Intro to Philosophy-Ethics Flashcards

Terms Definitions
“pleasure-seeking” every decision that we make is seeking pleasure and avoiding pain.
o Rule-utilitarianism: an act is right if it is allowed by a set of rule, general conformity to which would maximally promote general happiness. Rule-utilitarianism gives an indirect, two-step procedure for evaluating actions.
Virtue Ethics
an approach to ethics which emphasizes the character of the moral agent, rather than rules or consequences, as the key element of ethical thinking
Hypothetical Imperatives
o A hypothetical imperative tells you to do something as a means to get something else you want. It applies to you only if you want that further thing.
John Stuart Mill
developed Bentham’s theory by attaching quality to quantity.
Beneficance Principle
Never place self-interests above the greater needs of other. This principle of being a good Samaritan does not apply to all situations, however, as doing so would make Utilitarianism impractical
-Socrates says that there are three classes Admins>Guardians>Craftsmen
-You have to do the same in society that you do in the soul, you must balance out parts
-Admins and Guardians can’t own any private property, even their child are raised communally. Therefore, they won’t rule in their self interest because they have no self interest.
-Only Craftsmen can own private property.
Action is morally right if the consequences are favorable to others, whether or not that includes the agent
Utilitarian Calculus
a theory that did a cost-benefit analysis of actions and focused on maximizing pleasure. Quantity> Quality
Deontological Theories
Focus on the intention behind the action and determine the moral value of that action in terms of whether the intention is to follow one’s duty.
Immanuel Kant
-to possess moral worth is more important than to possess any talent of the mind or body
-acting morally means to act for no other reason than to do what’s right
-focuses on the intentions (deontological)
-Individual reasoning > Universal Law > Duty-Should (ex. suicide, lying, stealing etc.) be raised to a universal law? No. Then it's not okay to do
-Morality brings the freedom to act according to rational principles
-we lie when we say something we know is false
Ethical Relativism
the position that moral or ethical propositions do not reflect objective and/or universal moral truths, but instead make claims relative to social, cultural, historical or person circumstances.
Metaphysics Objective Reality
Reality exists as an objective absolute-facts are facts, independent of men’s feelings, wishes, hopes or fears
The point of view that one’s own culture is the measurement for other cultures.
Formulate Mill's Proof Of Utilitarianism
o Proof (1)Each person desires his or her own happiness. (2)If something is desired by someone it is desirable (for him or her). Therefore (3) Each person’s happiness is desirable (for him or her). Therefore (4) The general happiness is desirable (for everyone).
Kant's Moral laws
Moral laws must possess two essential characteristics: universality and impartiality
Politics Capitalism
A system where men deal with one another, as trades by free voluntary exchange for mutual benefit.
Kant’s deontological theory
holds that right actions do not depend in the least on consequences, but the core of morality lies in following a rational and universally applicable moral rule out of a sense of duty
Utilitarian view on Actions
idea that the rightness of actions depends solely on the relative good produced by individual actions
John Stewart Mill (1806-1873): Rule Utilitarian
-Knowledge and education are fundamental to Mill’s concept of the Greatest-Happiness principle
-Greatest-Happiness principle: That which is right, provides the greatest amount of good for the most people
Formulate Singer's Argument For A Pro-Animal Position
o (1) Discrimination between humans is wrong.o (2) The only principle which adequately explains why discrimination between humans is wrong is the principle of equal consideration of interestso Therefore (3) We should accept that principle.o (4) The principle of equal consideration of interests prohibits discrimination against animals.o Therefore (5) We should not discriminate against animals.
Doctrine of the Golden Mean
Between the extremities of the vices of excess and those of deficiency lies the golden mean of virtue. Aristotle states that happiness follows the path: Desire à Actions à Habits à Either success or failure à Happiness or sadness. This model works best in youth, because the more a behavior is reinforced, the more it becomes part of immutable nature.
 Formulate Kant's Universal Law Test (Also Called "The Universal Law Formulation Of The Categorical Imperative")
o i. Maxim- Is the principal in which you act o ii. Will – commit yourself to try to bring about it if you can.o iii. Universalizing a maxim –changing the maxim from only applying to you to applying to everyone. o iv. Contradiction in the will
Utilitarian view on Rules
a right action is one that conforms to a rule that, if followed, consistently, would create for everyone involved the most beneficial balance of good over bad
The Divine Command Theory
God is the decider of whether an act is moral or immoral.
Question 2 And Answer About Mill On Higher and Lower Pleasures
o What test determines whether a pleasure is higher or lower? 1 Panel of judges and all must agree 2 To qualify, you have to be competently acquainted with both pleasures 3 The verdict is that any amount of the higher, however small, is worth more than lower, however great.
Explain The First Argument For PE and Objection
o PE1 (1) Everyone always does what they most want to do. (2) If someone does what they most want to do, they act selfishly. Therefore, (3) Everyone always acts selfishly.o OPE1 Premise (1) is false promise keeping Premise (2) is false. The object of a want determines selfishness.
Question 3 And Answer About Mill On Higher and Lower Pleasures
o Is the test biased? Yes, Mill is committing to stacking the jury to receive the results he wants.
State of Nature Theory (Thomas Hobbes)
A condition in which we live, in which there are no laws, no government, no police force, nothing to govern how we act towards each other. In a state of nature we are all equal, because we are all capable of killing each other. A ruthless state, everybody is looking out for their own survival. It’s a state of high anxiety. State of war, every man against every man.
-Therefore, we enter into a social contract with each other which means we agree to lay down our arms and give our individual power to one individual who will be the king. This person must maintain law and order.
-The good of society depends on the particular agreement or contract that each society has; there is no definite right or wrong.
Describe One Of The Problem Cases For Utilitarianism, And Explain Why The Case Is Supposed To Raise A Problem For Utilitarianism
o You have just two options, (a) and (b). Utilitarianism tells you to do (a); moral common sense tells you to do (b). Hence, utilitarianism must be rejected. For example, McCloskey case; punishing the innocent.
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