Philosophy 4 2010 UCSB
Philosophy 4 2010 UCSB
Popular in Course
verified elite notetaker
Popular in Department
verified elite notetaker
This 21 page Reader was uploaded by Stephanie Miller on Tuesday February 4, 2014. The Reader belongs to a course at University of California Santa Barbara taught by a professor in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 131 views.
Reviews for Philosophy 4 2010 UCSB
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!
Date Created: 02/04/14
Does the doctrine of the mean shed any light on the virtue of particuIarjustice If so how does it do so Ifnot why doesn39t it According to Aristotle all virtues are found at the mean of two extremes An example of this is the virtue of courage which falls between two extremes of cowardice and foolhardiness I39m going to show how particular justice doesn39t always fall within the boundaries of the doctrine of the mean and is therefore not a virtuous type of justice The easiest way to define Iustice is to address injustice according to Aristotle The parameters of injustice are defined by actions that are lawless and or unfair towards any party For a virtuous person following the laws is important as all laws by definition are virtuous Iustice falls under two main categories for Aristotle Particular justice and distributive justice Both of these are defined as character traits characterized by one s motives as well as their behavior Particular justice is different from Universal justice in the sense that Particular justice deals with good that may be transferrable According to Aristotle two types of particular justice exist distributive and rectificatory Distributive addresses the distribution of shares in a certain stake while rectificatory involves the transactions between two individuals The range of rectificatory justice extends through purchases pledges loans letting theft adultery poison assassination robbery and so on Distributive justice is based on the distributions of ratios based on the merit of individuals involved If Sam works 75 of the week on the farm and Bill works only 25 of the week then they will distribute the final crop accordingly The range of rectificatory justice extends through purchases pledges loans letting theft adultery poison assassination robbery and so on This form of justice is meant to return justice after injustice has been done and returns the merited portion to the injured party However in this case of justice merit has no value and both parties are seen as equal As equal size weights are placed on two sides of a seesaw justice is seen as a way to maintain balance which fits hand in hand with Aristotle39s Doctrine of the Mean The Doctrine of the mean in this case is justice as a mean between those two extremes If we were to picture a ruler that goes from zero to twenty with 10 being the mean justice then on both extremes there would an injustice committed both considered vices either by the giver or the receiver We must explore the basis of the Doctrine of the Mean and its connections to Eudaimonia Aristotle s reference to happiness suggesting growth and ourishing Aristotle39s virtues lead into an end goal of Eudamia and an individual through proper courage temperance justice and prudence may come closer to this end goal The co mingling of feeling good and acting right comes to play in these virtues and is displayed in the virtue of particular justice The doctrine of the mean looks to find this balance of happiness but because of the intricate nature of justice and the effects that surrounding factors have on whether an element is just or Unjust towards an individual I don39t think this mean can be applied to virtue of justice and or particular justice I do not agree with Aristotle39s use of the idea of justice according to the doctrine of the mean He argues that man who is more than ust in a situation gives more than is required is violating a norm and is therefore committing an injustice On the contrary I strongly believe that we can find an individual who falls within the virtues of courage temperance justice and prudence while being more generous than is required Our counter points to this use of the Doctrine of the mean will be through the following two methods one being involuntary justice and the other being a generous offering with no other reasons in mind but to be generous Take for instance Bill walking across the street with a bottle of aspirin in his hand Tired of carrying the aspirin he places it on a trash bin Tim has a horrible headache comes by and takes the aspirin clearing his headache A virtuous person would have done the good deed by directly giving the aspirin but in this case it was accidental so he is not committing an injustice But if he didn39t need the aspirin in the first place and he gave it to Tim anyways then that shouldn39t be unjust either even if he receives nothing in return Aristotle39s justice is very much an individual to individual form of justice whereas many unjust instances happen because of an uncontrollable circumstance An instance of this is if something is done without the knowledge of harming an individual or a group of people involuntarily Without the proper communications in place a farmer upstream may divert some of the traffic of a river to irrigate his plants which may kill an entire population of individuals far down the river The farmer never knew the village existed and will never know the outcome of his actions and may have not done so if he did know therefore the lack of knowledge in