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Introduction to Philosophy

by: Dane Conroy

Introduction to Philosophy PHL 201

Dane Conroy
CSU Pomona
GPA 3.86

Adam Stowell

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Adam Stowell
Class Notes
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This 18 page Class Notes was uploaded by Dane Conroy on Saturday October 3, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PHL 201 at California State Polytechnic University taught by Adam Stowell in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see /class/218404/phl-201-california-state-polytechnic-university in PHIL-Philosophy at California State Polytechnic University.


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Date Created: 10/03/15
Normative Ethical Theories Normative Ethical Theories Ethical Theories aim at producing a set of principles that are action guiding Universal Theory and our moral intuitions Theory is needed to ground claims of ethical objectivism The goal of a successful moral theory is to provide a set of fundamental moral principles that is in harmony with our moral intuitions and that helps us to clarify what we should do when we face difficult moral decisions NChR X N h Four kinds of theories TeleologicaI end or purpose focused DeontologicaI dutyrule based Aretaic character focused Religion based Divine Command Theory Divine Command Theory An action is morally right if it is consistent with God s commands o Universal and absolute norms are guaranteed to be true by an omniscient and powerful being o Relies on norms generated through established religious traditions A simple decision making procedure Divine Command Theory Requires one to determine which religious tradition to rely on o What if theism is not true Interpretive difficulties ex prohibition on killing Euthyphro s dilemma Is it good because God commands it arbitrary Or does God command it because it is good goodness is independent of God s commands Teleological Theory Ethical Egoism What is right is according to selfinterest End Nonmoral good happiness hedonism max pleasure Actions consequences Argument a It s the natural state of humanity Hobbes b Produces economic goods moral c Altruism impossible selfishness is a virtue Rand Ethical Egoism Criticism It may produce economic goods but it also produces many negative social consequences False Dichotomy There is a third option between selfishness and altruism unselfishness Teleological Theory Utilitarianism The right thing to do is make as many people as happy as possible End goal maximize happiness for greatest Good Nonmoral happiness as pleasure Action consequences Bentham hedonic calculus Mill higher and lower pleasures Utilitarianism Advantages 1 2 All action judged by a single principle Others focused alleviation of suffering etc Problems 1 2 3 4 Measuring consequences unintended NoRest objection incalculable options Absurd Implication equal of hedons for opposite actions Justice Room 306 Dcontological Ethics Duty based Immanuel Kant The ends do not justify the means The only good is a good will Morality not dependent on human nature necessary truths are the aim Principles are found according to reason and act on them according to duty Dcontological Ethics The Categorical Imperative a Act on maxims principles that you can at the same time will to be universal b A maxim that passes this test becomes a law moral c Second Formulation Treat humanity including yourself as and end and never as a means d Humans beings by virtue of being rational have freedom and dignity Dcontological Ethics Advantages a Moral laws are independent of time and place a priori b We all have strict duties 0 Upholds the dignity of human nature Problems Consequences are of no ethical significance Duty conflicts 0 Relevant maxims shoe tying m C39 Virtue Theory Teleological Focuses on agent not acts per se End wellbeing flourishing happiness not pleasure Good moral and nonmoral virtues acts motives Action not consequences but what exemplifies virtue in actions motives emotions etc Morality is an organic unity morality is not individual but communitarian Our good is also the public good Good is beyond selfinterest Virtue Theory Teleological directed toward a goal happiness Focuses on the agent not the actions Aristotle All people seek happiness ultimate end Virtue a mean between extremes is a necessary condition for happiness not sufficient Requires a moral model Some things are just wrong aside from virtue 9 CT 0 Q Aristotle on Happiness Happiness is Eudaimonistic wellbeing flourishing shalom not hedonistic pleasure Happiness is an intrinsic good good in and of itself not an instrumental good good for the sake of something else Ex Money cars phones houses instrumental All actionsactivities aim at the good happiness Happiness is acquired over an entire lived life in a virtuous community Virtue Virtue types Moral and intellectual Acquired by being trained self or community The average between excess and deficiency Ex Vice Virtue Vice foolhardy courage cowardice Wait forever patience impatience TMI honesty dishonesty irrational dev loyalty disloyalty Moral Models Must be identified Present or historical Socrates Jesus Gandhi MLK To become virtuous imitate the moral model Virtue Theory 907 Advantages Stress on becoming a good person Motivation is ethically important Special relationships count Virtue exemplification can look differently in different cultures some flexibility Disadvantages How can we identify a virtuous person How does the moral model know what virtue is Virtue Conflicts ex Honesty and loyalty Procedure for solving moral problems


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