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Some announcements…. Web page is up.  ursulastange.com (click on my daughter’s face)  Click on Courses  Click on PHIL 1115 Check the blog and the lecture.

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Presentation on theme: "Some announcements…. Web page is up.  ursulastange.com (click on my daughter’s face)  Click on Courses  Click on PHIL 1115 Check the blog and the lecture."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Some announcements…. Web page is up.  ursulastange.com (click on my daughter’s face)  Click on Courses  Click on PHIL 1115 Check the blog and the lecture readings….

3 Waking Life Written and directed by Richard Linklater (2001)

4 Links online…..  Waking Life at IMDb Waking Life at IMDb  Waking Life at Philosophical Films Waking Life at Philosophical Films  Waking Life at Wikipedia Waking Life at Wikipedia  Waking Life: a transcript Waking Life: a transcript Because I will be out of the country on February 24th..... Due date: March 3 (in class)

5  "What shall we do and how shall we live? According to Plato and Tolstoy and other reliable observers, this is our most important question! We should not trust any philosophy that makes this question appear foolish." [Peter Singer, The Player and the Cards: Nihilism and Legal Theory, 94 Yale L. J. 1, 3 (1984)]

6 Do the ends justify the means?

7  Hiding some truth about your past helps you get elected…and you do great things for your country! Do the ends justify the means?  Murdering my sister is the means to a better inheritance… Do the ends justify the means?

8 Kant and the Inquiring Murderer…  Where is your friend… I want to kill him.  What to say?  The truth….

9 18 th Century upheavals…

10 David Hume  Perhaps we are somehow hard-wired to approve of things that help not only ourselves, but also society…

11 Jeremy Bentham  Reading Hume made me feel as though “scales had fallen from my eyes".

12 Jeremy Bentham  Morality is about making the world as happy as possible

13 JEREMY BENTHAM ( )  “The greatest good for the greatest number.”  “Hedonic Calculus”

14 The Utilitarian Calculus Bentham introduced criteria for measuring pleasure and pain….  Intensity  Duration  Certainty (or uncertainty)  Nearness (or farness)

15 JEREMY BENTHAM “Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do as well as to determine what we shall do. ”

16  "Utilitarians believe that the sole factor in determining an action’s morality is the balance of social good vs. social evil.  Appeals to moral intuitions, social traditions or God’s wishes are not relevant."

17 Bentham’s principle of utility:  "the greatest happiness of the greatest number"  suggested the “Hedonic Calculus” as a standard for judging laws and social institutions

18  Bentham’s mummy has a wax head.  His real head….

19 J. S. Mill ( )  “Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness; wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.”

20 J. S. Mill ( )  Not merely the quantity of pleasure, but the quality of happiness had to be calculated.  Some pleasures are better than others…

21 J. S. Mill ( )  Better to be Aristotle dissatisfied than a pig satisfied…Mill

22 But...what is happiness? Bentham’s answer:  “Prejudice apart, the game of push-pin is of equal value with the arts and sciences of music and poetry.”

23 J. S. Mill’s correction:  He added the quality of pleasures to the quantity

24 Utilitarian Beliefs:  Moral rules are merely rules of thumb  The point is to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number  Utilitarianism is a Consequentialist Theory

25  Most controversial ethicist writing today…  Animal rights  Euthanasia  Charity

26 Nietzsche  Like Aristotle, Nietzsche saw the concept of duty (slave morality) as necessary and fit for those who could not achieve the higher morality of excellence.

27 Aristotle’s Virtue Theory:  The elite are to be guided by their will to excellence  The non-elite by their sense of duty Illustration from the Nurnberg Chronicle 15thC.

28 EXISTENTIALISM…  argues that as we make moral choices, we build our morality – even build universal morality. …but…  “…the individual is the primary concern of existentialists, personal morality and ethics supersede social morality and popular ethics.”

29 Moral Theories  Moral Skepticism (Protagoras)  Moral Absolutism (Plato)  Virtue Theory (Aristotle)  Divine Command Theory (Christianity)  Deontology (Kant)  Utilitarianism (Bentham and Mill)  Ethics of Care (Carol Gilligan and Feminism)

30  Would it be worth the life of one innocent child to free the world from, say, AIDS?  How does literature aid our moral thinking?  What would you do – and why?  Adapted from from.html

31 Theories of morality: We should be good because…  it will make living together easier (Hobbes and Locke)  it will increase general well-being (Bentham and Mill)  it’s the right thing (Kant)  it makes us better people (Virtue Theory)  it supports our human relationships (Ethics of Care)

32 Theories of morality: How to resolve moral dilemmas?  Whose rights matter most?  Which rights trump others?  What about the lesser of two evils?  Do the ends justify the means?  …….

33 The Dream of Utilitarianism: Bringing Scientific Certainty to Ethics

34  "What shall we do and how shall we live? According to Plato and Tolstoy and other reliable observers, this is our most important question! We should not trust any philosophy that makes this question appear foolish." [Peter Singer, The Player and the Cards: Nihilism and Legal Theory, 94 Yale L. J. 1, 3 (1984)]

35 Mercy killing or murder?  12 year old Tracy Latimer, killed by her father in 1993  Quadraplegic and severely mentally disabled, she functioned at the level of a three-month old and was in constant pain

36 Question.....  Is it appropriate to describe a Nazi soldier who fought zealously for Hitler as ‘courageous’?

37 The 10 Commandments of God… and Solon… 1. Trust good character more than promises. 2. Do not speak falsely. 3. Do good things. 4. Do not be hasty in making friends, but do not abandon them once made. 5. Learn to obey before you command. 6. When giving advice, do not recommend what is most pleasing, but what is most useful. 7. Make reason your supreme commander. 8. Do not associate with people who do bad things. 9. Honor the gods. 10. Have regard for your parents. 1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. 3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. 4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 5. Honour thy father and thy mother. 6. Thou shalt not kill. 7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. 8. Thou shalt not steal. 9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 10. Thou shalt not covet.

38 Bertrand Russell’s 10 commandments : 1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything. 2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light. 3. Never try to discourage thinking, for you are sure to succeed. 4. When you meet with opposition... endeavour to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory. 5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found. 6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do, the opinions will suppress you. 7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every "opinion" now accepted was once eccentric. 8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the later. 9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient when you try to conceal it. 10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool's paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

39 Attendance Question…


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