PHIL 150B1 Exam 1 Study Guide
PHIL 150B1 Exam 1 Study Guide PHIL 150B1
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This 29 page Study Guide was uploaded by AmysNotes on Monday January 18, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to PHIL 150B1 at University of Arizona taught by Ana Sartorio in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 273 views. For similar materials see Personal Morality in PHIL-Philosophy at University of Arizona.
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Personal Morality Exam 1 Study Guide ★ Arguments: ○ Concept of an argument: ■ A series of claims, one of which (conclusion) is supported by the others (premises). ○ Concept of premises: ■ The premises of an argument can be: explicit and implicit ○ Concept of conclusions: ■ a proposition in that argument that the argument represents as being entailed by one or more of its steps ○ Distinction between explicit and implicit premises: ■ implicit: ● not explicitly stated, author could believe audience immediately understands, so does not state it ■ explicit: ● stated ○ Validity: ■ an argument is valid when the conclusion logically follows from its premises ● The X’s lack Property P. ● Only things that have P have Q. ● Therefore, the X’s lack property Q. ○ Soundness: ■ An argument is sound when it’s valid AND its premises are true. ■ Note: the conclusion of a sound argument, unlike the conclusion of a merely valid argument, is always true. ○ “Biting the bullet” as an argumentative strategy: ■ taking a stand that seems to go against common sense in order to defend your theory ■ Accepting some apparently very implausible consequence of one’s view, arguing that, in fact, on reflection, we should accept that consequence ★ Animals: ○ Kant’s View: ■ Distinction between direct and indirect duties: ● Direct duties: We have a direct duty to X when we have that duty simply in virtue of what X itself is like ○ we only have direct duties to beings with moral standing ○ Example: other human beings ● Indirect duties: We have an indirect duty to X when we have a duty to X that is not direct. ○ Examples: Your car, your cup ■ Distinction between conscious and selfconscious beings: ● Conscious beings: ○ Beings who are capable of having conscious experiences. ○ only beings who can reflect about their experiences, their lives, and think rationally about their goals. ○ According to Kant, the only beings of that kind are human beings. ● selfconscious beings: ○ Beings who, in addition, can be aware of themselves as conscious beings and as having experiences. ■ Argument that we don’t have direct duties to animals ● Animals are not selfconscious. We only have direct duties toward self conscious beings. [Implicit premise] Therefore, we don’t have direct duties toward animals. ■ Argument that we have indirect duties to animals ● We have indirect duties toward animals because of our direct duties to humans ○ Other people’s pets ○ Other animals too: ○ Being kind to animals helps cultivate kindness to humans . ■ Objections to Kant’s view about direct duties ● Arguing that a premise is implausible by showing that it has counterintuitive consequences. ● This casts doubt on the soundness of the argument. ● The premise entails consequence C. Consequence C seems clearly false. Therefore, we have good reason to believe that the premise is false. ■ Counterintuitive consequences about Robinson Crusoe, non selfconscious humans, etc. ● Kant’s premise entails that it wouldn’t be wrong for Robinson Crusoe to torture animals on his island for the sake of it. ● But, intuitively, it would be. ● This is another reason to doubt Kant’s premise. ● Note the use of purely hypothetical cases: ○ Kant’s premise is supposed to be completely general. ● So it should apply to all possible cases, including hypothetical cases. ● Focusing on hypothetical cases sometimes helps isolate the relevant factors from the irrelevant ones. ■ Consequences of Kant’s view ● Kant’s premise entails that there would be nothing wrong with torturing animals (nonselfconscious beings who can experience pain) “for the sake of it,” if this didn’t result in our being cruel to humans too. ■ Argument against Kant premise ● Kant’s premise entails that it wouldn’t be wrong to torture animals in that case. ● But this seems clearly false. ● Therefore, we have good reason to believe that Kant’s premise is false. ○ Singer’s View: ■ Basic Principle of Equality ● everybody’s interests matter equally ● counterintuitive ● This means that they deserve equal consideration. Equal CONSIDERATION is different from equal TREATMENT. ● The view entails that any suffering of the same intensity and duration is equally bad, regardless of who suffers it. ● The particular treatment that beings with interests deserve depends on their needs and special circumstances. ■ Basic Moral Principle: ● If a being suffers, there can be no moral justification for not taking that suffering into consideration. ● his results in a conception of moral standing that is much broader than Kant’s: Any