this case puts him outside the realm of the doctrine of the mean The problem with measuring particular justice is that there exist very clear form of transactions but then on the other side we may have something that could be highly variable We take for example the exchange of money if I give you 10 dollars and you give me 9 dollars in return then you are being unjust But if we are trading goods and you give me 2 cows while I give you 3 barrels of hay then there is not necessarily a clear trading unit around those goods Aristotle would claim that there is a higher power that governs these laws and that the virtuous person would know the correct positions to take in regards to these laws We can pick apart the sub category of distributive justice where all group in question receive their dues based on merit The topic of merit finds a wide variety of views and opinions based on each individual person The example used above with our two farmers splitting their harvest according to the hours they worked is a very literal representation and is a clear form of distributive justice However as soon as we enter discussions about merit on a global scale this form of justice at the mean is skewed A communist party may say that all people merit the opportunity to work and rule equally while sharing their goods On the other hand a king may say that a higher power gave him rule and that he will rule with his power and wealth over the population Now Aristotle may argue that laws in place would be virtuous which would dictate the appropriate role of the people within society Over the last two thousand years human civilization has seen oligarchs in Aristotle39s time communism democracyetc Which ones were most virtues lawful and therefore just We can only conclude that when questions of merit arise finding the mean of justice becomes relative to an individuals position at the time of the event The problem with Aristotle39s argument of justice is that it is strongly based on the outcomes of the scenario If an individual is committing adultery then he is acting unjustly However if he gets his arm shot off while he39s in the house by the man of the house then he is a victim of licentiousness This doesn39t disrupt the doctrine of the mean because it is addressing the idea of justice vs another classification but it is important to note that the situational outcome is factored into the description of something s justice In my understanding there needs to be some sort of guidelines of what an individual needs to do to fall within the mean of each virtue and work towards Eudamonia This example leads us to ask ourselves what other outcomes could skew the balance of the justice found at them mean Aristotle addresses lust as a human quality that is not related to greed and doesn39t fall within the boundaries of the law There is a range of other human intricate qualities that falls within the qualities of the 7 deadly sins according to Christian beliefs along with lust wrath greed sloth pride and gluttony These are all considered vices but are based on human unbridled wants which lead to injustices similar to those felt by the unbridled lust of an individual in an adulterous situation In conclusion we see that particular justice does not fit clearly within Aristotle39s doctrine of the mean Within the topic of justice lies a series of questions that must be addressed and that are not made clear in Aristotle39s Nichomean Ethics Questions of involuntary justice as well as justice based on merit are impossible to qualify or quantify and therefore lie outside of the Doctrine of the Mean Anytime we create an exception to a particular rule with a transcendent end goal in mind we risk the danger of puncturing holes in the argument Knowing that Iustice is a very intricate process Aristotle makes an exception for lust saying that it is not unjust within a certain range of outcomes In these cases we will always find someone who has gotten more than they deserve and somebody who has gotten less than they deserve whether voluntarily or non voluntarily which creates a misbalance according to Aristotle39s Doctrine of the Mean Can a utilitarian make satisfactory sense of the importance commonsense morality attaches to rights fairness and other forms of justice If so how can she overcome objections If not why not Utilitarian morality and commonsense morality often times find themselves on similar grounds supporting the rights and the wrongs of similar situation with identical outcomes 1 am going to show how utilitarian morality fails to encompass all of the intricacies of commonsense morality in certain situation and how a utilitarian will never make complete and satisfactory sense of the importance of elements of fairness rights and justice associated with commonsense morality Commonsense morality applies to a general thought process across society a way of understanding right and wrong on pure commonsense without theorizing For example you don39t imprison someone unfairly and you don39t take someone s property away for no reason In our society we in general agree that murder lying stealing and hurting others for no reason is wrong all of which apply under commonsense morality It must be made clear that this is not theory based on a clear structure but instead a way of thinking that we expect from our society which has the power to opens the doors on a ood of possible understandings of right and wrong Utilitarianism itself is a subset to consequentialism where the outcome of the action is what determines