Week 2; Ethical Theories

Week 2; Ethical Theories - Consequentialism...

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A. Consequentialism a. The morally right act is the one that maximizes the goodness of consequence i. An act is right IF AND ONLY IF it maximizes the goodness of consequence b. Right act = Maximization of good c. What is intrinsically good? i. X is good (valuable) for its own sake 1. Non-contributory a. X is good not merely because X contributes to other good (valuable) things i. Money is contributory, not intrinsic 2. Non-derivative a. X is good not because X’s goodness is derived from other good (valuable) things i. Whole thing is valuable, take a part of that, not intrinsic, depends on something else ii. Mental states (in your mind) 1. Eg. pain/pleasure (hedonist), happiness (a state, more than an instance), preference/satisfaction (A to B, B to C. ..A to C), desire/satisfaction (A to B, B to C, A desired) a. J.S. Mill; we should maximize pleasure (some pleasure can be bad, eg. pedophile) 2. Problems a. Is there a difference between experiencing pleasure and pleasurable thing? i. Eg. say something bad about a friend, he doesn’t know, he doesn’t feel pleasure/pain but the fact that i am telling something nasty about my friend, his state is not good b. Can we ignore a person’s material conditions? i. Adaptive preference formation 1. Eg. If you go to developing countries, gender inequalities, if you ask these women, they have positive view about their life ii. Expensive tastes 1. Eg. suppose you like fancy wines, not satisfied with life, life is not particularly bad, unless you have it everyday, life is not worth living iii. Focus on mental state, must ignore material conditions iii. Objective list 1. Eg. income, commodities (goods and services), material conditions (commodities and other objectively identifiable conditions such as education, shelter, health care, beer etc.)
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2. Problems
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course PHIL 237 taught by Professor Hirose during the Winter '08 term at McGill.

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Week 2; Ethical Theories - Consequentialism...

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