Consider this quote from Geoffrey Harrison

10/6/2017 Assign. 1
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Philosophy 102 — Ethics
S.R. Dickerson EXAM #1
Instructions:
1. Write on two of the following questions. (Note that each question has multiple parts.)
2. Your answers should be clear, detailed, and written in your own words only — do not quote.
3. Late exams will be penalized 0.5 per day late.
4. Your exam is due on Monday, Oct. 16, in class.
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1. Consider this quote from Geoffrey Harrison:
There is nothing that the relativist, qua relativist, can say either for or against tolerance
from a moral point of view. The moment he does this, he ceases to be an observer of
morality and becomes a user of a moral system . . . . There is no such thing as a moral
judgment made from a morally neutral . . . position.
(a) Argue in defense of moral relativism.
(b) Explain what Harrison means in the quote above.
Does his point pose a serious objection to relativism? Argue for your conclusion.
(c) Would Midgley agree with Harrison’s claims? Support your conclusion with reference to
Midgley’s article.
2. On pg. 28a Copleston says “the possibility of criticizing the accepted moral code presupposes
that there is an objective standard, that there is an ideal moral order, which imposes itself. . . .
It implies the existence of a real foundation of God.”
(a) Explain: Why does the possibility of criticizing the accepted moral order presuppose an
objective standard, an “ideal moral order” at all (aside from the reference to God)?
(b) Why does this objective standard imply “a real foundation of God”?
(c) Explain in detail how Arthur would argue against Copleston’s points here.
(d) Could Copleston defend his point against Arthur’s critique (part (c))? Explain why or
why not.
10/6/2017 Assign. 1
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3. In Part 4 of his article, Arthur discusses John Dewey’s view that “morality is therefore
inherently social in a variety of ways” (p. 32a, top line).
(a) Explain what Dewey means by this.
(b) Arthur says that for Divine Command Ethics, “God has the same sort of relation to moral
law as the legislature has to statutes it enacts” (p. 27b, last line). Argue in defense of this
view.
(c) Does Dewey’s theory constitute a refutation of Divine Command Ethics? Explain.
4. On pg. 45a, last para., Midgley says, “moral isolationism would lay down a general ban on
moral reasoning.”
(a) Explain what moral isolationism is and how one might argue for it.
(b) Explain how Midgley would argue for the claim (quoted above) that moral isolationism
would lead to a “ban on moral reasoning.”
(c) Does her argument succeed? Explain.
5. On p. 83a, Kant says: “an action done from duty derives its moral worth, not from the purpose, which is to be attained by it, but
from the maxim [moral rule] by which it is determined, and therefore does not depend on the realization of the object of the
action, but merely on the principle of volition by which the action has taken place, without any regard to any object of desire.”
(a) Explain what Kant means by this.
(b) Would a Divine Command Theorist agree with this? Explain.
6. On p. 118b, last para., Held says that the “dominant moral theories can be seen to be modelled on the experience of men in
public life.”
(a) Presuppose this is true then explain how utilitarianism and Kant’s ethics fit this view. Cite
text to support your argument.
(b) Explain why Held thinks this approach to ethics is flawed and how the ethics of care would
be better.
(c) Critically assess Held’s position. To what extent is she right? To what extent is she not?

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