its moral worth It finds itself within the Normative branch of ethics which is the study of systems that determine right and wrong Utilitarianism uses quantifying metrics to determine the best state of affairs called the principal of Utility The best state of affairs is a state with the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people This seems like a simple statement but like any human predicament this one is full of intricacies Iohn Stuart Mill argues that morality consists in creating the best state of affairs and in turn happiness for the largest amount of people the summum bonum Mill39s concept of first principles is used throughout the work to add a level of intricacy to utilitarianism to address some unique case issues Called the Act Utilitarianism that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness The secondary principle utilitarianism states for such actions are prejudicial to the interests of others the individual is accountable and may be subjected either to social or to legal punishment if society is of opinion that one or the other is requisite for its protection For example society as a whole might find more happiness if there is a justice system in place to protect people39s interests from murder thievery adultery or other crimes This would be because it has been found that society is less happy when people are murdered so this system is put in place to protect from the murders to increase the overall happiness of the society The implementation of these rules covers most of the basic objections to utilitarianism by offering a platform for the righteousness and justice hence called Rule Utilitarianism Mill39s utilitarianism not only addresses the quantity of happiness of an action but also the quality of said happiness Some happiness are more sophisticated and of higher quality and Mill argues that human pleasures are far superior to animals ones Once we reach certain happiness levels as humans we will recognize that this is the happier moment and strive to achieve that which makes that high point more valuable than other levels of happiness Although Utilitarianism proposes several levels to address intricacies of human rights fairness and justice I don39t think it could account for all of the right and wrong principles covered by commonsense morality Mill39s second principle covers a range of issues and deems the good or happiness of the society as a whole as the main indicator of justice However we need to consider times when society is not present when an individual is targeted wrongly by society as well as the relative situations of a deed to deem is right or wrong all of which are presented in a white or black situation in utilitarianism Mill argues that educated individuals are able to attain higher level of happiness the non educated people and therefore their quality of happiness should be weighed higher I have to start by saying that I love this argument and I39ve had this discussion countless times with people before I ever heard of Mill39s utilitarianism The discussion is usually focused around education travel and exploration 1 love certain things in these categories and I try to do them as much as possible I know some people who have never traveled or are not educated and do not strive to discover new things They are happy but I see their happiness as limited With this limited happiness which is easily attained they focus their attention on things that I consider a waste or to be harmful They have not achieved the higher level of happiness a level that is more valuable they are like horses wearing side blinders But does that mean that what I desire has more importance than what another individual with lower quality happiness desires I think not Commonsense molarity would say that these other individuals values and goals are just as important as mine regardless of my education level Principles of utility focus on the idea that happiness is the sole basis of morality With that in mind we can see that utilitarianism lacks the emotional ties that we as humans develop and ignores the intricacies of higher pleasures which cannot be captured in a unit of happiness diagram The real problem is when one individual s happiness directly affects another s and limits their happiness With the example of the trolley car where you can make a decision between having one individual die or five at least we have the number of people to justify the killing of less people to maximize happiness But what about an interaction between two people where one will be happier no matter what For instance I like strawberry hand cream and I find a bottle of strawberry hand cream on the oor somewhere I take it with me and when you come back to look for it it is gone and you are sad I39ve managed to unwittingly reduce your happiness while increasing my happiness Now there are laws in utilitarianism that protect from this and Mills says that the role of Iustice is to increase happiness but here is a case where I have increased my happiness while decreasing some else s happiness that isn39t necessarily regulated by the law Commonsense Morality would tell me to leave it somewhere in plain view or turn it in as a good civilian This brings us to one of the main debates whose answer is highly relevant on the persons in question Take for example saving five people39s lives if someone just tells a simple lie According to Mill39s morality this 1 person should tell the lie Here is a case where commonsense morality and utilitarianism overlap to produce