Review Guide for Exam #1 PHL/EVS 354
Pojman & Pojman, Environmental Ethics
Introduction and What is Ethics?
1. How long have human beings lived on Earth?
2. How old is the universe?
3. How long has life on Earth existed?
4. How old is the environmental movement in the U.S.?
5. What is the normal background yearly species extinction rate? What is the yearly extinction rate today?
6. How does Pojman define ethics?
7. What does Pojman say ethics is grounded in? What does ethics not need to appeal to?
8. How are laws similar to and different from moral precepts?
9. Compare and contrast ethics with etiquette.
10. What does Pojman say is the central purpose of moral philosophy? (7)
11. Identify the Four Major Types of Normative Ethical Theory.
1. Compare and contrast the relationship between humanity and nature in Genesis account E and Genesis account J.
2. What food does God give to man prior to the fall (in E)?
3. How does Yahweh punish the serpent (in J)?
4. How does Yahweh punish man after the fall (in J)? What food will man eat and how will he produce it?
Lynn White, “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological
1. What year did the word ecology first appear in the English language?
2. What is the thesis of this essay?
3. What is White’s argument for this thesis?
Lewis W. Moncrief, “The
Cultural Basis of Our Environmental Crisis”
1. Explain Moncrief’s criticism of White’s essay.
2. What is Moncrief’s argument for his thesis?
Patrick Dobel, “The
Judeo-Christian Stewardship Attitude to Nature”
1. What is the thesis of this essay?
2. What is Dobel’s argument for his thesis?
Immanuel Kant, “Rational
Beings Alone Have Moral Worth”
1. Explain Kant’s contrast between PERSONS and THINGS.
2. Explain Kant’s view about our duties towards, and our duties regarding, nonhuman animals.
3. Explain Kant’s view about cruelty.
4. Explain Kant’s view about vivisecting nonhuman animals.
Peter Singer, “A
Utilitarian Defense of Animal Liberation”
1. What does a liberation movement demand, according to Singer? (73)
2. Why does Singer think that calling members of species other than our own “animals” is misleading? (73)
3. Explain Singer’s concept of the basic principle of equality. Does this principle necessarily imply equal treatment?
4. What principle from Jeremy Bentham does Singer cite?
5. Explain Singer’s view of what the suffering of a being calls for.
6. Explain the concept of SPECIESISM. How is it similar to racism and sexism?
7. Present Singer’s Argument Against Eating Factory Farmed Meat.
8. Explain Singer’s view of experimentation on nonhuman animals.
9. Why is Singer suspicious of the concept of dignity?
Tom Regan, “The
Radical Egalitarian Case for Animal Rights”
1. What is Regan’s thesis?
2. Explain Regan’s criticism of the indirect duty view of animals. (84)
3. Explain Regan’s criticism of crude contractarianism. (85)
4. Explain Regan’s criticism of Rawls’ refined contractarianism. (85)
5. State the cruelty-kindness view. (85)
6. Explain Regan’s criticism of the cruelty-kindness view. (86)
7. Describe how Regan uses the example of Aunt Bea to criticize utilitarianism. (87)
8. State the three uses of animals that Regan says his rights view would categorically abolish. (71–72)
9. Present Regan’s Argument for Animal Rights. (87–88)
10. Present The Marginal Cases Argument.
11. What are the three stages that all great movements go through, according to Regan?
James C. McKinley Jr., “What
to Do With Traumatized Elephant Stirs Up Dallas” NYT Aug. 14, 2008
1. Briefly explain the controversy regarding Jenny.
2. How do you think Peter Singer would analyze Jenny’s situation? What would Singer think is the ethical course of action to take for Jenny? Explain what you think Singer’s reasons would be for his ethical judgment?
3. How do you think Tom Regan would analyze Jenny’s situation? What would Regan think is the ethical course of action to take for Jenny? Explain what you think Regan’s reasons would be for his ethical judgment?
Mary Anne Warren, “A Critique of Regan’s
Animal Rights Theory”
1. Contrast the Strong Animal Rights position with the Weak Animal Rights position.
2. Present Warren’s reconstruction of Regan’s argument for the SAR position.
3. Explain the three problems Warren sees with Regan’s argument for the SAR position.
4. Present Warren’s argument for the WAR position.
5. How does Warren respond to the Argument from Marginal Cases?
6. How would Regan respond to Warren’s take on the Argument from Marginal Cases?
7. What two reasons does Warren give for speaking of animal rights if we won’t accept most animals as our equals?
Holmes Rolston, III, “Naturalizing Values: Organisms
1. Most philosophers argue that values in nature are always anthropogenic. What does this mean?
2. Present the Argument for Vertebragenic Value.
3. What problem does Rolston see with this Vertebragenic Value Argument?
4. Explain the logic followed by sentiogenic theories, according to Rolston.
5. Explain how Rolston contrasts doing science, religion, and tickles with law, history, biology, physics, creativity, achievement, and value.
