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PHIL1550 Full Notes for the Entire Year

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Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHIL 1550
Professor
all

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PHIL1550
PHILOSOPHY MIDTERM FEBRUARY 5 TH
Moral theory: account of whether something is right or wrong
Moral Relativism
Morality is relative to the culture which it takes place
"It's okay for that culture to do that because they have different values than us"
Morals are context dependent
Divine Command Theory
Right or wrong has been decided by God
Moral Absolutism: morality is either right or wrong
Problem: many religions
Are things moral because God said so or does God say so because it is moral?
Killing is wrong because God said so vs. God said so because killing is wrong
Killing is wrong because God said so: if he changes his mind the next day and
says thou shall kill, does that make it correct now?
God said so because killing is wrong: if this is the case, then God is limited and he
is not infinite
"What determines whether an action is morally permissible?"
Consequentialism
Act Consequentialism: permissibility of action is based on how good consequences are
Utilitarianism: everyone's interests count, and similar interests must be counted as having
similar weight or importance
Act Utilitarianism: must create more good than harm
Preference Utilitarianism: how well one's preferences are satisfied
Perfectionist Utilitarianism: some things are objectively good for someone even if they
don't care about them
Rule Utilitarianism
Rules that describe how the greater good is produced
Bentham
Utilitarianism: maximize pleasure, minimize pain for the greatest number
Hedonistic and classical utilitarianism
Measure morality by how much pain or pleasure it produces
Outcome of actions are the most important
Mill
Human good > animal good
Singer
Decisions are moral based on the overall amount of good that they produce
Utilitarianist: to produce the most utility
Ex: child is very disabled and this could affect parent's lives; thus, it's okay to end
child's life
Focus is on preference - what you prefer constitutes itself as happiness
Ex: if you enjoy inserting nails in your hands, well that's fine because it's your
happiness
Unlike Mill, includes the fact that animals do have preferences but they are NOT
rights
Utilitarianists would be vegetarian, but if there came a time where it is necessary
to eat meat (such as starvation), eating an animal would be the accepted as it creates
the best good
Humans do not have rights either
If killing one person would save a bunch more, then doing so would create good
utility and increase total happiness
Criticism of utilitarianism:
Can't predict all outcomes
Define usefulness
Instead of buying a coffee, one should be donating the money - too demanding of
a theory
Discriminates against minorities as it is for the greater number
If immoral person does moral things, consequentialism agrees - intentions are not
important
Deontology
Intention of the acts are important (unlike consequentialism)
Absolute morals
Don't depend on consequences or divine will
Kant
Test for morality: universality test or categorical imperative
If you can universalize an action, then it's okay
If stealing was universal, then property would be meaningless and the notion of
theft is as well
If one was hiding from a killer in your backyard, you would be obliged to tell the
killer where that person is
Human life should never be sacrificed
Problem: if someone were to get into your house and want to kill your children, then
technically you shouldn't be allowed to kill this person
Human rights
Virtue Ethics
Aristotle
Focus on the virtues individuals have
What type of person is a moral person?
Virtues help create moral people, not moral actions
Virtues depend on context
Therefore who knows what virtues people should have if they differ in time and place
Feminist Ethics/Ethics of Care
Morality is about individuals and their feelings
Emphasizes feminine virtues
Evaluation of ethics in practice through time
Women's experiences must be taken into account
Deontological theory (theory of rights) that focuses on women's concerns
Abortion
LECTURE
Who and what counts in ethics?
Moral considerability: Is a being morally considerable? Who/what counts?
Abortion = intentional removal of a fetus at a woman's request, before the fetus has come
to term, resulting in the death of the fetus
Pro-life: deny a woman's right to abortion
Pro-choice: woman's right to abortion
Pro-life argument:
1. Killing an innocent human being is wrong
2. A fetus is an innocent being
3. Therefore, abortion is wrong
Thomson attacks 'killing an innocent human being is wrong'
oSays a fetus is a human person well before birth
oViolinist analogy: you've been kidnapped, you wake up in the hospital next to a
violinist, you're attached to him and you must be in bed and attached to him for 9
months in order for him to live because you have the proper genetic material. You can
unplug yourself, but if you do, he'll die.
You have the right to unplug yourself because you have not consented to
support another human being
It would be nice to stay there, but you have no duty to stay
Scenario represents more of a rape vs. the fact that people have consented
to sex knowing the risks
However, if there was attempt to avoid pregnancy with contraception, do
you still have the right to 'unplug yourself' or is abstinence truly the way to
'avoid pregnancy'?
What if you had to be plugged to the violinist for minutes rather than 9
months? Of course you have the right to unplug yourself, however you'd be an
ass hole. Justified, but indecent.
Indecent scenario: you're pregnant for 7 months and you want to fit into a
dress for Prom. You abort your child
Need to specify the circumstances where abortion is permissible
Warren attacks 'a fetus is an innocent being'
oDefine human being:
Is a fetus biologically human? Yes, has a genome

