Questions for the Assignment 1

Answer any 2 of the following questions

Each answer should be of 2-3 pages written in font TIMES NEW ROMAN size 12 and double spaced.

1.) Discuss and critique cultural moral relativism. What assumptions does it make about the metaphysical status of moral phenomena (e.g. good, bad, right, wrong)? Why from the point of view of cultural relativism would moral progress be impossible? How would Plato critique the metaphysical assumptions of cultural relativism? How might Plato’s philosophy account for moral progress?

2.) Discuss the metaphysical and epistemological positions that underlie emotivism as a moral theory. Explain how emotivism accounts for the meaning or function of moral statements. Explain how emotivism and simple subjectivism differ (both metaphysically and metaethically). Explain how emotivism can account for moral disagreement while simple subjectivism cannot.

3.) Discuss Hobbes’s second law of nature (What is it? How does Hobbes arrive at it?) Explain the relationship between Hobbes’s second law of nature and the social contract. With reference to Hobbes’s second law of nature and the social contract, explain why Hobbes might say that while one makes peace a possibility, the other makes peace a reality.

4.) Both Hobbes and Plato would argue that the use of civil disobedience is unjust. Explain why in each case. Which philosopher do you think provides the better argument? Explain why. Do you agree with this argument? Why/why not?

5.) In his discussion with Socrates Meno offers as a definition of virtue “to desire beautiful things and have the power to acquire them.” (77b) With reference to the metaphysics of Plato’s virtue theory, explain why this might constitute a good definition of virtue. Why ultimately does it fail?