University of Kansas, Spring 2004
Philosophy 160: Introduction to Ethics

Preview of test on normative ethics

The test will be given in class on Wednesday, April 14. There will be sixteen multiple-choice questions and four short-answer questions, all worth 5 points each.

As before, most of the questions on the test will be of the following kinds:

  1. First, there may be quiz questions. So, you should be sure you can answer any of those.
  2. Second, there may be questions that are derived from quiz questions. (See the preview of the test on meta-ethics to remind yourself of what I mean by a question derived from a quiz question.)
  3. There may be questions that are derived from the explanations of why certain answers to quiz questions are right or wrong answers.
The upshot of these first three points, then, is that you should be familiar with the quiz questions, their right answers, and the reasoning behind them. To accomplish this, I would recommend that you not only review the quiz questions and answers, but also closely re-read the specific passages of the textbook that the quiz questions are based on. You have probably noticed, in taking the quizzes, that I tend to emphasize certain parts of each chapter and de-emphasize others, so you will find that the passages that you need to re-read are a very manageable fraction of what you’ve already read. And you’ll find re-reading those passages to be a lot easier than reading them the first time was.

Now let me mention another way of approaching the content that you need to know. We studied four normative-ethical theories (ethical egoism, utilitarianism, Kantianism, and contractarianism). For each of these, it is essential that you know (a) what its main principle is and (b) the method that you have to go through in order to apply it. Since there are really two principles for Kantianism, you have the following ten boxes to think about:



method for applying it
ethical egoism 1 2
utilitarianism 3 4
Kantianism first formulation of c.i. 5 6
second formulation of c.i. 7 8
contractarianism 9 10

You should be sure that you can write down what the contents of boxes 1–10 are. And you should be able to employ the methods that go in the even-numbered boxes, so that if I present a specific moral problem to you on the test, then you can say what a certain theory would say about that moral problem.