a positive result through two different methods Five people will be saved by this one lie so the happiness units will be greater so the person should tell the lie In an earlier section we talked about how rule utilitarianism can make up for fairness and justice by protecting people from murder and stealing if the society as a whole decides that this is a better way to live We find loopholes in this way of morality in the following situation I think we can safely assume that commonsense morality says that mutilating helpless little animals is wrong Now we consider the following situation a man finds himself stranded on an island alone and likes to mutilate animals He may do so because his happiness is worth a lot more than that of the animals according to Mill39s theory of the quality of happiness However rule utilitarianism might account for this disturbing situation if and only if the society as a whole decides that they will be happier if animals in general are not mutilated They would create a rule against it and people within the society could not mutilate without punishment But in this case his actions do not affect other humans so his disturbing actions are not covered by utilitarianism Commonsense is relative to the situation and the mindset of the society at the time of the action This creates problems if we look back today on what was considered commonsense morality just over 150 years ago A time where black people had no rights compared to white people and were forced into slavery Although this was the commonsense morality of the time today when we look back on the situation we are horrified by the idea of slavery The result of following utilitarianism at the time would produce a similar result where it was agreed that these people did not deserve any rights The majority of the United States was profiting heavily from slavery and it was raising their collective happiness so the rules in place followed this mindset According to Mill a utilitarian would not concede to issues outside of the principles that he suggests and would therefore never make satisfactory importance of commonsense morality Rule utilitarianism makes an attempt to include fairness and justice into the equation by continuing to weigh on the first principle associated with the greatest happiness Therefore the realms of commonsense morality and the moral theory of utilitarianism will overlap in many situations yet there will always remain circumstances where utilitarianism will not account for a moral wrong There exist problems with both forms of morality unfortunately there is nothing common about commonsense and it can change relatively through time A utilitarian will always focus their decision on the overall happiness quantity and quality while doing very little to consider individual cases or moral wrong In a world full of rights and wrongs we need to find a place where these two forms morality can work together to encompass all good and bad but to our dismay the utilitarian will not make satisfactory sense of the importance of fairness justice and rights to make this happen until then we continue to hang in limbo on some issues pouring fuel on the ames of problems with justice fairness and rights References Iohn Stuart Mill and Ieremy Bentham Utilitarianism and Other Essays Penguin Books 2004 In writing this argument Gorgias hopes to eliminate the shame that was bestowed upon Helen of Troy when she decided to leave her husband Menelaus for Paris which spurred the Trojan war He does this by breaking down the reasons and offering supportive reasoning to the reason that she likely left for Troy After Helen leaves Menelaus she becomes hated by the Trojans who see this as an act of treason Gorgias follows a linear path in his arguments methodically building tying his claims together to support Helen39s actions Two main reasons are offered intentions of Fate and the god as well as the vote of Necessity or that she was abducted by persuasive speech or conquered by love To counter the first possibility he states that inferior individuals naturally follow stronger ones and that all Gods are stronger than all humans which releases Helen from all blame of the incident Assuming that Gods are real and that they did have a hand in this situation then the argument is plausible However although inferior people naturally follow stronger people there are cases where these inferior people will stand up to the stronger ones Unless this was an incident where force was used Helen had an opportunity to exercise her will power against a stronger force I agree that speech is a very powerful medium of persuasion but portraying Helen as a helpless lamb is the only way that Gorgias argument stands true It can be argued that not exercising your free will and becoming a pawn to someone s actions makes you just as guilty Helen knew that adultery and leaving her husband would make him angry She also knew that leave for a Trojan prince might cause a war and hence the death of her own people This counter his eleventh point about the use of false logic and if human beings knew the future and remembered the past then these events could be avoided In this case a mere guess as to the outcome of the situation would have been sufficient to deter Helen39s actions Although his arguments are tied together in a clear linear fashion I do not believe that his premises amount to support his main argument He concludes with With this speech I have removed shame from a woman however shame can be experienced when looking back