Material for the Second Test
Material for the Second Test PHI 2010
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This 4 page Study Guide was uploaded by Valerie Segebre on Thursday March 10, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to PHI 2010 at Florida State University taught by John Schwenkler in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 330 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Philosophy in PHIL-Philosophy at Florida State University.
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Eugh...this class is soo hard! I'm so glad that you'll be posting notes for this class
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Date Created: 03/10/16
Study Guide on T ragedy and Equality Units The essence of the tragedy conundrum: o Why do people enjoy tragic works? Things to think about: o Most people enjoy a work of tragedy o Most people do not enjoy a tragedy to happen in real life o The question of the morality of liking works of tragedy o People like tragedies because of the emotional response they give us, not despite of this response Hume thought people enjoy works of tragedy because of the pleasantness of the aesthetic features. According to Dubos’, people enjoy works of tragedy because humans don’t like boredom and tragedies make you feel something which is better than feeling nothing at all. o Hume disagrees because he points out that people don’t actually like bad things to happen to u in real life. Fontenelle thought that knowing that a tragic work is fictional numbs the pain. o Hume objected because he said people still enjoy it even when it is fictional. Hume’s alternative view on why we like tragic works is because of the way it is presented: o Lighting/cinematography o Story development o Makeup o Quality of the acting o This plays into his main idea of conversion, in which the predominant emotion (the pleasantness of the aesthetic features) overcomes the subordinate emotion (sadness/= from tragic flaw or event) According to Bernard Williams, the problem of equality is that the interpretation of equality is either too strong or too weak. o For example, to say that all human beings should be treated exactly the same is too strong of an argument because not every human being is exactly. o On the other hand, to say they should be treated the same in circumstances that are similar is too weak because some people would then allow inequality with the reason that the circumstances are not the same. The quality of being a human being is a morally salient or important one Skin color is not a morally salient category So if we were to accept the fact that all human beings are equal simply for the fact that we are all human, then how can we set a standard of equality that is neither too strong nor too weak if some people are faster, smarter, shorter, or sleep longer, etc.? The statement “All humans are equal” is a descriptive one but the statement “All humans beings should be equal” is a prescriptive one. In order to meet the requirements for reflective capacity, three conditions must be met: o Men must be aware to a certain level of their “titles” o Are able to look past the roles they have o The capacity to ponder on this can be heightened or reduced by their social class Williams draws a line between need and merit o Think of scholarships based on academics or athleticism vs scholarships based on how economically disadvantaged a student is (the lower the EFC or expected family contribution number from FAFSA a students has the more money he or she will get from financial aid) To say that all humans are equal is not the same as saying that all humans are the same, morally equal, or “humanly” equal. Williams believes that to say that all humans are equal means that we should not compare people’s titles or accomplishments but rather realize that we all have a purpose. There is a difference between distributing a good based on a need and distributing a good based on merit. o This distribution should be based on need Everybody who is sick or injured needs medical care. The law grants medical care to people who are injured (such as in a car accident) whether they are rich or poor, or legal or illegal (equality before the law). However, the rich legal citizens will be able to pay off the bill but what about the poor or illegal immigrants? What if it is not a matter of a serious injury but still a need for a doctor’s consult and medicine but lack of money prevents a person from getting treated? o Williams considers this irrational because health care should be based on need, not a person’s wealth, to be able to access medical care. Nozick’s position on equality is that in order for justice to be distributed equally, it has to happen with constant evaluation so as to not intervene in the lives of people. How people form analogies from arguments: o A is like B o B has a certain attribute o Therefore A is like that too Two ways to argue against something: o Discuss how A and B are different in some way o Object to B having a certain questionable attribute of equality Analogous arguments: o Everybody can have access to healthcare. Healthcare costs money. Although a poor person isn’t banned from having healthcare, he can’t have it because he can’t afford it. o Williams “warrior class” argument: People from the warrior class, who are all rich and strong, are initially the only ones allowed access to education. Reforms are made and now everybody is given the opportunity to be in the warrior class and get an education. Only rich people can afford proper diets to be strong and nourished. Poor people still can’t get an education. This example really shows how it is not enough to simply give everyone opportunities in order for it to be just. According to Williams, not all things should be given based on merit. Healthcare, he thinks for example, should be accessible to everyone without them worrying about the cost.
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