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Intro to Philosophy Final Exam
Terms in this set (26)
Gauthier argues that the relationship between morality and advantage has the following seemingly paradoxical character:
(Morality & Advantage: Page 460-461)
"For it is a truism that we should all expect to be worse off if men were to substitute prudence, even of the most enlightened kind, for morality in all of their deliberations. And this truism demands not only some connection between morality and advantage, but a seemingly paradoxical connection. *
For if we should all expect to suffer, were men to be prudent instead of moral, then morality must contribute to advantage in a unique way, a way in which prudence-following reasons of advantage cannot.
- we would be worse off if everyone was prudent, so morality must contribute to advantage in some way
- "If everyone stopped acting morally then everyone would be worse off, all men would suffer based on dictates of prudence (self-interest). Prisoner's dilemma for what it is. (people have to sometimes forego their own self-interest).
Gauthier says the following of an individual who needs a reason for being moral which is not itself a moral reason:
(Morality & Advantage: Page 470)
The individual who needs a reason for being moral which is not itself a moral reason cannot have it. There is nothing surprising about this; it would be much more surprising if such reasons could be found. For it is more than apparently paradoxical to suppose that considerations of advantage could ever of themselves justify accepting a real disadvantage.
- cannot have a moral answer (self-interested) (no regard for morality) to a moral question and it is okay.
Which of the following is the basic principle of Utilitarianism?
(Mill Chapter 2: Page 2)
- Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.
- The right thing to do is this thing that produces the most happiness.
According to one objection to Utilitarianism, it is a doctrine worthy of swine. Which of the following is NOT part of Mill's response?
(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.
According to one objection to Utilitarianism, it is too much to expect that people will always act with Utilitarianism in mind. Which of the following best captures Mill's response:
(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.
In one example of Williams', a large group of innocent villagers is soon to be killed. A stranger in town is given the choice of shooting one himself or allowing the execution of all to proceed. Which of the following captures one of the central points of this example:
(Williams page 513-514)
- Jim example: you shoot 1, we save others
- seems that Utilitarianism replies that Jim should kill the Indian; not only does Utilitarianism give this answer, but seems obviously the right answer
- many would wonder whether "even one who came to think that perhaps that was the answer, might well wonder whether it was obviously the answer" - page 514
- not a question of rightness or obviousness of this answer, also a question of what sort of considerations some into finding the answer
- feature of Utilitarianism: it cuts out a kind of consideration which for some others makes a difference to what they feel about such cases: a consideration involving the idea, as we might 1st and very simply put it, that each of us is specifically responsible for what he does, rather than for what other people do.
- often suspected that utilitarianism, at least in its direct forms, makes integrity as a value more or less unintelligible
- utilitarianism alienates us from (1) our own moral sentiments (2) our own actions
Which of the following is NOT one of Williams's criticisms of Utilitarianism:
1. Utilitarianism alienates us from (1) our own moral sentiments (2) our own actions. Utilitarianism puts our conscience / moral sentiments in the wrong role, which makes it a bad theory.
2. Utilitarianism puts morality on objective footing (measurable) -
how much happiness is produced versus unhappiness. Happiness is good / all pain is bad - child molestor loves raping children, does that make it a good act? objection: some kinds of happiness are not valuable & utilitarian is not in a position to differentiate.
3. Utilitarianism would just make you a cog in a happiness wheel.
- 1. some consequences look good on paper, but may not work out, or that it is the right thing to do. (example in notes) 2. alienates us from our moral and sentimental actions 3. even if some actions create more happiness, that happiness could be bad. for example, pedophiles. utilitarianism cannot explain what happiness is good.
According to the 'Doctrine of Double Effect,'
- you're not as morally responsible if you do something that you didn't directly intend
- based on distinction of what a man foresees and what he intends
- marathon example: run a marathon & foresee your sneakers to get run down, but you didn't intend for that to happen.
- what is foreseen vs. what is intended? if an action has 2 foreseeable consequences. one good and one bad, then it is okay to take this action if you only intend the good consequence.
According to Foot's distinction between negative and positive duties,
- actively harming is violating negative duties
- negative duty: your duty to not harm anyone
- failing to help is violating positive duties
- positive duty: duty to help someone
- violating negative duties is worse than violating positive duties
- positive right: right to be helped; negative right: right to not be randomly harmed
- negative duties is an obligation to not do those things to people. example: you have the duty to not steal. positive duties is the obligation to do something for example: a police responding to a crime. another example: of positive duty is childcare.
Thesis of Foot's article on the 'Doctrine of Double Effect' is
Even if we reject the doctrine of double effect, we are not forced to the conclusion that the size of evil must always be our guide.
- it is not important. what is important is negative and positive duties. she says that negative duties are more important than positive duties.
Passive non-voluntary euthanasia is when
- active: acting (giving someone liquid to kill them)
- passive: failing to act (withholding healing medicine)
- voluntary vs. nonvoluntary: go with it or not
- example: retreating soldiers, too injured to retreat & gonna die any second, asks for meds to preserve life a few days - captured & die horrible death (life is not good for them), do you have to save them? no duty of service. unless you took an oath as medic, etc.
example: torture chamber assistant - main guy asks for meds to keep torturee surviving, do you give it to him?
