Description of the test
Preparatory questions for the Midterm Test
You will have a maximum of 50 minutes. It is best to prepare ahead of time with the help of the questions below. No books or notes will be allowed. Please bring several blue or black pens. (No red or violet pens, or pencils, please.)
The midterm has two parts. The first part (worth 20% of the test grade) gives you a choice between two short answer questions, of which you should answer one, and a second part (worth 80% of the test grade) asks you to give longer answers to a total of two questions.
The following are examples of the sort of questions out of which the test will be made up. If you can answer these you should be able to comfortably answer the questions on the mid-term.
Tip: better laid out answers, and better grammar and spelling, will make it easier to assess your answers. ATTENTION: Notice the distinction between explaining and discussing: To explain is to make something understood in a clear way. To discuss is to consider an issue from diverse points of view, and to present reasons for a particular view while taking into account objections to that view.
1. Can something that is illegal be morally ok?
2. Can something that is ethically wrong be legal?
3. What is the relationship, if any, between what is religiously accepted and what is ethically right?
4. What does it mean to act rightly according to the Aristotelian virtue ethics approach? Briefly explain. How would you apply the Aristotelian virtue ethics approach in the professions and in business?
5. State the ultimate principle of utilitarianism, and briefly explain what it requires.
6. Why may it seem that the everyday moral description of an action (for example, ‘lying is wrong’) is in principle irrelevant from the utilitarian approach to ethics? Explain carefully.
7. State one version of the ultimate principle of the Kantian account of ethics and briefly explain what it requires.
8. Explain what reasoning one would go through, from the Kantian perspective, to conclude that intentionally telling someone something false is ethically wrong.
9. What does it mean to treat someone as a means? What does it mean to treat someone as a mere means? Is there a difference?
10. What does it mean to treat someone as an end? Is treating someone as an end compatible with treating her or him as a means? If yes, why, if not, why not? (attention: distinguish between treating someone as a means and as a mere means)
11. Why should a person help someone in need, according to the following approaches to ethics: Aristotelian, utilitarian, Kantian?
12. Which are the crucial differences between professions and other occupations, according to Bayles and Hughes? In what way are these differences ethically significant? Carefully explain and discuss.
13. Which are the five models of the professional-client relationship presented by Bayles? Why does he suggest that the fiduciary is superior to the others? Carefully explain and discuss. Briefly illustrate the superiority of the fiduciary with an example from the practice of a professional (could be an architect or a lawyer, for example).
14. Should corporations be regarded as having moral responsibility for their actions just like human persons? What speaks for the view that you espouse and what speaks against it? Carefully explain and discuss.
15. What are French’s reasons for supposing that corporations be considered persons, ethically speaking? Does his approach make it impossible to hold responsible for their actions the executive corporate officer (CEO), employees, or shareholders? Carefully explain and discuss.
16. What is managerial capitalism and how does Milton Friedman defend it? How would you critique it?
17. How is stakeholder capitalism different from managerial capitalism? What practical consequences does Freeman draw from stakeholder capitalism? Describe a case in which we can see the difference in approaches.
18. What makes whistleblowing problematic? What ethically justifies it and in which circumstances, according to DeGeorge?
19. Why does Duska claim that whistleblowing may not be ethically problematic?
20. Why does Larmer claim that whistleblowing is not contrary to loyalty toward one’s employer?