being capable of suffering has moral standing. ■ Distinction between equal consideration and equal treatment ● equal treatment: ○ The fact that men and women are equals doesn’t mean that medical care for men and women should be of the same kind, that all sports teams should be coed, etc. ● equal consideration ○ The view entails that any suffering of the same intensity and duration is equally bad, regardless of who suffers it ○ The particular treatment that beings with interests deserve depends on their needs and special circumstances . ■ Concept of “sentience” ● Those who are SENTIENT = can feel pain/pleasure ■ Concept of “speciesism”: ● a prejudice/ bias in favor of members of one’s own species and against members of other species ■ Argument that sentient beings have interests (Basic Moral Principle): ● those who are SENTIENT = can feel pain/pleasure • • • Human beings At least some nonhuman animals NOT plants, rocks ■ Argument that other ways to assign moral significance (e.g., intelligence) are arbitrary. ● Could higher intelligence make the suffering of a being worse? Could lower intelligence make the suffering of a being less bad? ■ Practical consequences of Singer’s view: ● Singer’s “Master Argument” (S. Landau’s formulation) ○ If it’s wrong to prematurely kill, eat, and experiment upon severely brain damaged human orphans, then the same goes for animals. It is (almost always) wrong to do those things to severely brain damaged human orphans. Therefore, the same goes for animals. ■ Objections to Singer’s arguments: ● Counterintuitive consequences of Singer’s Principle. ○ Compare a dog with a mentally disabled human being (one with similar capacities for selfawareness, etc.). If the dog has a stronger headache than the human, other things being equal the medicine should be given to the dog. ● Singer’s reply: ○ Singer would attribute our attitude toward the suffering of the dog to speciesism. ○ On that basis, he would say that our attitude is not justified: ○ There is no morally relevant difference between the dog and the disabled human that can justify our preferential treatment of the human ○ Again (recall his “Master Argument”): ○ This applies to our practices of eating, killing, and experimenting on those beings. ○ In particular, it applies to our attitude toward the “right of life” and practices like euthanasia and abortion (our next topic): • ○ If those practices are not permissible for any humans, they’re not permissible for animals either. On the other hand, if they are permissible for animals, they are also permissible for some humans (of similar capacities) ? Abortion ○ Tooley’s arguments: ■ Argument for liberal view on abortion (argument that fetuses don’t have a right to life) ■ Argument against conservative view (against the main principle on which that view rests) ■ Concept of a person: ● the distinction between persons and humans. ○ Not all humans are persons (fetuses, infants, comatose humans, etc.) • ○ Not all persons are humans (chimps, Martians) ○ (Avoiding “Speciesism”, like Singer...) ■ General account of rights. ● Tooley’s account of rights requires the capacity to desire something... Which requires having the concept of that thing. ■ A prima facie obligation: ● An obligation that has to be weighed against other obligations to determine what you have to do, all things considered. ● The account says that we have a right to those things when it’s true that others have an obligation to let us have those things, if we desire to have them. ● Having the right requires having the desire (and the ability to have the desire). ● But the desire isn’t enough. ■ Account of rights principle: ● A has a right to X: ● A can desire X and ● If A desires X, then others have a “prima facie obligation” to allow him to have X ● Connects rights with (prima facie) obligations. ● Application to the right to life. ○ A has a right to life (to continue to exist): A can desire to live (to continue to exist) and, if he so desires, others have a prima facie obligation to allow him to do so. ○ The right to life = the right to continued existence. • You cannot have that right unless you can desire to continue to exist. • You cannot have that desire unless you’re selfconscious. ■ Tooley’s view on the right to life and abortion: ● Premise 1: The selfconsciousness requirement (has a right to life, only if it is selfconscious) ● Premise 2:Fetuses do not have selfconsciousness ● Conclusion: Therefore: Fetuses do not have a right to life ● the SelfConsciousness requirement. ○ Someone is a person (has a right to life) only if it regards itself as an entity persisting through time (a self that is a continuing subject of experiences). ○ A necessary condition for having a right to life is the possession of the concept of a self (a subject of experiences that persists through time). ■ Alternative views: ● When do fetuses acquire the right to life? ● Conception (Traditional Conservative) ● Human form ● Ability to move ● Viability ● Birth (Traditional Liberal) ● the Conservative view ● the