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PHIL 2070 Chapter Notes -Monism


Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHIL 2070
Professor
Susan Dimock

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PHIL 2070 Feb. 24
Moral Pluralism
Two Types of Moral Pluralism
- (1) Pluralism of moral principles: plurality of moral principles which are
equally fundamental, none of these principles can be subsumed under or
explained in terms of another
- (2) Pluralism of values: there is a plurality of values, none of which can be
explained in terms of the others, there is no master value in which to compare the
others, they are incommensurable
Monism is the Opposition of Pluralism
-Monism: There is a single overarching moral principle, from which more specific
moral principles or conclusions can be derived
Moral Pluralism of Principles: Prima Facie Duties
- Duties that would apply if there were no other countervailing moral
considerations
- Ross believes that these prima facie duties will often come into conflict, and when
they do, there is no overarching moral principle that tells us how the conflict
should be resolved
- When there is conflict between two or more duties, we must evaluate the
circumstances carefully, what we ought to do in this case with all things
considered, making a choice of the more compelling of the two duties
Critics of Moral Pluralism of Principles
- This theory leaves a wide range of our moral thought unspecified
- The point of constructing a moral theory is due to the fact that we are often unsure
of our judgment in particular cases
- Monist’s provide that have the one single overarching principle will erase this
conundrum of our confidence in our decisions, pointing to one standard to
evaluate our thoughts to
Defenses by Moral Pluralists of Principles
- Ross would respond by saying that the adequacy of a theory is judge on how well
it encompasses our moral convictions not its efficiency or simplicity, if it were
based on simplicity, that would be wrong (period table example: 4 element table
vs. modern table)
- Two or more principles may converge on a specific moral issue rather than
conflicting, allowing for a more thorough explanation of the moral action taken
Moral Pluralism of Values
- There is no authoritative moral principle on which we can assess these values
making them incommensurable
- By feeling regret from the decisions we make over others, we prove that values
cannot be measured to a single unit since that would make decision making a very
simple task
Critics of Moral Pluralism of Values
- Whether we can ever make a rational choice between values that come into
conflict
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