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Chapter 11—possible test questions:

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1 Chapter 11—possible test questions:
(20 points:) Explain the hypothetical situation for Hobbes that forces man into a social contract by outlining its circumstances and outcomes. (20 points:) What is the prisoner’s dilemma (not the specific story from which it gets its name, but its general features)? What is meant by the claim that the point of morality is to solve problems that have the form of the prisoner’s dilemma? (10 points:) What, according to social-contract theory, are the rules of morality? (10 points:) What are two considerations in support of the social-contract theory of morality?

2 Hobbes’ Social Contract Theory Section: 11.1
Ideas on Social Contract Theory can be found in his text entitled Leviathan published in 1651 One way to arrive at a moral social-contractarian solution to the problem of self-interest. (others include prisoners dilemma game)

3 Hypothetical State of Nature & Social Contract
What purpose does State of Nature serve? Examine man’s inconveniences and moral rules he implements to deal with them How is Hypothetical State of Nature formulated? Remove all laws and law enforcement

4 W/ no laws what are man’s inconveniences?
1 Equality of need- All need food, H2O 2 Scarcity- Lack of goods for everyone 3 Essential equality of human power- Nobody is superior to any other. What one lacks in physical strength can be made up in mental strength and vice versa 4 Limited altruism- People are at root self-interested beings. Psychological Egoism

5 What results from man’s four conditions?
--A never-ending competition among everyone to hoard all goods to survive “A War of all against all” To escape S.O.N. form Social Contract --A mutual agreement among all to not harm others and keep promises= Rules governing relations --A mutual agreement among all to be placed under sovereign authority/ government= The Enforcer of these rules

6 Prisoner’s Dilemma Section: 11.2
Confess II Don’ t confess C I D 1= I free, II 10yr = I & II 1yr 3= I & II 5yr = I 10yr, II free 3, 3 1, 4 4, 1 2, 2

7 Rationale to always confess (self-interest)
Either II will confess or he won’t Suppose II confesses. Then, if you confess you’ll get 5 yrs (3), whereas if you don’t confess you’ll get 10yrs (4). Thus, if II confesses so should you. [3 better than 4] Suppose II doesn’t confess. Then, if you confess you’ll go free (1), whereas if you don’t confess you’ll get 1yr (2). Thus, if II doesn’t confess you should. [1 better than 2]

8 Rationale to cooperate & not be self-interested
1st Catch- II has same thoughts as you and realizes it’s in his best interest to also always confess. Thus, both will get 5yrs 2nd Catch- PD and similar situations aren’t 1 time but repeat in life. Thus, to always be self-interested you’ll lose confederates & a good life Solution- Therefore, to ensure best possible situation (least # yrs in jail) and to keep confederates in order to get things done,all should mutually cooperate under enforceable moral rules

9 Real-life prisoner dilemma situations
Commuting- Each gets to work faster by driving car than by bus. But each would get to/from work faster if all agree to take bus Studying for test graded on pre-set curve- Can study a lot or little. If all study a lot then everyone’s efforts cancel each other out and all get same grade so unnecessary extra work. Better if all agree to study a little, same grades as if study a lot & save time on work

10 Advantages of Social-Contract Morals Section: 11.3
1. Straightforward account of moral rules- rules necessary for peaceful/cooperative living. If don’t contribute to this end not part of morality 2. Clear account why one ought to be moral- moral rules beneficial to all (myself & others) 3. Not demanding- obligation to follow rules ceases once others stop following them (wise to cease or else a sucker) or when really costly to oneself 4. No objective/subjective explanation needed- morality is matter of rational rules &practical aim

11 Problem/Justification of Civil Disobedience Section: 11.4
Utilitarian argument- civil disobedience justified as last resort for beneficial reform. Unlawful acts bad but end justifies means Social Contract argument- as members of social contract each gains benefits (peaceful living) in exchange for burdens (not pursuing self-interest). But when co-operating members neglected benefits then they can abstain from law until receive them

12 Difficulties for Social Contract Section: 11.5
1. Historical idea of social contract is a fiction. Thus, since mutual agreement never happened and even if it did I never participated in it, I don’t have to abide by it Response- social contract is implicit. By accepting its benefits we agree to its terms 2. Theory implies we have no obligation towards beings with whom we have no need or possibility of cooperating such as animals & the mentally/physically disabled

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