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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 164
Professor
Olsen
Semester
Spring

Description
1.) Utilitarianism: Conditions of Rightness: An action is morally right, if and only if no other act the agent could have done instead that has a higher utility than it. a.) Utility: Hedon-Dolors (total pleasure-total pain): An act is the result of subtracting the sum of the doloric values of all the episodes of pain that would occur as consequences of that act from the sum of the hedonic values of all of the episodes of pleasure that would occur as consequences of that act. b.) Hedon: A unit of pleasure c.) Dolor: A unit of pain 2.) Promise to the dead man: Grandfather and grandson stranded on island. One day the grandfather is about to die. He tells the grandson to promise him to bury him in a good place. a.) 1.) If Utilitarianism is true, then the grandson is not morally obligated to keep promise. 2.) But he made a solemn promise to his grandfather. 3.) So, Utilitarianism is not true. b.) Premise 1: Morally Obligated: is an action that has the highest utility of any other action the agent could have done instead. Technical Terms: Utility: total pleasure=total pain. Utilitarianism: An action is right if and only if there is not other action the agent could have done instead that has higher utility than it has. Morally Obligations: Morally Ought to do, required. Rationale: Utilitarianism states that an action is obligatory if it has the most utility out of all the other possible actions. But according to U7, he is not morally obligated to bury the body. This is because it does not have the highest utility. Thus, it must be true that his grandson should not keep his promise with his grandfather because it does not have the highest utility out of all the other actions he could have done. c.) Premise 2: Intuitively, it is wrong to break a promise. He made a solemn promise to his grandfather and should not use it for some other means. Thus, it is safe to say that he should keep his promise to his grandfather because it is intuitive that one should keep his/her promises. d.) It is a valid argument. Valid: A valid argument is an argument whose conclusion must be true if its premises are true. There is no possible way for the premises to be true and the conclusion false. Sound: An argument is sound because it is valid and has all true premises. e.) Thus, the argument is both valid and sound. This is because it has all true premises and conclusion. f.) This is in the form of Modus Tollens: (If p, then q; Not q; So, not p). g.) The premise that can be the most arguable is the second premise. This is because it relies on intuition alone. Thus, a premise without sufficient proof could be argued upon by utilitarianism. Also, it can be argued by Utilitarianisms that they should still follow whichever has the highest utility and that this is a special case. 3.) Valid: A valid argument is an argument whose conclusion must be true if its premises are true. There is no possible way for the premises to be true and the conclusion false. Sound: An argument is sound because it is valid and has all true premises. 4.) Kant’s Second Formulation Of the Categorical Imperative: An act is right if and only if, the agent in performing it refrains from, treating any person merely as a means. 5.) Kant’s first Two ways: a.) “A treats B merely as a means =df. A treats B in such a way that if B knew all about it, then B would not want A to treat him in that way. Problem: If a person prevents anyone from doing something immoral, then they would be treating them merely as a means; thus, it is not right. For example, locking your bike to prevent a person from stealing it. => Treating merely as a means. But they are not really treating as a means. Mutually treating as a means. b.) “A treats B merely as a means = df: B has some goals and A could help B to achieve that goal, but A refrains from doing so. Problem: What if goal is irrational? Locking bike example. Treating them merely as a means because it is preventing him from achieving immoral goal. 6.) Fetus: An unborn human (member of the species homo sapiens) from the moment of conception until birth. Phil 164 df: Abortion: Woman intentionally brings about the death of her fetus. Vaughn df Abortion: The ending of a pregnancy. => Problem: giving birth = end of pregnancy. Then that means giving birth is an abortion. 7.) Fundamental Question of Abortion (FQA): Under what circumstances, if any, is it morally right for a woman to have an abortion. Finnis’s Answer: It is never right for a woman to have an abortion intentionally/unintentionally. => it is always wrong. Thomson: It is morally permissible for a woman to have an abortion in cases where it is necessary to save her life and in cases of rape. Utilitarianism: It is morally right for a woman to have an abortion when it has at least as much utility as anything she could do instead. Kantianism: It is morally right for a woman to have an abortion when, in having an abortion, refrains from treating any person merely as a means. (if fetus=person, then treating as a means => so wrong, but if not, then true). 8.) Finnis’s Master Argument against Abortion: a.) 1.) if a fetus is a person, then it is wrong for a woman to intentionally bring about death of her fetus. 2.) A fetus is a person. 3.) So, it is wrong for a woman to have an abortion (intentionally bringing about death of her fetus. b.) Technical Terms: Person: Something that has moral standings/rights especially a right to life. 9.) Rationale: P1: Finnis describes how intentionally harming innocent persons is always wrong. Thus, if a fetus is a person, then it is wrong to kill a fetus. Problem: Donating blood, harming self, but not wrong. Example: Forcing a person to either give a paper cut to another person or the kidnapper will kill both, but a paper cut to the guy will save everyone. Thus, harming the person will help all. Rationale: P2: If x will naturally develop into y, then x is already a y. Thus, by principle a fetus is already a person because a fetus eventually becomes a person in the future. Problem: Caterpillar becomes a butterfly. A butterfly is not called a caterpillar. They are not caterpillars their entire life nor are they butterfly their entire life. There is a differentiation between the two. 10.) Thomson rejects premise one of Finnis’ master argument. This is because of the case of the Unconscious Violinist. This shows that it is ok to harm a person because there is no obligation to them. It is not obligatory to help the violinist. Tooley rejects premise two of the Master Argument against Abortion. This is because he believes that fetus/infant do not have a right to life. This is because it is not a person. A person has a moral right to life. Fetus/infant does not have a concept o
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