Ch. 8 Summary Points
1. Doing something that is wrong is supposed to give you reason not to do it.
a) But what if I don't care about others, what reason do I have not to do wrong.
2. The argument is basically "How would you like it if someone did that to you"
a) This is supposed to make you feel guilty and hesitate your wrong action.
b) What if someone counters by saying "luckily no one is doing it to me, I'm doing it to someone else"
c) You are supposed to think of the feelings you'd have in their position and not whether you'd like it or not. Basically you would resent that being done to you.
3. If you admit that you would resent it if someone else did to you what you are now doing to him, you are admitting that you think he would have a reason not to do it to you. This is because he then would resent it too. (basically switching roles)
a) This is a matter of consistency because when you admit that another person would have a reason not to harm you in similar circumstances, then you'd have to admit that the same reason applies to you now.
4. Someone could counter by saying they do would not resent it if a wrong action was done to them, they would just not like it.
a) Most people would think their own interests and harms matter not only to themselves but others so one would have to be crazy not to feel resentment.
Ch. 9 Preface
1. According to psychological egoism, we don't take into account the interests of others because all human behavior is motivated only be self-interest.
2. According to ethical egoism, even if we could act in the interest of others, we ought not do so but should be concerned only with ourselves.
Ch. 9 Psychological Egoism Arguments & Counters
1. All men are selfish and anything they do is in self-interest.
a) This says that people never voluntarily do anything except what they want to do. This is wrong for two reasons.
b) There are actions we do not because we want to but because it is a means to an end we want to achieve.
i) no one likes going to the dentist but we go if we have a toothache
ii)going to work every day just to get our pay at the end of the month
c) There are actions we do, not because we want to but because we feel obligated to
i) doing something because you promised and now feel obligated.
2. Unselfish actions always produce a sense of self-satisfaction and because satisfaction makes you consciously feel good, then we are only doing unselfish actions for the satisfaction and not to help others
a) If we assist a friend with homework it is because we want them to success. If we did not have that concern then we would take no pleasure in helping them
i) These concerns are the marks of unselfishness and not selfishness
b) In the friend example, satisfaction is not the objective of our action, it is seeing them success and if we derive satisfaction from that it does not mean we are selfish on account of it.
Ch. 9 Three Confusions of Psychological Egoism
1. Selfishness and Self-Interest are the same thing
a) It is in your best interest to see a doctor when you are sick but this does not make you selfish
b) Selfish behavior is behavior that ignores the interests of others, in circumstances in which their interests should not be ignore.
i) Calling an action selfish means you are condemning it. Eating a balanced breakfast is in your best interests but not selfish while hoarding food while others are starving is self-interest but also selfish.
2. All actions are done from self-interest or from other-regarding motives
a) Smoking after knowing it causes cancer is not done from self-interest or is altruistically, instead it is done for pleasure. Self-interest would be to quit smoking at once.
3. Concern for your own welfare is incompatible with genuine concern for others welfare.
a) Sometimes there will be occasions where our own interests conflict with the interests of others (family & friends) and many times we will choose their interests over ours.
b) Sometimes we can promote the welfare of others when our own interests are not involved at all.
Ch. 9 Ethical Egoists Arguments and Counters
1. Even though it is possible for people to act altruistically, there is no reason why the should do so.
a) If I decide to burn down a building just to see a spectacular blaze; according to this view, the fact that people might die provides no reason to why I should not do it because this only concerns their welfare and not my own (seeing a blaze)
2. Some would counter saying that Ethical Egoists would not go to such extremes because it is in their best interest to not set the fire because it is to their advantage to respect the rights and interest of others and would maintain the sort of society which is in their advantage to have.
a) This argument is just saying that the egoist must encourage others to act benevolently but he himself wont.
Ch. 9 Egoist Challenge for Doing the Right Thing
1. The reason one ought not to do actions that would hurt other people is other people would be hurt and same goes for actions that benefit.
a) An egoist would state that we may accept this as a reason but he does not and this is where the argument ends.
b) An egoist is saying that "It would harm another person" is not a reason not to do an action.
i) Basically he is saying he has no affection for friends or family and never feels pity or compassion.
Ch. 9 Ethical Egoism Can't Be Universalized
1. To say that an action is right entails that it is right for anyone in the same circumstance. (I drink your soda but complain when you drink mine)
2. Ethical egoism can't meet that requirement because the egoist does not want others to act in the same way he acts.
a)Furthermore, an egotist cannot advocate universalizing egoism because it would be inconsistent.
i) Telling Paul to pursue his own interests even if it means destroying Peter and then telling Peter to do the same.
3. The only way for an egoist to be consistent is to wish a world where he would want everyone to be altruistic so that he can be egoistic and maximize his own interests.
a) This would allow for him to be consistently egoistic, even if he pretended to be altruistic, he would still be consistent because his altruism would only be as a means to an end (deceit others so he could be egoistic).
Ch. 10 The Happy Immoralist
1. Philippa Foot believes that great happiness has to come from something deep in human nature like; affection for children, desire to work and love of freedom and truth which means an immoral person can never truly be happy.
a) Cahn counters by giving an example of a guy who achieves his 3 goals of fame wealth and reputation but is also a treacherous and dishonest person. This guy would be considered immoral but he shows that he is happy.
Ch. 10 The Unhappy Immoralist
1. Plato believes that full happiness is the satisfaction one takes in having a personality where all elements that make a fully realized life are harmoniously integrated.
a) An immoral lacks some of these needed attributes- integrity, moral emotions.
b)Now, the immoralist may be happy in some limited way but will never be happy in a full sense.