Potentiality Principle. ● Tooley’s view is more liberal than even the Traditional Liberal view... Newborns also don’t have a right to life. Not just abortion, but infanticide also, is not seriously wrong in itself. ■ Potentiality Principle ● If adult humans have a right to life in virtue of certain properties, then the zygote has a right to life in virtue of its potentiality to have those properties ■ Argument against the Potentiality Principle (“the Kitten argument”) ● Imagine a chemical such that, if injected into a kitten’s brain, would turn its brain into a humantype brain with human capabilities ● . An adult cat thus modified would have the same right to life as an adult human. ● But Tooley is going to say: A kitten that has not been injected with the chemical, but could be injected with the chemical, doesn’t have a right to life. ● And from there he’ll argue that the potentiality of fetuses, also, doesn’t give them a right to life ○ 1. It’s not seriously wrong to (painlessly) kill a newborn kitten instead of injecting it with the chemical. ○ 2. If so, it’s also not seriously wrong to (painlessly) kill a kitten that has been injected with the chemical (before the end of the transformation process) ○ 3. If so, it’s also not seriously wrong to (painlessly) kill a human fetus/newborn. ● At least, it’s not wrong in virtue of its potentiality. ● • It could still be wrong for other reasons (it would obviously be wrong to do it against the parents’ will, for example) ● The injected kitten and the human fetus/ newborn have the same potentialities. • So, according to the Potentiality principle, what goes for one goes for the other. ■ Objections to Tooley’s arguments: ● Objections to selfconsciousness requirement: ○ Tooley’s view has some very implausible consequences: ○ • Human infants don’t have a right to life. ○ • Severely mentally disabled human beings don’t have a right to life. (Singer’s example) ○ counterintuitive consequences ■ Recall Singer on our attitudes towards animals vs. human beings. Tooley and Singer both appeal to Speciesism to explain why we have certain unjustified attitudes. Compare: injected kitten v. human fetus ● Reply: ○ biting the bullet ■ Accepting some apparently very implausible consequence of one’s view, arguing that, in fact, on reflection, we should accept that consequence ■ Objections to account of rights: ● the “wonder prize” objection ○ Imagine I win a prize, something I’ve never heard of before: a “Wonder Prize!” I don’t have a concept of it, but I still have a right to it ■ How could Tooley respond? ■ Perhaps he would say that I do have some of concept of it, or enough of a concept of it ● Tooley’s account of rights requires the capacity to desire something... Which requires having the concept of that thing ■ Objections to Kitten Argument: ● It’s not seriously wrong to (painlessly) kill a newborn kitten instead of injecting it with the chemical. ● 2. If so, it’s also not seriously wrong to (painlessly) kill a kitten that has been injected with the chemical (before the end of the transformation process). ● 3. If so, it’s also not seriously wrong to (painlessly) kill a human fetus/newborn ● Possible objection to premise 2: OK not to start the process but not OK to stop it once it has been started? Difference between acting and failing to act, or between “positive” and “negative” duties ● The Conservative view needn’t rest on the Potentiality Principle (Marquis) ● Marquis’s reply: ○ arguing for the Conservative view without the Potentiality Principle. ■ Marquis’s view: ● Marquis’s Conservative view on abortion: ○ Fetuses have a right to life since shortly after the time of conception. ○ Abortion is seriously wrong except in unusual circumstances. ■ Killing an adult human may be permissible in cases of selfdefense, just war, capital punishment, etc. Similarly, abortion may be permissible in cases of pregnancy due to rape, cases where the woman’s health is at risk, etc. ■ Marquis’s Argument ● 1. Killing humans is wrong (except in unusual circumstances) because it deprives victims of a possible future of value (a “future like ours”FLO). ● 2. Abortion deprives fetuses of FLO. ● 3. Therefore, abortion is wrong (except in unusual circumstances). ■ Argument for the FLO account of the wrongness of killing ● Not (just) because of the harm to others (family, friends). But (more fundamentally) because of the harm to that person. ● Distinction between ordinary harms and harms of deprivation ○ ordinary harms: If someone breaks your arm, they harm you because they cause you to be in a certain state: pain ○ harms of deprivation: ■ The harm of death is a harm of deprivation: ■ • It doesn’t harm the person by causing her to be in a bad state. ■ • It harms the person by depriving her of good things ● Explanatory power of this account ○ Killing is the worst crime: it deprives victim of all future goods. • Killing peaceful intelligent Martians would be wrong. • OK to end life of permanently comatose but not that of temporarily comatose. • Killing animals OK? Depends (FLO?). ● Ageism: If killing fetuses deprives them of FLO, then it’s wrong to kill them. Differentiating between adults and fetuses is “ageism”: discrimination on the basis of age ● Contraception objection: ○ It follows from the FLO account that contraception/sexual abstinence are wrong. They clearly aren’t wrong. ○ Therefore, the FLO account is false. ● Marquis’s reply: ○ Those consequences don’t follow: there is no individual in those cases whom we are depriving of a FLO. ● Response to Tooley: ○ Marquis’s argument doesn’t rely on a general Potentiality Principle: If Xs have the right to Y, then potential Xs have the right to Y ● Objections to Marquis’s argument: ○ The objection based on Tooley’s potentially intelligent kitten. ■ The kitten that has been injected with the chemical has FLO (in the same sense a human fetus has FLO). ■ 2. The injected kitten’s FLO doesn’t make killing it wrong. ■ 3. Therefore, the FLO account of the impermissibility of killing is false ● Which bullet is easier to bite? ○ • Tooley’s bullet: Killing infants and other nonselfconscious humans is not seriously wrong. ○ • Marquis’s bullet: Killing the accidentally injected kitten is seriously wrong. PHIL 150B1 Exam 2 Study Guide Mill’s Utilitarianism Consequentialism: ⭒ The morality of an act determined by value of consequences ⭒ A Consequentialist view results in a theory of value Utilitarianism as a form of consequentialism: ⭒ If an action generates happiness for many and unhappiness for no one, it is moral ⭒ If bad things will happen no matter what we do, then we should aim to minimize the harm The Greatest Happiness Principle: ⭒ The right act is the act that results in the greatest overall happiness The Utility of an Act: ⭒ the total happiness/the unhappiness that results from it The Right Act:: ⭒ act that maximizes the greatest utility ⭒ Example: ✴ Is A the right thing to do? ✧ Calculate the utility of A ✧ Compare it with the utility of other possible acts ✧ A is the right thing to do when A has the highest utility ✧ It’s a maximizing view, not a threshold view ✴ It's not enough to promote overall happiness beyond a certain threshold ✴ Focuses on actual consequence Goods: ⭒ Instrumental and Intrinsic ⭒ Instrumental: ✴ good only because they help us get other good things (money) ⭒ Intrinsic ✴ good in themselves (in their own rights) (love, friendship, happiness) Comparison: Kant’s distinction between duties ⭒ Mill understands happiness in terms of pleasure/absence of pain ⭒ Impartiality: ✴ each individual's happiness counts the same towards overall happiness ⭒ Additivity: ✴ Overall happiness is the sum of the happiness of the individuals ⭒ A maximizing view: ✴ not enough to promote overall happiness beyond a certain threshold ⭒ Focus on actual consequences Objections to Utilitarianism anticipated by Mill: ⭒ Impracticality objection: ✴ Utilitarianism is impractical ✴ We cannot make all the required utilitarian calculations every time we act ✴ At stake is every single person in the world and the present and future, making it even more impractical ✴ Because according to Utilitarianism, we must compare the consequences of all possible acts ⭒ Mill’s reply: ✴ Difficult cases: ✧ Only when secondary principles conflict, we should appeal to utilitarian calculations to decide what to do. ⭒ Demandingness objection: ✴ Utilitarianism is too demanding. ✴ It's too much to ask of people that they always act with the general interest of society in mind, or for the sake of the greater good. ✴ Mill's Reply ✧ Utilitarianism specifies a rule of action, not a motive of action. ✧ It is possible to do the right thing for purely selfish reasons. ✧ Utilitarianism only concerns the morality of the actions Other objections: ⭒ The “better” demandingness objection ✴ Utilitarianism entails that buying the candy bar (instead of giving the money to charity) is wrong ✴ It is not wrong ✴ Therefore, Utilitarianism fails ✴ The distinction between actions and omissions ✴ Formulation of the objection in terms of that distinction Singer’s Reply The duty/charity (obligatory/supererogatory) distinction: ⭒ Duty: ✴ A morally obligatory act (an act that it would be wrong to avoid) ✴ Examples: ✧ Taking care of parents, telling the truth ⭒ Charity: ✴ A merely supererogatory act (an act that it would be good to perform, but not wrong to avoid) ✴ Examples: ✧ Donating money to charity, volunteering ⭒ The pond example ✴ We have an obligation to help the child in the pond ✴ Why, what explains our obligation? ✴ Because of the truth of a prevention of suffering principle ⭒ Singer’s “Prevention of Suffering Principle”: ✴ PSP is indifferent to whether you're close or far from the person you could help. ✴ PSP is indifferent to whether you're the only person that could help. ✴ Singer says: This is as it should be. (Illustration with the pond example) ⭒ Strong version: ✴ If we can prevent something bad from happening, without sacrificing anything of comparable moral significance, we ought to do it. ✴ · Strong PSP entails that you should sacrifice