Influences forming Plato’s views of the world workbook answers


(Note: There are clearly problems for ethicists with this whole theory but for now you just need the basics in order to understand the Moral Argument.)



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(Note: There are clearly problems for ethicists with this whole theory but for now you just need the basics in order to understand the Moral Argument.)

9 The second formulation of the categorical imperative says: ‘Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end.’ This as a basic rule can be applied in all sorts of ways. It is obviously an argument against slavery at one extreme but consider also how many employers may see employees simply as a means to profits and not as people in themselves.

10 If we follow our duty worked out through the categorical imperative, then we should be rewarded for our actions. The summum bonum is that place where our happiness and virtue come together. Clearly in this lifetime we do not see these things happening so Kant postulates that the summum bonum can come about only in the afterlife and through the power of a deity.

11 Here we see an assumption in Kant brought about by his religious views that, in a strict empirical sense, cannot be justified. Either view on this question is acceptable. Many scientists, for example, would say that the universe is a harsh environment where nature is red in tooth and claw, which would lead to a conclusion that justice has little to do with the universe. Alternatively, you could look to different religious writers and support a view that, for example, Jesus coming back from the dead having saved us from sin is all about a just afterlife. Your evidence is more important that your opinion.

12 Here again there is no right or wrong answer to this question but you need to be clear about what the question is asking, namely whether it is reasonable for Kant to postulate the existence of God. You are not answering about whether or not God exists or what evidence you would need to believe in God or not. Here you have to address the reasonableness of Kant’s position. When he lived, and given the importance of ‘reason’ in his philosophy, is there enough evidence for him to postulate the existence of God?

13 Humanists might strongly disagree with the tone of this question as it might be read as suggesting that they have no morality. However, it might be approached from a sociological angle that might suggest morality is a necessity for the smooth running of society and has nothing to do with God. Given the number of religions and denominations that rely on the existence of God for their sense of morality, a case can be made for either opinion.

14 Sigmund Freud used the term Oedipus Complex in his theory of psychosexual stages of development to suggest that a boy has feelings of desire for his mother and anger rooted in jealousy for his father. That is, he is suggesting that a boy feels in competition with his father for the possession of his mother. The Electra Complex would be the female version of this where girls feel desire for their fathers and jealousy towards their mothers.

15 This id is the only component of human personality that Freud believed was present from birth. Essentially, this aspect of human personality is entirely unconscious and includes our instinctual and primitive behaviours. The ego, on the other hand, is that aspect of our personality that helps us deal with reality. He believed the ego develops from the id and stops the id’s impulses from making us act inappropriately in the real world. The id, in Freudian terms, functions in the conscious, preconscious and unconscious mind. Finally the superego is that aspect of our personality that holds all our internalised moral standards and ideals that have developed in us owing to the influences of parents, peers, school and society at large.




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