PHIL 230 Study Guide - Spring 2019, Comprehensive Final Exam Notes - Consequentialism, Utilitarianism, Mackie

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8 May 2019
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In reading focus on the first paragraph and the first sentence especially
Normative: it focuses on values, rules, norms, guidance for action and how to live.
Morality includes making claims on peoples behaviors - "ought to"
Water is H20
o "is" - fact stating
You ought to refrain form torturing innocents for fun
o "ought to" - rule-stating
"You ought to stand in line for Bieber tickets"
o Apply because of desire
Categorical: moral norms apply to all people, even those who don't care about morality
Supported by special reactions, including esp. blame for wrongdoing
Question Macke is trying to answer:
o How do moral norms come to exist in the world?
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1/17
Defining Features of Morality
1. Normative
a. Its about rules, norms; gives guidance for action
2. Categorical
a. Morality apples even to those who don’t care about it
3. Specific reactions are justified, such as blame and punisment
Introduction to Practical Ethics
Most people want to live morally good and decent lives
What will determine whether someone did so?
Reasons --> Decisions --> Actions --> Good Life
An Action is something that results from a certain type of process
Reasons: beliefs, principles, values
Hypothesis: By finding better reasons, we can live better lives
Philosophers try to identify good oral reasons by using arguments
What is an argument?
Argument: set of sentences, some of which, the premises, are designed to support another, the
conclusion.
Conclusion: the claim the author is trying to establish
Premises: the reasons or evidence the author provides in support of the conclusion
[ Analogy: think of Law and Order -- jack McCoy offers evidence (premises) in support of the
conclusion that the defendant is guilty]
The Ideal: offer evidence that is so strong, it rationally compels your reader to accept the
conclusion
EXAMPLE:
Premise 1: Intentionally causing suffering for no good reason is always wrong
Premise 2: Torturing for fun is intentionally causing suffering for no good reason
Conclusion: Torturing for fun is always wrong
Two crucial questions we can ask about any argument:
1. Are the premises true?
2. Do they provide adequate support for the conclusion?
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