PHIL 338A.  FINAL EXAM REVIEW QUESTIONS

 

               Students will have an option of taking a written or an oral final exam.  The oral exam will be 20-30 minutes.  The written exam will take place in SAV 138 on Wednesday July 24 at 1:10 pm.  PLEASE BRING ONE OR MORE BLANK EXAM BOOKS AND A PEN TO THE EXAM.  EXAM BOOKS WITH NOTES WRITTEN ON THEM OR WITH PAGES MISSING WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.   Please answer all questions completely, but concisely.  Answer in complete sentences.  In preparing for the exam, you are encouraged to discuss these questions with other members of the class, and to discuss what the relevant considerations would be in answering them.  However, each student is expected to develop his/her own answers to the questions.  You should not discuss the wording of an answer or attempt to come up with an agreed upon answer.  If you draft answers to the questions, you should not show your draft answers to others, nor should you read or copy someone else's draft answers. 

               Final Exams will be available for pick-up in the Philosophy Department Office, Savery 361, during the first week of August.  If you would like your Final Exam mailed to you, please provide me with a sufficiently large, stamped, self-addressed envelope.

 

1.  Explain and distinguish the following terms (you may use examples): 

(a) public/private sphere

(b) DELETED

(c) DELETED

(d) DELETED

(e) liberationist view/liberal view/traditional view in sexual ethics (Lee & George)

(f) unidirectional/collective enforcement of human rights

(g) top-down vs. bottom-up moral reasoning

(h) top-down vs. bottom-up social processes of moral transformation

(i) political emancipation vs. human emancipation (Marx)

(j) moral realist/moral anti-realist

 

2. Give an example of an actual or historical discriminatory practice with a justification that is (or was) both self-serving and socially enforced.  Explain the example in a way that shows:  (1) what the justification is (or was);

(2) how the justification is (or was) self-serving; and (3) how the justification (not just the practice itself) is (or was) socially enforced. 

 

3. (a) What was Wollstonecraft's "Utopian dream"?  (b) Why did she regard it as simply an extension of the objections of Locke, Rousseau, and Kant to absolute monarchy?  (c) What made the positions of her opponents (including Locke, Rousseau, and Kant) paternalistic?  (d) How did she reply to their paternalistic positions?

 

4.  Sen has estimated that in the world there are 100,000,000 missing girls and women.  (a) Why are they missing?  This requires not only a description of how girls are treated but some discussion of why girls are treated that way.  (b) Based on Sen's research, what are the most effective methods for solving the problem?

 

5. (a) Why is the title of Tamir's article on female genital cutting (FGC) misleading?  (b) What would be a better title for it?  Explain.  Tamir believes that the practice of FGC is similar to some American practices.  (c) Pick one of the American practices and answer the following questions:  (d) In what relevant respects are FGC and the American practice similar?  Explain.  (e) In what relevant respects are FGC and the American practice dissimilar?  Explain.

 

6. (a) What does it mean for a practice to be part of a social equilibrium?  (b) Explain why it is reasonable to believe that the historical practice of foot binding in China or the current practice of female genital cutting in many parts of Africa is part of a social equilibrium.

 

7. (a) Opponents of female genital cutting (FGC) are often accused of being paternalistic.  Why?  (b) Explain how Tostan (the group started by Molly Melching) has been able to eliminate FGC without engaging in paternalistic intervention.  (Or, if you think that Tostan is paternalistic, explain why.)  (c) Explain how the change produced by Tostan represents change that is Bottom-Up in two senses.  (In your answer you should explain the two senses of "Bottom-Up".)

 

8.  MacKinnon says:  "Atrocities committed against women are either too human to fit the notion of female or too female to fit the notion of human."   Consider the statement in two parts:  (a) "Atrocities committed against women are too human to fit the notion of female."  Use an example to explain what this means.  From a moral point of view, is this a problem?  Explain.  (b) "Atrocities committed against women are too female to fit the notion of human."  Use an example to explain what this means.  From a moral point of view, is this a problem?  Explain. 

 

9.  Why does Rao think that domestic violence is a rights violation that does not fit well into standard theories of rights? 

 

10. (a) Explain Rawls's Original Position thought experiment.  (Make sure you explain the 'veil of ignorance'.)  (b) What is the Intergalactic Original Position?  (c)  Explain why the choice in the Intergalactic Original Position might be correctly described by Rao as made by a "denatured, dehistoricized, disembodied, disembedded, individual self."  (c) Is the Intergalactic Original Position thought experiment unfair to women's natured, historicized, embodied, embedded selves?  Explain. 

 

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15. Article 2 of the UNUDHR says:  "Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status."  Is it reasonable to believe that there is such a broad moral right against discrimination?  Explain.

 

16. (a) In class we discussed the Santorum position on discrimination on the basis of sexual or gender expression.  According to Santorum, what is the important disanalogy between discrimination on the basis of sexual or gender expression and discrimination on the basis of race, sex, or national origin?  Explain.  (b) Do you agree with Santorum that the disanalogy justifies discrimination on the basis of sexual or gender expression?  Explain.  

