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Lecture

PHIL 2101 January 28, 2014.docx
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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 2101
Professor
Gordon Davis
Semester
Winter

Description
Midterm: February 6th • Optional essay topics: refer more to the midterm test notes • Last of the topics is about Buddhist topics • Which approach gives more of a value of the view of Aristotle o Topic of selfhood -> have talked about weakness of will and doing the thing that we need to do o Metaphysical topic : what is the self? • What constitutes my being me? Is there a particular set of rules? Standards?  Virtue based ideas of Plato and Aristotle • Abstract good:  Question of whether you would really be yourself if you merged with the good  Plato: if you transcend the virtue, your identity may be different o Instrumentalist view of the virtues would be that virtues are only good for what they bring in the way of benefits o Pytagoras's account in that they contribute to social issues o Looked like his underlying view, all of the value consists in what they are o Could be overall happiness or our happiness, efficiency, general happiness • Would the virtues be worth having? • Virtues may be important and things that everyone to have, may still be instrumental in their value • The usual view of Aristotle is that he disagrees, that he believes that some virtues have value for their own sake o A little life pleasure, like an ice cream cone, are not pursued for pleasures afterwards • Only way to justify or explain having the ice cream cone would be for its own sake  Some intrinsic values are not that important • Idea of pleasures being important or not -> are they intrinsically valuable? o Intrinsic value: Something that is good for its own sake • Is this also true of the virtues? • Virtues somehow bring happiness • There is an op]en question of what he means, does he mean that we cultivate virtues because they lead to happiness?  Or does having the virtues mean that there is happiness? • They may have happiness in themselves o Good is ambiguous • Is it good because it is good in itself • Or is it good because it leads us to other things? • Is it good because of its instrumentality? • Important is usefully broad, can talk about important beliefs, landmarks, etc.  Is something instrumentally valuable to improve lives  Or is it important because it is true and it is a truth that someone has not seen before?  If it's important in that sense, are we really talking about ethics? • Good in regards of beliefs or efforts • Roughly speaking, when talking about means to ends, we are talking about things with potential instrumental value • When we are talking about ends, they are the goals to which we are making efforts  Ends have something of intrinsic value  One reason why Plato was on the right track by using the phrase of "the good" it made it easier to understand when an 'end' was an intrinsic value  We value the end really because it leads to something else • Let's say in society, our policy makers value productivity, as a means or an ends? • Productive for the sake of being productive? • Productivity in the narrow sense, if you increase productivity as a means to an end  Is it intrinsically valuable? • Economic growth just means that there is more money and resources per person, they can spend on whatever they want • We don't know what people want so they're not
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