According to Frankena, what are 3 kinds of thinking that relate to morality

According to Frankena, what are 3 kinds of thinking that relate to morality

William Frankena – Morality and Moral Philosophy
According to Frankena, what are 3 kinds of thinking that relate to morality? Be able to
identify each of them if given an example.
Plato – Crito
Why does Crito think he must attempt to convince Socrates to escape from prison?
What are Crito?s concerns? What are Socrates? concerns?
Why is the opinion of the many a bad starting point according to Socrates? What is his
argument against valuing the opinion of the many?
What is the “Argument of the Laws”?
Why does Socrates think it is more valuable to stay in jail, what does he think he will


Martin Luther King – Letter from a Birmingham Jail
Who is the letter addressed to? Why? Who else is MLK intending the message in the
letter to? Why?
What was MLK?s reasoning for direct action and why did it need to be done nonviolently?
How did MLK?s view of imprisonment relate to Socrates??
What are MLK?s views in regards to breaking the law? Which laws can be broken and
which ones cannot? How should one break the law if one is going to? Why?
In which ways did MLK?s views echo those of Socrates?
Terms: unjust law, natural law
Jiddu Krishnamurti – The Function of Education
What does Krishnamurti think is the true function of education? What instead is
education typically used for in society?
What does he argue happens to most of us as we age (we live our lives in a certain
emotion, what is it)? What is needed from the individual in order to overcome this?
Why do the majority of people not do this?
What does it mean for one to be “in revolt”? How does one get to this state? What is
the outcome of this “revolt”?
Steven Cahn and Jeffrie Murphy – Happiness and Immorality
According to Cahn, is it possible for Fred (character in Part A) to be happy? Why or
why not? According to Murphy, is it possible for Fred to be happy? Why or why not?
What do each of these views say about any connection between happiness and


Plato – The Ring of Gyges
What is the challenge that Glaucon brings to Socrates? What are Glaucon?s examples
and what exactly are they meant to show?
Terms: the Ring of Gyges
Epicurus – Pleasure and the Good Life
What does Epicurus say of the study of philosophy? Is it important? Why or why not?
Who, if anybody, should be studying philosophy? Why or why not?
What are three elements that constitute the ability to live the good life?
What does Epicurus think is the ultimate good in life? How is this good achieved and
how is it maximized?
What are some specific approaches one should take in order to maximize the ultimate
Know how Epicurus views acting selfishly. Why would anyone ever stop acting in a
selfish manner?
Terms: prudence, hedonism
James Rachels – Egoism and Moral Skepticism
Distinguish between psychological and ethical egoism.
What is the story of Abraham Lincoln meant to show?
Explain the 2 arguments for psychological egoism. How does Rachels reply to each of
What are 3 confusions Rachels detects in the thesis of psychological egoism?
Is it self-defeating for an ethical egoist to urge everyone to act egotistically? Why or
why not?


Thomas Nagel – Right and Wrong
How might someone who has no direct concern for the feelings of others nevertheless
be forced to acknowledge that it is wrong to harm them?
What does Nagel mean by “an objective basis for morality”? How does he argue for it?
Ayn Rand – The Virtue of Selfishness
Know why Ayn Rand is opposed to the concept of altruism. Is she saying that one
should not be a moral person by not being altruistic?
What does Rand think is the problem with morality and values in our society? What are
some of the examples she gives and why? What is the picture that the average person
has in their minds when one promotes acting out of self interest?
Terms: ethics of altruism
Tom Regan – How Not to Answer Moral Questions
How do moral judgements differ from personal preferences? Why can?t moral right and
wrong be determined by discovering one?s personal preference?
What is the problem with resorting to what the majority of people think in determining
moral right and wrong?
What are 3 difficulties that arise when attempting to determine moral right and wrong
based on a moral authority, perhaps God? Despite these issues, what reason does
Regan give for inadequacy of appeal to a moral authority to determine right and wrong?
Stevenson, The Nature of Ethical Disagreement
How do disagreements in belief differ from disagreements in attitude?
Are moral disagreements more about disagreements in belief or disagreement in


Can science ever help resolve a moral disagreement?
James Rachels – The Challenge of Cultural Relativism
What is cultural relativism? In what way does it challenge our ordinary belief in the
objectivity and universality of moral truths?
What are 6 claims made by cultural relativists?
What is the Cultural Differences Argument? Is it sound or unsound? Why or why not?
What are 3 consequences of taking cultural relativism seriously? Would it make sense
to work for moral progress or to celebrate a change in laws or social practices as moral
progress? How does cultural relativism undercut the common idea regarding social
How does Rachels argue that there must be universal values?
What 3 lessons does he think we can learn from cultural relativism? What explains the
attraction of this theory?
Terms: Cultural Relativism, Cultural Differences Argument
Plato – Euthyphro
What is the Euthyphro dilemma?
In the dialogue how do we get to the point where Socrates encounters the Euthyphro
What is the importance of each of the two prongs of the dilemma? What conclusion can
be made by accepting one or the other prong of the dilemma?
Steven Cahn – God and Morality
Which of the 2 prongs of the Euthyphro Dilemma does Cahn side with? Why?
What issues arise when we attempt to base morality strictly on God?s commands

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