46 terms

Philosophy Exam

the philosophical study of being and knowing. The study of Ultimate reality. " What is the nature of Reality?"
The study of knowledge
"What can we know? How can we know it? Why do we know some things, but not others? How do we aquire Knowledge?"
The study of Values
"Why should we do this?"
The study of correct reasoning
Socratic Method of Conceptual Analysis
Pose a question (What is it to be X?)
Propose a hypothesis (To be X it is necessary and sufficient to be Y)
Derive a test implication (The hypothesis implies that...)
Preform a test (is the hypothesis correct?)
Accept or reject the hypothesis
Necessary Condition
Necessary/Has to be (Something (X) is a necessary condition for something (Y). If we do not have X we do not have Y)
Example: Having Gasoline in my car is a necessary condition for my car to start. Without gas (x) my car will not start (y).
Sufficient/Enough Conditions
(Something (X) is a sufficient condition for something (Y), in other words X guarantees Y)
Example: When it rains it is sufficient condition for the ground to be wet.
Something can be sufficient without being necessary.
Example: It is not necessary that it rains for the ground to be wet.
Logic Possibility
Logical Possibility-When something is capable of being described without self contradiction. Something is logically impossible if and only if it violates a law of logic.
Casual Possibility
Something is casually impossible if and only if it violates a law of nature.
Valid Argument
Validity- A deductive argument in which it is logically impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion false. If the premises are true the conclusion must also be true for an argument to be valid. However the argument in itself could be false.
If one human is made of tin, all humans are made of tin.
One human is made of tin.
Therefore every Human is made of tin.
This argument is valid because the premises make the conclusion true however humans are clearly not made of tin.
Sound Argument
Soundness- An argument is sound when its a valid argument and its premises are true.
No felons are eligible voters
Some professional athletes are felons
Therefore Some professional athletes are not eligible to vote
This argument is both valid and the premises are true therefore it is a sound argument.
Peter Singer on Suffering
Peter singer argues that if we can prevent suffering and death etc. Without making sacrifices that are of comparable significance we ought to do it.
Subjective Relativism
Subject Relativism- Is the doctrine that what makes an action right for someone is that it is approved by that person. It is the idea that peoples points of view hold no truth or validity. It is the idea that if one approves of their actions or believes themselves to be right then they are. It is the notion that whatever we say is what is true. There is no ability for disagreement, the statements truths change depending upon the subject who is making the statement. If subject relativism were true then any dispute would be about someones moral opinion in their own minds.
Example: If hitler approved of exterminating the Jews there for it was right for Hitler to exterminate the Jews. Or that Stalin approved of assassinating his enemies then it was right for stalin to assassinate his enemies.
Example(No disagreement)- If Jack says that abortion is right and Jill says that it is wrong most would think they are disagreeing. However because they are stating what is right and wrong to them the statements are not contradicting.
Cultural Relativism
Is the doctrine that what makes an action right is that it is approved by ones culture. It implies that cultures are morally absolute. Cultures make the moral law so cultures can do no wrong. It would be impossible to disagree with ones culture and be right. If cultural relativism were true we would believe people like MLK acted immorally because the culture at the time did not approve of his actions. According to cultural relativism an action can be right or wrong however their can only disagree about wether their culture approves of the action because that determines wether it is right or wrong. If you cant identify a culture you cant be cultural relativist because then you can only use YOUR own culture to see if you are right or wrong.
Example: If a society approves slavery, then slavery is right. Anyone who disagrees other wise is assumed to be mistaken.
he doctrine that moral utterances are expressions of emotion. It is the idea that value judgements including moral judgements, do not simply state facts (even though it appears that they are). But are expressions of feelings or attitudes.
Divine Command Theory
The theory that states an action is either moral or immoral solely because God either commands us to do it or prohibits us from doing it.
Example: Torture is wrong because god prohibits torture.
It focuses on the nature of goodness and badness and moral reasoning it examines wether ethics is relative or wether we always act from self interest. Focuses on the metaphysics and epistemology of ethics. "What is the subject matter of ethics? Are there moral truths"
Normative Ethics
focuses on the content of our moral behavior. Normative ethics seeks to find an action-guide and procedure that we follow to answer the question "what ought I to do?" Guidelines for a specific course of moral actions. "for an action to be right it is necessary and sufficient for the action to be..."
Applied Ethics
The idea that given how the world is we SHOULD do this. "Outlaw abortion? Legalize pot? Become vegetarians?" Contemporary situations related to ethics.
Phycology- Is the study of how we WOULD act in a certain situation.
Is the study of what we SHOULD do in a certain situation.
Moral Agent
Is a conscious being that can understand the consequences of right and wrong actions.
Moral Subject
Moral Subjects are those things in the world whose interests are taken into account. (i.e. a baby you must take its considerations of the baby and its feelings.) However they do not hold value of what is right and what is wrong. They do not understand consequences however they do feel pain and hold interests.
Thought Experiments
Devices of the imagination that are used to investigate the nature of things. We think about the possible outcomes of an action.
To be a right action it is necessary and sufficient for an action to be dictated by the bible-Counter examples
Not necessary: Contemperary situations it is not necessary to be dictated by the bible. Like buying one thing over another.
Not sufficient: Somewhere in the bible it said that it is right or ok to buy slaves provided to purchase from neighboring nations. shows that being dictated by the bible is not sufficient for the action to be right.
