Treatise on Civil Government
Government can coerce people only to prevent harm to others
Free Speech, no censorship
Certain groups need protection from themselves: Children, "backwards" societies
Nature of man is a state of war against every man against other men. Materialist. Temporary happiness is all that can be achieved in this life.
Traits like GRATITUDE & MODESTY enable people to live harmoniously together in society.
Life is solitary, nasty, brutish, and short.
a free man is he that in those things which by his strength and wit he is able to do is not hindered to do what he hath the will to do
State of nature: Man's natural state = war & violence
Right of nature: Power of others constrains our acts
Laws of nature: Fear + desire for good life = peace
Laws & enforcement that make up the social contract. Ethical laws originate from agreements entered into by people & groups. = Social Contracts = give up some freedoms to get safety & group benefits
Need absolute monarch to rule society & rebellion not allowed.
Limited to correcting injured party for losses suffered.
Community reprations. Restore both parties.
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"eye for an eye"
Deals with how goods are distributed fairly in a society. Finite number of things. Laws that govern the country.
Rawls - inequality justified only when it benefits everyone (encourage people to be more productive)
Libertarian - diversity in society is valuable and people should have freedom to keep what they earned. Never ok to take from one to give it to another.
Rousseau - excessive inequality destroys freedom if wealthy act like tyrants
It's all about REASON
Aristotle Man alone is a rational animal and rationality (reason) should be used, among other things, to develop virtues.
Reason develops virtue, virtuous people have certain emotions which lead to right acts.
Virtue of Character = using reason to choose and act well
Virtue of intellect = acquired wisdom or learning
Kant lived a life of structure and reason as reflected in his ethical concepts. Critique of Pure Reason
Aquinas Natural Law + reason = we should do what's naturally good and allow reason to restrain us from "natural" impulses that are bad
Empiricism, Rationalism, Pure Reason
Name several Empirical philosophers
Locke, Hume, Bacon
What is Empiricism?
Reasoning from senses using hard facts. (a posteriori)
What is Rationalism?
Some things are known without experience.
Name some Rational philosophers.
Descartes, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Leibniz, Spinoza
What was Kants view of reason?
Transcendental Idealism. "Critique of Pure Reason". Some reason we were born with (a priori) and some things we discover through experience.
Categorical Imperative: Do X
If you want X, do Y
Naturalistic fallacy: can't get an "ought" from an "is"
Natural Law & Natural Rights
is determined by nature = universal (universe is morally neutral). Refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature and deduce rules of moral behavior from it.
Supporters: Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke.
Because of the intersection between natural law
and natural rights
, it has been cited as a component in the United States Declaration of Independence
Locke: Life, Liberty & Property.
Jefferson: Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness
Wikipedia = Natural Law
are those not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable (i.e., rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws).
Wikipedia = Natural Rights
It's all about PLEASURE
Hedonist maximize net pleasure (minus pain)
Egoism (long term rational personal self interest)
Asceticism (no good for yourself - like spiritual people who deny all pleasure)
Altruism (what's good for others, not necessarily self)
Utilitarianism - greatest good for greatest number of people. Group happiness. Consequential. Hedonic Calculus. Don't abuse animals because they feel pain.
Modified the philosophy of Epicurus (the first utilitarian).
Motivated the Philosophical Radicals (group of social reformers in early 19th cent) Human happiness not natural rights. Universal male suffrage.
Yes, that's Bentham's embalmed head at the foot of his body. You really should look into THIS guy!
Bentham's Hedonistic Calculus
1. Intensity (I)--How intense is the pleasure or pain?
2.Duration (D)--How long does the pleasure of pain last?
3.Certainty (C)--What is the probability that the pleasure or pain will occur?
4. Propinquity (nearness or Remoteness) (R)--How far off in the future is the pleasure or pain?
5.Fecundity (F)--What is the probability that the pleasure will lead to other pleasures?
6.Purity (P)--What is the probability that the pain will lead to other pains?
7.Extent (E)--How many persons are affected by the pleasure?
Memory tip: PC FRIED
Greatest Happiness Principle
Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.
Greatest Happiness Principle
Utilitarianism - Jeremy Bentham's formulation
One must always act so as to produce the greatest aggregate happiness among all sentient beings, within reason.
John Stuart Mill's major contribution to utilitarianism is his argument for the qualitative separation of pleasures. Bentham treats all forms of happiness as equal, whereas Mill argues that intellectual and moral pleasures (higher pleasures - Shakespeare) are superior to more physical forms of pleasure (lower pleasures - The Simpsons).
