Philosophy and Ethical Theory: What you should ?? Normative, prescriptive vs. descriptive ethics. o Normative Ethics the subfield of moral philosophy that focuses on

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  • Philosophy 2020- Test 2 Review

    Philosophy and Ethical Theory: What you should know Technicaldefinitionofphilosophy.

    o Thestudyofideasaboutknowledge,truth,thenatureandmeaningoflife,etc.

    o twoancientGreektermsphilialoveandsophiawisdom.Literally,thetermphilosophymeansloveofwisdom.

    o Philosophyisthewellreasonedinquiryintoandattempttoaddressthefundamental,nonempiricalquestionsofthehumancondition.

    Lexicaldefinitionofethics,morality.o Ethicsmoralprinciplesthatgovernapersonorgroup'sdecisions

    TextbookanswerAttemptingtodiscernandremovecontradictionsamongnonempirical,reasonedbeliefsthathaveuniversalimportance,withtheresultingbenefitofachievingagreaterunderstandingoftheworldandourplacewithinit.

    o Moralitythedifferentiationbetweenactionsthatare"good"or"bad"

    Basicsubjectmatterofmoralphilosophyorethicaltheory.o thestudyofconceptual,nonempiricalquestionsregardingthenatureof

    ethicsandmorality. Areanymoraljudgmentsobjectivelytrueoraretheymerely

    expressionsofsubjectivepreferencesandpersonalattitudes? Whybemoral? Whatisthecorrectstandardforguidingmoraldecisions? Whatisthegoodlifeforhumanbeings?

    Metaethics,normativeethics,appliedethics.o Metaethicsthesubfieldofmoralphilosophythatfocusesonissues

    regardingthefundamentalstatusandnatureofmoralityo NormativeethicsThesubfieldofmoralphilosophythatfocuseson

    identifyinganddefendingstandardsofrightconductand/orgoodlivingo

    Normative,prescriptivevs.descriptiveethics.o NormativeEthicsthesubfieldofmoralphilosophythatfocuseson

    identifyinganddefendingstandardsofrightconductand/orgoodliving Example:Whetheritiscorrecttoholdabeliefthatkillingiswrong

    o PrescriptiveEthicsAnothernamefornormativeethicso DescriptiveEthicsAnempiricalinvestigationofpeoplesmoralbeliefs

    Example:whatproportionsofpeoplebelievethatkillingiswrong

    Utilitarianism in Pop Culture: What you should know Utilitarianism(firstformulatedbyBentham)

  • o Thedoctrinethattherightnessofactionsistobejudgedbytheirconsequences.

    o MillsGreatestHappinessPrinciple(anothernameforutility)o Basedoffofharmorbenefitfromsomeonesactionso Canttakepersonalintegrityintoaccounto Therearenoactionsthatareinherentlyrightorwrong....itsjustbasedoff

    ofwhathappensfromtheactions.o Utilitarianismfitswithethicalnaturalism.

    *Millsonprovingtheprincipleofutility:Happinesshasmadeoutitstitleasoneoftheendsofconduct,andconsequentlyoneofthecriteriaofmorality.

    o Consequentialism:theviewthatmoraltheoriesshouldstresstheresultsofactions;invariablyassociatedwithUT

    Maximizingutility:bringingaboutthegreatestratioofpleasure(ordesiresatisfaction)possiblegiventhecircumstances.

    (contemporaryconsequentialists:PeterSinger,J.J.C.Smart,BradHooker)

    CriticismsofUtilitarianism:o Deontologicalobjections...someactionsshouldnotbedoneregardlessof

    theirconsequences.o Predictingconsequencesisdifficulto Calculatinghappinesso Nozicksutilitymonster:monsterswhogetenormouslygreatersums

    ofutilityfromanysacrificeofothersthantheseotherslose...thetheoryseemstorequire

    o BernardWilliams Believesonecanbecommittedtopersonalgainvs.theUTview

    thatweshouldstandbackfromourprojectsandvaluethemonlyifthepromotethegeneralutility

    BelievesthedoctrineofUTdeprivesagentsoftheirintegritybecauseitseparatesanagentsactionsfromhisprojects.

