Philosophy 316 Keith Korcz Final


Terms in this set (...)

What are sweatshops?
Workplaces that have violated numerous health and safety standards - long hours, poor working conditions, low pay, forced labor, physical abuse, child labor, and forced drug use.
Why do corporations seek out sweatshop labor?
To produce their product at the lowest possible price - it is profitable. Workers want the jobs because they are the best available. Brings in foreign currency and improves the economy.
Economic Benefits Argument (Sweatshops)
The first step for economic development are sweatshops so shutting down sweatshops leaves the countries worse off
Reply to the Economic Benefits Argument (Sweatshops)
Keep the factories but improve the conditions for the workers
The Harm Objection (Against Sweatshops)
The Greedy Rescuer Example:
Causing unnecessary harm is wrong
Ex: New Car-- Breaks Down-- Car Stops-- Person will help but wants all of your money + 75% of your earnings and your arm or you die ... needless harm
The Exploitation Objection (Against Sweatshops)
Failure to benefit others in a way that fairness demands
How many workers per year suffer injuries while on the job?
3 Million
What is the leading cause of injury on the job requiring days off from work?
Over-exertion (33%)
Which can result in a longer jail sentence according to OSHA regulations: willingly violating safety laws such as a worker dies,or harassing a wild burro on federal lands
Harassing a wild burro on federal lands - 1 year
Willingly violating safety laws such as a worker dies - 6 months
Argument saying employees have no right to workplace safety:

Reply 1 to the Argument saying Employees have no right to workplace safety:

Reply 2 to the Argument saying Employees have no right to workplace safety:
The employee/employer relationship is a contractual one -- so employers should be able to offer any contract they want -- employer must reveal workplace hazards -- restrictions violate workplace freedom

Reply 1: Employee can be desperate (like when unemployment is high) -- no live option

Reply 2: you increase freedom by not allowing such contracts because it increases the number of safe workplaces and that's what workers want
What makes a contract legitimate?
Both sides have to be free to accept or reject it
What are the basic provisions of the Title VII of the civil rights act of 1964, as described in class?
Illegal for companies to discriminate on religious belief, race, gender, ethnicity, or national origin.
How did the religious freedom restoration act of 1993 alter the Supreme Court's interpretation of the tile seven in the hobby lobby case
Allowing closely held for-profit corporations to be exempt from a regulation its owners religiously object to if there is a less restrictive means of furthering the law's interest - It is the first time that the court has recognized a for-profit corporation's claim of religious belief
Employer interests regarding religious freedom in the work place
If one owns the business, one has an unrestricted right to use it to express or popularize ones religious beliefs
Employee interests regarding religious freedom in the work place
Right to not have to follow others religion
ie-- your boss doesnt get to determine your religion
Social interests regarding religious freedom in the workplace
It is the governments job to set up the economy -- set up laws/contracts -- need for a healthy economy -- so the economy needs to be neutral with regard to religion, but if someone wants to run their business with religion? -- There is no legit claim to undermine these values in the name of furthering your religion---Access to jobs are important to people and people know this going into business.---IRA
Caveat Emptor
"Buyer Beware"
-Assumes that buyers are knowledgeable, clever, skeptical, etc.
Objection to Caveat Emptor (Regarding Reasonable Expectations) -- 3 problems
Problem 1: Customers may not return if business uses high pressure sales tactics
Problem 2: Such dishonestly seems morally problematic
Problem 3: Products have become much more complex -- unreasonable to expect people to be experts on them
The Minimal Information Rule
Seller only has to provide information that the buyer specifically asks about

(later modified - Required to provide any information needed to avoid risk of physical injury)
Objection to the Minimal Information Rule
Problem 1: may pose unknown dangers from products

