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CAS PH 150 (11)
Chapter 2

Chapter 2 FOE.docx

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Department
Philosophy
Course
CAS PH 150
Professor
Matt Cartmill
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 2 The Fundamentals of Ethics Is Happiness all that matters? Major concerns of Hedonism: • The Paradox of Hedonism: o Those who try really hard to make themselves happier almost never succeed. o Paradox of Hedonism argument:  1. If happiness is the only thing that directly makes us better off, then it is rational to single-mindedly pursue it  2. It isn’t rational to do that.  3. Therefore, happiness isn’t the only thing that directly makes us better off. o Being too eager about some things is self-defeating and people should try less hard sometimes and we should not aim for happiness directly • Evil Pleasures o Some people enjoy themselves to other’s expense. o Argument from Evil Pleasures:  1. If hedonism is true, then happiness that comes from evil deeds is as good as happiness that comes from kind and decent actions  2. Happiness that comes from evil deeds is not as good as happiness that comes from kind and decent actions  3. Therefore, hedonism is false. o This argument fails; hedonists do not think each episode of happiness is as morally good as every other. They think that the same amount of happiness, no matter its source, is equally beneficial. Hedonists reject premise 2. • The Two Worlds o W.D Ross originated the most famous objections to Hedonism—consider two worlds containing identical amounts of happiness and misery. In one, people are all virtuous and the other everyone is vicious. Hedonism tells us these worlds are equally good. o There are outside sources that bring misery—such as disease—and this offsets the extra happiness in the virtuous world. o Two Worlds argument:  1. If hedonism is true, then any two situations containing identical amounts of happiness and unhappiness are equally good.  2. Some such situations are not equally good; some are better than others.  3. Therefore, hedonism is false. o Hedonists would argue what makes a life good, not a world good, and would not agree that the two worlds are equally good. • False Happiness o Argument from False Happiness:  1. If hedonism is true, then our lives go well t
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