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PHIL215 Lecture Notes - S&P 500 Index, Elitism, Deontological Ethics

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Brian Orend

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PHIL 215
Midterm worth 45%,
Take-home Final worth 55%
Don't have to buy the book. Attend lectures and it's hard not to do well.
Lecture #1
Why do we care about ethics?
Generally, good ethics lead to good business.
Madoff - Ponzi scheme (Pyramid Scam) "147 years sentence"
- middle class
- wanted to go to upperclass
- considered working legitimately vs. going with a scam.
- saved up $60k initial sum
- went to a couple of "suckers", billy and sally who each have $100k to start with.
- (S&P 500 is about 6.5% over the past 100 years)
- on Jan 1st, invest 100k from billy and sally.
- on Dec 31st, pays out 30k each to billy and sally.
- On the next year, Madoff asks each of billy and sally to get 2 more friends
- On the next year, Madoff has 600K from 6 ppl, and only has to pay out 30k x6
- His son turned him in.
What does it mean to behave ethically?
- To gain insight from the 5 theories: (all have strengths, but all have flaws)
1. Virtue
2. Deontology
3. Consequentialism
4. Rights based
5. Feminism
We shall use a plural of these above, because:
1. Wisdom of multiple advisors
2. Wisdom of NOT going with your gut (instincts/intuition are usually from your earliest
upbringing - parental, religious, etc - conditioned to simply be most comfortable)
3. Minimize chance of getting in trouble
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