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Exam 2 Bundle

by: Thomas nelson

Exam 2 Bundle PHL 2008

Thomas nelson

GPA 3.5

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These notes cover the information since the last test
Social Ethics
Thaddeus M. Ostrowski
Social Ethics
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This 6 page Bundle was uploaded by Thomas nelson on Friday March 25, 2016. The Bundle belongs to PHL 2008 at High Point University taught by Thaddeus M. Ostrowski in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 23 views. For similar materials see Social Ethics in PHIL-Philosophy at High Point University.


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Date Created: 03/25/16
Thomas Nelson­point­university/phl­2008/study­guide/exam­2­study­guide? id=731796   Purple Heart situation → Pentagon considered adding PTSD conditions to criteria for it o “Participation Trophy”  Erodes significance o Heap o Telos (purpose)  3 approaches to ethical thinking o Maximizing welfare – utilitarianism   Jeremy Bentham  John Stuart Mill  Peter Singer o Respecting freedom and rights  Immanuel Kant  Deontology  2 camps  Freedom  Laissez­Faire: Freedom from interference; Robert Nozick,  libertarianism, free market  Equality  Fairness: Equal dignity of each individual; John Rawls,  liberalism, egalitarianism  o Cultivating virtue and promoting the good life  Aristotle   Virtue ethics   Reflective Equilibrium – Bringing into alignment our judgments in particular cases with  our reflective principles o Socrates’ objection to Cephalus’ definition of justice (telling the truth and  repaying debts → giving a weapon back to a mad man)  Ancient president: Epicurus (341­270 BC)  Developed by Jeremy Bentham (1748­1832)  Revised by John Stuart Mill (1806­1873)  Epicureanism o Like Utilitarianism, a form of “philosophical hedonism”  “Hedon” is Greek word for pleasure o Not crass/crude about avoiding distress and achieving a stable state of balanced  pleasure (avoiding “highs and lows”)  Motive → Act → CONSEQUENCES  Morality of an act is not determined by intentions/motives, nor can we know from the act  itself whether it is morally right/justified; “the ends justify the means” Thomas Nelson  Happiness = Pleasure o The only intrinsic good, all other goods are instrumental (they are desirable  because they are useful for promoting happiness)  Kinds of pleasure o Physical (eating, sex) o Personal (satisfaction of a job well done) o Aesthetic (appreciation off beauty, music) o Intellectual (rush of “getting it” → Eureka!)  Not an egoistic theory: Everyone affected by some action is to be counted equally and  our own happiness counts no more than others’  “[The] standard is not the agent’s own greatest happiness, but the greatest amount of  happiness altogether.”  We may even have to sacrifice our own happiness, if to do so increases total/overall  happiness   Calculating the greatest amount of happiness o 5 criteria  Net amount of pleasure/happiness  Its intensity (circumstances)  Its duration  Its fruitfulness (can the pleasure grow?) → Learning a language, learning  to play an instrument  Likelihood of outcome (how likely is act to produce anticipated pleasure?)  2 objections to Utilitarianism  o Individual rights  Throwing Christians to lions  Torture  Ursula K. LeGuin’s “city of happiness” o Common currency of value  Benefits of lung cancer → More profitable for government to let people  smoke and die of lung cancer  Exploding gas tanks (the Ford Pinto) → Cheaper to pay out settlements  than to pay the $11 per car to fix the problem  Discount for seniors on life insurance  Gain for pay (put price on: cut off toe, eat worm, live in Kansas, kill cat  with bare hands → Does everything have a price?)  St. Anne’s girls (boys staying overnight) o Reply to first objection – the case of liberty  Are freedoms and rights socially useful?  Can only restrict freedom if it impinges on freedom of another Thomas Nelson  Character matters  o Reply to second objection – “higher” pleasures  The Singst Solution to World Poverty o 1  premise – Suffering is bad o 2  premise – If it’s in your power to stop something bad, without sacrificing  anything nearly as important, it’s wrong not to do so o 3  premise – By donating, you can stop suffering without sacrificing anything  important o Conclusion – Therefore, if you don’t donate to aid agencies, you are doing  something wrong  o Must give until giving causes you more suffering than it benefits others nd  2  approach to justice: Respecting freedoms and rights o Immanuel Kant o 2 camps  Laissez Faire  Fairness  Robert Nozick o Anarchy, State, Utopia (1974) introduces libertarianism to mainstream culture and gives it intellectual “respectability” o 2 “thought experiments” to refute utilitarianism  The experience machine (virtual reality)  Utility monster   “Liber” means “free” in Latin  Emphasizes inviolable freedoms of individual not to be used or coerced  John Stuart Mill said that “rights” are