result of each person fulfilling his or her natural

potential, which would result in a hierarchical but cooperative society. Critically evaluate this definition of justice.

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THOMAS HOBBES The State of Nature and the Leviathan

[In the state of nature there is that] which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short

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Social Contract Theory


Ethical egoists typically advance a

version of social contract theory


We begin with the assumption that

psychological egoism is true; people act in their own self interest Absent society (in the state of nature) every person pursues his own self interest without any checks As Hobbes says, it is a state of war In the state of nature there is no such thing as good or bad, right or wrong It is simply take what you can and defend it as long as you can
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Social Contract Theory II


But in this state of nature man lives in

constant fear for his life


brutish, and short

Life is, as Hobbes says, solitary, poor, nasty,

In such a state of nature the self

interested person realizes they have only one option


They must give up their natural right to do

whatever they want and promise not to harm, steal, etc from others This is the only way that they can truly maximize their self interest
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Social Contract Theory III


At that point they all enter in a contract with

one another and morality is constructed


Morality is not something that exists naturally

It is built by Humans but none the less universally

applies to them because each Human is rational and self interested and sees that this is the only way to maximize their interests

So we end up with the usual rules of morality


It is just that they are derived from considerations

about self interest

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Rawls
Behind such a veil of ignorance we would not accept

the Greatest Happiness Principle


unhappy two in scenario 1

There would be no guarantee that we would not be the

Rawls argues that we would accept what he calls the

two principles of justice

Each person should get the maximal amount of

goods/rights that is consistent with everyone getting the same amount In cases where there are inequalities they must be beneficial to the least advantaged member of society

The first principle dictates that every member of

society get enough money to be comfortable no matter their work


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Rawls II
But this does not mean that every one must earn

the same amount of money no matter ho hard they work


It is beneficial to have in demand jobs carry a higher

salary So in the case of a medical doctor, the schooling is very expensive and to be a good doctor requires a lot of work Paying doctors more serves as an incentive to attract smart hard working people to the field This also works out to the advantage of the least advantaged When a lower income person goes to the hospital they will get the care of a qualified person, which is to their advantage
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READING CRITICALLY Analyzing Locke on Natural Rights (1)


Locke believes that even when people do not live in organized societies with

laws and justice systems, they are nevertheless bound by the law of nature, reflecting Gods will. Do you agree with this view? Why or why not? If so, what values and stipulations are part of the law of nature? be rebelled against and dissolved if it fails to perform its functions under the social contract. What functions would your government have to fail to perform for you to support the idea of rebelling against it?

As the servant of the people, Locke believed that the political state should

Locke believes that all people retain the right to control their own bodies and

are entitled to a fair share of whatever they produce through their own labor. Do you agree with this view? Why or why not? Can you think of any exceptions to this perspective (for example, someone contemplating suicide)?

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READING CRITICALLY Analyzing Locke on Natural Rights (2)


Thomas Jefferson changed Lockes statement of inalienable rights

from Life, liberty and property to Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. How does the meaning of these two formulations differ? Which one do you think is more appropriate for the Declaration of Independence? Why?

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THINKING PHILOSOPHICALLY Creating a Just Society


We began this chapter with the challenge, Imagine that you were given the project of creating a society based on the principle of justice: how would you go about it and how would you justify your proposed state? Using Rawls concept of the veil of ignorance, identify what principles of justice you would base your society on in the areas of:
Rights and liberties
Economic opportunity Education Allocation of wealth and poverty

Health care
Political representation Other areas you believe are important
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MARX AND ENGLES Capitalism and the Proletariat

Why were Marx and Engels convinced that capitalism would be overthrown by a revolution of the proletariat? Explain the reasons you believe that in general these revolutions never took place. Do you think such revolutions might occur in the future? Why or why not?
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READING CRITICALLY Analyzing Mill on Liberty


Critically evaluate the following statement:
The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental and spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.

Do you agree with Mills concern and warning that there is a perennial tendency to

strengthen society and diminish the power of the individual? Provide examples from our current culture to support your response.

Explain what Mill means in the following passage. Do you agree? Why or why not?
He who lets the world, or his own portion of it, choose his plan of life for him, has no need of any other faculty than the ape-like one of imitation. He who chooses his plan for himself, employs all his faculties. He must use his observation to see, reasoning and judgment to foresee, activity to gain greater materials for decision, discrimination to decide, and when he has decided, firmness and self-control to hold his deliberate decision.

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SUSAN MOLLER OKIN Justice and Gender

According to Okin, much of womens unequal status can be traced to their traditional role in the family. Explain the reasoning Okin uses to support this position. Do you agree with her?

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