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PHIL-P140 Introduction Notes (Week 1)

by: Kathryn Brinser

PHIL-P140 Introduction Notes (Week 1) PHIL-P 140

Marketplace > Indiana University > PHIL-P 140 > PHIL P140 Introduction Notes Week 1
Kathryn Brinser
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About this Document

Covers the first lecture (not including the first day, because that was just syllabus material). Topics: content of the class, discussions of objectivity, and what makes an ethical/moral theory.
Introduction to Ethics
Daniel Linsenbardt
Class Notes
philosophy, ethics




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This 1 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kathryn Brinser on Wednesday August 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL-P 140 at Indiana University taught by Daniel Linsenbardt in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 31 views.


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Date Created: 08/24/16
P140 Lecture 1 Notes- Introduction 8-24-16  Subject Matter of Class o Good vs. bad, meanings of both in different contexts; what makes our lives good or bad?  Different from morally right/wrong o Ex. “Slavery is bad” doesn’t give enough specificity; we don’t talk about slavery being bad the same way we talk about a song/food being bad → “Slavery is wrong” is better o Ex. “Giving to charity is good” equates to morally right o Ex. “It’s bad to be a couch potato” relates to how you’re living and what kind of life you can/should lead o Aristotle thinks understanding right and wrong relates strongly to character traits  “Objectivity” o For class, have assumption that religious arguments “because God says so” not accepted o Also assume that moral claims are objective- anybody can be right or wrong about them, reasons you give for claims can be understood by everyone, not a matter of what you feel/what your culture tells you o Ex. Not objective (to most people)- “Strawberry ice cream is good”  Reasoning based on opinion/your own feelings  Usually cannot be challenged/criticized for opinions  What is an ethical/moral theory? o Trying to explain what is morally right/wrong; sometimes try to give answers to disputed moral questions, sometimes what we already accept o Principle- general claim (ie. “Slavery is wrong,” meaning always or most of the time)  Ex. “It’s okay (morally permissible) for soldiers to commit violence towards each other in a just war”  In terms of morality, one can do it but doesn’t have to  This claim is not a moral theory or part of one; particular idea about an area of life  Ex. “Anything my friend’s cat hisses at is morally wrong”  Assuming this is true (magic cat), we could use this principle to decide what is right/wrong  Not relevant to reality or rational; cannot use arbitrary ideas like this to make moral decisions o Doesn’t matter that theory gets right answers all the time, but that it does so in right way o


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