1. How are the two dominant normative moral theories (Kantian v.
Utilitarian) to be distinguished and applied in sorting out the ethical
options available from the states of affairs upon which we are called to
make a judgment?
1. Duty- The outcomes of some negligence cases depend on whether the defendant owed a duty to
2. Breach of Duty- A defendant is liable for negligence when the defendant breaches the duty that
the defendant owes to the
Duties and rights:
A right- holder has a right that a duty bearer performs some duty.
Positive and Negative rights
- Positive rights- rights that someone else do something to help you
- Negative rights-rights that someone not do something to inte
Review of Singers argument for equal consideration for animals
1. Non-human animals can suffer
2. Any being that can suffer has interests
3. Therefore, non-human animals have interests
4. The interests of all beings ought to be given equal moral
Doctrine of Double Effect-distinction between intended and merely foreseen consequences of ones
Foots doctrine of doing and allowing- it is much worse to do harm than to allow the same harm to occur
Negative duty- duty not to harm or inte
Absolute ban on torture- absolute duty to refrain from torture- the duty not to torture can never be
overridden by other moral considerations
The right to be free of torture is indefeasible (the right cannot be forfeited and cannot be overridden
Torture Pt. 2
Common problem for AU: ignores rights. Perhaps AU overlooks the right to be tortured.
Allhoff- even if there is an inalienable right not to be tortured, it is still permissible to torture in the
ticking bomb scenario.
- An inalienab
Moral cognition- the way we think about morality
- Broccoli is disgusting matter of taste
- Torturing small children for fun is wrong- objectively true
4 distinctive features of moral cognition
1. Moral judgments are felt to be o
Intended consequences vs. merely foreseen consequences
Most moral dilemmas involve actions that have two effects: 1 good effect and 1 bad effect
Doctrine of double effect is a rule that says when it is permissible to perform an action that has bot
Pacifism- war is never morally permissible
2. Deontological strategy- concerned with duties and rights- engaging in war always violates some
absolute duty of justice so war is never morally permissible
Zinns argument for pacifi
1. Active euthanasia- (killing the patient) failing to perform negative duty not to kill the patient
2. Passive euthanasia- (withholding treatment) failing to perform positive duty to save the patients
Philippa Foot- it is much worse to fail
Right to life does not equal right to be given the bare minimum one needs in order to survive
Right to life does not equal right not to be killed
Right to life equals the right not to be killed unjustly
Because you have not given the violinist the
Scenario: You and your friends and family are hiding in a basement from the Nazis. Your baby starts
crying. If you smother the baby, the Nazis will not find you but the baby will die. If you dont smother
the baby they will find you all and most likely kil
Maradel al Jamadi was arrested in connection with a bombing of the Red Cross offices and held at Abu
Ghraib prison. He was tortured by strappado hanging. He died during the torture and soldiers were
photographed grinning next to the body.
How to Write a Philosophy Paper
1. Introduction- say exactly what you are going to do in the paper the purpose of this paper is 3
fold, I will do this, then this and arrive at this. Its going to be dry
2. Follow the structure that you talk about in your i
How to Write a Philosophy Paper Pt. 2
Q: In famine affluence and morality, Peter Singer argues that most of us have the duty to prevent a great
deal of suffering and death among the worlds needy. Reconstruct singers argument then consider how
Just cause for war: resistance of aggression.
1. Does the aggression have to actually occur or can it be merely anticipated?
2. Can the state have a just cause for war when it is not the state that has been aggressed against?
Can a state forf
Act Utilitarianism (AU)- An action is morally right if and only if it does more to improve net wellbeing
than any other action you could have done in the circumstances.
Wellbeing is a plausible candidate for
What are the Value theory- What is valuable in its own right? What is the good life?
moral facts? Normative ethics- What ought I to do? What type of character ought I to have? Which traits are
virtues and which are vices?
Metaethics- Are there objective m
Short term profits
Ignoring catastrophic long term consequences
All efforts cosmetic
Business ESG Accords, Investor groups, shareholder activism, ceres a coalition groups and political
processes ae the main ways that change has happened.
Courts that find any contract or clause to be unconscionable at the time it was made can refuse to enforce the
contract or limit the application of an unconscionable clause to avoid an unconscionable result.
Flaws in Relativist Theory
Relativism challenges the traditional values of morality by arguing that there are no
absolute morals and instead that what is moral is based on the perception of that society.
Relativist theory attempts to argue that morality i
How do we know if we are doing the right thing?
How do you know if you are doing the right thing? This is quite a difficult question to
answer as the answer to the question depends on multiple factors which are not consistent.
Different people can have va
Current Moral and Social Issues
December 18, 2015
The Death Penalty
The death penalty, also known as capital punishment, legally sentences criminals
to death. It is one of the most controversial topics that our government and s
Fairness and justice
Respect for humanity
Principle of humanity- always treat a human being, yourself included, as an end and never as a mere
What is a human being?
1. Capacity for Rationality
- Involves a capacity to respond to reasons an
Roe v. Wade (1973)
- Gave women in the US the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy
- Derived from the right to privacy: to have some degree of control of what happens to your body
Duty to protect womens right to privacy or control over her bo
All humans are equal
Descriptive claim- says something about what is actually the case
- As a matter of fact, all humans are equal with respect to some capacity or characteristic
- Intelligence, strength, rationality, biological feature?
- It is
Marquis: A fetus has a right to life on par with the right to life of a human
Thompson: concedes for the sake of argument that a fetus has a right to life from conception
1. Does the fetus have the right to life?
2. Assuming the fetus has the rig
What makes a war good?
- Enemy side is evil
- Minimal casualties
- Your side is good
- Few civilian casualties
- Having a good reason to start war
1. Just war theory- some wars are morally justified
2. Realism- moral concepts are out of
1. Does the fetus have the right to life? In other words is it prima facie seriously wrong to end the
life of a fetus? (Marquis)
2. Assuming the fetus does have the right to life, what does this entail for the permissibility of