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Lecture 2

Week 2 - DEONTOLOGY AND VIRTUE ETHICS

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHL 302
Professor
Meredith Schwartz
Semester
Fall

Description
Week 2 DEONTOLOGY AND VIRTUE ETHICSSeptember1511135 PMCategorical imperative something you do for the sake of something elseExplain the main approach of deontology What are the strengths of this approach and what are the 1Extrinsic outsideweaknesses of this approachIntrinsic inside Kantism is pretty much the opposite of utilitarianism in every significant way DeontologyKantismFor utilitarians happiness has intrinsic value for Kant only a good will doesFor utilitarians the consequences of our actions are what count for Kant what is important is that we perform the right action for the right reasonHow Kants theory worksThe Good WillFor Kant only a good will is intrinsically good All positive attributes intelligence courage resolution wit are valuable only when they are accompanied by a good willWithout the presence of a good will these traits will make the possessor worse the humour of a murderer the intelligence of a child molester and the courage of a bank robber add no moral worth to these peopleA good will remains good even if it accomplishes nothing ReasonPlays a central role in Kants theoryWhat makes a good will good is its willingness to act in accordance with the rules laws or obligations dictated by reason Reason tells us what we ought to doMoral truths such as do not lie or do not cheat is discovered by reason and absolute These truths exist in the world regardless of whether we acknowledge them or not Everyone should come up with the same moral rules since they are discovered not made up through the exercise of reasonDutiesThe act is morally good only when it is done for the sake of dutyTwo identical actions performed in identical circumstances can carry different moral weights one will be truly moral while the other will only have that appearanceExample two politicians giving speeches one is motivated by his desire to do good in his community while the other does it for power and greedMotives affect how people behave over time Acting for the sake of duty will continue to produce the morally appropriate actions while acting for other reasons will notYour own motives will eventually shine through Duties and inclinations are opposed we usually desire to do other than what duty demands of us Only duty can be counted on to ensure that we follow moral rulesThe Categorical ImperativeImperatives tell us to do something categorical imperatives tell us to do something without regard for the consequences because the action is morally required have the form Do XThey are absolute they admit of no exceptionsHypothetical imperatives in contrast have the form if you want A you should do B They are dependent of desires and goals and because inclinations and duties are often o
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