2. Kierkegaard believes that a person who does not organize his life around the moral good and instead pursues "temporal desires" cannot be truly happy.
a) He believes the problem of living devoted only to temporal goods is that
i) It ultimately leads to boredom and despair.
ii) It is typically characterized by self-deception.
iii) It falls short of full humanity.
b) A person with only temporal desires will get bored and always be looking for new temporal desires to replace others. Basically jumping from temporary happiness to temporary happiness. This is called "boredom avoidance strategy".
3. Murphy believes much much like Kierkegaard but adds that a person with temporal values will always live with fear of eventually losing these values and this type of fear cannot be compatible with happiness.
a)He believes like Aristotle that happiness is better understood as an attribute and not of a present moment of one's life but a whole life.
b)He admits that not everyone sees happiness as the same thing and that some conceptual or linguistic revision is happening.
i) But he thinks this is a helpful thing because it can sometimes enlarge and deepen moral understanding.
Ch. 10 A Challenge to Morality
1. Philosophers hate the possibility of a happy immoralist because if people thought they could be happy and immoral they would lose motivation to choose the moral path.
a)What do we do when our moral values and our happiness conflict?
i) For examples look at the Kate/Joan story and Crimes and Misdemeanors plot.
Ch. 11 What Does Disagreement Exactly Entail
1. Disagreement has two broad sense with the first being a disagreement in belief.
a) This occurs when Mr. A believe "p" when Mr. B believe "not-p" or something incompatible with "p".
2. The second is a disagreement in attitude.
a) This occurs when Mr. A have a favorable attitude to something, when Mr. B has an unfavorable or less favorable attitude.
b) For example, Mr. A wants to go to a restaurant that Mr. B doesn't like. They have a disagreement in attitude over going to that restaurant.
3. The difference between the two is that in disagreement in belief, both beliefs cannot be true and in a disagreement in attitude both attitudes cannot be satisfied.
Ch. 11 What Does an Argument Entail
1. Ethical arguments usually involve disagreement in belief and disagreement in attitude.
a)Usually the distinguishing feature in an ethical argument is the disagreement in attitude (the main deciding point)
2. Disagreement in attitude plays a unifying and predominating role in the argument in two ways.
a) It determines what beliefs are relevant to the argument.
i) For a belief to be relevant in the argument, it must be likely to lead one side or the other to change their attitude.
b) Ethical argument usually terminates when disagreement in attitude terminates even though disagreement in belief may still remain.
3. It may be possible for all disagreements in beliefs to end but there still be a disagreement in attitude.
a) Either side would then look for other beliefs that could be introduced into the argument.
b) They may use words to play on each other's emotion.
c) They may just agree in attitude in order to end the argument because they consider this better than an impasse even though neither side seceded their position
d) Or they may just abandon hope of settling the dispute by peaceable means
Ch. 11 Resolving Arguments with Sci. Methods
1. Scientific Methods can resolve the disagreement in belief but can only resolve a disagreement in attitude indirectly.
a) The only way they can resolve disagreement in attitude is if they resolve a disagreement in beliefs and that resolution leads to an agreement in attitude. Scientific methods cannot directly impact a resolution in attitude.
2. Although scientific methods can indirectly end an argument it cannot be guaranteed a definite role in normative sciences for the following reasons,
a) It is possible that there could still be a disagreement in attitude even though scientific methods resolved all disagreements in belief.
i) This could be due to differences in temperament, early training or social status that makes them dogmatic.
3. In this case there is still usefulness for using scientific methods to attempt to resolve an argument.
a) It leads people to discover the discrepancies in their beliefs and to prolong enlightening argument that may lead from commonly accepted beliefs to commonly accepted attitudes.
b) It leads people people to reconcile their attitudes in a rational permanent way.
Ch. 11 Dr. Ice Class Notes
Disagreement in Belief - facts
Disagreement in Attitude - values, ethics, like/dislike, approve/disapprove
Ch 16. Two Kinds of Virtue
1. Intellectual virtue which is thinking well or virtuously.
a) We learn this through teaching and requires experience and time.
2. Moral virtue comes about as a result of habit.
a) We attain this by habitually doing good acts
Ch. 16 Mean in Passions and Emotions
1. There are passions and actions under the right conditions are virtuous.
a) Some are; fear, confidence, appetite, anger, pity, general pleasure, and pain.
b) These are all bad when in defect or excess but when done correctly are characteristics of virtue
2. The conditions they must be done under are
a) Right times
b) In reference to the right objects
c) Towards the right people
d) With the right motive
e) In the right way
Ch. 16 Three Parts of the Soul
1.Vegetative - Plants, animals, humans
a) This entails nutrition and growth
2. Life of perception - animals, humans
a) This entails sense and motion
3. Rational - Humans
a) This entails reason.
With this explanation, Aristotle is trying to find what is peculiar to man and the function of man.
Ch. 16 Conditions for an Act to Be Good
1. You must have knowledge to know what the good is in a situation or in an act.
2. You must choose to do it because it's good and not for selfish reasons.
3 His action must proceed from a firm and unchangeable character.
a) You have to be good all the time not just one day yes and another day no.
Ch. 16 Actions that are Always Wrong
1. Some actions no matter if done in defect, excess or mean, will always be wrong because by their names some already imply badness They are,