Partial Only; Will add Carlson Questions

Final Exam Study Questions, Environmental Philosophy, S-09

Questions on Intrinsic Value (pp. 68-76) from Jamieson, Ch. 3: Meta-Ethics (repeated from midterm questions)

1.         Identify and explain the 4 different senses of intrinsic value that Jamieson identifies. If something has intrinsic value in one of these senses, does it follow that it has intrinsic value in another one of these senses?

2.         Explain the distinction between intrinsic value (in the sense of “end value”) and instrumental value. Give examples


Philip Cafaro, “Gluttony, Arrogance, Greed and Apathy: An Exploration of Environmental Vice” (repeated from midterm questions)

3.         What are the two reasons Cafaro gives to explain why when it comes to the environment our actions are so out of sync with our professed values.

4.         What sorts of reasons might be offered for the worry that Cafaro’s proposed solution to environmental problems is too individualistic? What is the worry?

5.         Are environmental vices an important cause of our environmental problems? Is correcting those vices necessary if we are going to solve environmental problems?

6.         Explain how what counts as a vice depends on one’s conception of flourishing (according to Cafaro).

7.         Can people be vicious and flourish? What would the virtue ethicist say? Can we harm nature (engage in environmental vices) and flourish as humans? What does EVE say (according to Cafaro)? Do you agree?

8.         Do humans need significant amounts of wild flourishing nature to lead fulfilling lives?

9.         What is gluttony? What is fine gluttony? Give examples. According to Cafaro, what harms result from gluttony?

10.       Describe types of “off road motorized recreation.” Is it arrogant as Cafaro argues? Why or why not?

11.       According to Cafaro, how does greed tend to harm the greedy themselves?

12.       What are the virtues opposite to greed and what might we do to promote them (according to Cafaro)?

13.       Why is apathy an environmental vice? How does apathy harm the environment and ourselves?

Jamieson, Ch. 5, Humans and Other Animals

14.       Explain the difference between being a moral agent and being a moral patient (that is, having moral standing or being morally considerable, intrinsic value in the second sense)

15.       Give an example of an indirect duty regarding something and explain why the existence of that duty does not entail that the thing had moral standing. (Hint: consider the duty not to damage my car.)

16.       Using examples, explain why virtually all of the proposed criteria that are suppose to distinguish all humans from all animals end up being too demanding (excluding some humans) or not demanding enough (including some animals).

17.       What is an obvious problem with making moral agency the criterion of moral standing?

18.       Define “speciesism.” Explain the difference between Homo sapiens-centric speciesism and indexical speciesism. Explain the difference between absolute and moderate speciesism. What is the reason moderate speciesism gives for why humans count more?

19.        Explain why the following argument is not speciesist: Because President Obama cares about his life and has complex plans for his future it would be worse for him to die than the Obama family dog Bo to die, since Bo does not have complex plans for his future.

20.       Explain how Jamieson uses his Dylan and Casey example to argue against moderate speciesism.

21.       When Peter Singer argues for equality between humans and sentient animals, what type of equality is this? Identical treatment of the two? Factual equality (all have same abilities)? Equal consideration of interests?

22.       Does Jamieson believe that the difficulty in comparing pleasures and pains across species makes Singer’s utilitarian sentient-based animal philosophy unhelpful in arguing against our current treatment of animals?

23.       What does Tom Regan mean by “inherent value?” Who does he think has inherent value? Does he believe in degrees of inherent value? Why or why not?

24.       Do Regan and Singer believe the death of a typical human and a typical sophisticated animal are equally unfortunate? Why or why not?

25.       Describe some of the environmental costs of meat eating. Why is does eating animals require significantly more land than does a vegetarian diet?

26.       Under what circumstances is it arguable that a utilitarian (who is concerned with the total amount of pleasure minus pain in the world, e.g., Peter singer) might accept meat eating?

27.       Singer makes a distinction between killing self-conscious creatures and “simple creatures” (who are nonetheless sentient). Explain this distinction and why he thinks it matters.

28.       What is a “conscientious omnivore?” What are Jamieson’s objections to this position?

Jamieson, Ch 6, The Value of Nature

29.       Explain the debate between biocentrists and sentientists on which beings have interests and which beings are morally considerable and why. Does one have to be conscious to have interests? Why or why not?

30.        If plants have interests, why might some argue that it follows that teleological machines (guided missiles or computers) also have interests. Why is this a problem for biocentrism? How could one argue that, e.g., trees have interests, but that cars do not, without begging the question and just asserting (what is at issue) that only living things have interests?

