studies questions about art and beauty
4 theories of art
- something becomes an art work by virtue of occupying a certain position within the context of set activities.
Objections: -who determines who is a member of an art community
-further, doesn't the art community use specific critera? If so, couldn't a theory of art be framed around the criteria
art is an intentional expression of examined and clarified emoition (individualized and experienced emoition) to an audience by means of lines, colors, sounds, shapes, actions, and/or words.
Objections: this theory is inadequate, we wouldn't call it art anymore than we would call the "microwave movement" art even tho it meets the two criteria
- the process by which the work of art is created and/or viewed(or how well received into society) is what makes it art
Objections: what if something we all would consider to be a work of art wasn't intended by the artist to be art at all
-what if no connection was made at all, painted and then sent to space to never be seen by anyone. Is that art?
Whether or not something is art depends on the function the piece plays in a particular context
Objection: can something be both art and not art at the same time (wine glass)
2 views on beauty
1. Beauty is "in the eye of the beholder"
2. there is an objective standard of beauty
1. No standards with respect to beauty. What one person sees as ugly another will not.
2. somethings are qualitatively more beautiful than other things. (his flower drawing vs an artist)
Plato held a form for beauty is something that is eternal, unchanging, perfect, etc. also help that all things share something in common if they are beautiful
Relationship between natural and artificial beauty
Moore says that we seem to use different standards of beauty for natural objects than we do for artificial. Sometimes one is to be perceived more beautiful than the other and sometimes its switched.
studies questions of right and wrong, good and bad, and how we should act
Normative theory of ethics
prescribes what we should or ought to do when dealing with moral issues. Philosophy focuses on this
Descriptive theory of ethics
describes and explains how people actually behave and think when dealing with moral issues
the rightness of an action depends on some nonconsequetial feature, such as the motive, nature of the act itself, or following the right rule
what makes an action right is its consequences
1.) Ethical Subjective (individual) relativism
- the view that an action is right if one approves of it
-each person feels they are morally infallible (incapable of being in error, above the law)
-genuine more disagreement between individuals is nearly impossible
-moral judgments are a matter of preference rather than right and wrong
- the view that an action is right if ones culture approves of it
-cultures are morally infallible
-that cultural valves cannot be criticized from outside the culture
-that social reformers within a culture are, by definition, morally wrong while reforming
Divine Command theory
holds that something is right( or wrong) because god commands (or forbids) it
e.g. setting the speed limit (god wasn't here to do so, so no speed limit)
-what if god didn't intervene at the last second when killing the son?
- if god tells us to do it, it is right no matter what but don't we have some things that is wrong based on other reasons
.) Platos arguments in Euthyphro
asks is something right because the gods command it or is commanded by the gods because it is right. Relates to divine command theory because it deals with god and the view in question is whether or not god commands something because it is right or not
the descriptive theory that we are motivated only and always by our own self interest
The theory that the right action is the one that promotes the most favorable balance of good over evil for oneself
-does not mean to do whatever is pleasurable or one desires but to have the idea of consequences e.g. Stealing a car
Platos story the Ring of Gyges
supports a Psychological Egoism because people will do what they believe to be in their best interest unless otherwise compelled to do differently
-is selfless concern for the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures, and a core aspect of various religious traditions, though the concept of 'others' toward whom concern should be directed can vary among religions.
Principle of utility
-maximum pleasure, minimal pain. Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness
Application- panoptican which is the circular prison that was more efficient to view all prisoners at one time. Bentham designed this.
-English philosopher, first to fill out theory of Utilitarianism in detail.-On pleasure: all pleasures are equal no matter where you get them from
John Stuart Mill 1806-1873
-raised by stressing the idea of utility of mind, stressing the importance of education. Married Harret Taylor she inspired him-On pleasure: some kinds of pleasure are more valued and desired over others, higher quality pleasure and lower quality pleasures, according to him we would all chose higher quality pleasures over the lower quality pleasures (human vs pig), to make an adequate decision they need to have experienced both options to be qualified.
- the view that the only thing good in and of itself is pleasure. Happiness is thought to be the result of how much pleasure and pain we have.
Objection: better world is that with fake thoughts of torture because he is getting pleasure without hurting anyone
-affirms that the right action is the one that directly produces the best balance of happiness over unhappiness for all concerned
- says that morally right action is the one that, if followed as a general rule, would produce the greatest overall good, all instances and everyone considered (kill the man to get 10 out)
Kant good will
- The basic idea is that what makes a good person good is his possession of a will that is in a certain way 'determined' by, or makes its decisions on the basis of, the moral law. The idea of a good will is supposed to be the idea of one who only makes decisions that she holds to be morally worthy, taking moral considerations in themselves to be conclusive reasons for guiding her behavior.
