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Whether an act is considered good or bad is based on the outcome, consequences, of the act. Good consequences means the act was good.
Contrary to consequentialism, deontology does not care about the outcome. The motives of the act itself, regardless of consequences, are what matters.
Virtue ethics (Dygdetik)
- A consequentialist would tell a lie if the outcome was good.
- A deontologist would never tell a lie.
- A virtue ethicist concerns the decision of whether or not to lie at all. What does that decision say about one's character and moral behaviour.
The proper course of action is the one that maximizes utility (usefullness), often defined as maximizing happiness and reducing suffering.
Moral standards evolve as a result of research, much in the same way as science. Norms, principles and moral criteria are thereby dependent on context.
A hedonist strives to maximize net pleasure (e.g. minus pain).
"Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die". Even immediate pleasures were indulged in, for fear of no tomorrow.
Hedonistic form of virtue ethics. "Pleasure, correctly understood, will coincide with virtue". Rejection of cyrenaic hedonism due to observing negative consequences of such living. Some unpleasant experiences were endured to ensure a better life in the future. Fear is the source of most unhappiness. Don't worry about things you cannot change.
The greatest good is contentment and serenity. Self-mastery of one's desires and emotions leads to spiritual peace. If a person can anger you at will, you have no control of your internal world, and therefore no freedom. Rationally accept things you cannot change, such as losing loved ones or material possessions. Difficult problems in life should be embraced, as they function as workout for the spirit. Sexual desires threatens man's integrity and equilibrium of mind, and should be avoided. Abstinence is highly desirable.
States that there are certain absolute preferential frames of reference which are preferred by nature, in opposition to the individualistic relativism of Existentialism.
All people are equal in fundamental worth or social status.
Philosophers before the era of Socrates, e.g. Protagoras.
Socrates 470-399 BC.
- Son of a stonemason, lived in the democratic city-state Athens. Dealt with the philosophy of how to live life. Master of Plato. Was sentenced to death by drinking poison at the age of 70 by the citizens of Athens for misleading the young and for denying the gods.
- The Oracle in Delphi once said: No one is wiser than Socrates. Socrates himself could not prove otherwise. Did not accept the sophistic relativism.
- Knowledge is the true essence of all virtues, as virtues are only actions performed wisely. Foolish generosity makes one poor, foolish courage puts one in danger.
- No one can intentionally choose the bad. If something bad is chosen, it's because of lack of knowledge, e.g. What is good for me?
-The unexamined life is not worth living. You need to reflect on your life and how to live it.
- -The most important thing is to take care of your soul. Seek goodness and justice, for these alone benefit the soul.
- -Socratic ignorance, The first step towards wisdom is to recognize one's lack of wisdom
- -Socratic paradoxes
- -Virtue is knowledge/wisdom. Virtues are only actions performed wisely. Foolish generosity makes one poor, foolish courage puts one in danger.
- -The unity of virtues. They all stem from wisdom.
- -No one can intentionally choose the bad. If something bad is chosen, it's because of lack of knowledge
- -Nothing can harm a virtuous person.
Maieutics (sv. Maieutik [majevtik])
Pedagogical method based on the idea that truth and all knowledge is latent in the mind of all human beings, and has to be "given birth" by answering intelligently proposed questions.
Dialectic (sv. Dialektik) Method of argument involving two people in discourse holding different points of view about a subject, who wish to establish the truth of the matter guided by reasonable arguments.
Defining terms (sv. Begreppsanalys) Method that involves defining terms until a satisfactory term is arrived at.
- Ex: Vad betyder det att ngot r gudsfruktigt?
- Tes: Vad som r gudarna krt r gudsfruktigt.
- Motargument: Olika gudar har olika uppfattningar, vilket
- verkar leda till att vissa saker r bde gudsfruktiga
- och icke-gudsfruktiga.
- Ny tes: Vad alla gudar gillar r gudsfruktigt.
Euthyphro (sv. Eutyfro) Dialogue by Plato, involving Socrates speaking with Euthyphro about what is good.
- Does God like something because it is good,
- or is something good because God likes it?
- If God recognized murder and rape as something good, would that make it absolutely good?
- Is there an underlying absolute sense of good that even God refers to? If so, what need do we have of God, other than relaying that information?
- If God has created the world, then he has also created its moral attributes.
- Teachers who taught, for recompense, techniques to political success. Practicality, success and adaptability were central concepts. Other sophists preached radical doctrine praising immorality and self-indulgence. For them, conventional morality is nothing more but a false story designed to mislead the masses about facts of human conduct. Socrates thought both these were dangerous, they constituted alternatives to true morality.
- Being a Sophist is now an insult for a person that talks alot, not necessarily making any valid points.
Relativism Points of view have no absolute truth or validity. They have only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration.
Protagoras Pre-Socratic Sophistic relativist. Stated "man is the measure of all things", a controversy in ancient Greece since the common belief was that the universe was based on something absolute and objective.
What is right or wrong for someone, is right or wrong for that someone.