Introduction to Ethics Lecture Notes
Introduction to Ethics Lecture Notes Philosophy 103
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Madison Pamfilis on Friday February 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Philosophy 103 at Towson University taught by Dobin Choi in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 33 views. For similar materials see Intro to Ethics in PHIL-Philosophy at Towson University.
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Date Created: 02/26/16
Lecture (2/23/16) Nicomachean Ethics: On Eudaimonia Nicomachean Ethics: Aristotle’s lectures on the Socratic question: “How should we live our lives?” o teleological answer: the telos of human life is the key o 2 telos of politics (the study of citizens of the polis) 1. human good 2. action (rather than knowledge) o final good of human life: happiness, which is achievable by acting in excellence or virtue 3 types of happy lives o Pleasure, Honor, and Contemplation o the contemplative life: “happiness should be in accordance with the highest virtue, and this will be that of the best thing in us” 6: Criticism on the Theory of Forms o on the universal good (Platonic Theory of Forms) o “as we are philosophers or lovers of wisdom, for, while both are dear, piety requires us to honor truth above our friends…” 7: Happiness and the Final Good o teleological goal of our life= happiness o final without qualification is always desirable in itself o happiness is similar to self-sufficiency o telos: good achievable by action o definition of happiness= the essence of the word being defined; differentia o humans: rational, political animals o Ergon Argument: “all things have a function or activity, the good and the ‘well’ is thought to reside in the function” o happiness is the chief good o the rational self is unique to humans (what is the human function?) an activity of the soul which follows a rational principle 8: Adjusting Common Ideas o happiness is the activity of the soul in accordance with excellence o differentia= rational activity (the the utmost= arete) o Aristotle’s “Save the Phenomena” is for happiness in practice add the conditions of external goods (living a complete life) do noble acts without the proper equipment X.7: Happiness as Contemplative Activity o happiness→ following Nous (intellect) “our natural ruler” “the most divine element in us” o happiness should be in accordance with the highest virtue; and this will be the best thing in us o happiness is thought to depend on leisure (skhole) for we are busy in order to have leisure; much like we make war in order to have peace o we must make ourselves immortal and strain every nerve to live in accordance with the best thing in us o intellect is more human than anything else (without intellect, we cannot think about ourselves) Socrates: Ethical Turn→ “cultivate your soul” for true knowledge o Socratic method (elenchus): intellectual midwife o dialogue without writing (Agora) o happiness is knowledge Plato: Dualism→ The Theory of Forms o Politeia (rational): writing dialogues o Academia (387 BC-529 AD) o happiness is harmony between the three parts of the soul Aristotle: Monism→ Form is in individual entities o Rational but empirical o set a comprehensive system of western philosophy o studied at Academia o founder of Lyceum o esoterica/exoterica o restored after the Crusades o wrote constitutions of city-states o happiness is activity in accordance to virtue **They all shared the same goal: to figure out how to achieve happiness Asian Philosophy: Indian Philosophy, Confucianism Confucianism: shared by India, China and Japan Buddhism: influences ethical theories in Asia (particularly Southeast Asia) Islamic philosophy: Western Asian countries; originated in the Indian peninsula the 4 vedas: (Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, and Atharvaveda) o Rigveda: the hymns for a specific deity (oldest) oldest texts in the Indo-European language metaphysical discussion of the cosmos and deity o 4 subtexts in each veda: Samhitas (mantras) Aranyakas (rituals) Brahmanas (commentaries) Upanishads (philosophical knowledge) o Upanishads: “secret doctrines” discussion of the ultimate reality, god, and the spiritual mind “one experiences the self’s greatness and breadth” yoga: physical, mental, and spiritual practices to attain Moksha (the soul’s freedom) o classical Hinduism (200-1200 AD) o philosophy is the path to human well being by freeing people from misconceptions (about themselves and the world) Lecture (2/25/16) Yoga: a person’s well being is fulfillment outside conditions of space and time; is concerned with finding one’s true self o means control of practice o one of the 6 classical Hindu orthodox schools (all of which emphasize an introspective way of life focused on perfecting one’s self with the ultimate goal of being Kaivalya (liberated) o Kaivalya (constant state of freedom) Confucianism: o Confucius (Analects) and Mencius (Mencius) o oracle bone: the bottom of a turtle shell or the shoulder bone of an ox with inscriptions on it, sometimes referred to as dragon bones, very serious and respected ceremony o divine pot: symbol of heaven, given to the emperor to show his authority given by god History of Ancient China o Xia (2100-1600 BC): this dynasty may not have existed o Shang (1600-1046): the oracle bone inscription, Bronze civilization→ proves that this dynasty actually existed; beginning of the written history of China o Zhou (1046-256 BC): The Mandate of Heaven, Rituals, Feudalism, Ideal State of Confucius o Spring and Autumn period (722-476 BC) The Hundred Schools of Thoughts: They all ask: “How can we make China better than before?” The Basis of all Chinese philosophical thoughts Ruism (Confucius): principles of human virtue Taoism (Laozi): human living is in chaos (conform with nature) Mohism (Mozi): collective defense, universal love Legalism (Henfeiti): strict laws to reform society (harsh punishment) The School of Yin-Yang: positive and negative duality throughout the entire world, balance gives way to restore the goodness of society Names (logicians): logical understanding of humans (reasoning) o Warring State period (476-221 BC): Lords all declare themselves emperor without the mandate of heaven destruction of all values except for violent force self preservation is the goal of life Egoism (Yang Zhu), Mohism (collective defense, universal love), Ruism (Mengzi), Taoism (Zhuangzi) o Qin (221-206 BC): Imperial China the Great Wall is built imperial China was maintained until 1911 Confucius (Analects) o Confucius (Kongzi, 551-479 BC) → Zhou is governed by the Sage Kings who have the mandate of heaven and also virtue o Confucianism and Ruism: a scholar whose ideal is “gentleman” (Ru means hat) o Analects (Lunyu,”edited conversations”): a collection of sayings and coversations of Confucius and his deciples discuss the virtuous life and virtuous governing apply a humanistic perspective for sociopolitical reconstruction the Four Books (Zhu Xi, 1130-1200 AD, Song Dynasty) Analects Mencius Great Learning The Doctrine of the Mean Ethical Terms o Heaven (tian): emperor is the son of heaven o Dao (the way): “If I hear the way in the morning, I may die in the evening without regret” o De (power, moral, charisma, virtue) o Ren (virtue of humaneness, benevolence): the ideal virtue of Confucianism o Yi (virtue of righteousness) o Xiao (filial piety): Confucian Differentiated Love Analects o translated by James Legge (1815-1897)
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