6. Describe several of Rolston’s examples of organisms and species that display value and positive creativity.
Ned Hettinger, “Comments on Holmes Rolston’s
‘Naturalizing Values: Organisms
and Species’ ”
1. Briefly explain Hettinger’s contrast between X being good for P and P valuing X. What are his examples?
2. If something is flourishing, what does Hettinger think follows from that?
John Stuart Mill, “Nature”
1. Distinguish the THREE senses of nature identified by Mill. Which usage does Mill favor and why?
2. Distinguish the TWO senses of law identified by Mill.
3. What is Mill’s thesis in this essay?
4. What is Mill’s argument for his thesis?
Paul Taylor, “Biocentric
1. What ultimate moral attitude does Taylor advocate?
2. Explain his concepts of (a) the good of a living thing, and (2) an entity having inherent worth.
3. State his principle of moral consideration.
4. State his principle of intrinsic value.
5. Taylor thinks a living thing has inherent worth if and only if... what?
6. How does love of nature differ from respect for nature?
7. What three interlocking dispositions come with respect for nature, according to Taylor?
8. What are the FOUR components of the biocentric outlook?
9. How long did the dinosaurs exist? How long have human beings existed?
10. Explain Taylor’s concept of a teleological center of life.
11. Present Taylor’s Argument for Biocentric Egalitarianism.
12. Present the classical Greek humanist’s argument that humans are inherently superior to nonhuman animals.
13. Which premises in #12 can be challenged and why?
14. Present the Cartesian dualist’s argument that ensouled humans are inherently superior to to soulless animals.
15. Which premise in #14 does Taylor reject?
16. Present the Judeo-Christian Great Chain of Being argument that humans are superior to animals and plants.
17. What is Taylor’s objection to #16?
18. Present Taylor’s basic argument for the biocentric outlook on nature.
19. What is Taylor’s view on according legal rights and moral rights to animals and plants?
Aldo Leopold, “Ecocentrism: The Land Ethic”
1. What does Leopold use the example of Odysseus to show?
2. Compare what an ethic is ecologically to what an ethic is philosophically.
3. What premise has all ethics rested on so far? (164)
4. How does a land ethic change the role of Homo sapiens? (164)
5. What examples does Leopold cite to support his conclusion that __________ (fill in the blank) “steered the course of history”? (165)
6. Explain Leopold’s criticism of a conservation system based entirely on economic motives. (167)
7. What are the FIVE necessary conditions for us to have an ethical relation to, according to Leopold? (168)
8. Diagram the pyramid-shaped energy circuit that Leopold presents as a model of the land. Explain how this circuit works. Describe each layer of this pyramid, what it contains, how many species occupy each layer, and how the sun figures into this circuit.
9. What does Leopold say is the trend of evolution? (168)
10. What three basic ideas does the “land as an energy circuit” model convey? (169)
11. What does Leopold say about population density relationships and man-made changes? (170)
12. Very briefly explain Leopold’s vision of an ecological conscience. What is health? What is conservation? (170)
13. What does Leopold say about “your true modern”? (171–172)
14. How does beauty and esthetic value figure into the Land Ethic?
15. State verbatim Leopold’s Land Ethic: “a thing is right... otherwise.” (172)
Alan Weisman, The World Without Us
Prelude: A Monkey Koan
1. What lesson does Weisman draw from the Zápara story?
Chapter 1: A Lingering Scent of Eden
1. What lesson does Weisman draw from the Białowieża Puszcza story?
Chapter 2: Unbuilding Our Home
1. What is an effective, easy way to destroy a barn? Describe how that destruction occurs.
Chapter 3: The City Without Us
1. Describe what would happen to the different parts of New York City if all people were suddenly to vanish from it.
Chapter 4: The World Just Before Us
1. Explain, in broad terms, the history of glacial periods and volcanic periods on Earth.
2. Explain how humans evolved from their hominid ancestors in Africa.
Chapter 5: The Lost Menagerie
1. Who is often credited with founding the science of paleontology? (54)
2. Explain Paul Martin’s Blitzkrieg (overkill) theory. (58–63)
3. Explain the alternative over-chill (and over-heat) theory. (61)
4. Explain the alternative over-ill theory. (61)
5. What kinds of megafauna, and of what sizes, used to exist in the Americas? Why are sloths “the clincher” for Martin’s overkill theory? (62)
Chapter 6: The African Paradox
1. If people come from Africa originally, why are elephants, giraffes, rhinos, and hippos there at all? Why weren’t they killed off?
2. Which continents have not suffered a major wildlife extinction? (82)
3. Describe the relationship between Maasai cattle herders, elephants, and savannas in Africa.