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PHIL 160 Notes

by: Marika O'Hara

PHIL 160 Notes PHIL 160

Marika O'Hara

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About this Document

Notes from the second half of PHIL 160 course.
Introduction to Ethics
Tamara Fukrouy
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This 21 page Bundle was uploaded by Marika O'Hara on Friday August 5, 2016. The Bundle belongs to PHIL 160 at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill taught by Tamara Fukrouy in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Ethics in Philosophy at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.


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Date Created: 08/05/16
Nicomachean Ethics Monday, October 26, 2015 PHIL 160 Nicomachean Ethics - Recap Virtue Theory - NE III • Moral Responsibility - Voluntary and Involuntary Acts - Rational Choice - 2 Virtues of Character • Moderation (Temperance) • Courage Virtues: • Moderation, Justice, Honesty, Generosity, Courage, Self-Sufficiency - Practical Wisdom — how should we act in light of excess and deficiency • to have practical wisdom is to have all the virtues - Virtues are always in a mean state - ex: justice is in-between taking more than one deserves and not receiving what one deserves 1 Nicomachean Ethics Monday, October 26, 2015 - The Virtuous/Generous Person gives money at appropriate times not all the time • The Generous Person feels good as a result of doing the right thing - One should be knowledgable about why they do things andwhy things are the right thing to do Virtues must be cultivated, they do not come naturally • - Virtues depend on a good education as well as upbringing • Virtue is a choice - Voluntary Acts — • the cause of the action is inside of us • can be both praised and blamed • the agent knows what they are doing - Involuntary Acts — • something one could be forced to do • cause is external to the person • through ignorance • pardoned, excused or pitied • no moral responsibility 2 Nicomachean Ethics Monday, October 26, 2015 - In Ignorance • drunk driving • due to a state that you willingly put yourself in • subject to blame - Through Ignorance as a result of being ignorant about what is right or what is happening in the • world - Some voluntary acts are chosen and some are not chosen - People have a responsibility to control their anger so as to be more virtuous - Choice: • An act that is chosen is always an action that is voluntary • Done after thinking and deliberation • different from desire, emotions, and wishes - Someone who knows what is right but doesn’t do it is not acting from choice - Choice vs. Desire • Desire stems from what is pleasurable or painful but we can make choices independent of pain or pleasure • Choice comes from knowledge of what is right and good 3 Nicomachean Ethics Monday, October 26, 2015 - Choice vs. Wish • Wishes can be things not are not entirely possible • Some things you can wish for (ex happiness) are not things you can choose but can only choose the means to achieve that • Choice is deliberate desire 4 Aristotle and Abortion Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - we cannot blame people for the emotions they make us feel - we are able to affirm or reject emotions and still act in a virtuous way - the virtuous person will not endure oppression or abuse, they will resist it and stand up for themselves Abortion - arguments typically follow the moral status of the fetus • important distinction between a person and a human being - human being: member of species homosapien - person: might or might not be homosapien, rational, self-aware, preferences, interests, desires, plans for future, goals - Do infants have the above things??? No. Infants act on instinct like an animals, making them not persons • - a woman’s right to her body and the fetus’s rights are irrelevant - what matters is whether or not a virtuous person would choose to have an abortion - the virtuous person will choose to have an early term abortion rather than late term
 5 Feminist Ethics Monday, November 2, 2015 - Aristotle thought that men were superior in all respects to women • Woman are “deformed/underdeveloped men” - Kant thought that women should not be engaged in reasoning or thinking because it would make them less attractive to men - Philosophers have gone wrong in respect to women in two ways • 1. Bad comments about the nature of women and their role in society 2. Ignored the experiences of women • - Central Claims of Feminist Ethics 1. Women are equal to men 2. The experiences of women deserve respect and attention and are vital to a full understanding of morality 3. Traits that have been traditionally associated with women are not to represent all women or to be held as ideals for all women. These traits are just as important as traditionally masculine traits 4. Traditionally female ways of reasoning (cooperation, etc) are actually often superior to traditional masculine viewpoints 6 Feminist Ethics Monday, November 2, 2015 - Care Ethics • A kind of Virtue Theory where the model behavior is the relationship between mother and child • Where Egoism tells us to prioritize our self-interest, Care Ethics tells us to prioritize the interest of others or of our “child” • Treat everything and everyone with care • Always insisting on one’s rights is not consistent with having successful relationship 7 Wednesday, November 4, 2015 - Enabling conception of justice —> justice requires more than figuring out how to distribute resources, we must establish social institutions and conditions so all people can develop their capacities and have self-respect and respect from others - Justice should not disable people from these things by preventing them from working, being respected, or having the right to marry - Justice requires that citizens are enabled and empowered - Injustice can happen in two ways • 1. People can be dominated • 2. People can be oppressed - People have a hard time admitting that social injustices in the United States can be described as oppression • However, oppression well describes the experiences of the non-dominant groups of people in the US - Social philosophers and activists are lacking a unified definition of oppression - Oppression is always a form of social injustice - Not everyone can be subject to oppression • Dominant group 8 Wednesday, November 4, 2015 • People with privilege - Common experience that all oppressed people share - Oppression = institutionally based, group specific, social injustice, that deprives individuals of the resources to self-development, through two things: material harms and psychological harms Inhibition of individual’s ability to develop and exercise capacity and express • needs and desires as a result membership in a particular social group - An oppressed person will be discouraged from developing interests and hobbies outside those