Phil. 103

Prof. Justin


Case Study 3



Terry works for Software Design Unlimited, a consulting firm in Silicon Valley.  He is 53 years old with a working wife and two college age children.  He holds a lower management position, supervising 5 program designers.  He has worked at Unlimited for 12 years, starting out as a programmer.  The Company’s revenue comes mainly from contracts with financial institutions which are experimenting with ways to increase customer base.  Typically, the marketing division of the company is called in to develop marketing strategies and the software design division develops programs to analyze the data from surveys used to test the proposed marketing strategies.  Terry oversees the design tasks involved in preparing and implementing the software programs.


At present, upper management is planning to let Terry go in spite of that Terry has performed very competently.   Upper management wants to increase the profit margin from 14 to 17 percent.  To accomplish this economic goal, they plan, among other things, to replace more expensive employees with less expensive ones.  In Terry’s case, they intend to hire a young hotshot programmer and, then, move into Terry’s job one of the five programmers who now reports to Terry.  They reason that they can pay the young hot shot less than they now pay the present programmer whom they move up and also pay the programmer whom they move up less than they now pay Terry.  Furthermore, they don’t anticipate any loss in efficiency, since the programmer whom they plan to move into Terry’s job has been with the firm 4 years and is familiar with company procedures while the young hot shot knows enough about programming to be able to effectively serve as a member of the design staff.  So they decide that in order to better promote the economic goals of the company, they will replace the older, more expensive employee with a younger, less expensive hire.




A.        Due in class or in my faculty mailbox or via e-mail no later than 12PM.

B.         Write a maxim that describes the action Software Design Unlimited is taking with regard to Terry.

C.        Universalize the maxim.

D.        Briefly explain why the universalized maxim has or does not have a practical contradiction in it.