Philosophy Test Questions

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Philosophy: Jan.23/12

Recap last class

Kant
problems with his view

deontological theory

moral rules through reason
good will inherently good/ is most evident
through respect/reverence for moral law

if done from inclination: no moral worth

MUST BE DONE FOR SAKE OF DUTY

Categorical Imperative

serves as test to see if your maxim is universalizable

emotions do not play role in Kant's theory
ct?
Moral worth

if naturally do things-> not have moral worth ( because done from inclination) example: giving extra food you have to starving individuals?

Done because you feel it your moral duty to help those without food => moral worth

Done because of the recognition of doing something good (glory) =>no moral worth

what about criminals clearing the road because part of probation (punishment) what would Kant say?

Problems:

Moral act: Aristotle doing virtuous things -is it moral act? what has moral worth? What does not have moral worth?

What about laving abusive relationships? What would Kant say?

How you frame your maxim affects decision of universalizing

moral worth: out of moral law;respect; duty

you have to:
be disinterested
test categorical imperative ( can it be universalized?)

John Stuart Mill

intense schooling
Bentham influence
had breakdown
Harriet Taylor
qualitative utilitarian

the question of how you ought to be moral is a question of maximizing the greatest good (pleasure) for the greatest number

Utilitarianism..

consequence governed morality
morality of an act determined by consequences
greatest good for the greatest number
each individual to count for one

John Stuart Mill ( 1806-1873)

Taylor
upbringing ( intense schooling)
influenced by Bentham
“swine”
“push pin”

Utilitarianism

actions are right in so far as they promote happiness; wrong as they tend to produce unhappiness

Happiness---------:--pleasure and the absence of pain

Unhappiness:----pain and loss of pleasure

PLEASURE AND THE FREEDOM OF PAIN ARE THE ONLY THINGS DESIRABLE AS ENDS---

Qualitative VS Quantitative

John Stuart Mill

distinction between types of pleasure
happiness is separate from sensual pleasure
thus his version is called qualitative utilitarianism

quanitative utilitarianism

best judge
one who have experienced diverse pleasures
preference for higher pleasures associated with dignity
“ no intelligent human being would consent to be a fool; no instructed person would be an ignoramous; no person of feeling and conscience would be selfish and base”

Problem? evidence for?

Overlap of Kant and Mill:

when making moral judgments of what to do:

must be impartial as a disinterested and benevolent spectator

capacity to choose

calculate
greatest good for greastest number
(Benthamites)
if exposed to both: choose higher pleasure

To approach moral ideal

laws/social arrangements place happiness// interest of very individual in harmony with interest of the whole

education/opinion establish indisolvable association between own happiness and good of the whole

Habituate direct impulse to promote general good

Critque of Utilitarianism:

not enough time to do Hedonic calculation

Response:

we build on knowledge of human species
we do not start from scratch every time we face new moral situation

Proving Principle of Utility:

questions about ends are questions about desire

evidence that a thing is desirable?
People desire it

what do people desire?
General happiness is desired
each person desires their own happiness
things like virtue are part of one's happiness

THOUGHT EXPERIMENTS
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