Applied Ethics
Grab bag
Moral Theory

This is what Aristotle considers to be the highest intrinsic value for human beings to seek, a fulfillment of our natures.

What is Eudaimonia?


This is a set of propositions consisting of one or more premises and a conclusion the premise(s) is/are supposed to support. 

What is an argument?


This describes Singer's "pond" case.

A thought experiment in which the hypothetical agent can rescue a child drowning in a pond at the cost of ruining her new clothes. It's supposed to elicit the intuition that it would be wrong not to help.

This is the view that moral statements such as "slavery is morally bad" objectively describe the world.

What is moral realism?


On this moral theory, actions are morally evaluated solely on the basis of the consequences they produce.

What is consequentialism?


This is a built-in end, or aim, that everything has in Aristotle's universe, from rocks to human beings.

What is a telos?


This means that if the premise(s) are true, the conclusion must be true in virtue of the form of the argument.

What is logical validity (or validity in an argument)?

Simply "validity" is acceptable.  


This is Travis Timmerman's Unlucky Lisa case.

Lisa must choose between continuing to rescue a succession of drowning children, each of which costs her $500 as hackers steal money from her bank. She can only stop the hackers by going to the bank, thereby allowing some children to drown.

This is supposed to show that common sense doesn't always support the Singer Principle, or that the Singer principle seems weaker in iterated cases. 


This is the view that we can't know enough about other cultures to judge them morally.

What is moral isolationism?

This is consequentialism plus hedonism; in other words, actions are to be morally evaluated based on how much overall happiness they contribute to the world.



This is the highest form of friendship according to Aristotle.

What is a friendship of virtue?


Having valid form and true premises.

What is soundness in an argument?


This is known as the "Singer Principle."

What the name for the principle "If you can stop something terrible from happening without sacrificing anything nearly as important, then it's wrong not to do so"?


This thinker argued that reason is the "slave of the passions."

Who is David Hume?


On this view, morality consists of rules, some of which we must obey even when the overall consequences for the world are worse.

What is Deontology?

This is Aristotle's idea that every virtue is a balance between two vices: a vice of excess and a vice of deficiency. 

What is "the doctrine of the mean"?


"If it's not raining, then we'll go on a picnic; it's raining, therefore we won't go on a picnic" is an example of this argument form.

What is denying the antecedent.


This is an objection to the claim that factory farming is morally permissible because humans are smarter than the animals they're farming.

What is (one of the following):

(a) Einstein can't torture you/hyper-intelligent aliens can't torture us.

(b) It's wrong to torture mentally disabled humans.

(Or something else instructor seems acceptable)


This is a moral duty that isn't dependent upon the agent's goals or desires.

What is a categorical imperative?


This is the view that morality consists of rules that aren't simply a matter of promoting the common good, but that it's sometimes permissible, or even required, to break those rules when the consequences of obedience would be catastrophic. 

What is moderate deontology


"A somewhat similar case is when cargo is jettisoned in a storm; apart from circumstances, no one voluntarily throws away his property, but to save his own life and that of his shipmates any sane man would do so" describes this kind of action for Aristotle.

What is a "mixed" action.


"If it's not raining, we'll go to the park; we won't go to the park; therefore, it's raining" is an example of this kind of argumentative form.

What is modus tollens?


These are the three criteria that Hugh Lafollette proposes for when we should license some activity.

What are:

(a) The activity imposes significant risks on others who are innocent;

(b) Those risks can be mitigated by possessing significant skills;


(c) Those skills are testable ? 


These are two formulations of Kant's CI.

FHE - formula of humanity as an end unto itself.


FUL- formula of universal law.


These are moral considerations in W.D. Ross's moral theory that count in favor of an action, but don't necessarily determine whether or not it's a duty; that depends on context.

What is a prima facie duty?