12. Wednesday, October 27, 2010

12. Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - PHL281 - Wednesday,...

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PHL281 - Wednesday, October 27, 2010 Two Philosophers against Suicide Two Sides of our Nature • Active: lead our lives, searching for meaning • Passive: our lives happen to us, in virtue of biology, human nature, luck, etc. • A moral theory must balance these two sides of our nature. What are the limits in the search for meaning? Thomas Aquinas and Immanuel Kant argue that there are duties that must not be violated in our active search for meaning. One such duty prohibits our committing suicide Suicide Use of the active side of our nature to destroy the passive side (and the activity it supports). Reasons for suicide? Immanuel Kant • Prussian philosopher (1724-1804) • Foremost deontological ethical theorist • Reason alone requires that we follow certain duties Important moral works: Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, Critique of Practical Reason, Doctrine of Virtue Moral Worth: Duty for Duty’s Sake (1) Rajiv cheats his blind customer. • Action contrary to duty (2) Rajiv treats his blind customer fairly out of a concern for his reputation. • Action in accordance with duty on the basis of self-interest (3) Rajiv sees a blind woman in need crossing the street and sympathy moves him to help her • Action in accordance with duty, but on the basis of inclination (feeling) (4) Rajiv sees the blind woman, but decides to help her, even though he desires to spend the afternoon
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12. Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - PHL281 - Wednesday,...

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