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Philosophy 302: Ethics
Position Paper Topics, Fall, 2005

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1. What is the difference between a moral and a nonmoral issue?


2. Should our conscience determine what actions are morally right and morally wrong?


3. Should reason alone be used to determine which actions are morally right and morally wrong?


4. Are there universal moral principles that are right for all persons at all times?


5. Should we act morally solely because of divine will?


6. Is acting morally necessary for happiness?



7. Should we act morally only because it is to the overall advantage to society?



8. Can a clear distinction between instrumental good and intrinsic good be maintained?


9. Is pleasure an intrinsic good?


10. Is the fulfillment of desire an intrinsic good?


11. Is Benthamís hedonistic calculus practicable?


12. Is beauty an intrinsic good?



13. Is knowledge an intrinsic good?


14. Are moral qualities an intrinsic good?


15. Is "Socrates dissatisfied better than a pig satisfied"?


16. Is happiness just the sum of individual pleasures?


17. Is pleasure merely a side-product of activity?


18. Does psychological egoism commit the fallacy of overgeneralization?


19. Is psychological egoism tautologous?


20. Are all human actions unconsciously and egoistically motivated?



21. Do people always do what they desire most?



22. Can personal ethical egoism be refuted?


23. Can individual ethical egoism be refuted?


24. Can universal ethical egoism be refuted?


25. Can the distinction between a higher and a lower pleasure be maintained?


26. Can we always distinguish between the things in our control and the things outside our control, as the Stoics believe?


27. Can all persons be happy?

27a. Some people cannot be happy.    

28. Are all moral qualities means between extremes?


29. What does it mean to realize your potential?


30. Should all persons seek the dominant theme pattern of self-realization?


31. What is a maximally coherent system of mutually harmonious fulfillments?


32. Is ethics reducible to biology?


33. Is ethical egoism self-contradictory or merely inconsistent?


34. Is ethical egoism a complete theory?


35. In ethics, does the means ever justify the ends?



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