For each action we perform, we can know only some of its consequences. Thus the view that in no situation can we know...

Antionette on December 10, 2013

Help!

Please explain how to diagram this question. I got stuck when I saw "the same as." I see quantifier and sufficient/nec language but I can't see how to put it together.

1 Reply

Mehran on December 12, 2013

So the first sentence tells us that we only know SOME of the consequences of each action that we perform. From this the author concludes that "the view that in no situation can we know what action is morally right would be true if an action's being morally right (aka "MR") were the same as the action's having the best consequences (aka "BC")."

We can diagram the general principle in the conclusion as follows:

MR ==> BC
not BC ==> not MR

Notice we are concluding "not MR," i.e. the view that in no situation can we know what action is morally right would be true. According to this principle, however, we would need to know that an action does not have the best consequences in order to conclude that we can never know if that action is morally right.

Our correct answer will 100% guarantee the conclusion. Let's think about where the gap is in the argument. We need to connect the fact that we only know SOME of the consequences of each action that we perform to either "MR ==> BC" or to its contrapositive: "not BC ==> not MR."

(C) is our correct answer because it does exactly that.

KACA = Knowing ALL consequences of an action

BC ==> KACA
not KACA ==> not BC

Knowing only SOME of the consequences of each action is the same as not knowing ALL the consequences of an action, i.e. not KACA. Thus, we can connect these principles using the transitive property:

not KACA ==> not BC ==> not MR

Therefore, answer choice (C) 100% guarantees our conclusion of "not MR."

Hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any other questions.