1. Aristotle argues that a moral virtue is a mean between extremes. Explain his argument briefly using at least one moral virtue as an example

[Be sure to include: a. simple definition, b. mean relative to us, c. mean relative to nature of thing itself, d. hitting mean difficult, and e. not all acts admit of moderation. Note: Courage and temperance (self-control) are relatively easy virtues to explain.]

2. Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics takes a teleological approach to ethics. Explain what this means and discuss one strength and one weakness of such an approach.

3. Why is ergon or function so essential to Aristotle’s view of happiness or flourishing? Is this aspect a strength?

4. Bob and Fred are arguing about what the highest goal in life is. Bob says it is pleasure and Fred says it is a combination of money and health. How might Aristotle respond to them?

[In your answer, be sure to discuss: a. Aristotle’s definition of the summum bonum b. Why it is the summum bonum according to Aristotle c. Why he argues that his definition should be preferred to alternative conceptions d. How the summum bonum is achieved according to Aristotle.]

6. Augustine and Aristotle both focused on the summum bonum or highest good. Briefly discuss one point of agreement and one point of disagreement between the two philosophers on the summum bonum or highest realizable good..

7. Describe one similarity and one difference between Aristotle’s and Augustine’s views on moral virtue.

8. Describe one reason the will to love is pivotal in Augustine’s thought.

9. Which do you find more convincing the shareholder theory or stakeholder theory of corporate social responsibility? Why?

10. Consider the Merck River Blindness Drug case or the B. F. Goodrich Airplane Brake case. Discuss one reason we might see the case as about the actions of individuals and one reason we might see the case as about the actions of a corporation as a moral agent.

11. Discuss one strength and one weakness of Pincoffs’ idea that moral virtues help us to deal with the kinds of situations we encounter in life and shape the kinds of persons we want to associate with and the kinds of persons we want to be.

12. Confucianism focuses on self-cultivation and emulation. What does this mean? Why is it important?

13. What do you see as one strength and one weakness of an ethics focused on self-cultivation and emulation? Be sure to define these terms and use at least one example to illustrate.

14. What is li as it appears in the excerpts of the Analects we read? To what extent is such a concept and practice relevant in the modern U.S.? Illustrate your answer with at least one example.

15. What is the concept of hsiao and why is it an important aspect of Confucian ethics?

16. Describe Mencius’ seed theory and his key virtues. What is one contribution you think this theory makes to ethics? What is one weakness?

17. Explain Mencius’ view of human nature as expressed in his debates with Kao-tzu/Gaozi. Be sure to include at least one of the images he uses.

18 .Who (or what) is the chün-tzu/junzi and what role does the chün-tzu/junzi play in the excerpts from the Analects we read?

19. Discuss two key take-away points about virtue ethics from our study of Aristotle, Augustine, and the Confucians. Use examples to illustrate your answer.

20. Discuss one key reason in support of cultural relativism and one key reason against it. Use at least one example to illustrate.

 
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