PHI180 Class Notes - Spring 2016.pdf - PHI 180 Introduction to Ethics Professor Pollitt Anderson Hall 104 10:00 – 10:50am Wednesday No textbook

PHI180 Class Notes - Spring 2016.pdf - PHI 180 Introduction...

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PHI 180 Introduction to Ethics Professor Pollitt Anderson Hall 104 10:00 – 10:50am Wednesday, January 20, 2016 No textbook required Reading will be posted on D2L Philosophy: A reasoned attempt to understand ourselves and the world in the broadest possible sense. An attempt to understand which ranges over and scrutinizes every other attempt to understand. Looking at how other academic disciplines answer their questions. “Philosophy of _____” Philosophy is a social practice. Philosophers often work alone, but then share their findings, opinions, and evidence with others. Philosophy is an ongoing practice and views are often held close to heart. Subfields of Philosophy: Logic: Studies the structure of reasoning and argument. If this than that. Epistemology: Concerned with the nature and limits of human knowledge. What is knowledge? How do we know it? Can we have any? Skeptics: Doubt the certainty of knowledge derived from both the senses and reason. How do we know we’re not a brain in a vat? Metaphysics: Concerned with the ultimate nature and structure of reality. Cosmology: Concerned with the origin of the cosmos. Why is there something and not nothing? Ontology: Concerned with the “being” of various entities. What is real and most real? Ethics: Concerned with the nature of what is good, bad, virtuous, vicious, right, and wrong in the domain of human action. Friday, January 22, 2016 Normative Ethics Prescriptive Attempts to state how one ought to be or how one ought to act in order to be virtuous or moral. Descriptive Ethics An anthropological or sociological pursuit aimed at describing the actual moral codes or beliefs of particular societies. Normative theories give us general moral rules which justify (or support) particular moral claims. PMC: “Calvin, you should not steal candy from Wawa.” GMR: “It is wrong to steal.” --- normative theory Argument: A sequence of statements, one of which (the conclusion) is intended by the speaker to be supported by the speaker to be supported by the others (premises). Statement: An assertion expressed as a declarative sentence which can be true or false. Examples: Tiger Woods cheated on his wife (true). Sheila’s Dad went to the store (indeterminate).
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Noncognitivism: Denies the reality of moral properties and holds that moral claims are not statements. Noncognitivism: A form of moral nihilism which implies that moral reasoning is impossible. Nihilism: The rejection of all religious and moral principles, often in the belief that life is meaningless Emotivism: Moral claims are expressions of emotion. Example: “Murder is wrong.” leads to “Booooo!” Prescriptivism: Moral claims are commands. Example: “Murder is wrong.” leads to “Don’t murder!” Indicators Conclusion Premise Therefore… For… Thus… Since… So… Because… Consequently… The reason for this… It follows that… Example Argument: It is wrong to treat people like tools. Moral Premise Slavery treats people like tools. Premise #2 Hence, slavery is wrong. Conclusion Example Argument: You ought to prevent some absolute poverty.
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