A hard copy of this exam is due in class on the date indicated in your syllabus. You must answer all of the questions given below.
Each of your answers should be approximately 3-4 pages in length. Please put your full name, your section number, and the due date on the first page of your exam. Your exam should be computer-printed in either 12- or 14-point font, with no more than one-inch margins all around. Make sure to number each answer.
Write your answers as a teacher explaining these ideas to an imaginary class of students who have not heard this material before. You may study with other students in preparation for this exam. Please be sure, however, that the answers you turn in are substantially your own, and not simply copies or paraphrases of someone else’s words. If you do work with anyone else, you must list their names on your exam.
1. Explain in your own words what a philosophy of social justice is, as we have defined the term in class. Why is the word “should” so important in this definition? Explain in detail each of the two free-market philosophes that we have discussed in class. For each of these two philosophies, identify what you think is its greatest strength, and its greatest weakness. (Be sure to explain why these alleged strengths and weaknesses are important ones.) Which of the two philosophies do you think makes more sense? Why?
2. Explain John Rawls’ philosophy of liberalism in detail, as we have discussed it in class. What do you think is the main strength of liberalism, in comparison with the current plutocracy? What is its main weakness? Make sure to include an assessment of how well liberalism deals with the current problems of unequal wealth distribution as either a “strength” or a “weakness”, depending on your opinion of the matter. (Be sure to explain why these alleged strengths and weaknesses are important ones.)
3. Explain in detail Marx’s two ethical objections to capitalism, as we have discussed them in class. For each objection, explain exactly why it is a serious one. How could a defender of capitalism best reply to each of these objections? For each objection, do you think the defender’s reply is convincing? Explain why or why not.