    Twoexampleshegives 1)George(anunemployednewPh.D.inchemistry):should

    hetakeajobworkingonbiologicalandchemicalwarfare?SomeoneelsewillifGeorgedoesnt;Georgehasafamily;jobsarescarce;Georgeswifeisntagainstthissortofresearch.

    2)Jiminthejungle:eitherAmankillstwentyIndiansorJimkillsonetosave19.

    Inboththeutilitarianshouldtakethejobandkilltheone,buttheaftereffectsofbadfeelingsarethoughtasirrationaltoUTpeopleratherthanvaluedorfollowed.

  • Actvs.ruleutilitarianism,Smart'sextremevs.restrictedutilitarianism.

    Smart:utilitarianphilosopher,arguespleasureisinherentlyvaluableanddefendsact/extremeutilitarianism.

    Extremeutilitarianism(ActUtilitarianism)o Holdsthatweoughttodotheactthatpromisestoproducethemostutilityo Wetestindividualactionsbytheirconsequences.therightnessor

    wrongnessofkeepingapromiseonaparticularoccasiondependsonlyonthegoodnessorbadnessoftheconsequencesofkeepingorbreakingthepromiseonthatparticularmatter

    o Moralrulesarerulesofthumb.Example:IfHitlerwasdrowning,ane.u.mayleavehimtodrown...butifsomeonesaveshim,ane.u.willpraisetherescuerbecausetheseactionsaregood.extremeutilitarianwouldapplytheuniversalisationprincipleinthecasualform.(Bentham)

    Restrictedutilitarianism(RuleUtilitarianism)o Therightnessofanactionisnottobetestedbyevaluatingits

    consequencesbutonlybyconsideringwhetherornotitfallsunderacertainrule

    o Actionsaretobetestedbyrulesandrulesbyconsequenceso Arentconcernedwithconsequencesbutobeyrulesthatareproventobe

    goodfromconsequenceso Theruledoesnotgiveusareasonforactingsomuchasanindicationof

    theprobableactionsofothers,whichhelpsustofindoutwhatwouldbeourown

    o Weoughttofollowtherulesthatpromisetoproducethemostutility.o Smartsaysrulecollapses,sayingitfallsintoact/extremebecausethereare

    situationsinwhichbreakingthatparticularsituationwouldmaximizeutility.(Mill)

    Mill'sgreatesthappinessprinciple:

    o *Millsconceptofrespectforautonomyinvolvesthecapacitytothink,decideandactofthebasisofsuchthoughtanddecisionfreelyandindependently.

    o milladvocatedtheprincipleofautonomy(orprincipleoflibertyashecalledit)providedthatitdidnotcauseharmtoothers.

    o Millobservesthatmanypeoplemisunderstandutilitarianismbyinterpretingutilityasinoppositiontopleasure.Inreality,utilityisdefinedaspleasureitself,andtheabsenceofpain.ThusanothernameforutilityistheGreatestHappinessPrinciple.Thisprincipleholdsthat"actionsarerightinproportionastheytendtopromotehappiness,wrongastheytend

  • toproducethereverseofhappiness.Byhappinessisintendedpleasure,andtheabsenceofpain;byunhappiness,pain,andtheprivationofpleasure."

    Mill'sconceptionofhappiness(contrastwithAristotle'sconceptionofhappiness)

    o Millequateshappinesswithintrinsicpleasureandthat'sallhappinessis.Aristotlebelieveditwaslivingyourlifeinaccordancewiththevirtues,andactuallyheusesthegreekwordeudaimoniawhichtranslatesto"happiness"inenglish,andalsohumanflourishing.Aristotlealsobelievesthatallvirtuesarelearned.Virtuesareacquiredthroughhabit.Virtueispartlyintellectualandpartmoral.Aristotlesconceptsareteleological:organizedbyapurposewithfinalendincludingnatureandhumannature.

    o *criticismofAristotlesviewofvirtues:subjectiveviewofvirtueethics.Aristotlesays,ifyouwanttobeavirtuousperson,mimicsomeoneyouthinkisvirtuous.faultybecausethiswouldmeanthatyouwouldalreadyknowwhatvirtuousis.

