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by: Hailey Halvorson


Hailey Halvorson
GPA 3.8


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Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hailey Halvorson on Thursday October 22, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PHYS 100A at University of California Santa Barbara taught by Staff in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 56 views. For similar materials see /class/227141/phys-100a-university-of-california-santa-barbara in Physics 2 at University of California Santa Barbara.




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Date Created: 10/22/15
Phil 100A Section Handout 2 Consequentialism Generally consequentialist theories have two parts 1 Primary object of evaluation A theory of value a theory of what makes something good 2 Secondary principle of right action The right action is the one that maximizes the good Hedonic Theories of Value The Utilitarian theory of value is Hedonism which is the view that the one and only intrinsic good is pleasurehappiness All other good are instrumental that is they are only good insofar as they contribute to pleasurehappiness Objections to Hedonjc Theories of Value Objection 1 Nozick s experience machine and Illusionary happiness objections reality and truth are intrinsically valuable Reply 1 That which is intrinsically valuable is pleasure based on true beliefs Note this is already a significant departure from hedonism Objection 2 To suppose that life has no higher end than pleasure is a doctrine worthy only of swine Is a society how spends most of their time electronically stimulating the pleasure centers of their brains really a good stateofaffairs Reply 2 Happiness is human wellbeing A good life is one spent doing distinctively human things Problem But Mill you said that happiness is pleasure and the absence of pain Are you now rejecting that Solution There are different qualities of pleasure and pleasure arising from doing distinctively human things is of a higher quality than those pleasures we share with lower animals Objection 3 The governing committee objection autonomy is intrinsically valuable Objection 4 Other intrinsic human goods accomplishment amp deep personal relationships Reply This is accounted for by differing qualities of pleasure Problem This seems like a cheap ad hoc solution How can we know that you are not simply picking out something that is intrinsically valuable accomplishment deep relationships etc What exactly is quality of pleasure Possible Solution Pleasure has a third dimension namely complexity Objections to Utilitarianism Objection 1 Too weak Utilitarianism allows too much 0 Slavery injustice 0 ChopupChuck In these cases UT seems to justify breaking some common sense moral principles such as it is wrong to enslave a person and it is wrong to kill an innocent person Possible Responses 1 Bite the bullet Common sense morality is simply wrong in these cases 2 We can explain our common sense intuitions in a utilitarian framework a Our utilitarian evaluation was incorrect since it only accounted for the short term consequences If we account for the long term consequences then the utilitarian evaluations will usually coincide with our common sense evaluations Problem What about cases where we have correctly taken into account the longterm consequences and our intuitions still diverge eg ChopupChuck The Surgeon Returns Our intuitions stem from the adoption of a deontological decision procedure ie live in accordance with our common sense moral principles But this decision procedure is justified on utilitarian grounds Given our limitations as finite fallible selfinterested human beings the attempt to always make decisions based on the utilitarian principle will lead to less aggregate happiness than would making decisions based on common F7 sense moral principles 3 Rule Utilitarianism 1 Your actions should conform to a set of moral principles and 2 You should act only on those rules the adoption of which would lead to the greatest aggregate happiness as opposed to Act Utilitarianism At any given time you should perform one of the actions then available to you just in case it will lead to at least as much aggregate happiness as would any other action available to you at that time Phil 100A Section Handout 1 Administrative lnfo TAChris Noffsinger Office hours MW 300400 or by appointment Office SH5714 Email noffsingcsbccedu Introduction Normative vs Descriptive Claims Descriptive claims are claims about how things are or were or are going to be while normative claims are claims about how things ought to be or ought to have been Three Branches or Ethics 1 MetaEthics The branch of ethics concerned with answering secondorder questions about ethics Meta ethical claims are descriptive claims They describe the nature of moral discourse moral knowledge moral properties etc Here are some examples of metaethical questions 0 metaphysics Are moral claims either true or false like ordinary claims 0 metaphysics Are there objective moral truths and if so what is the nature of moral truths o epistemology How do we come to know them 0 semantics What do moralnormative terms mean eg good bad valuable etc o moral psychology How are we motivated by ethical truths and what does this tell us about the nature of those truths 2 Normative Ethics Concerned with firstorder moral questions of a general nature such as o What makes for rightwrong action 0 What features of actions make them rightwrong o What general principles should I live my life by 0 What features of people make them morally goodbad 3 Applied Ethics Concerned with firstorder moral questions about the application of ethical theory to daytoday decisions such as 0 When if ever is abortion permissible s war ever justified Do animals have rights and if so what rights do they have Are we morally obligated to help stop suffering due to starvation Political philosophy s government morally acceptable What actions by a government are morally justifiable Normative Ethics Goal The goal of normative ethics is to systematize and make coherent our account of morality What is the primary object of moral evaluation Person motives 9 Action 9 Consequences statesof affair Three possibilities 1 Virtue ethics takes the person to be the primary object of moral evaluation 2 Deontological theories take the action to be primary 3 Consequentialism takes the consequences to be primary Secondary moral evaluations are then derived from the primary evaluations Below is a rough summarization of the three approaches Person motives Action Consequences Consequentialism The right motives are those that reliably lead to right action Right acts are those that maximize the good ie what s valuable Theory of value Deontology The right motives are those that reliably lead to right action Theory of right action Theory of value perhaps not morally relevant Virtue ethics Theory of virtue Right acts are those a virtuous person would perform Theory of value perhaps not morally relevant Two criteria for evaluating competing normative ethical theories 1 Simplicity and explanatory coherence 2 Intuitiver acceptable implications Consistency Two statements are consistent if they can both be true Two statements are inconsistent if they can not both be true eg the two statements It is now raining here and It is not now raining here cannot both be trueas uttered by the same person at the same timeand are therefore inconsistent Examples 1 2x312 x 2 xiseven It follows that x 3 1 and 2 can t both be true so one of them must be false 1 Proposed moral theory 2 Intuitive moral claim eg It is not permissible to enslave Canadians It follows that the intuitive moral claim is false eg it is permissible to enslave Canadians Again 1 and 2 can t both be true so one of them must be false One of the two must be discarded If there is better reason to believe 1 then you quotbite the bullet and accept the unintuitive result that it is


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