Philosophy 320 Ethics Final
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- Greek historian. Father of political realism,
- involved in the conflict between Athens and Melos. Justice isn’t as important
- as the expansion of power.
- There is more to living then following
- conventions. Try and find the truth about how to live. Main character in the
- gorgias. He says main things to gorgias that he asks are you sure about this.
- He says its better to suffer an evil then to do an evil. He also says if you do
- an evil you ought to be punished. Notable for his style of Defense Dialectic
- and critique of rhetoric.
- Is the author of gorgias when he teaches that
- rhetoric is not an art
- when we think about what it is to be a
- human being we can learn quite a bit when you think about what it is to be
- this, that, or the other species.
- -also interested in the ecosystem of other species. Started to
- study the human ecosystem and the need for a grounded community.
- -Principle of equality, and
- cardinal virtues.
- Socrates says: rhetoric is not an art it is just
- a flourish, a form of flattery. Gorgias refutes that rhetoric is an art.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero argues that mercy is a
- virtue, when he says “of all thy virtues none is more marvelous or more
- graceful than thy mercy” Most influential Roman philosopher.
- virtue is his own reward while vice is its own
- punishment. Sees evil as privation, “a distortion of the good”
- aquinas says that misericordia is more important
- than justice and or generosity. Thinks that a seriously unjust law is a kind of
- violence. Mercy above all, even justice. Principle of Double Effect, and law
- based on ethics.
- character Portia praises mercy even above justice
- for the same reasons as aquinas
- )- argues that animals are here for us. So its
- totally fine to eat meat. Common good= kingdom of ends. Distinction between
- perfect versus imperfect duties. Emphasis on anthropocentrism.
- Principle of Respect. “I and Thou,” treat
- everyone as “Thou,” a familiar friend in an informal manner. Jewish thinker.
- Treat everyone as as an end, mentioned by MLK.
- australian moral professor at Princeton.
- Introduced the word speciesism which is assigning different rights to different
- animals based solely on their species. Says there are some charities that
- are more important to give to then others. Is a huge animal right guy.
- Makes the case that animals have more of a right to live then people with
- severe special needs. Wants us to be vegetarians. Singer also makes
- the argument that in emergency situations sometimes you need to increase
- contributions to meet the needs. Conventional morality does not support this
- and therefore should be changed. Things of equal interest need equal
- consideration. EX: If a monkey wants the same thing as you, best to flip a
- coin...against speciesism
- critiques Singers vegetarian schema. He argues
- that humans not animals can achieve moral insight and can apply this insight to
- specific situations. Humans act on conscious. Humans even if mentally disabled
- have the potential for moral agency and animals never have the potential for
- moral agency.
- Critiques Singers greater evil rule, and
- justice versus generosity. Says that utilitarian principle is wholly
- forward looking however entitlements are not simply forward looking therefore
- ger is not a satisfactory approach to distributive justice. He then makes the
- case that conventional morality is better than utilitarianism. Argues that
- Singer’s criticism of conventional morality overlooks the role of generosity as
- an imperfect duty.
- American Philosopher. Known for political
- philosophy and stating that the most reasonable principles of justice are ones
- that almost everyone would accept and agree too from a fair position. He
- suggests setting up a structure where there are political principles and
- principles for exchanges between individuals and after that individuals should
- be free to advance their permissible ends.
- a current philosopher who focuses on natural law.
- He is currently working on the law and philosophy of marriage. He thinks the
- most important political issue today is preserving the institution of marriage.
- Argues that authentic sexual community is the two in one flesh union,
- open to life which defines marriage.
- agrees with singer that we all have a moral
- obligation to use surplus wealth to help those in need. And that we should put
- a lot of time and thought into giving. Tollefsen however argues
- that there is no way to really measure if one charity is better than another
- for instance art or medical. So tollefsen say you must give in a way that
- is effective fair, and in accordance with your own vocations. He says
- that charitable giving like all else that one does should collide with ones
- commitments, relationships and understanding of ones life as a whole. EX: if
- you have the money to give to either Haiti or to the hospital you have been
- volunteering at, it is ok to choose the hospital even though Haiti might need
- it more.
