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Intro to Philosophy Final Exam

Terms in this set (26)

(Mill Chapter 2: Page 2)
there is more to life than just happiness (for humans, not pigs).
1. pleasures that are specifically human (not swine) are worth more in utilitarian framework: ["When thus attacked, the Epicureans have always answered, that it is not they, but their accusers, who represent human nature in a degrading light; since the accusation supposes human beings to be capable of no pleasures except those of which swine are capable." - page 2]
- higher score to higher pleasures: ["But there is no known Epicurean theory of life which does not assign to the pleasures of the intellect, of the feelings and imagination, and of the moral sentiments, a much higher value as pleasures than to those of mere sensation." - page 2]
["If I am asked, what I mean by difference of quality in pleasures, or what makes one pleasure more valuable than another, merely as a pleasure, except its being greater in amount, there is but one possible answer. Of two pleasures, if there be one to which all or almost all who have experience of both give a decided preference, irrespective of any feeling of moral obligation to prefer it, that is the more desirable pleasure." - page 2-3]
- "Now it is an unquestionable fact that those who are equally acquainted with, and equally capable of appreciating and enjoying, both, do give a most marked preference to the manner of existence which employs their higher faculties. Few human creatures would consent to be changed into any of the lower animals, for a promise of the fullest allowance of a beast's pleasures; no intelligent human being would consent to be a fool, no instructed person would be an ignoramus, no
person of feeling and conscience would be selfish and base, even though they should be persuaded that the fool, the dunce, or the rascal is better satisfied with
his lot than they are with theirs." - page 3
- "It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question." - page 3
- his response: certain kinds of happiness are worth more than other kinds. feelings of intellect, imagination, moral sentiments are much higher value because they are human.
(Mill Chapter 2: Page 8-9)
["The objectors to utilitarianism cannot always be charged with representing it in a discreditable light. On the contrary, those among them who entertain anything like a just idea of its disinterested character, sometimes find fault with its standard as being too high for humanity. They say it is exacting too much to require that people shall always act from the inducement of promoting the general interests of society. But this is to mistake the very meaning of a standard of
morals, and confound the rule of action with the motive of it. It is the business of ethics to tell us what are our duties, or by what test we may know them; but no system of ethics requires that the sole motive of all we do shall be a feeling of duty; on the contrary, ninety-nine hundredths of all our actions are done from other motives, and rightly so done, if the rule of duty does not condemn them." - page 8-9]
- it's expecting too much to expect humans to use this (utility) to make every decision; won't be considered in every action.
- rule of action versus motive of action: dump bag of "cyanide" into river, ends up being vitamin C, less people get sick. intention was to wipe out town.
["It is the more unjust to utilitarianism that this particular misapprehension should be made a ground of objection to it, inasmuch as utilitarian moralists have gone beyond almost all others in affirming that the motive has nothing to do with the morality of the action, though much with the worth of the agent. He who saves a
fellow creature from drowning does what is morally right, whether his motive be duty, or the hope of being paid for his trouble; he who betrays the friend that trusts him, is guilty of a crime, even if his object be to serve another friend to whom he is under greater obligations." - page 9]
- morality of action versus worth of the agent
- not saying actions are good because they follow principle (intention), but because they provide good consequences.
- see child drowning & don't save him; realize it's Bill Gates son & save him because reward
- motive has to do with agent not Utilitarianism
- makes a distinction between the rule of action and the motive of action. not saying anything motive at all, just saying that actions are good if they produce good consequences. utilitarianism is not a procedure, it is a measurement or tool.
- Historical Principles of Justice: principles for which, if we were to examine a distribution of wealth, we cannot determine whether it is just or unjust unless we know some of the HISTORICAL DETAILS about how this distribution CAME ABOUT.
- Non-Historical Principles of Justice: Principles for which, in order to determine whether or not a distribution is just or unjust, we ONLY need to look at the
distribution itself, and we do NOT need to know any of the historical details regarding how this distribution came about.
- Nozick's Principles are Historical: Right away, we see that Nozick's notion of the justice
of ownership or possession is HISTORICAL. For instance, if we were to merely consider
the distribution where Wilt Chamberlain has $250,000, and everyone else has a lot less,
we cannot know whether the distribution is just or unjust unless we know how that distribution was BROUGHT ABOUT. In Nozick's version of the story (where the spectators freely agree to pay a quarter to see Wilt), the end result is just (because Wilt received the money by a just transfer). On the other hand, in my version of the story
where Wilt PICKPOCKETS the spectators, the end result is NOT just (because Wilt did NOT receive the money by a just transfer).
- The Utilitarian Principles are Non-Historical: Contrast Nozick's view with utilitarianism, which says that a situation is just if it is the one with the maximum amount of happiness (no matter how that maximum was achieved—remember the Organ Harvest example, where the end result of four patients being alive and one being dead is just, REGARDLESS of the fact that the doctor had to murder the one healthy patient to save the other four).
- Rawls's Principles are Non-Historical: Or, consider Rawls's theory, which says (according
to Nozick) that a situation is just so long as it is one where the worst off are as well off
as possible (with no need to look at how this distribution is BROUGHT ABOUT).
- interferes or infringes on the rights of people to what they work for.