Ethics Questions 3

Instructions— Your response should be approximately the word total suggested for each of the five questions. These guidelines are approximate; just be sure that the total is something like 500 words. The text must be double spaced, and printed on one side of a page, i.e., not on the front and back (the only two formatting requirements; there is a 2/3 letter grade penalty for noncompliance with either factor). For a heading on the paper, use whatever you like as long as your name is present.


1. In Hobbes’ view, how did men actually “covenant with every other man” as though they were to became “a real unity” (or at least unified enough to bring a society about)? In other words, what’s the actual means by which they really reach consent, i.e., achieve a social contract. (approx. 100 words.)

2. Explain how the Hobbesian state of nature is a prisoner’s dilemma. (approx. 100 words.)

3. Explain the non-excludability issue, and why it presents a problem to social contract theory. (approx. 75 words.)

4. In Rawls’ theory, explain the “difference principle,” and especially how it works in relation to the “veil of ignorance.” (100 words.)

5. What is the doctrine of double effect? Do you find it to be plausible? Why or why not? (approx. 125 words.)

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