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Week 3 Notes

by: Hannah Kennedy

Week 3 Notes 21001

Hannah Kennedy
GPA 3.98

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About this Document

These notes cover the February 1st and 3rd lectures. They include everything covered on the Experience Machine, Heathwood's Subjective Theory of Welfare, and J.S.Mill's Greatest Happiness Principle
Intro to Ethics
Devon M. Hawkins
Class Notes
ethics, Intro to Ethics, Nozick, The Experience Machine, theory of welfare, subjective theory of welfare, greatest happiness principle, philosophy
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hannah Kennedy on Tuesday February 9, 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 17 views. For similar materials see Intro to Ethics in PHIL-Philosophy at Kent State University.


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Date Created: 02/09/16
Copyright ©: Hannah Kennedy, Kent State University 1 2/1/16 Lecture Notes: Nozick and the Experience Machine 1. J.S.Mill Review a. What he is i. Ethics: utilitarian, hedonist, and consequentialist  ii. Metaphysics: naturalist (closer to realism) iii. Epistemology: empiricist (influenced by Locke, Berkeley, and Hume) 1. A priori = abstract knowledge; knowledge you can know before experience 2. A posteriori = concrete knowledge; knowledge you can only  know after experience b. GHP = Greatest Happiness Principle = the standard of moralist based on  pleasure seeking and outcome; states that intrinsically valuable things help  us get happiness i. States that my actions are good to the extent that they produce the  maximum amount of happiness for the maximum amount of people (ex = healthcare) ii. Also states that all people are counted equally therefore I don’t get to  think of myself as more important than anyone else iii. Subordinates pleasure to happiness 1. Happiness is considered to be an aggregate and NOT abstract c. Believes there are two kinds of pleasures i. Higher (involves intellect, emotion, etc.) ii. Lower (easy, bodily) 1. Need to limit, but not necessarily bad d. Believes we will always choose the higher pleasures unless i. Our capacity for higher pleasures has been killed ii. Our access to higher pleasure as been limited iii. We are not virtuous enough e. States that we decide these pleasures based on experience and the fact that  we’d all agree on them f. Proof i. If seeing something proves its visible, then desiring something proves  its desirability  1. Therefore we have to believe that visibility and desirability are  the same thing (they are analogous)  2. Nozick—The Experience Machine a. What he is i. Ethics: deontological libertarian (rights­based)  1. Believes in rights of non­interference ii. Metaphysics: more of an idealist than a realist iii. Epistemology: empiricist b. The Experience Machine i. Used this to help us find what is valuable to us Copyright ©: Hannah Kennedy, Kent State University 2 ii. Allows us to have availability to all possible experiences and allows us to plug into this machine and select of favorite experiences 1. Nozick asks us what we would plug in and if we would plug in a. If the answer is yes, we must ask ourselves if we like  ourselves, if these experiences change us, or if these  experiences change the people around us c. Types of machines i. Transformation machine = allows me to change who I am ii. Results machine = allows us to change our current state of affairs 1. If we want to plug into these machines then that reveals that  we value external things just as much or more than our  internal experiences  d. Believes that plugging into the machine is suicide because… i. We want to be able to actively do certain things and be able to feel  them ii. We want to be certain ways, consciously  iii. It limits us to a man­made reality 1. May contradict himself here since he is an idealist which pretty much states we already make our own reality Copyright ©: Hannah Kennedy, Kent State University 1 2­3­16 Lecture Notes: Heathwood’s Theory of Welfare 1. Experience Machine Review a. Nozick says the experience machine is suicide; when we’re in it we’re  “indeterminate blobs” i. This shows us 3 things 1. We want to do certain things 2. We want to be certain ways 3. We are limited by a reality that is made by someone else b. The machine shows us that “lived” experiences are more important or just as  important as any “felt” experience i. Moral of the story = there are other ways to value or to measure value  than my own internal state 2. Heathwood a. The “good life” could mean 4 things i. Manifesting excellence (doing worthwhile activities that I’m good at) ii. Things beneficial to me*** (Heathwood’s focus) iii. Things beneficial to others  iv. Leading a meaningful life b. Theory of welfare = what makes my life go better (2 ways to view this) i. Subjectivist view = the view that believes that I only benefit from  things that I actually want 1. This view is not always moral 2. Some argue this view is more emotional than rational ii. Objectivist view = the view that states that there are things that  benefit me whether I like it or not c. Intrinsically valuable things are things that I want and they do not  guarantee me a net benefit i. Candidates of intrinsic value 1. Love 2. Happiness 3. Freedom 4. Beauty 5. Art 6. Education 7. Respect d. Heathwood’s Subjective Theory (4 things) i. Net benefit isn’t guaranteed 1. Example from the text: eating the cherry pie even though he is  deathly allergic to cherries  ii. We can only assume the information we have at the present time 1. Can’t have any idealized desired a. Example from the text: wondering if his distant uncle  was okay iii. I have to know that my desire is satisfied for it to benefit me Copyright ©: Hannah Kennedy, Kent State University 2 1. Example from the text: Ted Bundy iv. “desire” or “wanting” something constitutes a genuine attraction or a  special and positive attitude towards that thing


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