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Philosophy 002 Discussion 3

by: Neelam Aziz

Philosophy 002 Discussion 3 PHIL002

Neelam Aziz
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About this Document

Detailed notes from discussion
Contemporary Moral Issues
D. Ehrlich
Class Notes




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Neelam Aziz on Sunday April 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL002 at University of California Riverside taught by D. Ehrlich in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 24 views. For similar materials see Contemporary Moral Issues in PHIL-Philosophy at University of California Riverside.


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Date Created: 04/17/16
Philosophy Discussion Week 3  Circular Definition o Definition that is circular  This is dissatisfying because this is not a clear definition  What does piety mean? o What all the gods love  because they recognize that its pious  This makes the definition circular “you have not yet told me what the pious is” How to Form Definitions  Step 1: Start by thinking of examples of the concept we’re trying to define  Step 2: Purpose a definition by trying to figure out the features common to all the examples  Step 3: Test the definition via the Socratic Method. Good definitions cannot: o Create contradictions (like definition 2) o Be circular (like one understanding of Definition 3) o Be vague (like Euthyphros’s farther….) Mill’s Argument (1) Free expression of opinions is important for us to be able to find and correct false beliefs (2) Freedom to express even false beliefs helps us to prevent us from holding beliefs superficially and dogmatically (3) We should be free to express our opinions – even if they are controversial or unpopular Thinking Through Mill’s Argument Some proposed restrictions on expression  Laws against offensive speech  Laws against incitements to hatred  Laws against Holocaust denialism Question 1 : Are there other benefits of unrestricted free speech that we could add to Mill’s considerations? You are being allowed to be your own person despite what others may think. Question 2: Do the benefits of free speech Mills mentions (helps us to find and correct false beliefs, prevents us from holding beliefs superficially and dogmatically) outweigh the worries from the proposals above? Even with the freedom of speech that we have today, people have taken them to the extreme and have stated to kill people or create mafias or terrorist groups because they want to force people to see what they see. People who want to be wise will discuss their opinions but those who do not wish to be wise will remain the same. The benefits of Mill’s argument can already be replied without allowing more freedom of speech. 2 Issue’s Concerning Mill’s Argument  When you allow expression, what kind of ideas spread?  How to protect minority speech? o If you fear consequences from the majority, it can suppress important ideas 3


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