PHIL 237 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Immanuel Kant, Virtue Ethics, Universalizability

25 views2 pages
16 Aug 2016
PHIL 237
Lecture 3
Virtue Ethics: a less popular form of ethics. Until the mid 20th century, contemporary moral
philosophers sought out to reestablish virtue ethics
-Socrates (no first hand info)
-Plato (student of Socrates)
-Aristotle (student of Plato)
Exodus, Chap. 20: 2-17 — The Ten Commandments
-A set of rules and guidelines for people to follow (The Ten Commandments are very popular
guidelines for people to follow)
-Not just specific for Christianity, but is common in many religions
Immanuel Kant — Foundations of Morals
-Moral laws exist a priori in practical reason (they do not depend on empirical experience)
-Morality applies to everyone, must come from reason
-A series of ideas or claims that are considered rational reasons
Two consequences, moral laws are:
1. Objectives as in not subjective are the same for everyone
2. They have a categorical force — considered rational
-Ex. it is not rationally moral to kill your parents
-A moral being acts morally with the intention of complying with these laws for from duty
-Distinction between hypothetical and categorical imperatives (absolute, unconditional
requirement that must be obeyed in all circumstances and is justified as an end in itself)
Formulation of laws:
-Universal or universalizable laws — laws that are valid for everyone at all times (ex. slavery-
most people would agree that morally slavery is wrong)
-Humanity as end in itself, not a mean — treating people in a nice way, as opposed to a mean
way to lead humanity into a better light (treat humans with respect)
-Synthesis of above: harmonious in a kingdom of ends — everyone should be moral and live a
morally rational life
In a world where everyone is moral there would be no problems with people lying
Kant: important **one of the most important texts of western Philosophy or western moral or
political philosophy
-Systematized philosophy and the anthological ethics
-Broad and general ideas that can be found throughout history
Sir William David Ross — What Makes Right Acts Right?
-British philosopher and a translator of Aristotle
-Most well known for The Right and The Good (1930)
6 Prima Facie Duties: duties that humans seem to have right away but are not the final real
duties that people have, used to discuss ethics with a brief list of duties
1. Fidelity: duty to fulfill explicit and implicit promises. agreements which one has entered —
one’s own previous actions
2. Reparation: duty to make up for wrongful acts previously done to others
find more resources at
find more resources at
Unlock document

This preview shows half of the first page of the document.
Unlock all 2 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in

Get access

$10 USD/m
Billed $120 USD annually
Homework Help
Class Notes
Textbook Notes
40 Verified Answers
Study Guides
1 Booster Class
$8 USD/m
Billed $96 USD annually
Homework Help
Class Notes
Textbook Notes
30 Verified Answers
Study Guides
1 Booster Class