Attacked the notion of natural rights as
"simply nonsense: natural and imprescriptible rights, rhetorical nonsense -- nonsense upon stilts"
Our moral actions are not guided by reason but by our feelings.
Doing good gives people pleasure.
Virtue is driven not by benevolence and sympathy (not self-interest)
Slave to passions
A few memory tips...
"Treatise of HUMan Nature" written by HUMe
"Man is the MEASURE of all things" by PROT(ractor)AGORAS
a priori = PRIOR knowledge, a posteriori = POST = "after" knowledge
Thoughts, behaviors and decisions have to happen because previous events and laws of nature determine them.
pre-destination ~ determinism
Conflicts with philosophies based on concepts of individual freedom.
Prima Facie Duties
The Right and the Good (1930)
Best known for developing a pluralist, deontological form of intuitionist ethics. Edited and translated many of Aristotle's works.
7. fidelity (promise keeping)
In a situation, many of these duties may apply. Sometimes they may contradict one another. One duty is always the weightiest and over-rules all the others. This is the absolute obligation or absolute duty, the action that the person ought to perform.
I promise to meet my friend for lunch at 12:00. On they way I walk past a burning building and see some children who need help escaping. What do I do?
Kant - keep the promised lunch date
Ross - helping the children outweighs the other promise keeping duty so do that first
It's all about LOYALTY
Josiah Royce extended Kant's deontological path
Highest duty = loyalty and other duties flow from it
Autonomy + Justice + Benevolence = Loyalty
Mastering DSST Exams
Chapters about each of these DSST tests:
Ethics in America, Introduction to Computing, Principles of Supervision, Substance Abuse, Business Mathematics, Principles of Public Speaking, Fundamentals of College Algebra, Technical Writing
Each chapter contains a Diagnostic Test (20 questions), several pages of information about the topic followed by a post test (60 questions)
Find it here
- Act only according to the maxim by which you can a the same time will that is should become a universal law. Universality If I can do it, everyone can do it.
- Act so you treat humanity (self/others) as an END and never merely as a MEANS.
Metaphysics of Morals.
Critique of pure reason.
Doctrine of Right, Doctrine of Virtue
Egalitarian - drastic inequality is unfair & unethical
Rawls - people in "original position" would oppose inequality unless it was justified to all
Act & Rule Utilitarians - relief of poverty would bring greatest happiness to greatest number
Nozick - unethical to tax labor of one to give to another
Historically, animals were outside the ethical frame.
Bentham, Utilitarian = animals can experience pleasure or pain. This consideration must be balanced against any offsetting benefit.
1936- American educator/psychologist.
Watching young boys/girls play games. Observed even in young children, boys tend to be oriented towards the "rules of the game" while girls are less focused on rules and often quit playing to avoid conflict.
Ethics of Justice = Men = rules > emotions
Ethics of Care = Women = Consider relationships & responsibilities
It's all about DIVINE COMMAND
What God commands is ethically right and what God prohibits is ethically wrong.
(If God doesn't mention it, we assume it is "maybe OK".)
Aquinas (Christian + Stoic + Aristotle) (Natural Law)
(Natural Law = God commands it because it is wrong)
"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent. "
Universe = organic whole
Philosophy = several planes - the spiritual or religious, moral, political, economic, social, individual and collective. God at core. Human nature = fundamentally virtuous. All are believed to be capable of high moral development and reform.
TRUTH & NONVIOLENCE
emphasis on practical idealism rooted in highest religious idealism
"I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers. "
opposed to political restrictions on individual freedom. Respect for other people means letting them pursue their own concept of what is good.
Freedom of speech, religion & privacy
freedom from coercive interference from the government
Locke, Rand, Mill, Nozick*
Individuals have rights and there are things no person or group may do to them (without violating their rights).
Compared income tax to forced labor and stated that the redistribution of wealth is only justifiable when it is resolving a past injustice.
Libertarian* Later in life he recanted the libertarian position because of implications for the weakest members of society.
Life, Liberty & Property. Tabula Rosa. Empiricist. Father of Classical Liberalism. Treatise on Civil Government, Human Nature.
Moral law. He was a proponent of duty. Motive based on duty=moral.
Categorical Imperative= would you still think it is virtuous if everyone did it? Tell us what to do NOT based on desires. People can only be the end not the means to an end
Doctrine of right=justice & law
Doctrine of virtue=ethics & virtue
Hypothetical Imperative=people who want to achieve a goal they refer to..?