Problem 2: people are in no position to make informed decisions about an item on their own - This is needed for market mechanisms to function
Mutual Benefit Rule
The salesperson must give the buyer all reasonable information needed for the customer to make a reasonable judgement as to whether to buy the product
How many people in the US are injured or die from the use of consumer products per year?
39 million injured
41,000 die
What is the most dangerous consumer product and about how many people does it kill per year?
440,000 a year
What is the free market criterion for consumer product safety?
No need for any government regulation of the safety of products -- let consumers decide if they want safe products with their purchases (recalls and refunds)
What is the difficulty with the free market criterion for consumer product safety?
Problem 1: impractical to get relevant info
Problem 2: 1st generation problem -- to know about a problem, a problem must first occur
What is the intended use criterion for consumer product safety?
Products are reasonably safe if used for their intended purposes
What is the difficulty with the intended use criterion for consumer product safety?
Problem: too narrow a criterion -- wont cover situations manufacturer knows are likely to occur
What is the contract view?
When you purchase a product, you accept the contract
-- hold manufacturer liable for damages
-- consumer pays for the product --contract stipulates safety of product
What is the strict liability view?
A manufacturer is liable for any injuries suffered if the product was defective in such a way as to make it unreasonably dangerous
-encourages manufacturers to be careful
-costs of harms gets spread out
-helps free market mechanisms
What is a perfectly competitive market?
No buyer or seller has the power to significantly effect the prices at which goods are being exchanged
What is a monopoly?
Theres only one seller who controls virtually 100% of the market and other sellers are prevented from entering the market
Why are monopolies formed?
it is an investors dream -- you can overcharge for your product and this is what monopolies do
How do monopolies affect consumers?
They are a disaster and are generally illegal in the US
What is an oligopoly market?
Vast majority of market share controlled by a relatively small number of firms and it is difficult for new firms to enter the market
What unethical activities do oligopoly markets encourage?
Price Fixing - Secretly Collude to Alter Prices
Limit Supply - Artificially Increasing Prices
Retail Price Maintainence (By the manufacturer)
What is a bribe opposed to a tip
bribe: the intention to cause a person to betray a trust in the performance of their official duties

tip: grease payments made to ensure someone carries out their normal duties.
Why is bribery so common in business?
It speeds things up and bribery is profitable
What harms does bribery bring about? (5)
-Can be used to support illegal activities
-Corruption spreads within the company (junior executives notice/blackmail)
-Market inefficiencies (gain a monopoly)
-Long term bribery is counterproductive (snowball effect)
-Moral problem with paying bribes (breaking a promise without good reason)
What are the three legal strategies used that corporations use to gain power?
1. The Information Strategy
2. The Financial Incentive Strategy
3. The Constituency Strategy
The Information Strategy
Legal strategy to influence government. They provide information to those in the governments, lobbying, testimony
The Financial Incentive Strategy
Give political contributions or use economic leverage
The Constituency Strategy
Organizing grassroots coalitions (pr) to influence what a government does
Three problems associated with excessive corporate political power
1. Promotion of Dictatorships:
2. Crony Capitalism:
-capitalism-- economic advantages held by a politically powerful economic elite that exchanges favors with people government -- "bribes"
3. Inequity & Democratic Elections in the US:
-government is responsive only to the wealthy -- elections are largely funded by the wealthy
Why do corporations invest in politicians
It is profitable
Ex: Tax reductions for the wealthy
What is cultural relativism and what are the objections (5) to it as presented in class?
If the majority of people in a society believe that an action is morally right/wrong, then it is for that culture

Objection 1: The mixed cultures objection
Objection 2: The moral disagreement objection
Objection 3: The definitive argument
Objection 4: The moral progress objection
Objection 5: Cultural relativism is arbitrary
About how much is spent on ads per year in the US
$180 billion
At the height of the Camel cigarettes ad campaign, about what percentage of 6 year olds recognized Joe Camel was associated with cigarettes
About how many ads does the average person see in a day?
1600 ads/day
What is undercover marketing?
people talking about a bargain, like leaving empty boxes to deceive you into thinking the product is popular
What is philosophy?
a collection of subdisciplines
What are the methods of philosophy?
-theory of knowledge
-philosophy of religion
-political philosophy
-philosophy of mind
What is the subject matter of philosophy?
applications of logic
What is the euthyphro argument?
An objection to the Divine Command theory:

Premise 1 of the DC (God commands actions that are right) -- OBJECTION: Morality does not depend on God for its existance

