egoism relativism philosophy

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  1. psychological egoism
    doctrine that the only thing that anyone is capable of desiring or pursuing ultimately is own self interest
  2. Arguments that support egoism
    A. My actions are based on my motives/desires
    • Therefore all of my actions are selfish 
    • voluntary actions = selfish
  3. Arguments that support egoism
    B. When I get what I want (even if it seems selfless on the surface) I get pleasure
    Therefore If I feel pleasure, my action is selfish
  4. Arguments that support egoism
    C. Self deception. We sometimes deceive ourselves
    • Therefore we always deceive ourselves 
    • ie. bag of apples, pull 1 out it's rotten, 2 out rotten, 3 rotten all rotten?
  5. Arguments that support egoism
    D. Moral Education. The way we learn good or bad is via rewards and punishments (best interest).
    Therefore morality is selfish
  6. Critique of argument # 1
    analytic statement cannot entail synthetic statement
    • analytic - all bachelors are unmarried men. therefore
    • synthetic - all bachelors are lonely 

    not true by definition, need empirical evidence
  7. conclusion of argument # 1
    (analytic, synthetic)
    • every action is caused by a selfish motive (analytic)
    • therefore it is selfish (synthetic)

    not motive but rather core purpose that makes it selfish
  8. Critique of Argument #2
    1. false premise
    premise is not true. getting what you want does not entail pleasure (ie eating cake on diet feel guilty/sick)
  9. Critique of Argument # 2 
    2. ok lets assume that there is a connection between getting what you want and feeling pleasure
    • 2. Still doesn't lead to purpose. (ie car going from A to B. uses fuel to move, but does not move to burn fuel).
    • Purpose not determined by things constantly joined together
  10. Story of lincoln and the pigs
    • Lincoln - no unselfish actions
    • Other passenger - there are unselfish actions 

    Lincoln saves piglets, passenger says that's unselfish! Lincoln goes but it was b/c I wouldn't have piece of mind
  11. Critique of Argument # 2 
    3. Disinterested Benevolence (Lincoln and the pigs)
    Feinburg disagrees with Lincoln. pleasure shows action is unselfish 

    Lincoln A - you should stop suffering, care, for things etc --> stops. has preexisting belief thus gets pleasure as a consequence

    Lincoln B - doesn't care --> keeps going. Doesn't have preexisting belief
  12. Critique of Argument # 2 
    4. Disinterested Malevolence 
    ie revenge
    Ex Husband is wealthy banker. Hides money. Claims he's broke. In jail for contempt about the money 

    Ex wife has to start all over and work way up. Shoots accomplice and everyone else to throw police off. Tries to ruin husbands life at cost of her, not in her best interest
  13. Critique of Argument # 3
    Generalization of argument is not wrong but inconclusive
    we sometimes deceive ourselves, we always deceive ourselves

    need more empirical evidence (bad apples)
  14. Critique of Argument # 4 
    Paradox of hedonism
    way to happiness is to forget about it (happiness is by product not something you can pursue)
  15. Critique of Argument # 4
    Moral education
    rewards and punishments are good starting points but not complete

    need to take away root w/i the person to be genuine morality (when people do what is right not because it's popular or safe but because they believe in it) 

    ie forced to play the piano
  16. An ambiguous concept
    psychological hedonism - rests upon the concept of pleasure which is AMBIGUOUS

    • 1. pleasure as sensation (opposites of bad feeling). people don't act just b/c of this
    • 2. pleasure as satisfaction. If true then there is infinite regress (all men desire only satisfaction. of what. desire. of what. satisfaction. of what. desires)
  17. 4 arguments that support egoism
    • 1. my actions are based on my motives and desires so its selfish
    • 2. when I get what I want, I get pleasure so its selfish
    • 3. self deception 
    • 4.moral education so morality is selfish
  18. 4 arguments against egoism
    • 1. analytic can't have synthetic statment
    • 2.false premise -no connection between pleasure and what you want, but lets assume it does. disinterested benevolence/malevolence
    • 3. generalization of argument isn't wrong but inconclusive
    • 4.moral education. paradox of hedonism
  19. definition of cultural relativism
    meta ethical
  20. 1st argument
    Conclusion doesn't follow the premise.
    • premise: different cultures have different moral codes 
    • conclusion: therefore, there is no objective truth and morality