 

17. (a) In Lawrence v. Texas, what kind of statutes did the U.S. Supreme Court declare to be unconstitutional?  (b) What is the rationale that we discussed for the Court’s decision in Lawrence v. Texas? 

 

18.  In Justice Scalia's dissent, he made a slippery slope argument in which he listed nine examples of laws that would be overturned by the reasoning of the Court in Lawrence.  (a) Pick one of his examples and explain why the logic of Lawrence v. Texas does not apply to it.  (b) Pick one of his examples and explain why the logic of Lawrence v. Texas does apply to it.

 

19.  (a) According to Lee and George, what is special about monogamous, heterosexual human relationships that justifies limiting marriage to heterosexual couples?  (b) What is the Innocent Pleasure Objection?  Explain.  (c) What is the Other Goods Objection?  Explain.  (d) Suppose that Lee and George are correct in what they claim to be special about monogamous, heterosexual relationships.  In your opinion, does that justify limiting marriage to heterosexual couples?  Explain.  In your answer, make the strongest argument for the opponent of your position and respond to it.     

 

20. DELETED

 

21. (a) Locke gives three problems faced by individuals in a state of nature that he believes would lead them to establish a government.  What are they?  Explain them.  (b) What is the International State of Nature?  (c) Which of Locke's three problems is NOT faced by all parties in the International State of Nature?  Explain.  (d) How would an International Criminal Court with global jurisdiction solve all three problems for human rights violations in the International State of Nature?

 

22.  What three kinds of crimes fall under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court?  Pick one of them and explain why intervention to prevent it would not be paternalistic.

 

23 (a) If the International Criminal Court had existed during World War II and had had jurisdiction over the U.S. military, would the fire bombing of Dresden and Tokyo or the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been prosecutable as crimes?  Explain. (Note that this is different from asking whether the prosecution would have been successful, which would depend on a more careful consideration of the arguments on both sides than we were able to do in this course.) (b) Suppose they would have been prosecutable.  In your opinion, is this a reason that morally justifies the United States' refusal to ratify the ICC statute?  Explain.

 

24. (a) Mayerfeld lists four ways that states might deal with the International State of Nature.  Interestingly, all four have actually been tried at one time or another.  List all four and explain each with an example.  In your answer, explain why each example belongs in the category on Mayerfeld’s list in which you place it.

 

25. (a) What are three of Burke's objections to the advocates of human rights?  (b) Explain why Burke's objections to the advocates of human rights are primarily objections to the Proof Paradigm. 

 

26.  (a) In what important way is Burke's political philosophy similar to J.S. Mill's?  Explain.  (b) What is the most significant disagreement between Burke and J.S. Mill on human rights?  Why do they disagree?

 

27. Why does Marx not endorse a civil right to freedom of religion?

 

28. (a) What are the four basic rights that Marx discusses (in addition to freedom of religion)?  (b) Why does Marx not endorse any of those four rights?  Discuss each of the four rights individually.

 

29.  (a) What makes Burke's political theory paternalistic? (b) What makes Marx's political theory paternalistic?  In your answers you must show that you understand what “paternalism” means [as used in this course].

 

30.  (a) According to Rorty, what is the history of the development of human rights the history of?  Explain.  (b) If Rorty is correct about that history, explain why it would be a mistake to think of it as a history of objective progress.   (c) In what sense of progress could Rorty claim that there is progress in the history of the development of human rights? 

 

31.  (a) Are you a moral realist or moral anti-realist about human rights?  Explain your position in a way that shows that you understand the distinction between moral realism and moral anti-realism.  (b) For moral realists:  What are the most persuasive reasons for being a moral anti-realist about human rights?  For moral anti-realists:  What are the most persuasive reasons for being a moral realist about human rights?  [NOTE THAT I AM ASKING FOR THE MOST PERSUASIVE REASONS AGAINST YOUR POSITION.]  (c) How would you respond to the reasons given in your answer to part (b)? 

 

32.  Professor Talbott has suggested that the historical development of many but not all human rights can be understood as representing a response to paternalism of some kind.  For each right on the following list, say whether its historical development can be understood as a response to some kind of paternalism and explain your answer:

(a) Right to life;

(b) Right not to be enslaved;

(c) Right to freedom of religion;

(d) Right to freedom of expression;

(e) End of colonialism and the rights of indigenous peoples;

(f) Rights against discrimination on the basis of race;

(g) Rights against discrimination on the basis of sex or gender;

(h) Right of adults to engage in voluntary sexual acts in private;

(i) Rights against discrimination on the basis of sexual or gender expression;

(j) Right to use contraceptives;

(k) Right to assisted suicide in some circumstances;

 

33.  If the history of the development of human rights is a history of discovering and overcoming moral blindspots, we can expect that two hundred years from now our descendents will be shocked at some things that most of us now take for granted and do not feel to be morally urgent.  For example, two hundred years ago, many advocates of human rights owned slaves and most of them opposed equal rights for women.  What practice or state of affairs that most people now take for granted and do not feel to be morally urgent do you expect our descendents to be most shocked by?  Explain.