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PHL277 Sept 10.doc

Course Code
Philip Clark

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PHL277 Lecture Notes Typed
First Class, September 10, 2012
There are two main questions for this course:
How am I going to live my life? (moral, more individual)
How are we going to live our life together? (political, societal)
Perhaps some answers or goods to these questions are better than others, but what defines
better? And for whom?
Are there truths about what is better? Subjectively there can be? Perhaps analysing what is
better by question and cause can help find an answer?
But do truths have to be universal? Meaning do they have to mean the same thing, or hold the
same value everywhere and if they don’t, can they be considered a truth?
What does better? Is it a shared understanding and if that is the case, what do we share? How
does that apply to universal truths.
Perhaps, it is possible to know what is better versus what feels better. For example, I know that
going to the dentist is better but drinking coke and watching a movie feels better.
By looking at the consequences of viable options we can determine what is better on a number
of factors.
Hobbes, he argued:
we call good the things we want or like
so “x is good” means “I want x” or “I like x”
For example, Going to the dentist is good really means I like going to the dentist or I want to go
to the dentist.
Objections to the conclusion? i) Infallibility ii) disagreements
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