yourself, or your family, to save a larger number of lives. ✴ Strong PSP entails that you should sacrifice your limbs to save the victim in the Pond Example ⭒ Moderate version ✴ If we can prevent something bad from happening, without sacrificing anything of moral significance, we ought to do it. ✴ Moderate PSP is more initially plausible than strong PSP. Singer’s argument based on that principle (2 versions) ⭒ Singer's argument is a reply to the "better demandingness objection". ⭒ It consists in arguing that many acts that seemed merely supererogatory are actually in fact obligatory. (Biting the Bullet) Objections to Singer’s argument: Objections to the version based on Strong PSP: ⭒ If the argument uses Strong PSP, then premise 2 is false. ⭒ Premise 2 = Strong PSP ⭒ Singer realizes that people will respond in this way. ⭒ That’s why he introduces Moderate PSP. Objections to the version based on Moderate PSP ⭒ If the argument uses Moderate PSP, then premise 3 fails. ⭒ According to the Utilitarian standards, even a candy bar can have some moral significance If it makes you happier. ⭒ The killing/letting die objection ⭒ (an objection to utilitarianism) Harris’s organ transplant scenario: ✴ Y and Z need new organs to survive ✴ There are no spare organs in stock. But the organs of a healthy person, A, could be used to save Y and Z. ✴ A can be sacrificed to save Y and Z. A would die as a result. ✴ If other things are equal, this would maximize utility. ⭒ Utilitarianism entails that A should be killed to save Y and Z. ⭒ It would be wrong to kill A. ✴ Therefore, Utilitarianism fails. ⭒ What's behind premise 2? ✴ An intuitive moral difference between killing and letting die. (Killing is worse than letting die). ✴ The duty not to kill is stronger than the duty to save. ✴ This is roughly a difference between acting and failing to act: ✧ If we don't intervene, 2 people will die. ✧ If we intervene, (by killing A), only 1 person will die. Harris’s formulation of the killing/letting die objection based on that scenario ⭒ Harris acknowledges that people feel that it would be wrong to kill A. ⭒ But he argues that the motivation for that (killing/letting die distinction) is misguided. Harris’s Reply Harris’s argument that the main attempts to justify the killing/letting die distinction fail. ⭒ If the Doctor lets Y and Z die: ⭒ They don’t die because of what the Dr. does, their ailment is what kills them. ✴ False! ⭒ He did contribute to their deaths. (He could have prevented their death and didn't). ⭒ He doesn’t intend for them to die; that is not his aim. ⭒ Typically, killing is associated with a bad intention. But it needn't be, and in this case, it isn't. The survival lottery society: ⭒ “Winning"= losing ⭒ If your ticket 'wins', your body will be used to save lives of many other people. ⭒ If the survival lottery society is moral, then the reason we think killing A would be wrong cannot be that there is a moral difference between killing and letting die. ⭒ We think killing A would be wrong because, of the additional negative consequences that would result from sacrificing A. ⭒ But note that if there enough of those bad consequences, then killing A would not maximize utility. ⭒ And so this wouldn’t be a problem for utilitarianism. (Premise 1 in the killing/letting die objection, would be false). Harris’s response to the killing/letting die objection based on that example ⭒ There seems to be scenarios where sacrificing A would maximize utility, even in a world like ours. ⭒ Imagine: A is homeless, has no friends, the doctor will painlessly kill A, no one will find out what happened, etc. ⭒ We still feel that it is wrong to kill A. ⭒ An important difference between that victim and the members of the survival lottery society: ⭒ He never agreed to the lottery scheme. ⭒ The scheme seems morally acceptable because people agreed to it in advance. Possible reply to Harris ⭒ There is a moral distinction between killing and letting die only if, when other things are equal, killing is worse than letting die. ⭒ But, when you hold other things equal, killing doesn’t always seem worse. Other possible objections to the killing/letting die distinction: the child in bathtub example Mill’s Hedonism Hedonism ⭒ pleasure/absence of pain ⭒ The right act is the act that results inn the highest aggregate balance of pleasure over pain. Happiness ⭒ Pleasure and the absence of pain Unhappiness ⭒ Pain and the absence of pleasure Pleasure (and the absence of pain) is the only intrinsic good. Motivation for Hedonism: ⭒ Pleasure is the only thing we ultimately pursue. ⭒ Pain is the only thing we ultimately try to avoid ⭒ (Mill recognizes different kinds of pleasure and pain) Intrinsic goods: something you seek for its own good Mill’s distinction between higher and lower-level pleasures ⭒ Human beings have higher faculties that make them capable of more sophisticated pleasures and pains. ⭒ Lower Level: ✴ Pleasures and pains of the senses. ⭒ Higher Level: ✴ Pleasures and pains of the intellect, the imagination, the emotions (e.g. Love) Mill’s thesis: the superiority of higher-level pleasures: ⭒ Quality always beats quantity. ⭒ Any amount of higher-level pleasure is better than any amount of lower-level pleasures. ⭒ Socrates and the Pig: ✴ 'It is better to be a human being, dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied, than a fool satisfied. And if the fool or the pig are a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question. The other party to the comparison knows both sides." (p. 259) Mill’s impartial judges criterion: ⭒ Of two pleasures, if there is one that all (or almost all) who are acquainted with both prefer, then that is the best pleasure. Mill’s argument for the superiority of higher-level pleasures based on that criterion ⭒ · The impartial judges prefer higher-level pleasures to lower-level pleasures. ⭒ · Even if, sometimes, they don’t choose the higher-level pleasure. ⭒ · Prefer = recognize the superiority of ⭒ · … and when they don’t, it's because they have lost the capacity to appreciate the superior pleasures. Objections to Mill’s argument ⭒ Objections to Mill's Hedonism: ✴ Mill claims that those who prefer lower-level pleasures are not impartial judges because they have lost the capacity to appreciate the superior pleasures. ✴ This seems unjustified. ✴ Analogy: Which flavor is the best? ✧ There is no right answer, as to which one is the best flavor. ⭒ Arguing that chocolate is best because all impartial judges choose it… Those who prefer vanilla have lost the capacity to appreciate chocolate. ⭒ NOTE: This is an objection to Mill's use of the impartial judges criterion to prove that the higher-level pleasures are better. Those pleasures could still be better. But Mill needs a different argument to show that they are. Objections to Hedonism: Nozick’s “Experience Machine” example ⭒ A machine that can simulate any experience (without you being away that it’s a simulation) ⭒ Can stimulate higher-level pleasures in addition to lower-level pleasures ⭒ Might have to simulate pains, efforts, and sacrifices that are required for some of the higher-level pleasures The argument against Hedonism based on the Experience Machine ⭒ Hedonism entails that we would want to plug into the machine for the rest of our lives (the machine could give us all we care about) ⭒ We wouldn’t want that (the machine couldn't give us all we care about) ⭒ Therefore, Hedonism is false Nozick on what’s missing: ⭒ Our capacity to do certain actions ⭒ Our capacity to be a certain way ⭒ Our capacity to be in actual contact with reality 11/20/2015 EXAM 3 STUDY GUIDE 1.EXTRA CREDIT A. Distinction between consequentialist and deontological views. i. Consequentialist Views: 1. The moral status of an act is determined only by the consequences it produces. 2. this moral philosophy is probably best captured in the aphorism "the ends justify the means." 3. Example of a consequentialism system of ethics would be utilitarianism, in which the most morally desirable situation is that in which people's happiness is maximized. ii. Deontological Views: 1. The view that there is a moral distinction between doing and allowing harm. 2. the ethical system in which morality is determined by duty or laws. 3. One example would be Kantian ethics, in which the only actions that are moral are those performed out of one's duty to follow the moral law, as opposed to acts performed out of desire. 4. A simpler example of deontological ethics would be Christianity, in which moral acts are those that obey the ten commandments. B. Within deontological views: distinction between principles and theories i. Principles: 1. DDA: a. The view that there is a moral distinction between doing and allowing harm. 2. DDE: a. Killing one's assailant is justified, he argues, provided one does not intend to kill him. In contrast, Augustine had earlier maintained that killing in self-defense was not permissible, arguing that “private self-defense can only proceed from some degree of inordinate self-love. ii. Theories: 1. Kantian ethics, in which the only actions that are moral are those performed out of one's duty to follow the moral law, as opposed to acts performed out of desire. 2.DEONTOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES A. DDE i. What is DDE? 1. a deontological principle. 2. The morality of an act is not just determined by its consequences. It matters HOW those consequences are brought about. ii. Examples that motivate DDE (Shafer-Landau and Foot) 1. Shafer-Landau: a. General Motivation: there is something problematic about aiming at evil b. Example: i. Permissible to bomb weapons factory even if it will result in civilian casualties ii. Impermissible to target civilians directly c. The difference: whether the civilian deaths are intended 2. Foot: a. General Motivation: There is something problematic about aiming at evil b. Example: i. Giving a lifesaving drug to 5 instead of 1 ii. Using the 1’s body to manufacture a drug for the 5 iii. Diverting the runaway trolley from 5 to 1 iv. Framing an innocent and hanging him so as to avoid a riot that would result in more deaths c. The difference: 2 i. The first case may seem permissible ii. The second case may seem impermissible iii. Distinction between intended and merely foreseen consequences 1. Intended effect: a. Any effect that is conceived as the ultimate end or as a necessary means to that end. (Any effect that is part of the plan) i. Crossing the street, entering campus, attending class 2. Merely Foreseen Effect: a. Any effect that is not intended, but is merely foreseen (a side-effect). i. Getting wet. iv. Distinction between direct and oblique intention. 