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BCOR 380 Exam 1
Terms in this set (22)
What is the cultural differences argument?
a. different cultures have different moral codes
b. therefor, there is no objective "truth" in morality. right and wrong are only matters of opinion, and opinions vary from culture to culture
why is cultural relativism faulty?
because social groups might have incorrect factual beliefs, make invalid references, mistakenly weigh evidence or make some other error. they can then recognize their errors and change their beliefs
What is the theory of simple subjectivism?
When a person says that something is morally good or bad, this means that he or she approves of that thing, or disapproves of it, and nothing more
what is the first objection to simple subjectivism?
it has unacceptable consequences (ex: brown giving to charity and starving her child because she believes that is right whether it deprives her children)
what is the second objection to simple subjectivism?
people can make decisions that are arbitrary and irrational therefor making them dangerous. subjectivism is inconsistent
the three types of sentences (emotivism)
- declarative: statement/ is true or false. ex: "the earth is round"
- imperative: command, can't be true/false. ex: "go home"
- exclamatory: expressive, can't be true/false
What is the theory of psychological egoism?
a. the doctrine that the only thing anyone is capable of desiring or pursuing ultimately (as an end in itself) is his own self-interest
b. men are capable of desiring the happiness of others only when they take it to be a means to their own happiness
What is the first argument to justify psychological egoism?
i. every action of mine is prompted by motives/desires/impulses which are my motives/desires/impulses and not someone else's
ii. in other words, whenever I act i am always pursuing my own ends and trying to satisfy my own desires
iii. therefore I am always pursuing something for myself or seeking my own satisfaction
what is the second argument to justify psychological egoism?
i. it is a truism that when a person gets what he wants he characteristically feels pleasure
ii. therefore, what we really want in every case is our own pleasure, and we pursue other things only as a means
what is the third argument that justify psychological egoism?
c. self-deception (generalizations)
i. often we deceive ourselves into thinking that we desire something fine or noble when all we really want is:
1. to be thought well of by others
2. to be able to congratulate ourselves
3. to enjoy the pleasures of a good conscience
ii. since we are often mislead concerning both our own real motives and the motives of others, is it not reasonable to suspect that we might always be deceived when we think our motives are disinterested and altruistic
what is the fourth argument that justifies psychological egoism?
d. moral education
i. morality, good manners, decency and other virtues must be teachable
ii. the "sanctions of pleasure and pain"
iii. people in general have been inclined to behave well only when it is made plain to them that there is something in it for them.
iv. is it not possible that our methods of moral education presuppose psychological egoism?
What is the theory of ethical egoism?
the radical idea that one's only duty is to promote one's own interests
what is the first proposition of classical utilitarianism?
actions are to be judged right or wrong solely by virtue of their consequences; nothing else matters (consequentialism)
what is the second proposition of classical utilitarianism?
in assessing consequences, the only thing that matters is the amount of happiness or unhappiness that is created, everything else is irrelevant (happiness as an end)
what is the third proposition of classical utilitarianism?
each person's happiness counts as the same (impartiality)
what is the first formulation of the categorical imperative?
I ought never to act except in such a way that I could also will that my maxim should become a universal law
i. what would happen is you universalized your intention?
ii. it is not about the consequences of you universalizing-- it is whether you can do so consistently
iii. example with lying
what is the second formulation of the categorical imperative?
So act that you use humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other always at the same time as an end, never merely as a means
distinction between price and dignity
a. what has a price can be replaced by something else as its equivalent. ex: coffee cup
b. what is related to general human inclinations and needs has market price
dignity: above all price, and therefore admits of no equivalent "irreplaceable"
a. each human being has "dignity" and therefore must be respected... and never used merely as a means
what is the natural lottery? what role does it play in Rawl's theory?
a. When you deserve X that means that there is a Y that you did in your past that warrants the claim (you, because of Y are owed X)
b. any hard work, talent, culture you live in, etc. are involuntary and capricious- how does a person become deserving of these
what is the original position? what role does it play in Rawl's theory?
a. it corresponds to the state of nature in other contract theories
b. unlike other theories this is an idealized state:
i. the citizens are free
ii. they are equal
iii. they are rational
c. the original position's equality is secured via the veil of ignorance
What are the two principles of justice?
a. each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive scheme of equal basic liberties compatible with a similar scheme of liberties for others
b. difference principle: social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both a) reasonably expected to be to everyone's advantage, and b) attached to positions and offices open to all
what is the Maximin principle?
rank alternatives by their worst possible outcomes: we are apt to adopt the worst outcome of which is superior (the best for me) to the worst outcomes of others
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