Chapter 3 Essay Questions
1. In what ways does ethical egoism require actions that seem to be paradigmatic cases of immorality? How serious of a problem is this for the theory? What should the egoist say in response? Defend your answers.
2. What does it mean to say that an ethical standard is objective? In what ways do relativists deny the objectivity of ethics, and why do you think they do so? Is morality objective? Defend your answers.
3. Which of the arguments offered by error theorists do you find most powerful, and why? Does the argument you chose establish the truth of error theory? Why or why not?
4. Midgley claims that what she calls moral isolationism is not only unattractive but incoherent. What is her argument for this claim? Is this claim correct? Defend your answer.
5. Do you think Mackie succeeds in showing that all moral claims are false? If yes, explain what you think is the best objection to his arguments, and why you think it fails to refute Mackie’s conclusion. If no, explain why Mackie’s arguments fail to establish his conclusion.
6. Explain the companions in guilt response to the argument from queerness. Which of the companions Mackie discusses do you think is most “queer”? Do you think we should be error theorists about this companion? Defend your answers.