1. Direct Intention: a. When the relevant consequence is intended 2. Oblique Intention: a. When the relevant consequence is merely foreseen. v. Foot’s formulation of DDE 1. Application to the examples a. It is sometimes permissible to bring about by oblique intention what one may not directly intent b. It is sometimes permissible to bring about a bad consequence if its merely foreseen, but not if its intended vi. Objections to DDE: 1. There may be no intention to kill in impermissible cases a. Merchant who sells poisonous oil in order to make a profit i. Acts impermissibly ii. Doesn’t intend anyone to die 2. The issue of “closeness” a. Objection: Death is almost never strictly intended in the impermissible cases i. We didn’t want to kill him, only to blow him into pieces!” 3. Foot’s reply: 3 a. But something very close to death is intended 4. The craniotomy/hysterectomy abortion cases a. On reflection, it seems implausible to suggest that the specifics of the method used could matter b. Catholics: When a pregnant woman will die unless she has an abortion, two methods are available. i. Hysterectomy: removal of the uterus ii. Craniotomy: crushing of fetus’ skull 5. The Lethal Fumes case a. Foot’s counterexample i. 5 patients in a hospital will die unless we manufacture a drug that will inevitably release lethal fumes into the room of another patient (who cannot be moved) ii. Seems impermissible iii. But the 1’s death is not intended, it is merely foreseen B. DDA i. What is the DDA? 1. Doctrine of doing and allowing: 2. There is a moral difference between doing harm and allowing harm ii. The relation between DDA and DDE 1. A generalization of: a. There is a moral difference between killing and letting die 2. Many examples that motivate DDE also motivate DDA a. Not war examples 3. Both avoid the bad man strategy 4. Differ with respect to lethal fumes and abortion iii. Foot’s definitions of “doing harm” and “allowing harm” 1. Doing harm: starting a harmful sequence of events a. Ex) shooting someone 2. Allowing harm: letting a pre-existing harmful sequence go to completion 4 a. Ex) letting someone drown iv. Foot’s definitions of “negative duties” and “positive duties” 1. Negative duties: duties not to harm a. Doing harm=violation of negative duty b. More stringent than positive duties: i. When negative and positive duties are in conflict, we should comply with our negative duties 2. Positive duties: duties to help or benefit a. Allowing harm=violation of positive duty v. Foot’s formulation of DDA a. More stringent than positive duties: i. When negative and positive duties are in conflict, we should comply with our negative duties b. This formulation doesn’t entail that there is always a moral difference between doing and allowing harm vi. Illustration with similar examples to those that motivated DDE 1. The intended/foreseen distinction is difference from the doing/allowing distinction a. One can do harm that is merely foreseen (Lethal Fumes) b. One can allow hard that is intended (child in bathtub case) 2. Impermissible acts: a. Manufacturing drug for 5 w/ 1 body b. Framing innocent to avoid riot c. Blowing up man in mouth of cave d. Torturing 1 to avoid torture of 5 3. Permissible acts: a. Conflict between two positive duties: giving drug to 5 instead of 1 i. Allowing harm in both cases b. Conflict between two negative duties: driver of trolley steering it from 5 to 1 i. Doing harm in both cases 4. Hysterectomy and craniotomy: both doing harm to fetus a. Not both impermissible vii. Advantages over DDE: 1. Doesn’t have the disadvantages that DDE has 2. DDA on Lethal Fumes 5 a. Not refuted by the same counterexamples b. Doesn’t face objection that DDE faced i. The harm itself needn’t be intended 1. (Foot thought this problem could be addressed with the closeness reply) 3. DDA on craniotomy/hysterectomy a. Both doing harm to the fetus i. Not both impermissible ii. Depends on ones views about rights of fetuses viii. Thomson: 1. A problem for Foot’s formulation of DDA: “the trolley problem” a. Foots formulation is improvement over other more simplistic of DDA i. It is permissible for the driver of the trolley to steer it from5 to 1 because he does harm no matter what. ii. But, what about a passenger of the trolley or a bystander? iii. Their choice is between doing harm to 1 or allowing harm to 5. b. The trolley problem i. The problem of explaining why it's permissible to act (do harm) in the trolley example, but not in the transplant example. ii. In both cases, the choice is between doing harm to 1 person and allowing harm to 5. iii. Hence, the problem suggests that Foot's formulation of DDA is wrong. 