on events even if the individual had no knowledge of the outcome Even if his premises stand true and that she was a victim of Fate Gods or some means of persuasion then she could still feel shame when she realized that her actions spurred a war and the death of people she cared for If I do something and realize later that I made a huge mistake then the reason that I did that action doesn39t matter The only thing that matters is the outcome and whether or not I had a choice that could have prevented this IF the outcome is negative then I will feel guilt or shame 1 Eudaimonia Good life Couple with term ar te which are virtues or excellence The highest human good Link between virtue of character and happiness is a central theme of Aristotle39s Nicomachean Ethics Best life Life of pleasure political activity and philosophical life The good of a thing is to perform its characteristic activity well in accordance with appropriate human virtues reason rational decisions 2 The intellect is the highest thing in us and the objects that it apprehends are the highest things that can be known While moral virtues are important the highest form of happiness is contemplation Only a god could spend a whole lifetime in contemplation but we must replicate as best we can Words cannot convince people of happiness they must practice it 3We have this hierarchy of things that are done where things that are lower in hierarchy aren39t as good as things that are higher For example bridle making isn39t that good bc it doesn39t come from the top of the chain of hierarchy Something at the top isn39t done to do something further which is a condition value but it would be something that you would do for its own sake If there39s a highest good it should be something that doesn39t depend on something else for its goodness Aristotle also thinks that many of these good things that we pursue can be pursued in different ways They aren39t necessarily inherently things that are good For instance with wealth while you may have it you may lack health or wisdom In such a case you would be better off to have health So for it to be a highest good it ought to be something complete in itself and not lacking in anyway as it should include all of the lesser goods It shouldn39t depend on outside fortune Being selfsufficient is part of security If something is self sufficient you should be able to have it without having to worry about any external things 4 Aristotle39s reasoning is based on the idea that virtues are states of character which can39t be taught and are only created through a process of habituation He believes that virtues arise out of habit just as skills are acquired through habit and practice is what results in the right habits Therefore acting in a specific way becomes second nature for that person and leads to consistency in their actions For example a person can be a good lyre player if they practice and acquire good habits over time In the case of virtue a person who deals fairly with others will acquire that habit and become a fair person 5 The Doctrine of the mean states that every ethical virtue is a condition intermediate between two other states one involves excess and the other deficiency For example a courageous person lies between the coward and the rash person He is able to judge that some dangers are worth facing and others are not and he experiences fear to an extent that is appropriate to the situation When Aristotle says quotthe mean relative to us he is distinguishing it from the mean of a thing The mean of a thing is the equal distance between two extremes so it is the same for everyone The mean relative to us is based on the idea that there is no universal rule for what the mean is Instead it depends on the circumstance the person is in and it can change from one situation to another What is important is that the person acts appropriately based on what the situation calls for 6 Kant refers to autonomy as the freedom and authority to choose one s actions It is a person39s ability to be their own person and live their life according to their own reasons and motives He believes that the universality of morality requires laws to be quotprinciples of autonomy This is because universalizing morality requires universalizing a set of moral laws meaning they apply to all people In order to have laws that have legitimate authority they must be laws that are in the will of the people and not external to them Moral laws can therefore be looked at as quotprinciples of autonomy because they allow all people to rationally will them and have control over them and they are not bound by the will of others Acting quot rom dut is completing an action of moral worth which means showing respect for the moral law It is morally good because it is done for the sake of duty not because of desire or immediate inclination Kant s ultimate moral law is called the Categorical Imperative and we have a duty to follow its fundamental requirements His first formulation to explain the categorical imperative is the Universal Law formula which determines the value of the motive behind a certain action It is based on the idea that duties are universal and apply to all human beings It means that acting for a specific purpose in a particular circumstance is allowed only when it is possible to make it a natural law so that all people must act in that way under the same circumstances An action is therefore valid if we can envision it becoming a duty for all human beings to follow natural law 9 The quotmaxim