If one always ought to act so as to produce the best possible circumstances, then morality is extremely demanding. No one could plausibly claim to have met the requirements of this "simple principle." . . . It would seem strange to punish those intending to do good by sentencing them to an impossible task. Also, if the standards of right conduct are as extreme as they seem, then they will preclude the personal projects that humans find most fulfilling. From an analytic perspective, the potential extreme demands of morality are not a "problem." A theory of morality is no less valid simply because it asks great sacrifices. In fact, it is difficult to imagine what kind of constraints could be put on our ethical projects. Shouldn't we reflect on our base prejudices, and not allow them to provide boundaries for our moral reasoning? Thus, it is tempting to simply dismiss the objections to the simple principle. However, in Demands of Morality, Liam Murphy takes these objections seriously for at least two distinct reasons. First, discussion of the simple principle provides an excellent vehicle for a discussion of morality in general. Perhaps, in a way, this is Murphy's attempt at doing philosophy "from the inside out.". . . Second, Murphy's starting point tells us about the nature of his project. Murphy must take seriously the collisions between moral philosophy and our intuitive sense of right and wrong. He [must do so] because his work is best interpreted as intended to forge moral principles from our firm beliefs, and not to proscribe beliefs given a set of moral principles. [Murphy] argues from our considered judgments rather than to them. . . For example, Murphy cites our "simple but firmly held" beliefs as supporting the potency of the over-demandingness objection, and nowhere in the work can one find a source of moral values divorced from human preferences. Murphy does not tell us what set of "firm beliefs" we ought to have. Rather, he speaks to an audience of well-intentioned but unorganized moral realists, and tries to give them principles that represent their considered moral judgments. Murphy starts with this base sense of right and wrong, but recognizes that it needs to be supplemented by reason where our intuitions are confused or conflicting. Perhaps Murphy is looking for the best interpretation of our convictions, the same way certain legal scholars try to find the best interpretation of our Constitution. This approach has disadvantages. Primarily, Murphy's arguments, even if successful, do not provide the kind of motivating force for which moral philosophy has traditionally searched. His work assumes and argues in terms of an inner sense of morality, and his project seeks to deepen that sense. Of course, it is quite possible that the moral viewpoints of humans will not converge, and some humans have no moral sense at all. Thus, it is very easy for the moral skeptic to point out a lack of justification and ignore the entire work. On the other hand, Murphy's choice of a starting point avoids many of the problems of moral philosophy. Justifying the content of moral principles and granting a motivating force to those principles is an extraordinary task. It would be unrealistic to expect all discussions of moral philosophy to derive such justifications. Projects that attempt such a derivation have value, but they are hard pressed to produce logical consequences for everyday life. In the end, Murphy's strategy may have more practical effect than its first-principle counterparts, which do not seem any more likely to convince those that would reject Murphy's premises. 1) The author suggests that the application of Murphy's philosophy to the situations of two different groups: a) would help to solve the problems of one group but not of the other. b) could result in the derivation of two radically different moral principles. c) would be contingent on the two groups sharing the same fundamental beliefs. d) could reconcile any differences between the two groups. 2) Suppose an individual who firmly believes in keeping promises has promised to return a weapon to a person she knows to be extremely dangerous. According to Murphy, which of the following, if true, would WEAKEN the notion that she should return the weapon? a) She also firmly believes that it is morally wrong to assist in any way in a potentially violent act. b) She believes herself to be well-intentioned in matters of right and wrong. c) The belief that one should keep promises is shared by most members of her community. d) She derived her moral beliefs from first-principle ethical philosophy. 3) The passage implies that a moral principle derived from applying Murphy's philosophy to a particular group would be applicable to another group if: a) the first group recommended the principle to the second group. b) the moral viewpoints of the two groups do not converge. c) the members of the second group have no firmly held beliefs. d) the second group shares the same fundamental beliefs as the first group. 4) According to the passage, the existence of individuals who entirely lack a moral sense: a) confirms the notion that moral principles should be derived from the considered judgments of individuals. b) suggests a potential disadvantage of Murphy's philosophical approach. c) supports Murphy's belief that reason is necessary in cases in which intuitions are conflicting or confused. d) proves that first-principle strategies of ethical theorizing will have no more influence over the behavior of individuals than will Murphy's philosophical approach. 5) Which of the following can be inferred about "doing philosophy from the inside out?" a) Murphy was the first philosopher to employ such an approach. b) It allows no place for rational argument in the formation of ethical principles. c) It is fundamentally different from the practice of first-principle philosophy. d) It is designed to dismiss objections to the "simple principle." 6) A school board is debating whether or not to institute a dress code for the school's students. According to Murphy, the best way to come to an ethical decision would be to: a) consult the fundamental beliefs of the board members. b) analyze the results of dress codes instituted at other schools. c) survey the students as to whether or not they would prefer a dress code. d) determine whether or note a dress code has ever been instituted in the school's history.868
