Summary - Velleman Essay

Summary - Velleman Essay - Velleman Essay Notes PHI 202...

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Velleman Essay Notes PHI 202 Kant says that we can figure out what we are obligated to do by analyzing the very idea of being obligated to do it. i.e. your duty. Figure out what our duties are by analyzing what duty is. o If we are morally obligated to do something, then we have to do it regardless of our desires. You can escape paying taxes by escaping the government, but you can’t escape duties. o Kant expressed the inescapability of our duties by calling them categorical. The requirement to obey these duties doesn’t come from god, or governing body. Circular: require obedience to god on the grounds that god requires it. Categorical (duty) requirements leave no room for questions about why we ought to obey them. They do not depend on external source of authority. Kant says that the concept of an obligation: intrinsically authoritative requirement. A requirement that, “simply by virtue of what it requires, forestalls any question as to its authority.” o What you are Morally required to do: must find something such that a requirement would carry authority simply by virtue of requiring that thing. Why should I act for reasons? o “why should I act for reasons” asks for a reason. o This shows that we are subject to this requirement if we are subject to any requirements at all. The requirement to act for reasons is the fundamental requirement, from which the authority of all other requirements is derived. There may be nothing required of us, but if anything is required of us, acting for reasons is required. “Requirement to act for reasons thus seems to come as close as any requirement to having intrinsic authority.” It is authoritative by virtue of what it requires. The inescapability was hallmark of duty. We deduced content of our duty from this. But now, it appears that “Act for reasons” is our duty. o **Rough Answer: to act for reasons is to act on the basis of considerations that would be valid for anyone in the same situation. o Immoral behavior is acting on considerations which aren’t valid for others. If we act immorally by separating our reasons and reasons for others, we violate the concept of reason which requires that a reason for one is a reason for all. i.e. violate “act for reasons” o Kant says: a unified, persisting person is something that you are because it is something that you aspire to be. You are aware that you are capable of being a person the there fore capable of appreciating the value of being a person. So instead of skipping working out for some arbitrary excuse, you will work out knowing that if you don’t, later you wished you would have. You feel guilt. People are tempted to organize their actions and give themselves a constant perspective on doing something now versus doing something later and how each action will make them feel. EG: you want to get a good look out over a valley. To attain this standpoint is
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Summary - Velleman Essay - Velleman Essay Notes PHI 202...

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