    logic is invalid. jackson is a mammal therefore jackson is a human
  21. 2nd argument
    If relativism is correct, there would be negative unacceptable consequences
    • A. we could not criticize another culture for something that is obviously wrong (ie slavery, segregation, etc)
    • B. we could not criticize our own culture for something that is obviously wrong (ie apartheid)
    • C. If relativism is correct, there would be no moral progress/change (ie womens right)
  22. 3rd Argument
    Cultures/society is not as different as they seem or appear
    differences in cultures due to: environment, religion, factual belief BUT share moral value

    ie greek burn dead, callatian eat dead, both do it as a respect for the dead
  23. 3 shared moral values society must have to exist at all
    • lying is wrong
    • don't murder
    • care and protect for the young
  24. What to learn from relativism
    tolerance and open mindedness
  25. arguments against relativism
    • 1. conclusion doesn't follow premise 
    • 2. if relativism is correct, there would be negative unacceptable consequences
    • 3. cultures/society is not as different as they seem or appear
  26. relativism
    idea that experience, thought, evaluation, and reality is relative to something else. ie truth
  27. Moral Relativism
    • 1. moral judgement are true or false or right or wrong only relative to standpoint
    • 2. No standpoint can be proved objectively superior to any other
  28. universalism
    belief that there's only 1 truth
  29. Descriptive Relativism
    claim that if you look around, different cultures have different point of beings (fact, observation)
  30. Normative Relativism
    • wrong to judge or interfere with the moral beliefs and practices of different cultures with different beliefs than own 
    • promote tolerance
  31. Meta-ethical Reletivism
    moral judgments and their justifications are NOT absolute or universal but relative (based on descriptive, is subjective)
  32. moral objectivism/universalism
    moral judgement is true or false in a universal or absolute sense and you can find this out if you're rational and well informed
  33. historical examples
    • Protagoras (sophist) - man measures all things (true and false) 
    • Herodotus - king Darius Greeks vs Callatians and the dead and ask them to do each others
  34. key point in relativism
    custom is key over all (tradition rule morality)
  35. Ruth benedict
    wrong to impose your view on others, morality is expression of culture and approved habits (no universal moral judgments)
  36. support of relativism 
    1. Diversity of moral views
    is a fact that cultures have different moral beliefs. Therefor there is no universal morality. If it was objective, you'd only have 1 moral view.
  37. support of relativism 
    2. Moral Uncertainty
    If morality is objective/universal, then there would be no moral uncertainty. But there is moral uncertainty therefor morality is not objective
  38. support of relativism 
    3. Situational Differences
    Something that is moral in one case is can possibly not be moral in another. If they were objective, they would work in all situations.
  39. David Wong 
    when is morality wrong
    when it generates conflict at the core and not just it's latent function (ie discrimination and slavery)
  40. David Wong
    west vs east
    • west - think for ourselves, individual rights, overall emphasis is on the self 
    • east - common good, the community, overall emphasis is on the whole society

    thus relativism is right because both are correct
  41. Function of Morality (Wong)
    • 1. regulates conflict between people
    • 2. regulates conflict within an individual

    if meets both criteria is moral, and can produce more than 1 correct answer
  42. support of relativisim
    • diversity of moral views
    • moral uncertainty 
    • situation differences
  43. Descriptive Egoism/Psychological Egoism
    • all human action is done because a person doing it believes it is in his own self interest
    • aim is own welfare
    • (description/fact)
  44. Normative Egoism
    • what one SHOULD do not what they actually do 
    • why you should act? action is moral if its done for your self interest
  45. Ethical Egoism
    Necessary and sufficient for an action to be morally right that it maximizes one's self interest
  46. Two types of motion
    • vital - innate and automatic (breathing, blood flow, etc)
    • voluntary - active and directed (walking, speaking, etc)
Card Set:
egoism relativism philosophy
2014-02-04 03:52:30
ethics philosophy relativism egoism

combined relativism and egoism test
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