Lecture 2 - 2010-2-4

Lecture 2 - 2010-2-4 - Lecture Notes Ethics Why is a...

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2/4/2010 1 Lecture Notes: Ethics Why? (1) to give you some practice at doing philosophy (2) because ethics will be our main area of focus in this class (particularly in the second half of the term) Lecture Notes:Ethics Morality versus Ethics People often draw a distinction between morality and ethics.???? We will be drawing such a distinction. For us, the terms 'morality' and 'ethics' will NOT be interchangeable. Lecture Notes:Ethics What are Ethics? Ethics is a general term for what is often described as the "science (study) of morality"
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2/4/2010 2 Lecture Notes:Ethics What are Morals? Modes of conduct that are taught and accepted as embodying principles of right and good Lecture Notes:Ethics The central question of ethics: How should we live? 'Should' has a special sense here Lecture Notes:Ethics Not: How does rationality tell me I should live? Here, being rational means acting so as to promote your own self-interest. It seems fairly plausible that living an ethical life isn't the same thing as living so that you promote your own self- interest. (Although, not everyone thinks this is right. Ethical egoists do identify the promotion of self- interest with living a morally good life.)
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3 Lecture Notes:Ethics Not: How does society tell me I should live? Actually, we should be careful here. It does seem plausible that an action can be accepted by a particular society and yet still be immoral (e.g., even if everyone in Canada believes parental consent between a 14 and 17 year old would make sexual relations legal, many of us would say that still wouldn't make this actually OK). Lecture Notes:Ethics A Good Rule of Thumb in Philosophy 'For every possible viewpoint, there has been or will be a philosopher who has argued for it.' Our job, of course, is to figure out which arguments are good ones and which ones aren't. Lecture Notes:Ethics Two Answers: 1. A Modern Answer - Think of morality as being like a legal system in that it disallows some actions and allows all others. Living a moral life is about trying not to violate the moral laws (and about figuring out what the moral laws are). E.g., Morality tells us things like 'Stealing is morally
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This note was uploaded on 10/03/2010 for the course ESE 337 taught by Professor Chi-tsongchen during the Spring '10 term at SUNY Stony Brook.

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Lecture 2 - 2010-2-4 - Lecture Notes Ethics Why is a...

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