according to Kant is a subjective principle that involves the power to make choices and they motivate the choices we make The form of a maxim is quotI will A act in situation C in order to realize or produce E an end In other words it represents what the person is willing so it is based on pursuing an end through some means The maxim of the liar he considers is I will make lying promises when it achieves something I want When this maxim is applied to the first formulation of the Categorical Imperative the Universal Law it involves a contradiction The Universal law formulation requires us to consider the maxim as a Universal law so that all people must make lying promises when it achieves something they want According to his theory once the maxim is combined with the universalized version it contradicts itself This is because in a world where all people act in this way it seems that the practice of giving one s word would not be possible Promises would therefore have no meaning and no one would trust each other The maxim contradicts itself because it is not possible to have a world containing no promises but at the same time promises must exist in order for someone to carry out that maxim Derive all principles from 1 Formulate your maxim 2 Universalize your maxim 3 Does the maxim lead to a contradiction 10The destination is one that we are probably familiar with in other cases Suppose you promise another person you will do something and then you later do it we can then ask did you do it because you promised to or was it a coincidence If you went on your own you would be acting with accordance to duty but you wouldn39t be acting from duty because you didn39t go because you promised someone you would go to the store Duty says for instance you shouldn39t cheat others It might happen or you might not in fact cheat other people If you were really acting from duty you wouldn39t do something because you wanted to anyway but because you promised you would 11 From a utiitarian s point of view it would be preferable to save the group of 5 because each person39s life has some value and saving 5 lives is a more valuable action than saving 1 This rationality is problematic for Kant because in the instance of saving 5 he views the 1 person lost as a means to saving the 5 Kant essentially values a human s life infinitely and believes that one should never disrespect anyone s humanity Saving either group and using the other as the means violates the categorical imperative 12Act Utilitarianism Calculate the consequences simply of the individual act in question Rule Utilitarianism act according to rules such that if everyone acted on them happiness would be maximized Bentham proposes 12 pains and 14 pleasures which he uses to test the happiness of any action He seems to be focused on individual action while Mill39s ideas help regulate a society39s functions Bentham lacks concepts of fairness and justice In essence you could take someone s property or torture someone if it made society happy Mill proposed rule utilitarianism to encompass the intricacies of human society and human nature into utilitarianism 13The most important thing for humankind is the ability for each person to exercise and develop their own capacities for higher pleasures Mill39s worries that hedonism in utilitarianism favors sensualist push pin pursuits over higher or nobler pursuits poetry in stark contrast with Bentham Arts lead to the cultivation of our emotional sensibilities and imagination higher happiness extrinsically more valuable The higher pleasure vs lower pleasure when placed sidebyside even if it takes more effort to attain but the individual recognizes more pleasure from it then it is indeed the higher pleasure Mill39s 3 doctrines 1 Act consequentialism the moral status of an action depends solely on the good or bad consequences of that action 2 Hedonism the one only intrinsic good is pleasure 3 Sumranking welfarism the best outcomes is the one that produces the greatest amount of overall pleasure considering everyone equally The swine objection say stat if 2 is true then humans are like swine based on only pain and pleasure 14 One of the first ones is a description of how things are supposed to be but are different and ethical egoism is to say but it should be this way To say the someone is a psychological egoist is you have to take into account egoistic considerations Therefore everything you do you do with selfconcerned considerations For instance if you give a beggar money you give him money because you39ll feel better or you39ll look better to people around you If you thought that it was wrong you could be a ethical egoist but not a psychological egoist It seems that Mill objects to Bentham because he believes that people can be motivated with the good of all which is that foundation of utilitarianism Mill thought that you could be concerned for other people and you don39t have to be concerned with just yourself He ought to be committed with denying ethical egoism since he believes there are people who are motivated with the good for all 16 Bernard criticizes utilitarianism for how abstracting as a person takes into account their as well as everyone elses own projects and interests into account Utilitarianism then seeks to maximize the amount of aggregated utility but fails to recognize the separateness of persons in the sense that some people39s projects and interest will conflict with others More importantly Williams is concerned with the potential for the aggregate maximization of utility