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Intro to Philosophy Notes 02/05

by: Danielle Notetaker

Intro to Philosophy Notes 02/05 PHIL 10100-01

Marketplace > Ithaca College > PHIL-Philosophy > PHIL 10100-01 > Intro to Philosophy Notes 02 05
Danielle Notetaker
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Moral Relativism, Kant's Moral Philosophy, Empiricism, Rationalists, What is Philosophy?
Intro to Philosophy
Prof Frederik Kauffman
Class Notes
Kant, Moral Relativism
25 ?




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Danielle Notetaker on Wednesday March 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL 10100-01 at Ithaca College taught by Prof Frederik Kauffman in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 27 views. For similar materials see Intro to Philosophy in PHIL-Philosophy at Ithaca College.

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Date Created: 03/02/16
Intro to Philosophy Notes Week 02/05/16 What is philosophy? ­The study of human condition (Socrates) ­Study of the world/ reality What is the world made of? ­Thales= first philosopher (600 BC)  He said the world was made of water. Water comes in different form, but it is the  same throughout. ­Galileo started to realize that the moon had imperfections in the early 1700s. ­Democratus= Atomic theory of matter (400 BC)  Atom means “cannot be divided” ­Lucretius= Atomist (200 AD)  “Nothing but body can touch or be touched.” Put together the study of the world and the study of human condition: ­Stoics thought the world is fundamentally rational. We all have within us this spark of  logos Natural Law= there is a natural order and we should reflect that order in our lives ­To the religious mind, somehow the world is good. Look at us as knowers: What can we know?  Empiricism= all knowledge comes from experience (Locke, Hume). Souls do not come from the census. Human minds begin with a blank slate  Rationalists= not all knowledge comes from experience W.E.B DuBois  Double Consciousness­ always being aware of oneself and how people see one’s self  Rationality could be considered universal Ethics= (right and wrong) moral philosophy 1. Ethical Disagreement= disagreement about what is right and wrong 2. No Objectively (true) moral beliefs 3. Some views are mistaken­ there are objectively correct (true) moral beliefs  Right and wrong is relative to a specific culture  Different cultures have different beliefs about what is right and wrong therefore there are  no objectively correct (true) moral beliefs (moral relativism)  Murders are wrongful killings, but what counts as murder? Self defense? War? Abortion?  A universal agreement doesn’t always mean they are right.  Moral Relativism= theoretical view about the nature of ethics  There are no objectively true moral beliefs because different cultures have different  opinions  Just because a group of people agree, doesn’t mean it is right  If relativism is true, then both right and wrong arguments are correct.  If moral relativism is true, then no moral progress is possible What defines moral progress?  There is no better or worse, there is just “different”  No legitimate cross­cultural moral criticism is possible  It should be easy to answer a moral question KANT (1724­1804)  Categorical Imperative= Kant’s Core Principle  Hypothetical Imperative= If you want___ then you ought to do ___  If you do not have a relevant desire, then there is no “ought”  Kant is arguing that the moral “ought’s” are categorical not hypothetical  The moral “ought” is independent upon the wants  When you act on a principle, that can be universalized Three Basic Ideas in Kant 1. Persons are defined as rational agents (not all members can act for a reason; act for moral reasons) 2. Persons are autonomous (self­governed) Recognition of Categorical Imperative 3. Persons are ends in themselves; not means  The difference between a person or thing  Imposing your own will without the respect of others  Not something to be used  Intrinsically valuable (persons) where everything else is considered a means  Kant makes the connection to slavery; slavery is a way of using people as means


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