John Locke compared to Thomas Hobbes
Emotivism is a meta-ethical view that claims ethical sentences do not express propositions but emotional attitudes (also known as the hurrah/boo theory)
"Stealing is wrong." This is just an emotional opinion that relates solely to how I feel about this issue.
Corrective Justice - Types of Punishment
Disablement - placing convicted criminal in prison or executing
Deterrence - potential criminals attempt to avoid being imprisoned/executed, so they do not commit crimes
Rehabilitation - prisoners spend time earning an education or learning a trade that can be used once released from prison to avoid the lure of criminal activity.
Using moral statements to prescribe a general course of action. "Stealing is wrong, so no one should steal."
You instinctively know if it is right or wrong.
"Come on man, you know it's not right to steal that."
"An unexamined life is not worth living"
Branches of Ethics
Descriptive = Describes ethical standards of a society
Normative = evaluates and searches for norms in a society, what people should believe to be right or wrong
Applied = applying ethics to specific problems
Meta-Ethics = studying the nature & meaning of moral judgments, terms & concepts
for a pdf (UMass Amherst) with lots of good information describing the difference.
She was instrumental in the creation of the field of feminist studies, and taught what she believes to have been the first feminist philosophy course ever offered
Utilitarianism - What brings about the greatest good for the greatest number of people?
- Bentham, Mills
Act Utilitarianism: The act which brings the greatest increase in overall happiness. Varies with circumstance.
Rule Utilitarianism: Follow moral rules
"It is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong"
Thelogian/Philosopher - Happiness is the basis for philosophy.
Happiness is growing in the knowledge of God.
Man's original nature: depraved & bound by original sin.
Reincarnation or nirvana
Ancestors are honored but not particular gods
Siddhartha Gautama "Buddha" - the enlightened one (was a Brahmin priest)
Life is suffering. 4 noble truths. Live helpful life. Eightfold path.
Happiness comes from being loving, compassionate, patient, forgiving and responsible.
Actions & Duties
And what, monks, is Right View? It is, monks, the knowledge of suffering, the knowledge of the origin of suffering, the knowledge of the cessation of suffering, and the knowledge of the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering. This is called Right View.
Holy community (Aryasamgha)
The reality of human interdependence with all other beings.
cultivate universal awareness, including harmony with nature. Our most important duty is not to harm living beings (ahimsa). All living beings, not just humans, have a correlative right not to be harmed.
"I know that I know nothing"
"Might Makes Right" History of the Peloponnesian Wars.
Athens vs. Melos
Foreign policy=no contract (strongest state rules).
Individuals are basically selfish and not moderated by moral rules (very cynical
of human nature).
- indicate excellence of character = temperance, courage, self- respect, gentleness, truthfulness, generosity (liberality). (learn by habit & practice)
- scientific knowledge, intuition, practical wisdom, skill & wisdom (scientific knowledge + intuition). (learn through instruction)
Autonomy of will to choose mean
teachers/lecturers of virtue & excellence (not philosophers) who taught their beliefs for a high price in Athens where there was free speech and money
1st Relativist - relies on persuasion more than truth. Every point of view is equally valid and different people have different standards of behavior
Growing democratic system in Ancient Greece most likely led to it. They traveled around talking politics with Athenian citizens who were required to participate in politics.
"Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness"
Founder of capitalism.
Common good of society advances when individuals focus on benefiting themselves (moral egoism)
It's all about HAPPINESS
Mill, Bentham, Headonists, Aristotle, Kant, Socrates, Epictitus
John Stuart Mill
Father = Member of Radicals, friend of Bentham.
"On Liberty". Utilitarian.
Only time government has moral authority to limit person's liberty is when harm may occur otherwise.
"The Subjugation of Women"
St. Thomas Aquinas
A 13th century Catholic priest who drew a connection between theology & science. He believed learning about nature was a way to learn about God.
4 Cardinal Virtues : prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance
7 Deadly Sins: pride, avarice, lust, envy, gluttony, anger, sloth
Natural laws are self evident
Laws should punish offenders.
People have a natural inclination to want to protect life & be good.
Liked Aristotle and added faith, hope & love.
Everything in life has a purpose
Similar to physical, scientific laws in that it is universal. Can be discovered through human nature and reason.