to conflict with an individual s best interest Williams thinks that utilitarianism should be faulted for such an abstraction that fails to recognize the potential conflict that will occur between people 17 Williams means that the agent has thought too much because the agent39s motivating thought was that it was his wife not that it was his wife in this terrible situation so he should save her just as he should save any person drowning The fact that it is his wife can lead to obscuring the underlying motivations that the agent actually has which is just to save his wife Williams thinks that this creates a problem for the impartiality of morality because the motivation of the agent39s action has everything to do with where the person he chooses to save is relative to the agent39s life and has nothing to do with the impartiality of morality 19 The concept that Williams calls quotvulgar relativism is that the moral standards that are correct for a given society are those that preserve the society over time when they are followed His main point is that if we used this as our way of identifying the correct standards to follow we would be at a loss in many cases When there is no society to be preserved or when the conflict is about who belongs to which society there are no uncontroversial standards that perform the relevant function Williams believes quotvulgar relativism is inconsistent because the first premise of vulgar relativism maintains that there are no universal standards meaning there are no standards of right and wrong that apply to absolutely every society However the conclusion still holds that there is such as standard a standard of tolerance However a problem arises as to when is being tolerant not a moral option Williams gives several examples such as being tolerant of Nazi Germany With vulgar relativism we shoud ve allowed Nazi Germany to continue practicing their inhumane practices since it is being tolerant of their societal standards Williams goes on to say that many societies have interfered with others at times they shouldn39t have but to say that a society should absolutely never interfere is a step of vulgar relativism 22 Mill Rule Utiitarianism Society as a whole is less happy when people steal so a rule is imposed to prevent that Kant Any action taken against another person that they won39t consent to is a violation of perfect duty interpreted through second formation Example Maxim I may make a false promise in order to reap financial gain Generalized Anyone may make a false promise to get something she wants This is selfcontradictory because If anyone may make a quotfalse promisequot nobody would take a promise seriously promising becomes meaningless Result I may not act on that maxim The maxim fails Test One For the same reason A thief39s maxim once generalized would overturn the institution of property but unless the institution of property exists there can be no theft 23 Kant Categorical imperative Based on autonomous will a way of evaluating motivations for action All duties and obligation derive from these moral reasons this is an unconditional requirement that asserts its authority in all circumstances must apply universally Example that doesn39t work quotIt isn39t permissible to steal if this was universal then property wouldn39t exist and this couldn39t exist either Can39t own slave although your moral right allows you to own a slave you limit that person39s free rational action which contradicts categorical imperative Humanity as an ends Important Never treat humanity as a means only but always as an end in itself Respect humans and don39t use them as instruments objective end Using people for your own benefits is normal such as getting food housingetc as long as the waiter or taxi driver made use of his rational capacities in his choice to do so and we perform a fair exchange such as money Hypothetical imperatives tell us which means to best achieve our ends We have choices between what is quotright helping someone or quotgood enriching yourself Consequences of an action are morally neutral irrelevant to moral deliberation Only good will expressed in recognition of moral duty will be recognized which is carried out only with a sense of moral duty 24 Buss says that you can39t completely give up on your projects because you cannot give up your reasons for doing something Our ground projects are connected to who we are connected to our own identity Therefore we cannot abandon our ground projects without abandoning ourselves However her argument is different when it comes to relatively unhelpful projects and careers Buss believes that it is tempting to think that the choice to pursue a relatively unhelpful career can not be justified by the nature of rational agency or the plurality of values She says that the two most compelling philosophical arguments along these lines are no good as the reasons to devote ourselves to relatively unhelpful projects are far less deep than many philosophers have supposed Buss does not believe there is any deep justification for pursuing relatively unhelpful projects This is because according to Buss relatively helpful projects have such a significant priority over those that are relatively unhelpful that the unhelpful projects and careers should not be pursued This leads to a call for forbearance in that we should not allow ourselves to pursue such projects and careers
Are you sure you want to buy this material for
You're already Subscribed!
Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'