Discussion questions summaries

Below you will find summary posts from students when they were in charge of asking questions and facilitating discussion of them in a small group.

You can see them by discussion section day/time by going to the top menu dropdown, or you can organize them by philosopher by going to the menu on the right that has the list of philosophers.

At the bottom of this page are links to go to previous posts; the ones below are the most recent ones.

Discussion Summary for March 16, 2018

Q1. Referring to Singer’s analogy of a drowning child from “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”, is it realistic to think we can literally save a life so easily? Maybe the child is an orphan, and saving them would mean we need to help them find a home/support afterwards, or maybe we have a child of our … Continue reading “Discussion Summary for March 16, 2018”

March 16th Discussion of Singer& Nussbaum

Question 1: How valid is Singer’s metaphor of the drowning child and an observers obligation to aid it? Singer argues that if we have the capacity to save a life, whether in front of us or not, we should do so. Ignoring our capacity to save a life without sacrificing anything of morally significance is … Continue reading “March 16th Discussion of Singer& Nussbaum”

Discussion Summary – Kant

Discussion Questions Do you agree with Kant’s anti-paternalistic views? Or do you think that, when helping others, a paternalistic approach would ultimately be more beneficial and, therefore, justifiably moral? Do you find the Categorical Imperative (particularly the first one) to be a good method when determining the morality of actions, or are there obvious exceptions? … Continue reading “Discussion Summary – Kant”

Discussion Summary on Kant

Question: When making categorical imperatives or any universal laws that many philosophers like to make, there will always be exceptions.  How small does this exception have to be to become irrelevant? -Kant’s CI’s assume some things, for example the suicide maxim assumes that most people want to avoid pain, which is reasonable. So, there will … Continue reading “Discussion Summary on Kant”

Discussion Summaries Kant Mill March 9th

Do you agree with Kant’s perspective on the example with the murderer at the door? Why or why not? At the end of Wednesday’s lectures, Dr. Hendricks briefly brought up an example, illustrating Kant’s stance on legal responsibility. The hypothetical scenario includes a murderer knocking on your door, looking to kill your friend. Your friend, … Continue reading “Discussion Summaries Kant Mill March 9th”

Kant Discussion Summary

1) “Kant does not, however, try to generate a set of precise rules defining human obligations in all possible circumstances; instead, he attempts to provide a set of principles of obligation that can be used as the starting points for moral reasoning in actual contexts of action. The primary focus of Kantian ethics is, then, … Continue reading “Kant Discussion Summary”

Discussion on Kant – Animals and Everyday Life

In Onara O’Neill’s “Kantian Approaches to Some Famine Problems”, there were mentions of the value of animal lives in human morality, and the lack of regard Kant has shown towards this issue. Should animals ever be used as mere means? What determines the value of an animal’s life? The answers to these question may vary … Continue reading “Discussion on Kant – Animals and Everyday Life”

Discussion summary: O’Neill and Kant’s CI (second form)

1. Is a lack of beneficience really immoral? To expand on this: Kant talks about justice and beneficience, the first being mandatory and the second being sometimes mandatory. Consider a person who is always just (ie. uses no one) but by some miracle manages to never help anyone (not beneficient). Would this person really be … Continue reading “Discussion summary: O’Neill and Kant’s CI (second form)”

Discussion summary on Kant and O’Neil

The Questions How often do you believe that imperfect duties should be completed? Are there any flaws in the Kantian “bottom-up” approach to aiding and helping others in need? The Relevance of the Questions (1) I asked this question as I believe that this is something Kant only briefly touches on and can seem like … Continue reading “Discussion summary on Kant and O’Neil”

Discussion Summary on O’Neill and Kant

Q1. In O’Neill’s interpretation of Kant’s categorical imperative, she expresses two crucial duties in discerning morally right actions, calling them actions of justice and beneficence, or perfect and imperfect duties respectively.  Which do you think is more important or takes priority in moral dilemmas or ambiguous situations such as those posed by O’Neill? In her … Continue reading “Discussion Summary on O’Neill and Kant”

Kant discussion summary

What if you forcibly prevented someone from committing suicide? Is that morally correct according to Kant? Doing so is acting out of a goodwill, and the Maxim of saving a life is universalizable. But on the other hand you did not give the person autonomy; you took away their choice of committing suicide.   In … Continue reading “Kant discussion summary”

Summary Of O’Neill Discussion

Question 1:For those who are vulnerable are they more susceptible to injustice, and why do you think so? – This question tries to analyze what this would look like and tries to see if there are any counter examples that exist against O’Neill’s statement: “Since anyone hungry or destitute is more than usually vulnerable to … Continue reading “Summary Of O’Neill Discussion”

Discussion Summary — Morals

QUESTION 1 Can you think of some maxims that one could evaluate using the second Categorical Imperative? This question relates to Kant’s key idea of “Categorical Imperatives” specifically the second version – that of using others as means to an end versus using others as an end in themselves. This is a large part of … Continue reading “Discussion Summary — Morals”

Discussion Summary on O’Neill

(1) at least two discussion questions you brought to the group to talk about  “Act in such a way as to treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of anyone else, always as an end and never merely as a means” (O’Neill 259). Is this a more appropriate formulation than the universal … Continue reading “Discussion Summary on O’Neill”

Discussion Kant

For my discussion I chose to compare the ideas of morality between Kant and J.S Mill. During the discussion we briefly summarized the differences between Mill and Kant. A difference between the two that I choose to discuss was Mill’s approach to happiness across all sentient beings. Kant clearly differs in his idea of morality, … Continue reading “Discussion Kant”

Kant Discussion

Questions: The Golden rule “Treat others the way you would like to be treated.” in The Kantian Perspective: Fairness and Justice,  Hypothetically if the Golden rule took into account of circumstances would the choice of being moral or immoral stay the same?  For example if your child had an illness and you couldn’t afford the … Continue reading “Kant Discussion”

Protected: Discussion Summary on Kant

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Discussion Summary

I focused my group discussion on the different thoughts between Mill and Kant, mostly contrasting their different philosophies when it came to what makes an act moral. First, we discussed the general ideas of both philosophers to make sure we all had a general understanding of their ideas. We mainly focused on Mill and Kant’s … Continue reading “Discussion Summary”

Discussion Summary on Kant

How important do you think good will is compared to the results of our actions? Which is more important generally? I formulated this question based on Kant’s assertion- “It is impossible to think of anything at all in the world, or indeed even beyond it, that could be considered good without limitation except a good … Continue reading “Discussion Summary on Kant”

Discussion summary on Kant

If your maxim seems moral at first but there is a big chance that in the long run, it will lead to bad consequences is it still a moral thing to do? For example, we have a man who wants to go to the war because he wants to protect his land and community. There … Continue reading “Discussion summary on Kant”