Natural law theory
Social contract theory
It's all about CONSEQUENCES
Action is good/bad based on consequences of the action. Focuses on outcomes, not actions.
Hedonism = pleasure/pain
Epicurus = pleasure, no gods influence, moderation
Cyrenean = anything goes
Utilitarianism = good if good consequences outweigh bad for all
Altruism = welfare of others more important than self
Egoism = all about me
Morals vs. Ethics
Ethics = wider view (society, workplace) of what's right or wrong
Morals = someone's personal values & feelings about ethical subjects
Roe v. Wade
1973 Supreme Court ruling. Woman has non-absolute right to choose abortion during the 1st trimester of pregnancy.
1st trimester (1-3 months)
- Woman's sole choice
- State has no authority
2nd trimester (4-6 months)
- Woman's choice
- State may intervene only to protect woman's life
3rd trimester (7-birth)
- State may protect "potential human life" except at risk to mother
Human Understanding Reason
Various Ethical Perspectives
the one that will produce the greatest benefits and least harm
the one that most dutifully respects the rights of all affected
the one that contributes most to the achievement of a quality common life together
the one that embodies the habits and values of humans at their best (right being over right action)
Ask each of these perspectives the question:
"What is the ethical action?"
and they would say....
Ancient Greek theory that deals with the origin of the universe, especially the solar system.
Cosmogony can be distinguished from cosmology, which studies the universe at large and throughout its existence, and which technically does not inquire directly into the source of its origins.
Physical cosmology is the science that attempts to explain all observations relevant to the development and characteristics of the universe as a whole.
The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model of the early development of the universe
" The sum of the areas of the two squares on the legs (a and b) equals the area of the square on the hypotenuse (c)."
a2 + b2 = c2
Ionian Greek, mathematician, founder of "Pythagoreanism" c 570 – c. 495 BC
Great mathematician & scientist. (Pythagorean theorem)
The philosophy associated with him was related to mathematics and numbers were important/magic. Reincarnation. Cosmologist.
He may have been the first man to call himself a philosopher, or lover of wisdom.
Ethics: An Introduction
Marianne Talbot is Director Of Studies in Philosophy at the University of Oxford's Department for Continuing Education
Series of 7 lectures from her class.
This series is the basis for OUDCE’s short online course Ethics: an Introduction
Why do people do wrong?
Rousseau Society has corrupted them
Socrates Don't have knowledge of right
"An unjust law is no law at all"
Veil of Ignorance. Original position. Difference principle. Inequality is only acceptable if it works to the advantage of the worst off in a society.
"Justice as Fairness". Theory of Justice.
This link includes a playlist of many videos I found helpful.
It's all about JUSTICE
"Theory of Justice". (Aristotle also defines Justice in "Nichomachean Ethics")
What is Jus ad Bellum?
When use of force is justified. (right to go to war)
What is Jus in Bello?
Ethical behavior during a war.
Who outlined this theory?
What are the 3 criteria that need to be met in order to go to war?
1. Authorized by proper authority. 2. Good reason (self defense) 3. Peace is the ultimate goal
What 3 criteria neet to be met in during the conduct of a war?
1. War against military only and not civilians. 2. Use of proportional force. 3. Use of minimal force.
"Committing an injustice is worse than suffering one."
Universal (lawful, right, for all)
Particular (distributive, retribution - 2 people)
Slightly describing meta ethics
Meta-ethics = branch of philosophy concerned with what makes moral statements true or false or if they even can be right or wrong
Morality should be valued in itself and relate to our understanding of the world and our place in it. Moral choices are related to our understanding of life.
Golden Mean - the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency
recklessness --- courage --- cowardice
"The Social Contract". Man's original nature = good. General Will - vote is the best thing for most people in a society. Direct Democracy. People can revolt at any time. Inspiration for the French Revolution. DON'T give up freedoms to a government. No political parties - everyone should represent themselves and participate in making & obeying laws. Disobey laws = forced to be free.
People are naturally inclined to self protection & pity others
Discourse on Political Economy
Snazzlefrag's Study Notes
Body dies, soul immortal.
Ahimsa - do no harm
Vedic, Bhagavadgita - writings
Samsara - religion
karma - actions determine what happens to you
Dharma - righteous duties of person to people and gods.
Brahmins, Kshatriyas, vaisyas, sudras, pariah (untouchables)
Cows are sacred
Actions & Duties
"The Republic" The Soul can be compared to an Ideal City.