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Description
PHIL1550THPHILOSOPHY MIDTERM FEBRUARY 5 Moral theory account of whether something is right or wrong Moral RelativismMorality is relative to the culture which it takes placeIts okay for that culture to do that because they have different values than usMorals are context dependent Divine Command TheoryRight or wrong has been decided by GodMoral Absolutism morality is either right or wrong Problem many religionsAre things moral because God said so or does God say so because it is moralKilling is wrong because God said so vs God said so because killing is wrongKilling is wrong because God said so if he changes his mind the next day and says thou shall kill does that make it correct nowGod said so because killing is wrong if this is the case then God is limited and he is not infinite What determines whether an action is morally permissible ConsequentialismAct Consequentialism permissibility of action is based on how good consequences areUtilitarianism everyones interests count and similar interests must be counted as having similar weight or importanceAct Utilitarianism must create more good than harmPreference Utilitarianism how well ones preferences are satisfiedPerfectionist Utilitarianism some things are objectively good for someone even if they dont care about themRule UtilitarianismRules that describe how the greater good is producedBenthamUtilitarianism maximize pleasure minimize pain for the greatest numberHedonistic and classical utilitarianismMeasure morality by how much pain or pleasure it producesOutcome of actions are the most importantMillHuman goodanimal goodSingerDecisions are moral based on the overall amount of good that they produceUtilitarianist to produce the most utilityEx child is very disabled and this could affect parents lives thus its okay to end childs lifeFocus is on preferencewhat you prefer constitutes itself as happinessEx if you enjoy inserting nails in your hands well thats fine because its your happinessUnlike Mill includes the fact that animals do have preferences but they are NOT rightsUtilitarianists would be vegetarian but if there came a time where it is necessary to eat meat such as starvation eating an animal would be the accepted as it creates the best goodHumans do not have rights eitherIf killing one person would save a bunch more then doing so would create good utility and increase total happinessCriticism of utilitarianismCant predict all outcomesDefine usefulnessInstead of buying a coffee one should be donating the moneytoo demanding of a theoryDiscriminates against minorities as it is for the greater numberIf immoral person does moral things consequentialism agreesintentions are not important DeontologyIntention of the acts are important unlike consequentialismAbsolute moralsDont depend on consequences or divine willKantTest for morality universality test or categorical imperativeIf you can universalize an action then its okayIf stealing was universal then property wouldbe meaningless and the notion of theft isas wellIf one was hiding from a killer in your backyard you would be obliged to tell the killer where that person isHuman life should never be sacrificedProblem if someone were to get into your house and want to kill your children then technically you shouldnt be allowed to kill this personHuman rights Virtue EthicsAristotleFocus on the virtues individuals haveWhat type of person is a moral personVirtues help create moral people not moral actionsVirtues depend on contextTherefore who knows what virtues people should have if they differ in time and place Feminist EthicsEthics of CareMorality is about individuals and their feelings
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