- the divine comedy talks about the 9 circles of
- Hell. Italian poet, vividly portrays the vice of uncontrolled anger.
- stresses the role of the virtues in helping one to
- live and make sense of one’s life in terms of a unifying story.
- has the natural law view of the axiology of life.
- Also called the cosmos view. Says that everything in the universe has intrinsic
- value and instrumental value as well. Bit it is ordered. Some things have
- higher intrinsic value than others. Advocates the cosmos model as a way of
- mapping the moral community.
- taking into account perspective and results. Not
- ignoring either. Teleological is only result centered and deontological is
- perspective centered. Ethics depends on our values (the study of
- philosophical value). Note: intrinsic and instrumental goods are
- part of Axiology.
- knowledge, friendship, sexual union, beauty, life,
- happiness. Basic goods are core elements of what it is to be human being.
- Something is a basic good only if it is incommensurable, and non-fungible. Must
- meet three criteria: universal appeal, pass the no price test, an invitation
- the branch of ethics that explores the nature of
- rights and duties
- when something is good in and of itself. Ie
- happiness (end)
- when something is good for things ie a car is
- good for getting you places. (Means)
- - if there are human rights what is
- there basis? (most natural law thinkers come to be from trying to figure out
- human rights.) simply as being a human being I have a claim that is morally
- a right is a claim to something against someone
- that is recognized by law or morality.
having no common standard of judgement
one cannot be replaced by another without loss
“no price test”
- referring to basic goods there is no price that
- can buy them ie you cannot buy true friendship no matter how much you pay.
- is the whole range of material and cultural
- conditions that help us to realize the basic goods, together with the basic
- goods themselves. Or shared human flourishing.
Kants idea for the common good
- the common good will be achieved when we have a
- kingdom of ends. And as long as we are working towards the kingdom of ends then
- we are working towards a good. Advocates the principle of solidarity, and
- explains that sometimes we must sacrifice a few for the good of the many.
- gives decision making powers to the larger
- masses rather than the smaller powerful groups. The economic
- self-determination needed to make political democracy
- a type of divine wisdom as directing all actions
- and movements: Aquinas states it is a type of ideal model plan existing in the
- divine mind.
law: natural vs. positive
- Positive law- laws are created
- by government or a king or society
- Natural Law- laws are from God
- or some other and presupposed human life. Humans have natural rights that go
- above and beyond anything else. Rights usually go with basic goods. “intrinsic
- leads to cookery. The public work which we
- do together to realize the common good. Easily corruptible.
- - philosophy of law that emphasizes the
- conventional nature of law. Socially constructed norms. A law is a law because
- authority enforces it.
- since law is made by man its imperfect up to the
- discretion of judges and attorneys. Has flaws
- the branch of ethics that tries to work out a fair allocations of goods and
- people who believe that people who work harder and
- get more money they deserve it. Because they worked harder.
- people should only have more money if they have
- more needs (ie. Special education) you ought to give more money to those
- folks because they have more needs.
- If you do what most pretty good people
- mostly do then you are living in accord with conventional morality.
perfect vs. imperfect duty
- Perfect- a duty that is non
- flexible ie. Do not steal. It is a perfect duty because if stealing was
- universalized it would be illogical or impractical. This goes against universal
- Imperfect duty- this is the
- duty to act only on maxims that we desire ie. If you thought the world would be
- a better place if you gave to charity then you should give to charity. It is
- imperfect because you don’t have to follow it every time. For instance if you
- didn’t have enough money to buy food you would be okay not giving to charity.
- However it would never be right to steal.
justice vs. generosity
- justice is a perfect duty, generosity is an
- imperfect duty.
- direct translation is “you have a heart for misery”:
- mercy- acquanias says that misericordia is more important than justice and or
- is a strength of character that helps one to act
- well in a given context.
- virtue that is very important and has to do with
- a big part of life. These are Core Virtues. Things you cant go a day
- virtue that has to do with virtues that are
- virtues but not core virtues.