Reason (Intellect) = Rulers (Philosopher-kings)
Appetite (desire) = Workers (producers motivated by some greed)
Spirit (emotions, honor) = Guardians/Warriors (unselfish, moral & courageous)
Political justice replaces democracy & tyranny
1. Rule: non contradiction
2. reason contradicts appetite so they are separate
3. spirit contradicts appetite & reason so it too must be separate
It's all about EXCELLENCE
The pursuit of excellence is most often linked with Ancient Greece.
Arete Greek word - in its basic sense, means "excellence of any kind".
Absolute law rules the universe and humans can't change fate.
Virtue requires living & acting according to reason and self-control
Epictetus (Roman slave tortured by his master exemplified this philosophy)
the Handbook "Enchiridion"
Focused her research on origins of care within the home (parent-child relationships)
Natural caring - care because of attachment, friendship or love
Ethical caring - care because it's the "right thing to do"
If some men are entitled by right to the products of the work of others, it means that those others are deprived of rights and condemned to slave labor. Any alleged "right" of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right.
Me, Me, Me, Me...
Egoism, Consequential. No man has the right to force another to do something. Reason = values and action. Objectivism - Rational happiness is the highest moral purpose. Opposed Kant.
a priori - you are born with some intuitions that you know to be true before you have any experience (Plato's forms, Descartes, Aquinas) Causality, Space, Substance, Time (CSST)
a posteriori - ideas form after contact with reality. Relies on information from your experience (Empiricism, Hume, Mill)
Phenomena are the appearances, which constitute our experience - refers to anything that appears to, or is an object of, the senses
noumena are the (presumed) things themselves, which constitute reality - object or event that is known (if at all) without the use of the senses (Plato ideas = noumenal realm)
Our a priori judgments apply to the phenomenal realm, not the noumenal.
Double Effect Principle
Summa Theologica - St. Thomas Aquinas
Action can have 2 effects - Good & Bad
1. Object of act must be good. Do good, avoid evil.
2. Bad must not have been intended but can be tolerated as foreseen
3. Good can't come from result of evil effect.
4. Foreseen good greater than or equal to evil tolerated.
Never ok to do evil even if good results
Plato - wrong unless gods encourage it
Stoic - acceptable when it seems like a reasonable and justifiable act
Jews & Christians - believe God prohibits suicide
Utilitarian - moral only if increases total happiness of everyone involved
Kant - always an immoral act
Active - killing a sick or injured person for the sake of mercy, possibly giving a high dosage of drugs
Passive - letting someone die without attempting to save them
Voluntary euthanasia - Competent and completely informed patient freely requests/consents to death
Nonvoluntary euthanasia - incompetent patient or one who has not given consent
Involuntary euthanasia - Intentionally killing a patient against his/her will - considered murder
Autonomy = informed consent
Heinz Dilemma - a man's wife is dying and the pharmacist who found the cure wants to sell it at a high price. The man cannot afford the medicine and the pharmacist is not willing to negotiate. Should he steal, kill?
3 stages of moral development
1. Pre-moral a. Obedience v.s. development
2. Conventional c. good boy, girl-boys and girls are good so they are seen as being a good person. d. law and social order start
3. Post-conventional e. Social Contract f. universal ethical principle
DANTES test prep
Good information for reviewing the test. Practice test at the end.
"Concerning the gods, I have no means of knowing whether they exist or not, nor of what sort they may be, because of the obscurity of the subject, and the brevity of human life."
Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher
Invented role of professional sophist. (says Plato) Created major controversy stating, "Man is the measure of all things", interpreted by Plato to mean there is no absolute truth, but what individuals deem to be the truth.
Credited with relativism
"Man is the measure of all things"
Emphasizes right being over right action. A person of virtuous character can be depended on to do the right thing. Not an alternative to right conduct theories (utilitarianism & deontological) but complements them.
Supporters: Buddhism, Taoism, feminist care ethics, Hume's moral philosophies, Aristotle, Jesus
Confucian (virtue ethics + deontology)
We are not concerned to know what goodness is, but how we are to become good men, for this alone gives the study (of ethics) its practical value.
Virtue & Vice
virtue = admirable character trait or disposition habitually act to benefit self & others
vice = character trait or disposition to act in a manner that harms self & others
People can't change fate because absolute law rules the universe.
Roman slave gained freedom. Used Socrates teaching style.
Virtuous happy life in the middle of uncertainty "do what's in accordance with nature"
Virtue = choose rightly, free will, nothing forces choice, complete self control, choose reason