. Short essay questions, to be answered in about a page for each question
- Aristotle and the Stoics have differing positions on the necessity of external goods for human happiness. Briefly explain Aristotle’s theory of eudaimonia or happiness and the role external goods play in it. Next, make sense of the Stoic position on happiness and the external goods. Which do you think has a better understanding of happiness? Why?
- Kant and Sartre both ground their ethical stances in human freedom. First, how does Kant think of autonomy and what does it entail? If Kant’s conception of autonomy is correct, what does this mean for responsibility? How does autonomy relate to Kant’s categorical imperative? Next, how does Sartre view human freedom and from where does it arise? Why is Sartre’s conception of freedom so central to an existentialist ethics? What does Sartre mean when he says that human beings are condemned to be free? If Sartre’s conception of free will is correct, what becomes of responsibility? How does Sartre’s notion of freedom relate to the universalizability of choice? With which of these two thinkers do you find yourself agreeing with regard to freedom? Why?
- Both Socrates and Mill take up the conception of justice in relation to ethics.First, in what sense can it be said that an inchoate social contract theory is found in Plato’s Crito? What does this mean? Why does Socrates argue that he has an agreement with Athens and what effect does this agreement have? Next, what does Mill claim regarding justice and social utility? From a utilitarian perspective, why must one be just? Which of these two positions do you find more compelling and why?
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