EthicalTheory - define concepts observe facts .seussi larom...

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1 Chapter One Logic and Ethical Theory 1. Recipe for an Ethical Theory Ethics within Philosophy is limited to facts logic, and definition. Ideally, a philosopher is able to prove her theory is true and reasonable based on accurate definitions and verifiable facts. Once these definitions and facts have been established, a philosopher can develop her theory through a process of deduction, that is by showing what logically follows from the definitions and facts. She can then apply her theory to controversial moral issues. í î í í ê í ê í Factual Statement: Statement that can only be known by observation Logic: Rules of reasonable thought Definition: words that capture the essence of a concept Deduction: process of applying logical principles to extend our knowledge. Ingredients Bake Well Cake Eat Cake observe facts define concepts logical deduction theory application
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2 2. Philosophical Etiquette It is not enough to prove that your own theory is true and reasonable. Other philosophers will have their theories and, no doubt, there will be disagreement. Therefore, you must also show where and how other philosophers went wrong. A true philosopher is in pursuit of truth. Therefore, we don't get angry when other philosophers attempt to prove our theories are wrong. If I have made a mistake then you are doing me a great favor by pointing out the error of my ways. If you refute a theory I've been working on for years, a theory I've staked my career on, then I should embrace and thank you rather than be devastated and angry. Thanks so much! How could I have been such a fool? So you see, all your theories are false.
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3 3. Bad Philosophy With the possible exception of you and I, people usually do not have logical reasons for what they believe. This is especially true for philosophical questions. Here are some examples of how not to arrive at a belief. We call them fallacies. Musical Fallacies 1. Ad populum: everyone else seems to like rock music, it must be good. 2. Tradition: People have loved Bach for hundreds of years, it must be good. 3. Scare tactics: Bob will beat me up if I keep saying that Metallica sucks; you know, they're starting to sound pretty good! 4. Ad hominem: anyone who says that Madonna can sing is nuts. 5. Guilt by Association: the lead singer of Nirvana was a drug addict. All the other members of the band must be addicts, too. Some Informal Fallacies Beware, some of the examples are controversial and debatable. 1. Accident: an error based on the mistaken belief that a rule that is generally true is without exceptions. "Suicide is killing oneself--killing is murder, I'm opposed to euthanasia." 2. Ad Hominem: personal attacks, name calling, abuse. Example: "Women for euthanasia are femi-nazis." 3. Ad Populum: peer pressure, appeal to herd mentality or xenophobia.
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This note was uploaded on 09/14/2009 for the course PHILOSOPHY 101 taught by Professor Snyder during the Spring '07 term at Washington State University .

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EthicalTheory - define concepts observe facts .seussi larom...

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