Somehow we have to pick out the one true descripoon we

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Unformatted text preview: r onto the grass?” To that he’ll have to say, “Well, gosh, if everyone did it, we’d end up with a really ugly and unsanitary campus; no, I don’t want that.” –  Other examples: free rider problems, shopliiing, etc. The Principle of Universal Law: Problems •  Unfair discriminaOon cases. What if someone’s maxim is “When I see a Jew, I steal some of his money, in order to enrich myself”? –  It’s possible for everyone to do this. –  The anO ­semite would indeed be richer if everyone did this than if no one did this, so he can will that everyone do this. •  Ahempted reply: What exactly is the anO ­semite’s maxim? –  Is it really “When I see a Jew…” or is it actually “When I see someone of different race or religion from myself…”? •  Your text gives a similar example involving killing someone to protect a yard… The Principle of Universal Law: Problems •  This is a general problem with any version of “What if someone did that to you?” or “What if everyone did that?” •  There are mulOple ways to describe any parOcular acOon. “I twitch my finger,” “I fire a gun,” “I kill a man,” “I kill a man whose name is earlier in the alphabet than my own,” etc. Some of these might be universalizable and some might not. •  Somehow we have to pick out the One True DescripOon. –  We could ask how the person would be behaving if the situaOon were different, but this isn’t always knowable and doesn’t necessarily disOnguish all the possibiliOes. –  Possibly Kant is smuggling in another moral theory here: the acOon is a killing rather than a finger ­twitching because some other theory says killing is always wrong. 4 Ethics 9/13/2012 The Princi...
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This note was uploaded on 10/20/2013 for the course PHIL 111 taught by Professor Kain during the Fall '08 term at Purdue.

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