- Moral Law. Human beings view this Law as a constraint on their desires, and hence a will in which the Moral Law is decisive is motivated by the thought of duty. A holy or divine will, if it exists, though good, would not be good because it is motivated by thoughts of duty. A holy will would be entirely free from desires that might operate independently of morality.
Kant moral law
- a good will is a will whose decisions are wholly determined by moral demands or as he often refers to this, by the Moral Law. Human beings view this Law as a constraint on their desires, and hence a will in which the Moral Law is decisive is motivated by the thought of duty
The Categorical Imperative
- act only on the maximum, where by you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law
-that there is a single moral obligation
-principles that are intrinsically valid; they are good in and of themselves; they must be obeyed in all, and by all, situations and circumstances if our behavior is to observe the moral law.
Applied: I am not to make an exception for myself everyone has to act on the same thing or you fail
-reason for acting
The formula of humanity
act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether yourself or another, always at the same time as an end and never as a means only
Means vs ends
- end is a final thing, how we get there is the mean "a means to an end". We must treat people as ends in themselves, rather than as things with instrumental value to be used for someone elses purpose. This means we see people as having dignity and respect, and valueing their autonomy(self-determination) and rationality
- is an end or purpose, end toward which it naturally aims (what represents its greatest goods)
- our telos human beings is to be found within a polis (city-state)
- human beings can only find their ultimate end within a social setting. EX. Having a chess piece without the board isn't really a chess piece anymore
- the greatest good for humans, their ultimate end. Aka= human flourishing or libing well and doing well. Some candidates for it is virtue, and external goods such as health, wealth, and beauty.
Aristotles notion of virtue
-a type of human excellence, or trait that everyone needs in order to live a good life, regardless of the situation. He distinguishes between intellectual and moral virtues
Moral of virtues
is a stable state of character and dispostition to choose them mean( by practical wisdom) rather than the extremes.
-it is deeply embedded character trait that can affect actions in countless situations
-fairness or getting what one deserves
3 types of justice
1. retributive justice
2. compensatory justice
3. distributive justice
-involves the punishment of wrong doers.
Objection: is it fair to convict someone of a crime they haven't committed yet?
- concerns the compensation of persons for wrongs done to them
- deals with the distribution of benefits and burdens
EX. Human organs
principle of proportional equality
- like cases should be treated alike, unless there are relevant differences.
Relevant differences- ability, effort, need, expierence
Irrelevant differences- sex, race, age
Rawls veil of ignorance
-Just principles are those that a rationally self-interested person might agree to in an "original position" behind a "blind fold"
Rawls difference principle
-allows for an exception to 1.) if some unequal arrangement benefits the least well off person
E.X- pizza slices getting 10,10,10 or 14,8,8
Nozicks entitlement theory
- states that " a distribution is just if everyone entitled to the holdings they posses.
1. Principle of just original acquistion
2. Principle of just transfer
3. principle of rectification of injustice
Criteria for organs-
How long you have been on the waiting list, closer to death than others, kids and spouses at home, best success rate, location of organ and person that needs it
- "good death"- directly or indirectly bringing about the death of another person for that persons sake
Physician assisted suicide
- the killing of a person by the persons own hand with the help of a physician
- Euthanasia performed on a person with their consent
- Euthanasia performed on a person who is not competent to decide the issue and has left no instructions regarding end-of-life preferences
- Euthanasia performed on a person against his or her wishes
- Euthanasia performed by taking a direct action to cause someones death. E.X. mercy killing, soldier shots wounded so he doesn't suffer
- Euthanasia performed by withholding or withdrawing measures necessary for sustaining life (removing respirator)
Roe v. Wade (1973)
- abortion is legal before viability and state decides if its legal or not after viability. Viability is the period in which the fetus can live outside the mother on machines and survive without her 23-24 weeks old
Warrens abortion debate
-1. Consciousness 2. Reasoning 3. Self-motivated activity 4. Capacity to communicate 5. Self- awareness or self- concept. Abortion is legal because a fetus has none of these
- what makes a fetus a person is having life life symptoms, the feeling or pleasure and pain
Marquis argument against abortion
- deprives victim of a potential future of value or a future like ours FLO
-agrees fetus is not a person but says killing after 14 days is wrong bc it deprives fetus of FLO
Thomsons arguments abortion
- right to self defense, abortion is ok to save the mother from death
-it is acceptable if you tried to prevent pregnancy completely by BC etc but it still happened so you can get an abortion