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Ethical Simulation Problem

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This problem is assessed:

Consider this problem: A man has three animals on a riverbank: a dog,cat, and a mouse. The man needs to get all three animals to the other side of the river, but can only carry himself and one animal at a time.

The man cannot leave the dog and cat together because the dog will eat the cat. similarly, if the man leaves the cat and mouse together, the cat will eat the mouse.

Help the man figure out a system for transporting each of the animals across the river without any of them getting eaten.

Consider the following questions: Do you use a problem solving process?

*How did you interpret the problem?
*What strategy did you use and how did you evaluate your progress?
*Did you encounter any obstacles while solving the problem?
*Were you aware of this thought process as you worked through the problem?

I think you have to take the cat first. What do you think? I would really like some help.

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Solution Preview

Hi,

Interesting case scenario! Let's take a closer look.

RESPONSE:

Consider this problem: A man has three animals on a riverbank: a dog, cat, and a mouse. The man needs to get all three animals to the other side of the river, but can only carry himself and one animal at a time. The man cannot leave the dog and cat together because the dog will eat the cat. Similarly, if the man leaves the cat and mouse together, the cat will eat the mouse. Help the man figure out a system for transporting each of the animals across the river without any of them getting eaten.

A. Consider the following questions: Do you use a problem solving process?

Response:

You said: "I think you have to take the cat first. What do you think? I would really like some help."
That is one way of looking at it, but then what? Did you use a problem solving process (e.g., defining the problem, looking for solutions, etc.)?

Let's take this one step further.

If he takes the cat first, the dog and mouse will be alone on the other side. But then what? The man will need to either take the dog or mouse next. If he takes the mouse next, the cat will eat the mouse on the other side when he returns to get the dog. However, if he takes the mouse next, the cat will eat the mouse on the other side, while he returns to get the dog. This is quite an ethical dilemma. It seems that regardless of what order the man decides to take the animals, one animal will need to be sacrificed for the greater good of saving the ...

Solution Summary

Analysis and solution for a given ethical simulation problem e.g. help the man figure out a system for transporting each of the animals across the river without any of them getting eaten. Supplemented with an article discussing over 50 problem solving techniques.

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