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Intro to Ethics notes

by: Tiara Bond

Intro to Ethics notes PHIL 1020 - 13

Tiara Bond
GPA 4.0

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About this Document

These notes cover the objections to Hobbes' second law of nature discussed on Thursday
Intro to Ethics
Arata Hamawaki
Class Notes
Intro to Ethics, auburn, ethics, Hamawaki, philosophy, Hobbes
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Tiara Bond on Tuesday March 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHIL 1020 - 13 at Auburn University taught by Arata Hamawaki in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 26 views. For similar materials see Intro to Ethics in PHIL-Philosophy at Auburn University.


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Date Created: 03/15/16
Chapter 15 – The fool’s objection and other objections to the second law of nature I. Fool’s (free rider’s) objection: a. There is no justice/injustice because if it is in one’s own interest to violate a social contract then it isn’t wrong  i. Since, for Hobbes, obeying social contract is ultimately based on self­ interest, he seems committed to the view that you should only obey the  social contract when it is in your best interest to.  1. There is not justice b. Violation for rule of justice established by a social contact, is in one’s interest,  one has a good reason for doing so  i. Given that, then when it’s in one’s own interest those rules of justice or  the contract, one should do so  1. Policy: abide by rules/contract, to the extent that doing to is in your interest  a. No justice II. Hobbes’ responses a. The act an action turns out well doesn’t make it wise to do  b. It hurts you in the long run, you are no longer entitled to the protection of the  social contract everyone else has. No one trusts you. There are some actions that  carry such a great potential cost that it is never reasonable to perform them. If one violates a covenant in a state of war, one runs the risk of being perceived as  someone who is not fit to enter into a contract.  i. Death sentence  c. Consider two policies i. Always abide by the rules of justice, even when it seems they are not in  your best interst.  1. Hobbes ii. Decide on a case by case basis whether to abide by the rules of justice the  social contract based on whether doing it is in one’s self interest 1. Fool  III. Other objections a. Social contract is “not worth the paper it’s not written on.” i. Historical fiction since there is no way to account for how our ancestors  originally developed societies and alliances ii. There is no way to agree to something just because our ancestors did  1. No way to consent to social contract iii. Responses 1. There is implicit agreement, you agree without have to  acknowledge that you are in a social contract a. Partaking in social norms b. Obeying manners of a society  2. You do not need consent, it’s rational  b. We seem to have duties with respect to small children and animals  i. Can Hobbes account for this?  ii. Possible responses 1. Humans are altruistic and naturally look out for the best intent of  others 2. Humans apply the golden rule 3. Humans want to be able to use small children and animals to their  advantage  a. Animal for protection, children for help when growing old  or carrying out a legacy 4. The state  of war does not exists with small children and animals  since there is no equality of mind with animals and no equality of  strength with small children  c. There is a right and wrong in The State of Nature i. Humans know instinctively what is wrong or right without having to enter  a social contract ii. Response 1. Hobbes would deny  2. There would be no reason for humans to know what was  wrong/right if there were no punishments for it like the social  contract provides. 


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