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Philosophy Study Guide

by: D'Angel Brooks

Philosophy Study Guide Phil 2010

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About this Document

This study guide is a compilation of the notes of the different things that we have read.
Introduction to Philosophy
Dr. Edward Cox
Study Guide
arguments, Socrates, Clifford, James, Singer, Mill, Kant
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This 10 page Study Guide was uploaded by D'Angel Brooks on Thursday September 29, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to Phil 2010 at Georgia State University taught by Dr. Edward Cox in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 63 views.


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Date Created: 09/29/16
Philosophy - Study Guide Arguments Notes Premise – are claims that the person will try to have an agreement about Conclusion – person tries to prove or support the claim in the premise; may not have an agreement Statement – a claim that can be true or false, expressed by a declarative sentence O Arguments contain at least 1 premise and a conclusion that the premise(s) are intended to support. *(use therefore before the conclusion to know if it is an argument)* o Arguments intend on conclusions to follow premises. Conclusion Indicators – therefore, accordingly, hence, thus, as a result , so , etc. Premise Indicators - since, because, as , after all, given that, furthermore, etc. Conditionals are "If...then..." Statements; not arguments; generally used as premises. Antecedent : the "If.." part of the conditional Consequent : the "then.." part of the conditional Ex: If you are 18 then you can go to the club. You are not 18 years old. Therefore, you cannot go to the club. Arguments can be either deductive or inductive. Deductive – the conclusion is supposed to be contained in the premises o Must be valid or sound o The support premises used for the conclusions cannot be weakened by additional evidence. o Has certain premises and certain conclusions Ex: All socks are purple. Nancy is a sock. Therefore, Nancy is purple. Inductive – has no certainty If all the premises are true , then there is a possibility that the conclusion is true. Additional evidence can weaken the support premises. Ex: Cat 1 doesn’t scratch. Cat 2 doesn’t scratch. Cat 3 doesn’t scratch. (cont'd).... Cat 50 doesn’t scratch. Therefore, Cat 51 doesn’t scratch. Arguments can be valid or invalid, sound or unsound, weak, strong, or cogent. Valid arguments – if all the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true. It impossible to have all true premises and a false conclusion. Invalid arguments – if all the premises are true, and there is a possibility for the conclusion to be false then the argument is invalid; Can have true premises and a true conclusion. Sound – arguments are sound if it is valid and all the premises are true. Unsound – arguments are unsound if it is invalid or has at least one false premise. Strong – arguments are strong if the premises are true , and the conclusion is most likely true. Cogent – arguments are cogent if it is strong and all of the premises are true. Weak – arguments are weak if it is inductive but not strong. Socrates on Trial Review - Gadfly of the State: Socrates questioned citizens to try to get them to realize their ignorance and improve morally  He questioned others and himself so that he could know himself and other people could be able to know themselves also. Oracle at Delphi: “Know thyself.”  Socrates believes that in order to reach the best life we must know ourselves, and examine out own lives. Socrates' Purposes  His purposes were to educate the jurors and defend himself against the charges. Socrates' Trial  Accusations: corruption of the youth , doer of evil, created new divinities of his own (impiety) - the only real charge *on test*  As he was going around talking and questioning people, he created enemies and hatred because he embarrassed them. Meletus ( one of the accusers) - believes that all Athenians improves the children and that Socrates is the only person corrupting the youth. He claims that Socrates is atheist but later claims that he believes in demigod/ spirits which contradicts each other. If he doesn’t believe in a god, how can he believe in demigods?... As Socrates is on trial , he isn’t worried about death, but if what he is doing is right or wrong. He rather listen to God than listen to the jury. He vowed that he would not change his ways even if he was acquitted. He believed that they will end up injuring themselves more than him if they killed him. He claims that he is poor because he hasn’t collected money and is committed to God. He says that he could not have corrupted the youth, because he has taught everyone there and none of them can say that he corrupted their children. Jury finds Socrates guilty Socrates believes he deserves a good consequence because he cannot go anywhere else because he cannot hold back on teaching more people about their ignorance and virtue. He believes that it is his divine command. Jury condemns Socrates to Death Socrates believes that death is a good thing because he will be able to go on a journey to a new place , and he will be able to converse with other people who have been killed by unjust judgements. Believes that “no evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death.” W.K. Clifford The Ethics of Belief  Epistemology: Theory of Knowledge and justification  Epistemic duty: the obligation to believe in a particular way based on goal of acquiring justified true beliefs and avoiding false or unjustified beliefs. Clifford's Argument: 1. If we believe on the basis of insufficient evidence, then we increase the likelihood of direct and/or direct harms. 2. It is always wrong to increase the likelihood of direct and/or indirect harms. 3. Therefore we always have an unconditional responsibility to believe only on the basis of sufficient evidence. Harm that comes from believing when one has insufficient evidence : ex- Vaccinations of children  People listen to others Ex: views, beliefs  It's uncomfortable to live with uncertainty  Remedies based on poor reasoning, almost always leads to even greater harm in the long run  Believing on insufficient evidence is morally wrong since it has potential to harm others It is wrong to believe anything based on insufficient evidence. If you don’t have time to study, then you don’t have time to believe. Clifford Thesis:  It is absolutely morally wrong to believe when one has insufficient evidence for that belief.  Epistemic duty: One epistemic duty is never to believe based on insufficient evidence(BIE)  Epistemic duty is justified by our moral responsibility (based on harm of BIE).  Ex: belief in harms of vaccination are not based on sufficient evidence and can lead to harm to one's children or to others. William James, The Will to Believe James believes that for most of out beliefs, we lack sufficient evidence and that it is impossible/impractical to acquire that evidence.  It is sometimes acceptable to believe without sufficient evidence if the belief is pragmatically valuable and choice is unavoidable.  