PHIL 237 Final Notes

PHIL 237 Final Notes - PHIL 237-Contemporary Moral Issues...

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PHIL 237-Contemporary Moral Issues Final Exam Notes Good/Bad Teleological notions: goals Binary comparisons: x beats y Right/Wrong Deontological notions: duties One-place: not comparative Jan 14-Consequentialism Morally right act maximizes goodness of consequence Ethical egoism, act-utilitarianism (Bentham, Singer), rule-utilitarianism (JS Mill) Intrinsic Good X is good/valuable for its own sake o Non-contributory: not good only because X contributes to other good things (money) o Non-derivative: not good only because X’s goodness is derived from other good things Mental States: pleasure/pain, happiness, preference/desire-satisfaction Objective States: money, commodities, material conditions Ethical Egoism Good for a peron Morally right: maximizing my good/happiness Pursuing self-interest Utilitarianism Good for society Morally right: maximizing total good Problems: very consequentialist, can justify violating basic rights for large gain of many people, ignores partiality Jan 16-Non-Consequentialism Morally right act does not depend on the goodness of consequence Kantian, libertarianism Kantian Ethics Right actions have moral value if they are done with “good will”, motivated by respect for moral law which is determined by reason Imperatives: Kant sees moral law as a set of imperatives o Hypothetical: tells us what we should do if we have certain desires/needs o Categorical: tells us what we should do in all situations, regardless of wants/needs (do not steal) THE Categorical imperative: “act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become universal law” Permissible if its maxim can be universalized and you would be willing to let this happen Means-End Principle: we must treat people as ends in themselves rather than as
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thing with instrumental value to be used for some other purpose Divine Command Theory The morally right act is the one that God commands Natural Law Theory The morally right act is the one that follows the dictates of nature Preservation of human life, avoidance of harm, reproduction, search for truth, nurturing of social ties Libertarianism Person has complete ownership of his body, soul, labor and its products Contract between free, autonomous individuals must be protected Person has the right to do any act unless it violates other people’s rights Jan 21-The Acts and Omissions Doctrine (DDA) James Rachels’ Claim Acts and omissions are conceptually equivalent Acts and Omissions Doctrine Killing is worse than letting die Warren Quinn A person is positively relevant to a bad consequence when his most direct contribution to the bad consequence is an action (most directly explains bad effect) A person is negatively relevant to a bad consequence when his most direct contribution is an inaction Jonathon Bennette It is morally worse to be causally relevant to a bad consequence one could easily
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PHIL 237 Final Notes - PHIL 237-Contemporary Moral Issues...

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