Brandeis University, Philosophy Department
Fall 2003
Brandeis University Web Stite

Philosophy 1A

Introduction to Philosophy

Professor Andreas Teuber
Prof. Teuber



Before turning to say a word or two in asnwer to the question itself, a number of folks in the class have raised the following preliminary questions and it may make sense to address a few general concerns, if indeed you yourself find that you are thinking about one or another of them.

   In the Case of "The Envelope" I Am Asked To Save (Prevent) Thirty Children from Dying. Surely World Hunger Affects Many People, Young and Old Alike: Why Are Children Being Singled Out for My Attention and Concern? - See also Hugh LaFollette and Larry May, "Suffer the Little Children" in World Hunger and Morality

   How Can My $100 Keep Thirty Children from Dying? Can You Break It Down for Me?

   It is Sometimes Said That Morality Itself is Rational, But What Does That Mean? For Instance, Henry Shue Says "Basic Rights" Are, Among Other Things, "Rational Demands." Should I Worry About Whether My Sense That I Should Save the Child from Drowning is Rational or Not? And What About "Truth"? Are Moral Judgments True and Objective? And What if They are Not? Won't All Hell Break Loose? Aren't We Free Then to Do as We Darn Well Please?

   I Am Not Quite Certain How My Moral Intuitions Are Supposed to Fit Into All This? Should I Trust My "Moral Intuitions" or Do I Have Reason to be Suspicious?

   The Case of The Envelope Suggests That If I Send $100 to UNICEF, Thirty Less Children Will Die, But There May be Other Ways of Preventing Children from Dying That Are Even More Effective Than Sending Money to UNICEF. Is This an Excuse or Reason Not to Give?

   What is Peter Singer's Argument Exactly? Consequences, Rights, and Obligations

   How Does Singer Respond to the Concern that my Contribution of $100 is just a Drop in the Ocean Compared to the Amounts of Money Needed to Save All Those in the World from Starvation?

An explanation and elaboration of each of these concerns is developed further in the STUDY GUIDE for the final question that is now posted on the PHIL 1AWEB SITE at . You can also click on any of the items in the list above and you will jump to the relevant section of the Study Guide where that particular question and concern is discussed.


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Last Modified: 03/26/02
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