    Higherandlowerpleasures

    o Milldelineateshowtodifferentiatebetweenhigherandlowerqualitypleasures:

    o Apleasureisofhigherqualityifpeoplewouldchooseitoveradifferentpleasureevenifitisaccompaniedbydiscomfort,andiftheywouldnottradeitforagreateramountoftheotherpleasure.Moreover,Millcontends,itisan"unquestionablefact"that,givenequalaccesstoallkindsofpleasures,peoplewillpreferthosethatappealtotheir"higher"faculties.Apersonwillnotchoosetobecomeananimal,aneducatedpersonwillnotchoosetobecomeignorant,andsoon.Eventhoughapersonwhouseshigherfacultiesoftensuffersmoreinlife(hencethecommondictum"ignoranceisbliss"),hewouldneverchoosealowerexistence,preferringinsteadtomaintainhisdignity.Someoptforlowerpleasuresoverhigherduetothepursuitofthenearergood,thoughtheyknowittobelessvaluable.theypursuesensualindulgencestotheinjuryofhealth,thoughperfectlyawarethathealthisthegreatergood.

    o Greatestpleasurefromknowledge.

    Utilitarianjustificationforrights,distributivejustice

    o Distributivejusticeisinvolvedintheverymeaningofutility,orthegreatesthappinessprinciple...ifitsadutytodotoeachaccordingtohisdeserts,returninggoodforgoodaswellasrepressingevilbyevil,itnecessarilyfollowsthatweshouldtreatallequallywell(whennohigherdutyforbids)

  • Deontology in Pop Culture: What you should know Deontology

    o Normative(theought)ethicaltheoriesthatemphasizesthenotionsofdutyandobligation.Accordingtothisviewofnormativeethics,someactionsareinherentlywrongorrightregardlessoftheirconsequences.

    Hypotheticalvs.categoricalimperativeso HypotheticalImperatives

    Prudentcommandsforattainingsomegoalsonedesireso CategoricalImperatives

    Commandsthatarebindingonallrationalagentsregardlessofspecificgoalspersonsarepursuing

    Kant'sformulationsofthecategoricalimperative,universalizabilitytest,respectforautonomy

    Sidenote(KantdefinescertainvalesashavinganintrinsicvaluebythemselvesandfollowsthosevaluesashecalimsDutycarrieswithitselfabsolutenecessity.)

    o 3FormulationsonCategoricalImperative 1stFormulationSincetheuniversalityofthelawaccordingto

    whicheffectsareproducedconstituteswhatisproperlycallednatureinthemostgeneralsense,thatistheexistenceofthingssofarasitcanbedeterminedbygenerallaws,theimperativeofdutymaybeexpressedthus:Actasifthemaximofthyactionweretobecomebythywillauniversallawofnature.

    2ndFormulationForallrationalbeingscomeunderthelawthateachofthemmusttreatitselfandallothersnevermerelyasameans,butineverycaseatthesametimeasendsinthemselves

    3rdFormulationTherefore,everyrationalbeingmustsoactasifhewerethroughhismaximalwaysalegislatingmemberintheuniversalkingdomofends.

    o UniversalizabilityTest 1.Identifythemaximoftheaction

    example:Iwilllieforpersonalbenefit 2.Recastthemaximasauniversallawofnaturegoverningthe

    conductofallrationalagents 3.Doanycontradictionsorirrationalitiesariseintheworldwhere

    rationalagentsaregovernedbythismaxim?Ifso,thentheresaperfectdutynottoactonit,i.e.amoralprohibition.

    4.Canyourationallywillthatyouactonthismaximintheworldgovernedbythismaxim?Ifso,thenitismorallypermissibletoactonthismaxim.Ifthemaximfailsthisstepthenitisanimperfectduty.

  • o KantsRespectforAut

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