Agonistic behavior, or aggression, is exhibited by most of the more than three million species of animals on this planet. Animal behaviorists still disagree on a comprehensive definition of the term, hut aggressive behavior can be loosely described as any action that harms an adversary or compels it to retreat. Aggression may serve many purposes, such as Food gathering, establishing territory, and enforcing social hierarchy. In a general Darwinian sense, however, the purpose of aggressive behavior is to increase the individual animal’s—and thus, the species’—chance of survival. Aggressive behavior may he directed at animals of other species, or it may be conspecific—that is, directed at members of an animal’s own species. One of the most common examples of conspecific aggression occurs in the establishment and maintenance of social hierarchies. In a hierarchy, social dominance is usually established according to physical superiority; the classic example is that of a pecking order among domestic fowl. The dominance hierarchy may be viewed as a means of social control that reduces the incidence of attack within a group. Once established, the hierarchy is rarely threatened by disputes because the inferior animal immediately submits when confronted by a superior. Two basic types of aggressive behavior are common to most species: attack and defensive threat. Each type involves a particular pattern of physiological and behavioral responses, which tends not to vary regardless of the stimulus that provokes it. For example, the pattern of attack behavior in cats involves a series of movements, such as stalking, biting, seizing with the forepaws and scratching with tile hind legs, that changes very little regardless of the stimulus—that is, regardless of who or what the cat is attacking. The cat’s defensive threat response offers another set of closely linked physiological and behavioral patterns. The cardiovascular system begins to pump blood at a faster rate, in preparation for sudden physical activity. The eves narrow and the ears flatten against the side of the cat’s head for protection, and other vulnerable areas of the body such as the stomach and throat are similarly contracted. Growling or hissing noises and erect fur also signal defensive threat. As with the attack response, this pattern of responses is generated with little variation regardless of the nature of the stimulus. Are these aggressive patterns of attack and defensive threat innate, genetically programmed, or are they learned? The answer seems to be a combination of both. A mouse is helpless at birth, but by its l2th day of life can assume a defensive threat position by backing up on its hind legs. By the time it is one month old, the mouse begins to exhibit the attack response. Nonetheless, copious evidence suggests that animals learn and practice aggressive behavior; one need look no further than the sight of a kitten playing with a ball of string. All the elements of attack—stalking, pouncing, biting, and shaking—are part of the game that prepares the kitten for more serious situations later in life. 7) The passage asserts that animal social hierarchies are generally stable because: a) the behavior responses of the group are known by all its members. b) the defensive threat posture quickly stops most conflicts. c) inferior animals usually defer to their physical superior. d) the need for mutual protection from other species inhibits conspecific aggression. 8) According to the author, what is the most significant physiological change undergone by a cat assuming the defensive threat position? a) An increase in cardiovascular activity b) A sudden narrowing of the eyes c) A contraction of the abdominal muscles d) The author does not say which change is most significant 9) Based on the information in the passage about agonistic behavior, it is reasonable to conclude that: I. the purpose of agonistic behavior is to help ensure the survival of the species. II. agonistic behavior is both innate and learned. III. conspecific aggression is more frequent than i aggression. a) I only b) II only c) I and II only d) I,II and III only 10) Which of the following would be most in accord with the information presented in the passage? a) The aggressive behavior of sharks is closely inked to their need to remain in constant motion. b) fine inability of newborn mice to exhibit the attack response proves that aggressive behavior must be learned. c) Most animal species that do riot exhibit aggressive behavior are prevented from doing so by environmental factors. d) Members of a certain species of hawk use the same method to prey on both squirrels and gophers. 11) The author suggests that the question of whether agonistic behavior is genetically programmed or learned: a) still generates considerable controversy among animal behaviorists. b) was first investigated through experiments on mice. c) is outdated since most scientists now believe the genetic element to be most important. d) has been the subject of extensive clinical study. 12) Which of the following topics related to agonistic behavior is NOT explicitly addressed in the passage? a) The physiological changes that accompany attack behavior in cats b) The evolutionary purpose of aggression c) Conspecific aggression that occurs in dominance hierarchies d) The relationship between play and aggression 13) The author of this passage is primarily concerned with: a) analyzing the differences between attack behavior and defensive threat behavior. b) introducing a subject currently debated among animal behaviorists. c) providing a general overview of aggressive behavior in animals. d) illustrating various manifestations of agonistic behavior among mammals.778
