2 The Greatest Happiness Principle Utilitarianism – The greatest happiness for the greatest number of peopleCabin boyObjection#1 – Individual rightsIs torture ever justifiedObjection #2 – A common currency of value (cost-benefit analysis)
3 Do We Own Ourselves? Libertarianism The minimal state Free market philosophyTaxing Bill Gates to help the poorDo we own ourselvesConsensual cannibalism
4 Hired Help Markets and Morals What’s just – drafting soldiers or hiring them?Objection #1 – Fairness and freedomObjection #2 – Civic virtue and the common goodOutsourcing pregnancyQuestions:How free are the choices we make in a free market?Are there certain virtues and higher goods that markets do not honor and money cannot buy?
5 What Matters Is the Motive Immanuel KantThe Categorical ImperativeEmphasis on human dignity – people as ends in themselvesAutonomous according to a law we give ourselves – Free will (non-deterministic)What’s moral? Look for the motive – do the right thing for the right reason.Duty vs. inclinationI.e. Kant was against casual sex.
6 The Case for Equality John Rawls The moral limits of contracts Behind a veil of ignoranceNot utilitarianismThe difference principle – only those social and economic inequalities are permitted that work to the benefit of the least advantaged members of society.Did Gates’s wealth arise as part of system that, taken as a whole, works to the benefit of the least well off?IncentivesCEOs and sports starts don’t deserve more money but because a system of progressive taxation helps the disadvantaged
7 Rawls:Share each other’s fate and avail ourselves of the accidents of nature and social circumstance only when doing so is for the common benefit.The most compelling case for more equal society that American political philosophy as yet produced.
8 Arguing Affirmative Action Correcting for the testing gapCompensating for past wrongsPromoting diversityDo racial preferences violate rights?Racial segregation and anti-jewish quotasCan justice be detached from moral desert?The proper mission of social institutions is contested and fraught …
9 Who Deservers What? Aristotle Justice, Telos and Honor Justice is teleological – Defining rights requires us to figure out the telos (the purpose, end, or essential nature) of the social practice in question.Justice is honorific – To reason about the purpose of practice, means to reason (argue) about what virtues it should honor and reward.What’s the purpose of university, of politics?Learning by doing – learning by deliberation and discussionNegotiating between two extremes
10 What Do We Owe Each Other Dilemmas of LoyaltyApologies and reparationsShould we atone for the sins of our predecessors?Moral individualismShould government by morally neutral?Justice and freedomThe claims of the communityObligations of solidarity, loyalty historic memory, and religious faith – moral claims that arise from the communities and traditions that shape our identity.Storytelling beingsWe, as moral agents, arrive at our purposes and ends through telling stories
11 Obligations beyond consent Natural duties we owe to other human beings – to persons as persons.Three categories of moral responsibility:Natural duties: universal, don’t require consentVoluntary obligations: particular, require consentObligations of solidarity: particular, don’t require consent
12 Solidarity and Belonging Family obligationsFrench resistanceRescuing Ethiopian JewsIs patriotism a virtue?Border patrolsIs it unfair to “Buy American?”Can loyalty override universal moral principles?Robert E. LeeThe Bulger brothers and David Kaczynski
13 Justice and the Common Good Kennedy speech about religion – moral neutralityRawls – Need for tolerance in the face of disagreements and abide by the limits of liberal public reason.“How would our argument strike us in the form of a Supreme Court opinion?”Obama rejected moral neutralityAbortion issue and stem cell debates and same –sex marriageMorally neutral?Freedom of choice?Depends on definitions of purposeCommitted relationship, recognition of the state
14 A politics of the common good If a just society involves reasoning together about the good life, what kind of discourse would point us in this direction?The challenge is to imagine a politics that takes moral and spiritual questions seriously, but brings them to bear on broad economic and civic concerns …on all issues.A just society requires a strong sense of community, and it must cultivate in citizens a concern for the whole, a dedication to the common good.
15 A politics of moral engagement Based on mutual respect as human beingsLack of engagement makes for an impoverished public discourse and lessening of mutual respect.“A politics of moral engagement is not only a more inspiring ideal than a politics of avoidance. It is also a more promising basis for a just society.”