- allowing someone to die by not doing something that would prolong life. going against someone's will.
When someone who happens to be swimming at the beach saves a stranger from drowning, this is
- charity: virtue connecting with doing what's good for others
(justice: a virtue connecting with what we owe others; fulfilling obligation)
- you wouldn't be required by justice to save that person, but it would be a charitable act and the virtue of charity would require you to save a drowning stranger.
Which of the following is NOT part of the traditional cosmological argument for the existence of God:
1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause of existence. (premise)
2. The universe began to exist at some point. (premise)
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause of existence. (conclusion - from 1, 2)
4. Science cannot give a causal account of the origin of the universe. (premise)
5. Therefore, the cause of the universe must be personal. (conclusion - from 3, 4)
According to McCabe, a "genuine" atheist is someone who
- one who refuses to accept the question as a real question or says that nothing answers the question
- the question: McCabe: why is there something rather than nothing? (the god question - b/c god is whatever answers this question)
According to one objection to the cosmological argument,
- McCabe: why is there something rather than nothing? (the god question: because god is whatever answers this question); can't be laws & stuff b/c you can't explain 'stuff with stuff'
- atheist: why is there a god rather than no god?
- atheists ask because it puts McCabe in a bind: if he says it has an answer he's saying there's something higher than god; but if he says there's no answer, and atheist could say that it proves there's no answer to McCabe's god question.
- possible answer: discuss nature of God vs. nature of world - just became way more involved.
Which of the following in NOT a premise in the ontological argument for the existence of God:
1. God is a being which none greater can be conceived.
2. Beings exist at least in the mind.
3. It is greater to exist in reality than only in the mind.
Which of the following is NOT a good objection to the ontological argument:
- objection: it defines objects into existence (just by defining what god is, it means that he exists)
- objection: existence is not a property
- PERFECT ISLAND (page 6): has to do with 3. It is greater to exist in reality than only in the mind.
According to Pascal, why should you believe in God's existence because
(Pascal Page 50 2nd column in the middle)
you will have greater outcomes believing than not believing. you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
- believe/god exists = gain everything
- not believe/god exists = fail to gain everything
- believe/god doesn't exist = lose nothing
- not believe/god doesn't exist = gained nothing
Which of the following is a reasonable objection to Pascal's argument
(Pascal Page 51 2nd column 3 lines down)
This argument has nothing to say about whether god exists; doesn't address it at all; changes the subject.
- theoretical rationality = belief
- practical rationality = action
- people say Pascal is confusing the 2; invoking cost-belief analysis (not how belief works)
- Pascal uses practical rationality, when the question concerns theoretical rationality.
The problem of evil can be understood in terms of an apparent inconsistency between 3 statements. Which of the following is NOT among them:
1. God is omnipotent.
2. God is wholly good.
3. Evil exists.
According to the 'free will' defense against the problem of evil,
to the explain the evil in the world they would say that it is human's fault because of free will.
Which of the following best captures Mackie's response to the 'free will' defense against the problem of evil:
- moral evil (people doing bad things) versus physical evil (pain in general; the free will defense only accounts for moral evil & not physical evil
- a world with free will has meaning to it
- it's harder for some to be good than it is for others.
Which of the following best captures one of Rawls' two principles of justice
1. Each person participating in a practice, or affected by it, has an equal right to the most extensive liberty compatible with a like liberty for all.
2. Inequalities are arbitrary unless it is reasonable to expect that they will work to everyone's advantage and provided the positions and offices to which they attach are open to all.
Which of the following best captures Rawls' argument for his principles of justice:
- it's only ok for there to be very rich & very poor people if both sides benefit from system (even poor)
- not saying economic inequality is never justified (communist); says to have economic inequality it must be good even for poor people; even poor people are better off if we reject communism
- difference between a state & a gang: just government gives people most possible freedom without infringing on other people's freedom (1st principle of justice)
- in the 'original position' people are behind a 'veil of ignorance' about (a) their social, political, economic condition (b) their natural talents and tendencies. if you didn't know what your position would be, you'd never choose slavery in case you became a slave, unbiased people would choose 2 principles of justice.
- Rawls vs. Utilitarianism: Utilitarianism: as long as rich :-) > poor :-( it's good; Rawls says that's not good enough - the poor have to benefit
- everything should be fair
Which of the following is NOT part of Nozick's conception of distributive justice:
1. a person who acquires a holding in accordance with the principle of justice in acquisition is entitled to that holding.
2. a person who acquires a holding in accordance with the principle of justice in transfer, from someone else entitled to that holding, is entitled to the holding.
3. no one is entitled to a holding except by 1 & 2.
- distributive justice only deals with what people are owed as a result of their work.
According to Nozick, the problem with 'end-result' principles of justice in holdings is that
- 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.
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