To be a right action it is necessary and sufficient for an action to be normal.
Not Necessary ex. - Someone had a seziure and fell into the subway and another person jumped on top of them to save them this is not a normal action however one should do this.
Not Sufficient ex.- Child prostitution and kidnapping in some societies are normal this does not make kidnapping right.
For an action to be right it is necessary and sufficient for it to be legal?
Not Necessary: Clean Needle Program, where people give clean needles to heroin addicts, to prevent disease etc. is illegal and morally right.
If a very poor woman goes to a store and her child is starving so that she steals from the store that will not effect the store or anyone she ought to steal the food to help her family.
Not Sufficient: Being apart of a gang there are crazy 'Laws' to kill people that is not a sufficeintly right.
The view that the value of an action derives solely from the value of its consequences.
Act Utilitarianism
Right action is the one which produces the greatest amount of happiness or pleasure for the greatest number of beings.
Rule Utilitarianism
actions are moral when they conform to the rules that lead to the greatest good, or that "the rightness or wrongness of a particular action is a function of the correctness of the rule of which it is an instance."
Special emphasis on the relationship between duty and the morality of human actions, consequently focuses on logic and ethics.
Kants Catigoral Imperative
it helps us to know which actions are obligatory and which are forbidden. Hypothetical imperatives are conditional: 'If I want x then I must do y'. These imperatives are not moral. For Kant, the only moral imperatives were categorical: 'I ought to do x", with no reference to desires or needs.
Kants Formula 2
To be a right action it is necessary and sufficient for an action to treat someone as ends in themselves and not merely as means to an end. Meaning, His idea is that you should never use someone. This is the difference in moral action. In the loner example it would be using the person as a means to an end. however in the track situation you are not using the one child to save the five other ones. Kant thinks its more about the principles that cause your actions. Kant thinks its a moral obligation to punish someone for their sins, but you cant just kill someone to save others. To treat someone as a rational being Kant believes that punishing them is the only way to do so.
Kants Formula 1
Formula 1: For an action to be right it is necessary and sufficient for the action to be based on a principle that:
Everyone could act on
You would be willing to have everyone act on (No matter who you are in society you would be willing to act on this.)
To be a right action it is necessary and sufficient for an action to be dictated by our social contract.
Actual Contract-This is an actual contract that we have with one another, we formed it when we moved from a state of nature to a state of society. What is wrong with this?What if we decide when making the contract the rule that you get to shoot someone in the face when they meet you. You could make a contract to make you do all sorts of bad things, also no one walks around with a 'social contract' it is not a tangible object.
Hypothetical contract you can have stupid contracts that can dictate horrible things, and it is not a tangible object. This contract is hypothetical, and he thinks under these conditions to which this would work, we are perfectly rational, we are perfectly selfish, you are totally ignorant of who you are, you do not know your place in society or your identity. But what you do have is knowledge of stats. about the population, or facts about distribution about different things in society. You can be selfish even if you do not know who you are, you look at the stats. of the population and the chances of who you are.
Can Humor be Immoral -Is it immoral to endorse a negatively stereotyped joke
To appreciate a negatively stereotyped joke you must endorse the negative stero-type. This is not true because you can be apart of a group tell a joke about your certain group and not endorse the stero-type.
To act immorally, it is sufficient to tell a joke whose harm is not outweighed by its benefit.
If you were in a room full of students and one person has a personal tie to the joke but everyone else benefits from it then it out ways the harm. This can be really hard to calculate
Peter Singer On Specism
Peter singer believes that to take human species on a higher level then non human animals that is immoral. Factory farming- he believes people should stop eating meat. Prejudice or discrimination based on species; especially : discrimination against non-human animals.
All suffering caused by the same event is equal
False-Example: Factory farming a rabbit vs. factoring farming humans. Humans would suffer more because people live longer and also emotional suffering as well as physical suffering. humans have a further level or layer of suffering.
Argument all suffering is equal
False- No he is not claiming that all suffering is equal. There are situations where suffering is worse then others. Example: To stab someone or to punch someone. Example 2: Person touches a hot stove. Monkey stubs his toe on his cage.
Argument all animals are created equal
False-Singers Argument is if the life of a human is worth more then an animal. He thinks that humans lives are worth more. On average human lives are more important. But....The focus is human vs. non Human suffering He does not believe that all humans are equal everyone is different.
Argument equal amounts of suffering have equal moral significance
True- We are treating animals in a way we would never treat humans. Consider this: there are two 4 year old twins one is a little slower then the other, we have to decide to shock one of them it would cause them equal amounts of suffering and neither of them would remember the incident or be effected by it whatsoever. Are we morally obligated to shock the slower one? NO it would be the same morally wrong thing to do to shock either of them or to bring either of them the same amount of pain.
Nagel Determinism
is the general philosophical thesis that states that for everything that happens there are conditions such that, given them, nothing else could happen. It is imcmpatible with free will because if every previous action effects or induces the next you are not making your own free choices fully free from everything that has happend before or that has influenced you.
Indeterminism Nagel
the theory that some events cant be predicted, there is no pattern just random chance and choice. It seems incompatible with free will because even though in the end it comes down to you making a choice example: taking a course in spanish or basket weaving, there are always factors that are influencing your choice so its never free will.