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PHIL 2101 March 18, 2014.docx

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PHIL 2101
Gordon Davis

• Is it objectively true that different things have value? o Canonically considered as sources of hedonic value that are sometimes painful (and hence are poss, non-hedonic values): i. Deep interpersonal relationships (eg. Love and friendship) i. Personal autonomy (Not just a metaphys, sense, just that of being able to make one's own decisions/priorities) i. Accomplishments (achieving something, even when one might be content with an effort or partial i. success) i. Knowledge and understanding o Could pain be part of the effect rather than the process? o On basis of reasoning, science, or intellectual orientation, would that mean she changes her view? • Is it intrinsically painful?  There is a way of understanding that is detached • There is a large question, the point is whether pain can come from them rather than through them • Is pain necessary bad? -> if you saved a child and hurt yourself  Or else we are rationalizing it • Pain is always a subtraction to our ideas  Premodern thought rationalized by redefining what pain is o Idea of liking pain -> brings us to desire • Pleasure should be good if it is harmless  Utilitarians are harmless by keeping things in the future • It is not that far from pleasure as happiness • They assume that if they get things right, they will spread happiness into society  If someone likes pain, we switch to a desire based theory • Good if and when they satisfy a person's desires  If someone enjoys being in pain, you could potentially measure it by how often they get the opportunity to fulfill this desire  Could argue that the pain gives them pleasure • Does it give them happiness-> it is a broad concept, tinker with it so that pain constitutes happiness -> with pleasure it would be a radical redefinition • Is pleasure just things that fulfil our desire? Measure of good things that make us more objective -> advantage for Bentham, step forward, was to isolate something that was physiological • Pleasure is not whatever people want, it is the quality of the sensation that you can measure in a brain scan, at least you will be talking about something objective  In the relm of ethical theory now • We have the type of right action (utilitarian; promote, maximize, scope, can be precise about the relevant scope)  Then we measure the axiology (theory of value) • What is it that any moral theory should aim about?  All of it is about axiology and various claims are true regardless of whether we can maximize, violate rights, etc. • In a way there is a theory
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