M2 Written Assignment
1. Shaw and Barry distinguish two different forms of utilitarianism. What are these two forms? Briefly describe each and use examples.
Shaw and Barry distinguished two different forms of utilitarianism, Act Utilitarianism and Rule Utilitarianism. To understand Utilitarianism in depth we must understand what Utilitarianism means first. “Utilitarianism is the moral doctrine that we should always act to produce the greatest possible good over bad for everyone affected by our actions.” (Shaw and Barry, pg.59). In other words, a human being tends to search for pleasure and avoid pain or suffer. Now while the Act Utilitarians measure the consequences ...view middle of the document...
Meaning an individual can appropriate any unheld or new goods if it was that individual who discover them legally or it came from their own labor. “Nozick’s second principle concerns transfers of already-owned goods from one person to another” (Shaw and Barry, pg114). As simple as it sounds, a person could transfer their own goods, or holdings to someone who wanted it. And that person would become the fair owner of that good transferred to him/her. “Nozick’s third and final principle states that one can justly acquire a holding only in accord with the two previously discussed. (Shaw and Barry, pg114). In other words as long as you were entitled to a holding according to the first two principles, then it was your right, and if not then you were not entitled to anything.
4. Two main features of John Rawls’s theory of distributive justice are particularly important. What are these two features? Describe them.
These two main features are his hypothetical-contract approach and the principles of justice that he derives with it. (Shaw and Barry, pg119). For Rawls a social contract was a hypothetical contract because people would agree to a certain set of morally defensible principles of justice under certain conditions, as it is in the case of the veil of ignorance, an agreement with a restriction to knowledge per say, making it impossible for an actual arrangement in between the parties.
5. What is MAXIMIN rule for making decisions?
In other words when given alternatives, and you have to make a decision, you have to choose the alternative in which the worst that can happen to you is still better than the worst...