PHL 603 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Immanuel Kant, Seat Belt, Categorical Imperative

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Published on 16 Oct 2011
School
Ryerson University
Department
Philosophy
Course
PHL 603
Professor
Descriptive how things are (what is the case)
Prescriptive (ethics) how things should be (what ought to be the case)
- The ought of ethics ( morality)
- The ought of prudence regard to one’s own interests (
conditional/ify in nature)
Egoism all people are motivated ultimately by only self interest
Altruism action that has no selfish payback
Cultural relativism - moral standards are created by each culture. A
person ought to act in accord with their cultures standards
Utilitarianism the good determines the right, greatest good for the
greatest number of people
- Act always to maximize the good (happiness) and minimize the bad
(suffering)
- Bentham, J.S. Mill
- Trolley case, do you hit the switch
- Objection to utilitarianism: how do we measure happiness/ misury
Deontology emphasis on following moral rules, regardless of
consequences
Immanuel Kant- categorical imperative standard of rationality from
which all moral requirements are derived
- capacity for free rational (autonomy) agency
- Always treat humanity as an end (in itself) and not solely as a means
to an end
- Two ways to value something 1. Instrumental means to an end 2.
Intrinsic end within itself
Autonomy guide one’s life based on their own law
Paternalism to compel someone to do something for their own
sake/benefit (seat belt law)
Moral agent has rights and duties
Mere moral patient has rights but no duties
Nozick
- Utilitarianism for animals, Kantianism for humans
Categories to determine humans (moral patients) from non humans
- Sentience capacity to feel pain/pleasure
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Document Summary

Descriptive how things are (what is the case) Prescriptive (ethics) how things should be (what ought to be the case) The ought of prudence regard to one"s own interests ( conditional/ ify in nature) Egoism all people are motivated ultimately by only self interest. Altruism action that has no selfish payback. Cultural relativism - moral standards are created by each culture. A person ought to act in accord with their cultures standards. Utilitarianism the good determines the right, greatest good for the greatest number of people. Act always to maximize the good (happiness) and minimize the bad (suffering) Trolley case, do you hit the switch. Objection to utilitarianism: how do we measure happiness/ misury. Deontology emphasis on following moral rules, regardless of consequences. Immanuel kant- categorical imperative standard of rationality from which all moral requirements are derived capacity for free rational (autonomy) agency. Always treat humanity as an end (in itself) and not solely as a means to an end.