2. Discussion of possible solutions to the trolley problem a. DDE: The harm is merely foreseen in the trolley case, but not in the transplant case. b. Appeal to special duties of doctors. (Problem: Doesn’t generalize to other cases) c. Thompson's Solution: i. Acting on the victim vs. acting on the threat. 3.KANT’S THEORY A. The Right and the Good 6 i. Consequentialism: the right defined in terms of the good 1. For Mill ( a consequentialist) the right is defined in terms of the good: a. The right act= the act that brings about the most amount of good (the most happiness). b. Good>Right ii. Kant’s deontological theory: the good defined in terms of the right 1. The good is defined in terms of what is right 2. Right >Good B. The Good i. Motives for action: 1. from duty , from self-interest, and from natural inclination 2. Only have moral worth if acting from duty is one of motives ii. Kant on acting from duty: the “Good Wlll” as the only thing that is good in itself iii. The only thing that is intrinsically good: 1. Good Will= a stable disposition to act from duty 2. Why isn’t good will just a disposition to do the right thing? 3. Kant’s motivation: because otherwise it is only an accident that we do the right thing iv. Illustration with examples 1. Shopkeeper (p.487): Doesn’t overcharge customers but only because it benefits him. No moral worth. 2. Man who isn't naturally disposed to help others but helps them because he sees it as his duty (pp. 487-8). Has moral worth. v. Objections 1. Kant's view entails: If you help others just because it is your duty, your will is good. But not so if you do it just because you're naturally inclined. 2. This seems odd… 3. In particular, if you are naturally inclined to help others, you'll have a stable disposition to help others. Isn't it good? 4. How Kant might reply… a. We don’t control our desires. 7 b. In contrast, as rational beings, we can work to identify our duties, and be moved by reason 5. Kant’s theoryof the good will is a deontological idea a. Consequences don’t add/ subtract from moral worth C. The Right i. Principles of practical reason: 1. Imperative about what to do 2. hypothetical imperatives a. contingent on specific goals b. Examples: i. Open the door (goal: to enter) ii. Pursue your dreams (goal: happiness) 3. categorical imperatives a. not contingent on goals b. moral imperatives can be categorical ii. Moral imperatives as categorical imperatives 1. Specific: don’t lie 2. General: a general categorical imperative which can be formulated 2 ways a. Formula of the universal law b. The formula of humanity D. The Formula of the Universal Law i. The concept of a maxim 1. A rule that guides your conduct ii. The Universalization Test 1. In such an such circumstances, for a certain purpose, I will do A 2. Is A moral? a. Identify Maxim on which you'd be acting. b. Imagine everyone acted on that Maxim. c. Can I will that? i. Yes: A is moral ii. No (contradiction/irrationality): A is immoral General Idea: Don't make an exception for yourself. 8 iii. Two kinds contradiction: contradiction in conception and in the will 1. In conception: a. The universalized maxim scenario is inconceivable 2. In the will: a. Conceivable, but the agent still cannot rationally will it. 3. Kant’s examples a. False Promise (conception) b. Committing Suicide(conception) c. Failing to cultivate your natural gifts (will) d. Failing to help others (will) E. Korsgaard i. 3 Interpretations: 1. Logical: universalized maxim scenario leads to a logical impossibility 2. Teleological: universalized maxim scenario involves contradictory “natural purposes” 3. Practical: action cant achieve its purpose because universalized maxim is self-defeating ii. Contradictions in conception: 1. The difference between the Logical and the Practical interpretation: the job candidates case a. Killing the person ahead of you is immoral b. Maxim i. In circumstances like this, in order to get the job, ill kill the person ahead of me c. Killing the person ahead is ineffective in the world where maxim is universal i. Youll get killed too d. But universalized maxim scenario is not a logical impossibility i. Just involves a lot of people getting killed and many frustrated goals e. 2. Korsgaard’s argument for the Practical interpretation iii. Contrast with contradictions in the will: 1. Contradiction internal to the maxim itself vs contradiction external to the maxim a. Contradiction in conception: i. Happens within the maxim 9 1. The very purpose of the act is frustrated by the universalization of the maxim 2. Immoral because you’re trying to make an exception of yourself b. Contradiction in the will: i. Happens “outside” the maxim 1. Some other general purposes (essential to the will) is frustrated by the universalization of the maxim 10
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