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PHLA11H3 Lecture Notes - General Idea, Consequentialism, Naturalistic Fallacy

Course Code
Ronaldde Sousa

of 2
PHLA11 lecture 2
-Philosophy-like and unlike religion, like and unlike science
-No universal agreement.
-When an agreement is made is becomes a science (psych, chem, physics..)
-Valid vs. invalid arguments, sound vs. unsound(premises may not be true or prove
-Non decuctive argument, premises create a good conclusion but not the most
supportive evidence.
-Question everything.
Issue of naturalistic fallacy- to take facts and determine what is good and what is
Propositions are true or false, arguments can not be true or false.
A valid argument means that you can not believe the conclusion w/o believing the
An audience must persuade a particular audience, must satisfy questions and
Subjective argument ^
Objective argument- with a goal in mind, not necessarily persuading the other
person with logical premises.
A legitimate argument is both.
No such thing as a compelling argument. Just because an argument is valid that does
not mean that all parts of arguments will comply with people’s beliefs.
One must always bear in mind the goal of the person arguing.
We are not good at understanding probability.
Be careful with statistics, a test that is 98% accurate does not mean that if you test
positive there is a not 2% chance it is wrong. There is a 20% chance you have it.
The accumulation of facts alone does not show that something is valuble. “the bible
says so”
Additional premise necessary.
8 sorts of reasons:
1. Divine command (what would Jesus do?)
2. Utilitarianism (consequentialism of people’s pleasure and pain, utility-
designates general idea of welfare or happiness. Right vs. wrong based on
consequences.) Push man onto tracks, only one life is ended instead of 5.
3. Deontology-What any rational agent must do(Deon=duty, should vs.
shouldn’t, appeals to reason “correctness” Emanual Kant) Thou shalt not kill.
We will not push man onto tracks.
4. Virtue Ethics-Do I want to be the kind of person that pushes a man on the
5. Natural Law-can be most influential. “we should try to understand what is it
that nature intends” weird because nature is not an agent, does not have a
6. Evolutionary Ethics- What did evolution decree? Everything in our nature is
a result of evolution, we are different as a species as a result of natural
selection. We are the product of a certain kind of evolution. Contradicts
naturalistic fallacy. Does not answer question of what we should do.
7. Emotionism-emotions brought in to help understand what is happening
when making a moral judgment. Instinctive response=emotional.
8. Contractualism-What would everyone agree on? Russo, Locke
Summarize divine command.