PHIL 1550 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Deontological Ethics, Categorical Imperative, Kantian Ethics

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Philo
Jan 10
Consequentialism
-the morality of an act depends upon the ends achieved, even if the act itself Is considered bad
-utilitarianism: an action is good if it creates a better aggregate of pleasure rather than pain (classical
utilitarianism)
-Betham is first to consider animals in his morality.
-Mill believes in qualitative distinction between pleasures. Certain kinds of pleasure/pain are richer.
-Peter Sihger keystone philosopher of utilitarianism. Started animal rights. When an infant is born with
severe diseases, mental illness etc.. parents should decide if they want to end his life. Sihger thinks that
ethics is about creating most amount of happiness. Animals have preferences not to be tortured or kill.
-producing the most good is hard to wage. Moral absolutes don’t guarantee that decisions will pan out.
Not a rights based theory.
-human beings do not have rights.
-rule utilitarianism: adopt rules which produce greatest happiness.
-tends to discriminate against minorities. Happiness for greatest numbers, minorities lose out.
Deontology
-2nd most popular moral framework.
-morality is about absolute moral principles
-intentions are important.
-moral laws are unbreakable laws
-immanuel knat
-categorical imperative: if my action can become a universiable action then it is morally acceptable. If
stealing is universal propriety would be meaningless, as well stealing.
-based on Kantian ethics, intentions must be good.
Virtue Theory
-Aristotle most famous virtue theorist
-what kind of moral qualities does a person have
-kinds of properties a moral person has
-doesn’t help us make decisions, helps us cultivate excellences
-different accounts of virtue across history
Feminist Ethics
-pursuit involves ethics of care but also critique of ethics throughout history.
-they will say ethics have been prejudice against women
-they spin things and ask themselves what the impact of certain events will have on women
-not its own kind of theory, more like deontology with a specialized feminist tune.
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