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PHI 2174 - Lecture Notes.docx

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Sophie Rietti

PHI 2174Lecture NotesthJan 8 20141Metaethics what if anything makes something right or wrongMoral relativismValues as subjective or objectiveMorality and religionMorality and selfinterest2Normative ethics how should we actwhat should we be like3Applied ethics rightwrong for particular topics eg duties of aid to the worse offArgumentPremisesConclusionPremisesopointsreasonsmade to support the conclusionConclusionothe main claim being argued forPhilosophical ArgumentsA philosophical argument is a conclusion supported by one or more premisesValidityoArgument is valid when it is not possible that the conclusion could be false if the premises are trueSoundnessoArgument is sound when it is valid and all the premises are trueMoral argumentsMoral Relativism 1 James RachelsCultural relativismoThe view that what is right and wrong depends on cultureIdentifying and assessing arguments for and against moral relativismRachels overall conclusion is that the argument from cultural differences is invalid selfcontradictory based on exaggerated premise and leads to unacceptable conclusionsCultural Relativism1Different cultures have different moral codes2There is no objective standard that can be used to judge one societal code better than another3The moral code of our own society has no special status it is merely one among many4There is no universal truth in ethics that is there are no moral codes that hold for all people at all times5The moral code of a society determines what is right within that society that is if the moral code of a society says that a certain action is right then that action is right at least within that society6It is mere arrogance for us to judge the conduct of other peoples We should adopt an attitude of tolerance towards the practices of other culturesSome factors in cultural differencesDifferent historical backgroundDifferent current contextDifferent beliefsSurface vs deep differencesDegree of contactlack of contact with other culturesthJan 13RachelsDifferent cultures have different views therefore there is no universal objective moral truthoPremise is not clearly falseoThe conclusion does not followoAnswer conclusion may be true but doesnt have to follow from the premise
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