Review and Study Guide #4


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Please note: as previously mentioned, the quizzes and exams cover both what is in the readings as well as what is discussed in class. This fourth review and study guide, in addition to the third one, will be useful as you prepare for the final exam. Feel free to study together, but the exam will be taken individually without using notes or the book.



  • Understand the conjugal and revisionist views of marriage.
  • What reasons were given for the idea that interracial marriage is disanalogous to two people of the same sex who want to be legally recognized as married to each other, and what three principles must the revisionist hold to in order to deny legal recognition to other arrangements?
  • Understand the three elements of marriage that point to the conjugal view and the rationale for them.
  • It was argued that several problems would result from abolishing the conjugal view of marriage from the law. What are those?
  • What challenges were raised for the revisionist view of marriage?
  • How do the authors arguing for the conjugal view of marriage respond to the idea that the state should grant people certain legal benefits if they provide each other domestic support and care?
  • What is constructivism, and what’s been said in response to this view?
  • Be able to identify reasons that were considered for why redefining marriage to follow the revisionist view would not increase the number of stable, monogamous, faithful sexual unions.
  • What was said to be problematic about the idea that everyone needs meaningful companionship, which involves sex and public recognition?
  • How does Bolte think that same-sex marriage would benefit children?
  • How does Bolte respond to the objection that children will suffer from confusion over sex roles by having two moms or two dads?
  • Why doesn’t Bolte advocate the idea that homosexuality is genetic in origin, and what is it that’s essential about how to treat our desires in aiming to live a good and flourishing life?
  • How does Bolte define marriage, and does she object to the argument that in redefining marriage to follow the revisionist view, the law would then lose a principled ground for confining marriage to two people that aren’t too closely related?
  • What are the four objections that gays and lesbians have raised against legalizing same-sex marriage, and how does Bolte respond to them?
  • Why does Bolte disagree with the strategy of some gays and lesbians to legalize domestic partnerships instead of same-sex marriage?
  • Be able to identify the kinds of attitudes and behaviors that are characteristic of marriages that last and flourish in the long run versus those that do not.
  • Be able to identify the consequences we examined of divorce, illegitimacy, and cohabitation, and what it is that they have in common.


Justice / Economic & Political Freedom

  • What were the three ways we briefly considered of how to understand what justice is?
  • Understand the difference between individualist and communitarianist political philosophies.
  • What is classical liberalism?
  • What is fascism?
  • What is socialism?
  • Know how Marx summarized what communism is, and be able to recognize his ten-point policy recommendations from the Communist Manifesto.
  • What objections have been raised against communism?
  • Understand how Locke described us in the state of nature, including what he meant by our being free and equal.
  • What type of government did Locke argue for?
  • Why did Nozick think we should think about “justice in holdings” rather than “distributive justice”?
  • What are the two types of ways in which Nozick thought we can justly come to own something?
  • How did Nozick argue for the idea that we should follow entitlement principles rather than end-state principles (such as Marx’s “to each according to his needs”) of justice in holdings?
  • What other problems did economist P.T. Bauer raise for large-scale redistributive policies?
  • What is the principle of subsidiarity?
  • What is capitalism, and what is it based on?
  • Understand the notion of a zero sum game and why it is that the rich don’t typically get richer while the poor get poorer in capitalism.
  • What have been the results of capitalism in terms of wealth creation, giving, envy, and selfishness?


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