University of Kansas, Spring 2004
Philosophy 160: Introduction to Ethics
Study questions for applied ethics
Singer, “Famine Affluence, and Morality”
- What are the two versions of the principle about preventing bad things
from happening that Singer presents?
- Singer considers whether his conclusions do or do not agree with
common-sense morality (though he does not use this term). What does he say
- What does Singer say in response to the objection that relieving famine
now will lead to more famine later?
Singer, “Who Deserves the 9/11 Cash Pile?”
- How many people die each day from causes related to extreme poverty?
Johnson, “Unspeakable Conversations”
- What, according to Singer, does it take in order for a human being to be
a person (and, thus, to have the right not to be killed)?
- How does Johnson respond to Singer’s claim that disability makes a
person “worse off”?
- Why, according to Johnson, do considerations of autonomy not provide a
good enough reason for supporting physician-assisted suicide?
Marquis, “Why Abortion Is Immoral”
- What feature do fetuses have that, according to the classic
anti-abortion view, makes it wrong to kill them?
- In what way, according to Marquis, does the classic anti-abortion view
extend the right to life too broadly? That is, what are some things
that this view implies have the right to life, but that most people think do not have the right to life?
- What features do fetuses lack so that, according to the classic
pro-choice view, it is permissible to kill them?
- In what way, according to Marquis, does the classic pro-choice view
extend the right to life too narrowly? That is, what is one group of people
that this view implies does not have the right to life, but that most
people think does have the right to life?
- What feature do fetuses have that, according to Marquis, makes it wrong
to kill them?
- How does Marquis’s view deal with the problem cases of the classic
- How does Marquis’s view deal with the main problem case of the classic
- What are the two interpretations of the notion of rape suggested by the movie?
- What are the two views of who has the right to punish people for
wrongdoing suggested by the movie?