that serve an oppressor group - Material Harm: • lack of basic resources like food and shelter • lack of access to medical services poverty • • threats of violence • lack of access to education - Psychological Harm • fear of being stereotyped • fear of saying where you are from 9 Wednesday, November 4, 2015 • fear of physical harm/ trauma • feelings of inferiority • fear of participating in activities outside those deemed to be associated with your group • internalized aggression • intellectual constraints - likely to have false beliefs about worth and abilities - likely to think themselves unable to hold positions - more likely to censor themselves - Five Kinds of Oppression - Exploitation — • when an inferior group is used by a superior group to receive benefits the inferior group does not receive in return - Marginalization — • when a specific group is excluded from institutions of society on the basis of their membership in a certain group - Powerlessness — 10 Wednesday, November 4, 2015 • when a group of people are dominated by the ruling class and cannot give any orders only take them - Cultural Imperialism — • universalizing the experiences of the dominant culture - Violence
 11 Famine, Affluence, and Morality Monday, November 9, 2015 - Do we have an obligation to help those in poverty? - What do the affluent owe to those who are not affluent? - People all over the world die of things that are avoidable - Very few affluent people actually give to charities and help - Government does not spend very much money either compared to luxury things Do we value luxury more than other people’s lives? • - We take our life and affluent nations for granted • Singer’s Argument - P1. Suffering and death from lack of food, shelter, and medical care are bad - P2. If it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening without thereby sacrificing anything of (comparable) moral importance, we ought morally to do it - People should give until they literally cannot anymore, and are brought down to poverty as well - If everyone gives so much that they are brought down to the level of poverty, there will be no incentive for people to work jobs like doctors and engineers - Some people say that the best way to get rid of world poverty is population control 12 Famine, Affluence, and Morality Monday, November 9, 2015 - Singer’s Argument • P1. Death and Suffering by avoidable causes like poverty is bad • P2. If it is in our power to prevent something bad w/o sacrificing anything of (comparable) moral importance, then we ought to do it. • C. We, the affluent, out to be working full time to relieve poverty
 13 Kantian Approach to Famine Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - 1. Duties of Justice • Perfect Duty • Whatever you do to aid people in poverty can’t use them as a means - 2. Duties of Beneficence • Imperfect Duty 14 Ethics of War Monday, November 16, 2015 • WAR = An actual, intentional, and widespread violent conflict between political communities PoliticalCommunities = States or political organizations that intend to • become states 3 Perspectives in the ethics of war • - 1. Pacifism — • against large scale violence, think war is never justified - Consequentialist Pacifism — does the benefits of war outweigh the harm - Deontological Pacifism — it is a duty not to kill - 2. Realism — • Morality doesn’t extend beyond states, cannot apply moral rules like justice in foreign affairs - Descriptive Realist — describe the way that things actually are - Prescriptive Realist — the way that things should be - 3. Just War Theory - Just War Theory 15 Ethics of War Monday, November 16, 2015 • Jus ad Bellum — “justice in going to war” • 1. Just cause - a. Principle of Permissibility of Defensive Force • 2. Right Intention • 3. Proper Authority and Public Declaration — - Head of State, Someone the people of the state recognize as an authority • 4. Last Resort • 5. Probability of Success - not justified in fighting a war one is unlikely to win • 6. Proportionality • Jus in Bello — “just conduct in war” • 1. Proportionality — - only permitted to use force in proportion with force received • 2. Discrimination - a. Principle of Non-Combatant Immunity • never justified to intentionally target civilians - b. Doctrine of Double Effect 16 Ethics of War Monday, November 16, 2015 • used to help one decide if they are permitted to perform an act that would benefit them but have harms to others 17 Terrorism Wednesday, November 18, 2015 • Political Status Definition: - All violence against a state and its civic order is terrorism • criticized for having a pro-state bias • would classify revolutionists as terrorists • Orthodox Definition: - Terrorism refers to politically or ideologically motivated violence directed against civilians as a means of achieving political/ideological goals - What makes terrorism morally distinctive is the exploitation of the corrosive power of fear - Abilities of fear to unravel the aspects of person’s personality and to unravel society - Terrorism and state terror have different aims but use the same means • Terrorists aim to make terrorism very public and well-known • State terror usually happens in secret and that is how it gains its power - Tendencies of people using the term terrorism • 1. Governments use the term to refer to all forms of political violence perpetuated against the state but non-state actors - Common features of most cases of terrorism: 18 Terrorism Wednesday, November 18, 2015 • violence targeted at large groups of innocent people (or threat of violence) • use of fear that aims to destabilize a social system • killing a large group of people (using as means) to create fear in another group of people - FEAR • terrorists target a population that people identify with, creating the idea that it ‘could be anybody’ • fear that makes people unable to have normal social lives • causes people to distrust one another, mass suspicion • creates lack of social interaction - social interaction drives the economy • according to Hobbes, society is the antidote to fear in a perpetual state of fear there is no culture and industry, — no art, science, • philosophy etc (Hobbes) fear is corrosive to our social stability • - one solution to terrorism is to refuse to be afraid and distrust each other - Ignorance is better than Fear • Fear can produce ignorance and poverty 19 Terrorism Wednesday, November 18, 2015 - civilians should become more educated about terrorism so we can overcome fears A free and able society is the best remedy against terrorism
 20 Happiness Monday, November 23, 2015 - 1. Human valuing is non-experiential, non-consequentialist, and conservative - 2. What happens after our deaths matter to us in its own right and is a precondition for other thing mattering to us - 3. Humans have an impulse to personalize their relationship to the future 21


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