End of Class Questions


September 25, 2012:  Why, according to Professor Talbott, did the authors of the Delaration of Independence begin with truths they claimed to be self-evident?  (You must use the term “Proof Paradigm” in your answer.)


Sept. 27, 2012:  What conclusion does Thomson expect us to draw from the example of C and D and the single banana?  Why?


Oct. 2, 2012: Explain the significance of Talbott’s desert island example.


Oct. 4, 2012.  Using the elements of a claim, consider whether there is a natural claim against being caused intentional, rational belief-mediated distress (BMD).  Use your own judgment about whether the elements apply.


Oct. 9, 2012:  Using the elements of a claim, consider whether there is a natural claim against being caused a high risk of harm.


Oct. 11, 2012:  On the basis of chapter 1 of On Liberty alone, how do we know that Mill is not a libertarian?  [Hint:  How does Mill differ from the libertarian on what counts as harm?]


Oct. 16, 2012:  At the end of chapter 2 of On Liberty, what is the gap in Mill’s utilitarian argument for a right to freedom of thought and discussion?


Oct. 18, 2012:  Give an example of a collective action problem.  Explain it with a decision matrix and apply the definition.


Oct. 23, 2012:  Explain why Hayek’s argument for a regulated market economy is  an extension of Mill’s argument for a right against legal paternalism.  [Hint:  They are both epistemological arguments.]


Oct. 25, 2012:  Original Position Assignment.


Nov. 1, 2012:  What is the difference between political Rawls and normative/metaphysical Rawls?


Nov. 6, 2012:  How can we tell that Rawls’s argument for freedom of political speech is not an Original Position argument?


Nov. 8, 2012:  According to Rawls, in what sense are the basic liberties inalienable?


Nov. 13, 2012:  Explain why Scanlon thinks that laws against defamation are not excluded by the MP.  [You must consider both clauses (a) and (b).]


Nov. 15, 2012:  What do we have to add to Feinberg’s Voluntariness Standard to get the result that Feinberg endorses with respect to slavery contracts?  Explain.


Nov. 20, 2012:  Explain why in considering my offer of to you to be my slave, you are not in a collective action problem.  Would you consent to be my slave?  Explain.


November 27, 2012:  On Talbott’s account, what is the most significant difference between assisted suicide and other kinds of suicide (use two diagrams).


November 29, 2012:  What position will you defend in your term paper?


Dec. 4, 2012:  Although it is not true that Professor Talbott actually used coercion to force you to answer the end of class questions, we can apply his Most Reliable Judgment Standard by asking whether your current self (who is the more reliable later self who has experienced the end of class questions) endorses them in the sense that you think that they have made a positive difference to your life (however you evaluate your life).  Explain your answer.


Dec. 6, 2012:  Explain why the US Constitution represents a different epistemology from the Declaration of Independence?