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ETHICS
EXAM #1 STUDY REVIEW




 

I) CONTENT

A. WHAT IS ETHICS?
Moral dilemma: general nature
ēthos: character, custom, habitual disposition, manners of a person, community, or people.
Morality in general: oppositional values, character and conduct,
pretheoretical
Individual morality: profession and practice, moral worth, obligation
Group morality: internal to a culture or society

Social morality: a morality characteristic of an entire society

B. THE SOPHISTS
Sophistēs: professor, teacher, wise man
Professionalization and commercialization of education
Itinerant or inter-city status
Teaching methods

Common interests and orientation:
Rhetoric: (oriented toward success or pragmatic expediency, agonistic, power)
Epistemology (theory of knowledge): skepticism, relativism, convention (nomos) versus nature (physis) equipollence of opposite arguments (making the weak argument appear stronger), etc.

Ethical philosophy:
Philosophical interest in human affairs: reflective turn
The nomos-physis antithesis: general usage, questions framed in terms of the antithesis

Glaucon and Gyges’ ring: psychological egoism, moral motivation, self-interest/selfishness
Thrasymachus: “justice is the advantage of the stronger”

C. SOCRATES
Divine mission
The philosophical life: unity of principle and practice, principle over pragmatic self-interest
Development of the anthropological, ethical, reflective turn in philosophy initiated by the Sophists; confusion with Sophists

Search for rational foundation of moral truth, universal definition (“what is X?” where X= any moral concept) 
Aristophanes’ The Clouds: Socrates depicted as a composite of a Presocratic nature philosopher and Sophist

D. CLASSICAL GREEK ETHICS
Central concepts   
Basic questions
Key assumptions
General approach

II) FORMAT

1. 10 T/F questions (20 points)
2. 25 multiple-choice questions (50 points)
3. 4 short answer questions (20 points)
4. 1 essay question (10 points)
5. Extra credit?


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