socially useful; for Libertarians, they are  fundamental and violable  Individual has the right to do whatever he/she wants with the things he/she owns, as long  as you respect other people’s rights to do the same  Emphasizes our rights: Freedom/liberty  It places less emphasis on our responsibilities (other than to leave others alone or not  infringe on their rights/freedoms)  Non­maleficence rather than beneficence   3 criteria of justice → John Locke o Justice in acquisition o Justice in transfer o Justice in rectification  Nozick says o “A distribution is just if everyone is entitled to the holdings they possess under the distribution” Thomas Nelson o “A distribution is just if it arises from another just distribution by legitimate  means”  2 arguments in favor of free market 1) Utilitarianism – Maximizing happiness (consequentialist argument) 2) Libertarian – Respect rights and self­ownership of people involved (non­ consequentialist argument)  2 arguments against free market 1) Free market isn’t free or fair  You have to be informed beforehand 2) Degradation of “higher goods”  Certain things shouldn’t be for sale  Children, self/body/labor of body  2 ways Locke “disappoints” Libertarians 1) Rights are inalienable (we don’t own ourselves absolutely) 2) Social contracts   What is Enlightenment? o Emerging from immaturity o Thinking for yourself o Having the courage to use your own reason o “Dare to know!”  3 major works (critiques) o Critiques of Pure Reason (metaphysics, the true) o Critique of Practical Reason (ethics, the good) o Critique of Judgments (aesthetic, the beautiful)  Also wrote “The Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals” (excerpt)  What gives an act moral worth? o We are responsible for our motive, not consequences – they are beyond our  control (we can only control what we do and why we do it) o The belief that people are autonomous, rational beings with intrinsic value → So  people shouldn’t be used  To be “autonomous” is to be “a law unto oneself” o “Auto” means “self” and “nomos” means “law” o Free or “self­legislating” (acting on laws one gives oneself)  “Heteronomous” is opposite – controlled by something outside o Slave to desire/inclination, follow the crowd, or blindly obey rules/law  To be autonomous is not to do whatever you want, it is to be able to step back from  desires or inclinations and choose how to act (or on which to get)  Bentham was wrong that pleasure and pain are our “sovereign masters”  What is the right motive? o It is acting out of duty, a concern or respect for the objective moral law o It is doing something because it is the right thing to do Thomas Nelson  He does not trust people’s feelings because they come and go (aren’t constant)  Shopkeeper and child shopper example → Did duty for the wrong reason (to protect his  reputation, not because it is the right thing to do)  Contrasts with Utilitarianism both in what it names as an intrinsic good o Happiness (Pleasure) vs. Human person   Non­consequentialist or Deontological theory MOTIVE ACT CONSEQUENCES JOHN STUART  Greater good MILL IMMANUEL  Act out of duty Act according to duty (in  KANT conformity with duty)  The Categorical Imperative o Necessary or required in moral sense → command  Hypothetical vs. Categorical  o Hypothetical is conditional takes form of an “if… then” statement (instrumental,  extrinsic) o Categorical is absolute (intrinsic)  2 forms of the Categorical Imperative 1) “Act only on that maxim that you can will as a universal law”  Not about consequences, but  Avoiding making oneself and exception  Avoiding contradicting oneself or acting in a self­defeating way  Not the “golden rule” (that is a hypothetical imperative)  Ex: Lying to spare someone’s feelings (maxim) → People would lie all the time, so people couldn’t trust anything people said, therefore, people’s  feelings would not be spared 2) “Always treat humanity, whether in your own person or that of another, never  simply as a means but always at the same time as an end”  Always respect people as beings of intrinsic worth (don’t treat oneself or  anything else as things)  No prostitution PERFECT DUTIES: IMPERFECT DUTIES: Thomas Nelson PROSCRIBED (­) PRESCRIBED (+) IT IS OUR DUTY NOT TO DO THEMIT IS OUR DUTY TO DO THEM (TO  (TO PERFORM IS CULPABLE OR  PERFORM IS MERITORIOUS OR  BLAMEWORTHY) PRAISEWORTHY) TO SELF Not to commit suicide Develop talents Not to lie or murder Beneficence – To do good  TO OTHERS to/for others SELL KIDNEYS? UTILITARIANISM Win­Win for person who gets kidney and  whoever got to use the money (Ex: Father  selling kidneys to pay for children’s college  tuitions) LIBERTARIANISM Yes because of self­ownership (as long as it  doesn’t harm anyone else) LOCKE No because we do not own ourselves  absolutely (God does) Maybe selling one is okay because God could have intended it that way KANT No because one be using oneself as a mere  means (treating oneself as a thing for a profit)


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