The rich analysts of Fernand Braudel arid his fellow Annales historians have made significant contributions to historical theory and research. In a departure from traditional historical approaches, the Annales historians assume (as do Marxists) that history cannot be limited to a simple recounting of conscious human actions, but must be understood in the context of forces and material conditions that underlie human behavior. Braudel was the first Annales historian to gain widespread support for the idea that history should synthesize data from various social sciences, especially economics, in order to provide a broader view of human societies over time (although Febvre and Bloch, founders of the Annales school, had originated this approach). Braudel conceived of history as the dynamic interaction of three temporalities. The first of these, the evenmentielle, involved short-lived dramatic events such as battles, revolutions, and the actions of great men, which had preoccupied traditional historians like Carlyle. Conjonctures was Braudel’s term for larger cyclical processes that might last up to half a century. The longue duree, a historical wave of great length, was for Braudel the most fascinating of the three temporalities. Here he focused on those aspects of everyday life that might remain relatively unchanged for centuries. What people ate, what they wore, their means and routes of travel—for Braudel these things create “structures’ that define the limits of potential social change for hundreds of years at a time. Braudel’s concept of the longue duree extended the perspective of historical space as well as time. Until the Annales school, historians had taken the juridical political unit—the nation-state, duchy, or whatever—as their starting point. Yet, when such enormous timespans are considered, geographical features may well have more significance for human populations than national borders, In his doctoral thesis, a seminal work on the Mediterranean during the reign of Philip II, Braudel treated the geohistory of the entire region as a “structure” that had exerted myriad influences on human lifeways since the first settlements on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. And so the reader is given such arcane information as the list of products that came to Spanish shores from North Africa, the seasonal routes followed by Mediterranean sheep and their shepherds, and the cities where the best ship timber could be bought. Braudel has been faulted for the imprecision of his approach. With his Rabelaisian delight in concrete detail, Braudel vastly extended the realm of relevant phenomena but this very achievement made it difficult to delimit the boundaries of observation, a task necessary to beginning any social investigation. Further, Braudel and other Annales historians minimize the differences among the social sciences. Nevertheless, the many similarly designed studies aimed at both professional and popular audiences indicate that Braudel asked significant questions that traditional historians had overlooked. 14) The primary purpose of the passage is to: a) show how Braudel’s work changed the conception of Mediterranean life held by previous historians. b) evaluate Braudel’s criticisms of traditional and Marxist historiography. c) contrast the perspective of the longue duree with the actions of major historical figures d) outline some of Braudel’s influential conceptions and distinguish them from conventional approaches. 15) The author refers to the work of Febvre and Bloch in order to: a) illustrate the limitations of the Annale tradition of historical interpretation. b) suggest the relevance of economics to historical investigation. c) debate the need for combining various sociological approaches. d) show that previous Annales historians anticipated Braudel’s focus on economics. 16) According to the passage, all of the following are aspects of Braudel’s approach to history EXCEPT that he: a) attempted to draw on various social sciences. b) studied social and economic activities that occurred across national boundaries. c) pointed out the link between increased economic activity and the rise of nationalism. d) examined seemingly unexciting aspects of everyday life. 17) In the third paragraph, the author is primarily concerned with discussing: a) Braudel’s fascination with obscure facts. b) Braudel’s depiction of the role of geography in human history. c) the geography of the Mediterranean region. d) the irrelevance of national borders. 18) The passage suggests that, compared with traditional historians, Annales/i> historians are: a) more interested in other social sciences than in history. b) critical of the achievements of famous historical figures. c) skeptical of the validity of most economic research. d) more interested in the underlying context of human behavior. 19) Which of the Following statements would be most likely to follow the last sentence of the passage? a) Few such studies however, have been written by trained economists. b) It is time, perhaps, for a revival of the Carlylean emphasis on personalities. c) Many historians believe that Braudel’s conception of three distinct “temporalities” is an oversimplification. d) Such diverse works as Gascon’s study of Lyon and Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror testify to his relevance. 20) The author is critical of Braudel’s perspective for which of the Following reasons a) It seeks structures that underlie all forms of social activity. b) It assumes a greater similarity among the social sciences than actually exists. c) It fails to consider the relationship between short-term events and long-term social activity. d) It rigidly defines boundaries for social analysis.890
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