Shorty topics #3

Here are the new (week #3) “shorty” topics; please do one of these. These are due by email Sunday night (Sept. 16th). As always, send to Bonnie if you’re registered for PHI 632 and to Ron if you’re registered for PHI 652. And more information is on the Shorties Page.

  1. According to Julia Annas, in twentieth century moral philosophy “virtues have typically been seen merely as dispositions to do the right thing, or to do the right thing reliably…” (247) What two predictable results of this conception of the virtues does she identify? Is she correct in thinking that the virtues cannot play an important role in utilitarianism?
  2. Can one consistently hold, as Socrates did, that (1) everything we do, we do in order to be happy and (2) virtue is the only thing worth having — that being a good person is more important than wealth, health, or even preserving one’s life? If the view is consistent, is it plausible?
  3. Why does Socrates believe that being virtuous is sufficient for happiness? Compare his view with Aristotle’s and/or Hume’s. Which do you find more plausible and why?
  4. Can an immoral person be happy? Consider Hume’s views as well as those of Cahn and Murphy.
  5. Why does Adeimantus claim that it is not justice, but the appearance of justice, that benefits a man? How does Socrates try to show that justice itself, and not its appearance, is to a man’s own interest and advantage?