Sufficient evidence is not always available when choice is necessary James critiques W.K. Clifford  By requiring sufficient evidence so that we avoid false beliefs, Clifford rules out too many true beliefs.  Most beliefs are not based on evidence; it is impossible or impractical to base all beliefs. James' Examples of Rational BIES  Scientific beliefs  Philosophical beliefs  Moral beliefs  Interpersonal beliefs  Social beliefs  Political beliefs Rational BIE – we should believe with insufficient evidence if (but only if) live, momentous, forced, beneficial Critiques of James' Criteria – benefit of belief depends on its truth, rationality independent of benefit/harm, evidential basis for beliefs always beneficial in the long-run. Famine, Affluence, and Morality – Peter Singer *All based on equality*  Occurred in East Bengal in November 1971, after the Civil War Humans can help with the poverty problem, but they haven't made the best decisions – they haven't responded.  The British government values materialistic things over the refugees and Australia -India is stuck between letting refugees starve or cutting funds from development program: which will lead to more people starving later on There are many parts of the world where people die from malnutrition -  Singer used Bengal as an example because its present and has publicity, so governments can't claim that they don’t know about the issue  "I shall argue that the way people in relatively affluent countries react to a situation like that in Bengal cannot be justified; indeed, the whole way we look at moral issues – our moral conceptual scheme – needs to be altered, and with it, the way of life that has come to be taken for granted in our society." - Peter Singer  "I shall, however; try to argue for the moral position that I take, so that anyone who accepts certain assumptions, to be made explicit, will, I hope, accept my conclusion."- Peter Singer Singer believes that we should prevent something from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything morally significant.  But we cannot discriminate against people who are farther away from us than people who are close to us.  Everyone should be equally involved. "The charitable man may be praised, but the man who is not charitable is not condemned." - Peter Singer  Instead of buying materialistic things, we should give money to charities. "Most people reserve their moral condemnation for those who violate some moral norm, such as a norm against taking another person's property." - Peter Singer  Don't condemn people who buy luxuries instead of giving to the needy. "It is quite inessential, however, to help people outside one's own society." - Peter Singer Singer believes we must look beyond the interests of our own society. Sidgwick – Urmson - believes there must be a set moral code  Objection: It takes insufficient amount of the effect that moral standards can have on the decisions we make . -Believes that private-run charities allows governments to escape their responsibilities. People have the idea that the government has the responsibility of feeding the refugees.  Reason against- Effective population control, relieving famine merely postpones starvation.  "The best means of preventing famine, in the long run, is population control." Question- How much each person should give away Options- Orthodox method OR population control - decision must be acted upon John Stuart Mill's – Utilitarianism Key Terms: Consequentialism: Any action is right or wrong entirely because of the effects of the action (not the intentions or the virtuous character of the person acting) Hedonism: The only intrinsically good thing is pleasure and the absence of pain Intrinsic goods: are the things that are good in and of themselves, not for some other purpose. According to Mill, pleasure and the absence of pain are the only intrinsically good things. Instrumental goods: are the things that are good for some benefit they produce. Going to the dentist is only instrumentally good since trips to the dentist tend to be unpleasant but beneficial to the health of one's teeth. Egalitarianism: Each person's happiness is as important as everyone else's. Utility Principle: the best action is the one that brings about the most total pleasure with the least total pain. Measuring of Pleasure/Pain Duration Intensity Certainty Remoteness Repeatability Purity Extent Advantages of Utilitarianism Practical Consistent Egalitarian : treats everyone equally Compete Explain moral judgements by connecting them to moral principle Naturalistic: based on real, measurable facts Utilitarianism Summary Utilitarianism : The best action is one that maximizes pleasure/minimizes pain for everyone equally Consequentialism Hedonism Egalitarianism Immanuel Kant – Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals First Section: transition from the common rational knowledge or morality to the philosophical. Second Section: transition from popular moral philosophy to the metaphysic of morals. Third Section: final step from the metaphysic of morals to the critique of the pure practical reason. *Good will is not good because of what it performs or effects but because it is good in itself.* Virtues  Someone with traditional virtues is not made morally better by them.  A virtuous person combined with a bad will is only an effective villan. Golden Rule  Positive Rule: therefore all things whatsoever ye men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets (Matthew 7:12).  Negative Rule: one should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to one's own self (Hinduism). Problems with the Golden Rule:  Subjective: Examples- Bob the masochist, Mary who hates to be helped  Only provides duties to others, never to oneself  Does not explain why you should follow it Kant's Analysis of Morality  Only intention matters to morality of an action  The only good intention is to act from duty  Acting from duty means acting from respect for moral law  Categorical Imperative – supreme principle of morality:  Act in a way that your rule for rule for acting can be willed as a universal law  Treat others as ends in themselves and never merely as means Good intentions The only thing that is intrinsically good is the intention to do good.  Not consequences of action  Can have "good" consequences for bad reasons; "bad" consequences for good reasons The only good intention is to act from duty.  It’s not enough just to watch to be good; one still must follow the correct rules.  Acting from any motive other than duty is not morally good. Duty and Law  Universality Test :  Maxim: I will lie when it is convenient  Universalized maxim: Everyone will lie when it is convenient Formulating of Ends (CI-2)  Treating people as ends means willing laws from their perspectives as well as your own.  Means: way or method of bringing about a goal.  End: Thing that is valuable in itself (intrinsically).  Applies to all rational beings, not just humans.  It is acceptable to treat people as means but never merely as means.


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