- It explains how a person can defeat their fears
- for doing what is just in life.
helps a person act well by harmonizing desires
- a prudent person is one who shows practical
- wisdom. Prudence as in intellectual virtue is the quality of mind that enables
- us rightly to order the means at hand to the specific ends that we seek. And as
- a moral virtue it is a quality of the will that lets us govern our wants so
- that they don’t distort our reasoning.
- for Aquinas its both an intellectual virtue and a
- gift of the holy spirit
unity of virtues
- says that you cant really have a virtue without
- having all the other virtues too.
- virtue of respect for ones parents or
- “natural”- something is natural given
- the nature of human person, insofar it helps actualize goods of the human
- innate. One judges rightly about God only by
- somehow sharing God’s life.
- steady willing of the good of something. Not
- concerned with qualities we the person
- a definition that is just a name a name for the
- sake of it. Ie the name gold meaning the metal gold. The word is related to
- what it is.
- picks out something according to what it really
- is. A chemist could create a real definition for what gold really is
everything that the law and ethics applies too.
- assigning different rights values or
- considerations to individuals based solely on their species. if we take
- membership in a given species in an exclusive way. If we say only members of
- our species are members of the moral community. Or we can think of it as
- an inclusive way and say that lets check out all the other species and see if
- they can talk to us. Now we have a stewardship to other human beans and other
- the value and agency of being a human being,
- individually and collectively. If there are Humans in mars. This theory says
- those humans are also important.
- a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining
- the fundamental nature of being and the world that encompasses it. It
- looks into the notions of how people understand the world, space, objects,
- existence and time.
Principle of equality
- Equals should be treated equally and
- unequals should be treated unequally, in proportion to their relevant
- The answer of where the relevant
- differences come from you have to go back to the fundamental moral standard.
- Example is that you try and become a
- walk on for the lakers. The lakers turn you down every time because you cant
- shoot. You are unequal in relevant effects. (basketball ability)
- Review of FMS 1. Reason is consistant,
- 2. It carries a purpose with it. 3. You have to do it yourself.
- We are shaped by our biology and culture, and we
- know that we could suffer any number of biological disasters, we are also
- shaped by our biological restriction, and knowing that we still freely choose
- what we want to do. There is room for some human freedom.
Objections to Natural Law
- Identification- how are we supposed to know what a
- natural good really is? What are the criteria for a basic good? Because it is
- pluralistic there is going to be conflict and situations where there is
- conflict. You cannot use the principle of negative responsibility because no
- basic good is better then the other.
Pros to Natural Law
- - it has universal appeal, it plays a
- central role in peoples lives, it has no price, you can try to buy and sell it
- but you don’t really get it if you buy it. Ie. You cant buy friendship.
- It has Come and See appeal. If you don’t understand a basic good you just
- have to experience it once to understand.
Principle of solidarity
- - The
- first measure of justice in any society or institution is how it treats the
- most vulnerable
Principle of double effect
- there are 4 conditions that have to be
- The initial act is at least okay in
- and of itself
- In acting what you intend needs to be
- While there is a bad effect. You don’t
- intend the bad effect only foresee it. It does not itself cause a bad effect.
- There is a proportionate reason for
Principle of subsidiarity
- the smallest and most local group that can
- contribute to the common good should do so and have the most freedom to do so
- know thyself. It is better to suffer evil then
- to do evil.
Evil as privation
evil is the absence of good.
Act: transitive & intransitive dimensions
- Transitive- act affects the object.
- Intransitive-->action affects the actor. Most important.
Omne ens perficitur in actu
- grass roots approach. Behind that is a
- metaphysical approach. Everything realizes its potential in acting. The less
- you are allowed to act the less you can realize the potential
- greek work that can be translated to happiness
- talked about by Aristotle. Updated meaning (talked about in class
- today)-->also translates to excellence.
Principle ofsufficient reason
- for ever state of affairs and every event there is a cause
- and an explanation for that state of an event.
Intelligibility of nature
- Nature is intelligible and not absurd. Nature
- has much to teach us.
- between those who are close to you and those who are in need.
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