PHILOS 2YY3 Lecture Notes - Shelly Kagan, Egotism, Deontological Ethics
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Frankena: Reconciling Ethical Theories & Common Sense Morality
- Moral Categories:
- Extremist View:
o Shelly Kagan, The Limits of Morality
Talk about why common sense of morality struggles to justify itself
o Performing the act with the best consequence in any given situation is considered to
o May accept some constraints – sometimes there are constraints on what you are
allowed to do, even if it would bring about the greatest consequences.
But there is no acceptance of options,
o Criticisms: demanding, alienating, violates autonomy of the action-doer.
- Egoism, nihilism, extreme libertarianism
- Most acts in permitted category; accepts some constraints
- Criticisms: permits too much, no positive duties to others
Common Sense Morality:
- Tries to limit the damands of morality adn sacrifice
- Permitted to favour personal interests
- Forbidden to perform certain acts even if they maximize the good
- “morality is made for man, not man for morality”
- Mixed deontological theory
- 2 principles: beneficence and justice
o Prima facie duties – we have reasons as to why we want to act in the interest of one
or the other.
o Specific rules and judgements derived
- Connection between morally right and making someone’s life good.
- Principle of Beneficence:
o Prima facie obligation to do good and prevent harm
a. Ought not to inflict evil/harm
b. Ought to prevent evil/harm
c. Out to remove evil
d. Ought to do or promote good (but is only required sometimes)
o PROBLEM: doesn’t tell us how to distribute goods and evil
o SOLUTION: adopt a principle of justice
- Principle of Justice
o Distributive justice a matter of comparative treatment of individuals
Unjust to treat similar individuals in similar circumstances differently unless
you can show relevant difference
o How to distribute:
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