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PHIL 1050; Week 9 Notes.docx

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University of Guelph
PHIL 1050
Paul Raymont

PHIL 1050 Week 9 Notes 11/5/2012 10:32:00 AM Monday November 5th, 2012 Utilitarianism - Moral rules sometimes come into conflict with each other - Need to apply considerations about the greatest amount of happiness, using utilitarianism - One problem with utilitarianism, you have a duty to maximize happiness and one way to do this is to produce more happy people - Another problem with utilitarianism (presented by Robert Nozick) deals with happiness machine that would give you happy feelings and would not realize you’re attached to machine, but it would be only an illusion (ignorance is bliss) and that ignores the access to the truth and the awareness of reality - Full moral agents: moral rights and moral duties - Mere moral patients: moral rights, but not moral duties - Tend to think of animals for researching in a utilitarianism view - Utilitarianism, Singer, agrees with animal consumption - If no one owns an animal for example, there is no incentive to ensure that there is more productions and those species are declining in numbers - Relation between full moral agents and mere moral patients PHIL 1050 Week 9 Notes 11/5/2012 10:32:00 AM Wednesday November 7th, 2012 Mills - Does not believe in these abstract rights - Only allows rights against or to certain kinds of treatments and do utilize happiness and utilitarianism - Does not have a government that continues to interfere with people’s lives - Progress towards democracy - Even in a democracy, there can be tyranny - Constitutional democracy is better - Do not allow the majority to gang up on the minority; this idea is central to Mills’ arguments - There is a tendency that people should live in accordance with the popular, common sense ideas of the day - Tendency towards conformance - General conception of how one should live their own life - Right for individuality - Believed that in his society there was a lot of pressure to conform - Main principle on page 583, paragraph “The object of this essay…” - Only when one’s actions start to harm other people, the government can step in - Prevent people from harming others, take away infringing from others’ rights, self liberty - Modern day example of government controlling to prevent harm to oneself is banning of drugs - Mills would not use the basis to ban a particular thing if it only harmed one person’s self, it would have to hurt others - Addictive drugs possibly chipping away liberty and freedom could be used as a basis to ban a particular object - In order to prevent people from harming others, you can have limiting laws, or negative rights - Could also have laws that require actions for people to be given certain kinds of assistance - Tarasoff case - Barbarians (men with beards), for their own good, can be forced to change how they live to better their society - Mills does not mention dementia and other
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