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Week of 1/25 Lecture Notes

by: Hannah Kennedy

Week of 1/25 Lecture Notes 21001

Marketplace > Kent State University > PHIL-Philosophy > 21001 > Week of 1 25 Lecture Notes
Hannah Kennedy
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Within these notes are all the materials, discussions, and notes that were covered from the first two readings of the book this week along with all key terms defined (indicated by a bold indicator ...
Intro to Ethics
Devon M. Hawkins
Class Notes
ethics, Intro to Ethics, Epicurus, John Stuart Mill, Hedonism, Value Theory




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hannah Kennedy on Friday January 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 21001 at Kent State University taught by Devon M. Hawkins in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 55 views. For similar materials see Intro to Ethics in PHIL-Philosophy at Kent State University.


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Date Created: 01/29/16
Copyright: © Hannah Kennedy, Kent State University 1 Monday 1/25/16 Lecture Notes: pgs 11­16 1. Epicurus  a. Hedonist b. Believes that pleasure is the fundamental human good c. Encouraged moderation and prudence d. Urged ppl to minimize indulgence in sensual pleasures e. Stated that the most pleasant state is emotional tranquility f. Believed one could gain peace of mind through a moderate lifestyle g. Metaphysics: atomist (materialistic, believes that all things are made of  things); closer to realism than idealism; naturalistic h. Epistemology: empiricist (states that we know things through the senses) i. Ethics: hedonist, natural, virtue ethicist 2. Value theory = the study of what is intrinsically valuable; the study of the nature  (essence) of the good life; subset of ethics a. What has intrinsic value? i. Things that have internal value in and of themselves ii. These things don’t need anything else to make them valuable iii. They are considered are ends/goals 1. compare to instrumental value a. these values are the means/tools to get to our intrinsic  values b. they are valuable because of what they lead to  b. some potential intrinsic values i. happiness** ii. time (limited) iii. family iv. honor v. education vi. fundamental beliefs (religion) vii. stability viii. love  ix. relationships x. nature xi. freedom 3. Hedonistic theory = states that happiness is the only intrinsic value; pleasure  seeking is the purpose a. Epicurus b. John Stuart Mill i. Believes that the way you get to the end goal does matter c. Considered a subjective theory i. Dependent upon our internal state/standard (more individually based) 4. Desire­satisfaction theory = states that I am well off/fare to the extent that my  desires are satisfied a. Subjective theory Copyright: © Hannah Kennedy, Kent State University 2 5. Objective theories = theories that contain universally important values that  everyone agrees upon 6. Page 12 a. Describes that hedonism is both prescriptive and descriptive i. Prescriptive = things that we should do 1. Normative thinking ii. Descriptive = things that is/are  b. Pleasure is the only thing that ought to be sought  c. The best kind of happiness is emotional tranquility and we should all seek  this i. This happens only after moderation and we should want only what we need ii. Regulate this through catharsis = release of excess emotion d. States that pleasure is a natural inclination but pleasure in excess is a  problem because it can lead to pain/anxiety/fear of death 7. Page 12, bottom paragraph  a. Sentience = the ability to feel; especially through the senses b. Argument against the fear of death i. P1: “good and evil imply the capacity for sensation” aka good things  cause pleasure and bad things cause pain ii. P2: “death is the privation of all sentience” aka we cannot feel  anything when we’re dead iii. C1: “death is nothing to us” aka death is neither good nor evil iv. P3: if death is not evil (A), then I don’t fear it (B) v. P4: if I don’t fear death (B), then I don’t yearn for immortality (C) vi. C2: if death is not evil (A), then I don’t yearn for immortality (C)  8. Page 15 a. The greatest individual pleasure is wisdom; we cannot live pleasantly  without living wisely i. The wisdom to live justly and honorably is dependent on pleasure  (emotional tranquility) 1. To feel good is to do good 2. Pleasure leads to the absence of trouble in the soul Wednesday 1/25/16 Lecture Notes: pgs 17­26 1. John Stuart Mill (1806­1873) a. Father, James Mill, was also a philosopher i. Considered an epicurean and follower of Jeremy Bentham b. Education is vast and difficult c. At 20 years old he experienced a breakdown in Paris and blamed it on his  over analytical childhood i. Concluded that it isn’t good to analyze everything Copyright: © Hannah Kennedy, Kent State University 3 d. Ethics: utilitarian, hedonistic, and consequentialist e. Metaphysics: naturalistic f. Epistemologically: empiricist because of the influence he has from the British empiricists Locke, Berkeley, and Hume 2. Page 17, opening statements a. The foundation of morals is utility  b. Greatest Happiness Principle = GHP = all of morality depends on utility  (what is right/wrong, good/bad) i. States 2 things 1. Good actions produce happiness 2. Bad actions produce unhappiness ii. Happiness is defined here as pleasure and freedom from pain;  considered an aggregate (for the group)  3. Page 18 a. There are different kinds of pleasure i. John Mill was interested in the qualitative kind of pleasures (quality  > quantity) ii. Hierarchy of pleasures Higher pleasures Lower pleasures More emotional and intellectual bodily  Will involve some pain ex = wine             ex = relationship iii. How do we decide what pleasures are higher and which are lower (2  things) 1. Pg 19: have to have qualified judges that have experienced  both kinds of pleasures 2. Have to have agreement among the qualified judges iv. Felicitic calculus = placing values for things to decide whether or  not to do them on the high/low pleasure scales b. Virtues = habits of good behavior; inclusion of these in Mill’s writing makes  it ethical 4. Page 20 and 21 a. Why would we pick lower pleasures over the higher ones? (3 things) i. Infirmity of character ii. Access has been limited to only lower pleasures iii. Capacity for higher pleasures has been altered 5. Page 25 a. “if human nature is so constituted…” i. GHP = states that actions are good to the extent that they produce  the maximum amount of happiness for the maximum number of ppl 6. Page 24 Copyright: © Hannah Kennedy, Kent State University 4 a. “and consequently, the utilitarian standard…” i. Lower pleasures are fine as long as they aren’t bad to the greater  people 7. Page 22 a. “the only proof…” i. P1: the proof that a thing is visible is that I see it ii. P2: seeing is like desiring iii. C1: because I desire happiness, it is a desirable thing iv. P3: if each person desire’s his own happiness, this is proof that  happiness is desirable v. C2: if all people desire happiness, than the general (aggregate) is  desirable 8. Key points a. Definition of happiness is NOT abstract because John reinforces the  empirical ideas which makes it concrete and embodied happiness b. The difference between higher and lower pleasures is that higher pleasures  are more emotional and intellectual where lower pleasures are more bodily  and centered around instant gratification


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