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Transcript of Ethics:1
The Golden Mean
Back to Teleology
What's the Telos of Humans?
What is true about our nature?
Eudaimonia and Rationality
We will NATURALLY to be happy.
But to be VIRTUOUS, we must contemplate the good
Temperance and Strength of Will
Continence vs. Incontience
Can we really be 'weak- willed'?
Morality as Sentiment
Virtues (and Vices)
Courage, Temperance, Liberality,
Magnificence, Pride, Temper,
Friendliness, Truthfulness, Wittiness,
Instead, we experience
things as beautiful, ugly, pleasurable, painful, etc.
and label them 'good'
and 'bad' - Sentiment is
from when morality is
derived, not reason.
(cc) photo by Jakob Montrasio
The Highest Virtue
Why must rationality/contemplation
be utilized in order to acheive a 'good life' ?
Relativist or Absolutist?
Absolutist vs. Relativist Morals
Motivation: Altruistic vs. Egoistic
Kant's Categorical Imperative
Maxims = personal law of action
What sorts of things
count as ethical
one of the first
dilemmas of ethics:
why must Hume insist that reason alone cannot produce ethical principles?
necessary/ a priori?
No: You cannot derive an 'ought' from an 'is'
* The Good Will (contra Aristotle's Happiness)
* Rationality (contra Hume)
* Duty vs. Inclination (we must be happy, but not because we want to)
Emphasizing Intentions: Deontology
Imperatives: Hypothetical vs. Categorical
All your maxims should conform to a universal law - (CI, 1): Act only such that you can will that your what you are doing could become a universal law
Treat people, whether others or your own person never as mere means, but as ends in themselves
Act so as to promote the flourishing of humanity
Problems for Deontology:
* Conflicting Duties
* White Lies and other 'Grey Areas'
* Inclinations = entirely discounted?
Bentham and the
The Two "Sovereign Masters"
Happiness as the only INTRINSIC as opposed to INSTRUMENTAL good
Higher and Lower Pleasures
But how are we to judge?
Is Nietzsche as destructive as he seems?
Failure of all 'systems' of good and bad
Choice and the individual
How can we be both existentialists and humanists?
'Standard' Ethics vs. Ethics of Care
Why might taking women's experience into account change ethical theorizing?
Does this entail moral relativism?
'Wille zur macht'
* Reason vs Emotion
* Public vs. Private
* Social Construction of Gender
Against Natural Law Theory:
Corvino on Homosexuality
Unnatural = Bad??
But what IS natural/unnatural?
* the Abnormal
* Not practiced by other species
* Not innate
* Violates an organ's 'telos'
* what is disgusting
Aristotle + Christianity
= Natural Law Theory (sometimes conflated with Divine Command Theory of Ethics)
What is Morality?
What are Moral Issues?
In other words, we never have a sense impression of 'right' and 'wrong'
Emotivism: Morality derives from the emotions/sentiment
Where do our ethical laws come from?
Ring of Gyges
(from Plato's Republic)
Utilitarianism: Morality is determined by how much happiness an action produces