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Philosophy 1332-Week 2 Lecture Notes

by: Lilian Zyzanski

Philosophy 1332-Week 2 Lecture Notes PHILOS 1332

Marketplace > Ohio State University > PHIL-Philosophy > PHILOS 1332 > Philosophy 1332 Week 2 Lecture Notes
Lilian Zyzanski
GPA 3.8
Engineering Ethics
Andrew Kissel

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About this Document

These notes cover all of the material discussed in the second week of class. Ethical relativism and natural law theory were the main topics of discussion.
Engineering Ethics
Andrew Kissel
Class Notes
philosophy, ethical relativism, natural law theory
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lilian Zyzanski on Sunday January 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHILOS 1332 at Ohio State University taught by Andrew Kissel in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 83 views. For similar materials see Engineering Ethics in PHIL-Philosophy at Ohio State University.


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Date Created: 01/24/16
Natu ral Law Theory Wednesday January ZED 2 16 1246 PM paraphrased from lecture 0 Natural Law Theory 0 Basics I Ends driven end meaning purpose the 39end39 of one39s action understanding of nature I Isought understanding of nature I Human beings as rational people able to think through things 0 Teleological understanding of nature I Teleologicapurpose driven I NLTNatura Law Theory believes that the world has a divine purpose everything in it also has a purpose I This is different than modern science III Consider the difference between evolution theory vs intelligent design 0 DescriptivePrescriptive laws of nature I quotAccordineg under the divine Iawgiver various creatures have various natural inclinations so that what is a law for one is against the law for another thus I must say that fierceness is the law of a dog but against the law of a sheep or another meek animal And so the law of man according to his natural proper condition is that he should act in accordance with reason and this law was so effective in the primitive state that nothing either beside or against reason could take man unawares But when man turned his back on God he fell under the influence of his sensual impulses quotThomas Aquinas Natural I NLT believers argue that III morally right actions if and only if actions are in union with naturalbeing natural III morally wrong actions if and only if actions are against nature or unnatural Reason is how we come to knowledge I Basis of NLT is in human reason divineness not necessary necessarily lsOught Issue I Something being the current state doesn39t justify said state of being just because it is doesn39t mean it ought to be I Hume argues this is why claims as to how things should be normative ones cannot come from prescriptive assertions describing how things actually are in the current system Problems I Teleological understanding of nature makes claims contrary to current scientific understandings III Evolution vs intelligent design Other Problems with Natural Law theory I Some natural things can be 39bad39 III Fear of the otherXenophobia Try to think of some yourself I Some things are unnatural but morally fine or morally neutral III Purely acting for the good of others altruism contacts glasses think of others 0 O O O O PHILOS 1332 Page 1 Ethical Relativism Friday January 22 2 16 1254 PM Paraphrased from Professor Hoffman 395 lecture 0 Descriptive Ethical RelativismAbsolutism 0 Descriptive ethical relativism I DER descriptive ethical relativism I Theory that moral beliefs of a society extending to the most fundamental levels are different society to society There aren39t moral beliefs that are invariant between cultures I No assertions concerning rightnesswrongness of moral standards 0 Descriptive ethical absolutism I DEA descriptive ethical absolutism I A theory that holds that at the most basic level there is going to be moral beliefs that societies have in common at least one moral belief O Normative ethical relativism I NER normative ethical relativism I Prescriptive ethical theorydescribing how actions are not necessarily how they ought to be prescriptive I Morality depends on the society you belong to I NER denies the existence of universal moral standards 0 Normative ethical absolutism I NER normative ethical absolutism I There is at least one universally applicable standard of morality I Normative theory 0 Questions to ask 0 Does NER follow from DER 0 What would the truth of NER mean for the world 0 Evidence for DER 0 Cultural variation I It39s well established that there39s a great deal of variation culture to culture in regard to attitudes regarding moralimmoral actions such as cheating altruism lying etc 0 Inference to the best explanation IBE O Argument from cultural variation could serve as evidence to DER truth 0 It is an inference to the best explanation I According to IBE the fact that a hypothesis is the best explanation among competing alternatives gives us reason to believe the hypothesis is true I There are different cultural practices I DER explains these practices I DER is the best explanation I Therefore DER is probably true 0 Other explanation O The same fundamental moral beliefs may exist in many different cultures but manifest themselves in different forms which on the surface may look like disagreement 0 Do Genuine Moral Disagreements exist 0 Under NER normative ethical relativism all moral disagreements are basically like just differences in taste synonymous with simple disagreements as to the best type of icecream o Disagreements on the morality of abortion or the death penalty would be no different than disagreements on ice cream flavors PHILOS 1332 Page 1 0 Comparing cultures 0 0 Under NER there aren39t universal moral standards so you can39t compare cultures Society A kills every third child a family has Society B does not Under NER these societies are equal 0 Moral Progress not possible 0 0 You aren39t able to compare different cultures You can39t compare the same culture at differing times because that would still constitute intercultural comparison and be impossible under NER All societies must be morally equal Thus moral progress is a nonexistent concept A society can never get 39better39 Also entails that all people who seek to reform society are wrong if they39re in the minority View PHILOS 1332 Page 2


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