Introduction to Ethics
Philosophy 7 @ LBCC
PHIL 120/RLST 120 @ OCC


Please print out the First Day Assignment , and answers all questions to the best of your ability. It is in Adobe pdf format. Please let me know if you have any difficulty opening it. If it opens without problem except for the table, then just answer the questions.

Basic Logic Terminology

Guidelines for Optional Assignment

Reading Questions

Your professor may assign you these reading questions when the readings are assigned. Even if he doesn't, you probably want to be able to answer them.


  1. What is the Traditional Argument against abortion as cited by Warren?
  2. How does she criticize this argument?
  3. How does Warren define a person?
  4. Why is the fetus not a person, according to Warren?
  5. Are all the properties of personhood equally important?
  6. What are two other ways to argue that a fetus should not be killed?
  7. Why do each of these fail, according to Warren?
  8. Explain the space explorer analogy.
  9. When does a human become a person?
  10. Why might Warren argue that infanticide is wrong?

  1. How does Schwarz compare a sleeping adult with a fetus?
  2. What are three possible replies to this analogy?
  3. What is Schwarz’s criticism of the first reply?
  4. What is the point of the two comatose children?
  5. What are the two kinds of capacity  described by Schwarz?
  6. What capacity does the individual in case A possess, according to Scwharz?
  7. Does Schwarz believe the individual in case B is a person?
  8. What kind of capacity does the individual in case B possess?
  9. How are the individuals in cases B and C the same?
  10. How are the individuals in cases D and E the same as the one in case C?
  11. Were you the same person in your mother’s womb as you are now or a different person?  What would Schwarz say?
  12. Per Schwarz, what is it that entails your right to life, and what doesn’t?
  13. What does Schwarz say about the individual in case F?
  14. What does Schwarz say is the mistake of writers such as Tooley?
  15. What does Schwarz say about handicapped people?
  16. What is the rational dilemma for Mary Ann Warren, according to Schwarz?
  17. How does the distinction of being a person versus functioning as a person help understand four common arguments supporting the permissibility of abortion?
  18. What is the functioning-person theory?
  19. Are all persons human, per Schwarz?  Are all humans persons? If not, give examples.
  20. According to Schwarz, what does being human mean?
  21. Is the fetus a potential person?
  22. Is a spermatozoa or egg cell a potential person?
  23. What is the achievement view, and what is wrong with it?
  24. What is the significance of there being multiple definitions of functioning person?  What three difficulties does Schwarz cite?
  25. What is Schwarz’s view of English’s paper?

  1. Does Thomson believe the fetus is a person from the moment of conception?
  2. Explain the violinist analogy.  To what situation is it analogous?
  3. What does the violinist analogy show?
  4. What is the "extreme" view mentioned by Thomson?
  5. Explain the "baby in the house" analogy.  To what situation is is analogous?
  6. What 2 things does the "baby in the house" analogy show?
  7. What three things could the right to life mean, according to Thomson?
  8. Which one does Thomson think the right to life means?
  9. Explain the burglar anaolgy and what it is supposed to show.
  10. Explain the people-seeds analogy and what it is supposed to show.

  1. What are the three categories of problems with Thomson's argument?
  2. What is volunteerism?
  3. What evidence does Beckwith use to show that volunteerism is wrong?  Does it work, in your opinion?
  4. What is the point of the paragraph which begins "But this obligatory relationship is not based strictly on biology, ..."?
  5. What is filial duty?  What does it show?
  6. Why should we believe that a fetus does have a prima facie right to use her mother's body?
  7. Why is the violinist analogy a weak argument?
  8. What is the point of the sperm donor case (in the paragraph which begins "Suppose that the sperm donated by the sperm donor...")?
  9. Is abortion killing or withholding treatment and why?
  10. How does Thomson's argument ignore tort law?
  11. How does Thomson's argument ignore family law?
  12. Explain the three ideological problems with Thomson's argument.