Premise 2 of the DC (Actions are right because God commands them) -- OBJECTION: Morality dos not depend on God for its existence
What is classical utilitarianism?
Classical utilitarianism is the NET that says an action is morally obligatory if it would produce at least as much overall well being, taking into consideration everyone effected, as any other action available to the person at the time - any other action is morally wrong
What are the three criterion for evaluating appeals to expert arguments?
1. The persons appealed to must be experts in the field of question
2. The consensus of all experts that exist must agree on the issue
3. The experts must be reliable and credible
What is legalism?
Milton Friedman said -- a corporations only responsibility is to maximize profits within the confines of the law
Why is legalism mistaken?
1. The first generation problem
--for the government to know about a problem, a problem must first occur
2. Legal actions may be morally wrong
--Just because something is legal, doesnt make it right
3. Limits of the law if the government regulates everything
--you violate rights, it is very difficult to write laws effectively, businesses cannot function effectively
What was the point of the example of IBM and Dehomag?
Legal actions may be morally wrong
What is the stakeholder theory?
major alternative to legalism, pro-CSR
Whose interests are reflected in the laws passed by Congress?
the wealthy & upper-middle class
Why do corporations invest in politicians?
it is highly profitable
About what percent of children in the US are in poverty?
21.1% -- 15,500,000 people
What is the most common cause of poverty in the US
Losing your job/ having your hours cut
What is the primary federal agency charged with regulating ads?
Federal Trade Commission
About what percentage of an audience must an ad be likely to deceive before the government may require the ad to be changed?
Know what the potential negative effects of ads are as discussed in class.
1)can be very effective at popularizing stereotypes of women, ethnic groups, etc.
2)can be used to manipulate children
3)artificially increase the cost of goods without adding to their usefulness
4) can be extremely annoying, intrusive, strident, repetitive, and dumb
5)creating materialistic society- happiness=buying junk
Know the distinction among coercion, manipulation and rational persuasion
-Coercion is the bad extreme (taking advantage of people)
-Manipulation is in the middle (deceptive but not coercive)
-Rational persuasion is perfectly okay (correct information but rarely used)
all of this depends on the content of the ad and who is seeing it
What is equality of outcomes and why is it problematic?
-Give everyone an equal share of the wealth
Problem 1: People have different needs
Problem 2: doesn't take into account their effort
What is minimal equality of opportunity, as defined in class? What were the reasons given for it in class?
-Everyone gets an opportunity to acquire wealth without regard to thugs like race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, country of origin, etc. (what people get should depend on their ability and effort)
1) unfair to deny opportunities to people arbitrarily
2) unfair to deny opportunities to people for things beyond their control
3) religion within control- personal enough that people ought to be free enough to choose it
What is radical equality of opportunity and what are the reasons for it?
-.....> or in-born talents and abilities
- can be huge advantages over others
-Birth defects- parapelgics and mental disabilities
-advantages- bigger, stronger, supermodel looks, intelligence
1) arbitrary
2) beyond your control
What is the canon of productivity? What are the difficulties with it, as described in class?
-goods should be distributed to individuals according to how much people produce
1)productivity may have nothing to do with merit (producing a lots but little effort, but lots of effort producing little)
2)produce very little through no fault of their own
3)Ignores supply and demand (increase of workers-paid less)
What are the Original Position and the Veil of Ignorance?
-Original Position- hypothetical scenario, participate freely, rationally, and self-interestedly debate, need to get rid of morally arbitrary factors
-Veil of Ignorance-people in original position know nothing about morally arbitrary factors
Why does Rawls believe it is important to be under the veil of ignorance in the original position?
What is the maximin Solution and what role does it play and Rawls' theory of distributive justice?
-you maximize the position of the worst off in society -just in case you wind up in the worst-off position in society
What main principles does Rawls' believe we would adopt in the original position? Why does he think we would adopt the difference principle?
-First principle (Principle of Liberty):Each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive total system of equal basic liberties compatible with a similar system of liberty for all
-Second principle: social & economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they both: a.)The principle of fair equality and opportunity: are attached to offices and positions open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity & b.)The Difference Principle: are to the greatest benefit of the least advantages HIGHER PRINCIPLES OVERRIDE LOWER ONES
According to Joel Bakan's article, "Democracy LTD., what provision of the Homeland Security Act was likely the result of lobbying by the Eli Lilly Co.?
A provision that protected thimerosal manufacturers from lawsuits arising out of harm caused by the drug's use. It is a mercury-based preservative that could cause autism in children through vaccines.
According to Raymond Gregory's "Employer Proselytization," how did Steuerwald attempt to resolve discord in two of the company's offices?
When she purported to have discovered that demons were causing strife and discord in two of the company's offices, she rid them of their presence by anointing the offices and on occasion she also anointed individual employees.
According to Leslie Savan, in her article "The Bribed Soul," what do the winkers believe? Are they correct?
The winkers believe that by rolling their collective eyes when they watch TV, they can control it, rather than letting it control them.
-they are not correct, because advertising has the power to break through the all-important boomer and Xer markets
According to John Boatright's article "Occupational Health and Safety," what cruel dilemma was posed by the Whirlpool case?
If they stay on the job and perform hazardous work, they risk serious injury and even death. But if they refuse to work as directed, they risk disciplinary action, which can include loss of wages, unfavorable evaluation, demotion, and even dismissal.
According to Youngme Moon's article, "Companies and the Customers Who Hate Them," why do many credit card companies not block transactions that would put a cardholder over their credit limit?
Many credit card
issuers, for example, choose not to deny a transaction that
would put the cardholder over his or her credit limit; it's
more profitable to let the customer overspend and then impose