31.       How is ecocentrism different from biocentrism?

32.       What are some of the worries Jamieson has concerning ecocentrism? What is Regan’s ecofascism objection to ecocentrism? Does ecocentrism give moral status to abiotic entities?

33.       What are Jamieson’s views on how we should understand our duties toward and values concerning natural entities? What for Jamieson has moral standing? What should we value intrinsically? Given that Jamieson rejects the view that ecosystems, non-sentient organisms, and abiotic nature has moral standing, does it follow that he does not value these things intrinsically? Explain.

34.       What are the virtues of stopping the extension of moral considerability with sentient beings and then using intrinsic value to protect the rest of nature.

35.       Does Jamieson believe that what is valued intrinsically is always more important that what is valued instrumentally? Explain using his example.

36.       Does Jamieson think natural beauty is the reason we should protect nature? Does he think natural beauty is valuable for the pleasure it brings us? Does he think natural beauty is subjective/idiosyncratic and trivial? Does he believe there is some objectivity to natural beauty claims?

37.       Explain and evaluate this claim of Jamieson’s : “Some beauty claims we regard as obvious and objectively true and someone who denies them isn’t just a person with different taste, but there is something about the world this person does not understand.”

38.       What is Jamieson’s definition of ‘natural.’ Using examples, explain Jamieson’s distinction between being influenced by humans and being the product of humans. How does Jamieson use this distinction to argue against the claim that because of pervasive human influence on the planet, we are “at the end of nature” (nothing natural is left).

39.       Give one of Jamieson’s reasons for thinking that being natural contributes to nature’s value (one of them has to do with loneliness).

40.       Explain how biodiversity value and naturalness value can conflict. How might prudential values of nature conflict with natural values?

Jamieson, Ch 7: Nature's Future

41.       Explain in some detail the problem of climate change, including its causes and potential impacts. What is the difference between the climate change problem and the problem of ozone depletion.

42.       What are some reasons for thinking we live on a human dominated planet? What is Net Primary Productivity and what % do humans appropriate?

43.       Explain the concept of ecological footprint.

44.       Explain Commoners and Ehrlich’s IPAT formula. Using examples, explain how each of the three factors affects environmental impact. In the end, which factor does Jamieson believe is actually most important in our world for determining whose environmental impact is the most extensive? Which country in the world has the greatest environmental impact and why?

45.       What is the size of the earth’s population today? About how many years until we add another billion humans? Where is most of the population growth occurring? What must be done to control human population growth in a “morally acceptable” way, according to Jamieson?

46.       Evaluate the following claim from your own and Jamieson’s perspective. The most serious environmental problem is the exploding human population of the developing world. That is what we need to control if we are to solve environmental problems.

47.       Does it make sense to put the responsibility solely on the Chinese for today being the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases?

48.       How efficient is the U.S. in terms of use of carbon in producing goods when compared with other countries in the world?

49.       What does Jamieson think “the most effective thing an American can do” if he wants to minimize his environmental impact? Why does he think this? Is he right?

50.       Describe global inequality and poverty in terms of fractions.

51.       Explain some of the reasons one might be skeptical about the idea that we have strong duties to future generations in the further future.

52.       Explain Parfit’s non-identity problem and how it undermines the claim we might harm future people (fail in out duties to them) if we keep living unsustainably. Explain the response to this problem that suggest looking at the issue in consequentialist claims rather than deontological (duties to particular individuals).

53.       Explain Garrett Hardin’s life boat ethics argument against feeding the hungry. Do you accept this argument against feeding hungry people?

54.       What is the famous definition of “sustainable development” that came out of the Rio Earth Summit?

55.       Evaluate the claim that humans need to “save the planet.” What does Jamieson think about this claim? What does Hettinger think about it?

56.       Do our current environmental problems constitute a catastrophe according to Jamieson?

57.       Does Jamieson think that everyone can live as American’s do? Why or why not?

58.       Does Jamieson think it is possible for the rich developed countries to keep the poor countries of the world undeveloped, so that we in the developed world can continue our lifestyles? Why or why not? In what ways might the developing world do great damage to things the rich countries value?

59.       What does Jamieson think the rich countries need to do in terms of third world development if we are to an avoid environmental disaster?

60.       What is Jamieson’s assessment of the likelihood of Americans changing their way of life by reducing consumption and increasing efficiency and sustainability?

61.       What does Jamieson think about the connection between wealth/affluence and happiness?

62.       What is a stationary state economy? Does it entail a lack of progress in human improvement? Why or why not? What does Mill think about this?