132 notes 9-8 - Notes for 9/8 Harmon Ch 5 We have looked at...

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Notes for 9/8 Harmon, Ch. 5 We have looked at a number of answers to the question, “Why be moral?”. Harmon adds another one. Here are the answers so far: 1) Because it is in our self-interest a) narrowly understood—whenever our self-interest conflicts with morality, we ignore morality. This is the view associated with Thrasymachus in the Republic , and illustrated as a commonly held view by the parable of Gyge’s ring. b) broadly understood as part of a fully actualized human life. This is Plato’s view (and Aristotle). 2) When and because our passions so move us. (Hume) 3) Because reason demands it. (Shafer-Landau and other moral rationalists) 4) Harmon’s view: because we have implicitly or tacitly agreed to. This view is best described as social conventionalism, and is a version of social contract theory. Other social contract theorists will appeal to an ideal, rather than an actual agreement, however. Morality “arises when a group of people reach an implicit agreement or come to a tacit understanding about their relations with one another… [Inner judgments] make sense only in relations to and with reference to one or another such agreement or understanding.” (41) Implicit agreements about morality are “reached
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132 notes 9-8 - Notes for 9/8 Harmon Ch 5 We have looked at...

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