3. VIRTUES

Introduction

Background

Aggressive driving example

Virtue (definition)

Vice (definition)

Virtue theory (definition)

Early Greek views of virtue

Platoís four cardinal virtues

Aristotleís theory

Appetite regulating habits

Human goal of happiness

Division of the soul: nutritive, calculative, appetitive

Virtues are dispositions at a mean between extremes

12 virtues and corresponding vices

Practical wisdom

Finding the mean

Moral choices are freely chosen

Good temper

Five factors

Summary of Aristotle (four points)

Virtue Theory after Aristotle

Epicurean virtues

Stoic virtues

Christian virtues

Criticisms of Virtue Theory

Grotiusís Criticism: Many Virtues Are Not at a Mean

Response:

Kantís Criticism: Without Moral Principles, Misapplied Virtues Become Vices

Response:

Moral virtues and intellectual abilities

Millís Criticism: Morality Involves Judging Actions and Not Character Traits

Intention behind action

Response:

Virtues and Rules

Background

Modern emphasis on moral rules

Anscombe critique of rules:

Rule-based theories (three features)

Virtue-based theories (three features)

Gender and Morality

Male and female ways of thinking

Care ethics (definition)

Aristotleís view of female virtues

Virtues With or Without Rules

Strong virtue theory (definition)

Weak virtue theory (definition)

Criticisms of Strong Virtue Theory

First criticism

Response:

Second criticism

Response:

Third criticism

Response:

Lingering Problems with Virtue Theory

Incorporating Virtue Theory into Other Moral Theories

MacIntyreís defense of virtue theory

Criticism of Macintyre

The best teacher of morality

Memorizing rules vs. instilling good habits

James on habit

 

4. MORALITY AND THE WILL OF GOD

Introduction

Example: Underwear Bomber

The Euthyphro Dilemma

Two options

Natural law theory (definition)

Intellectualism (definition)

Voluntarism/Divine Command Theory (definition)

Scotusís Divine Command Theory

Scotusís Theory

Genuinely free will

Absolute power

Ordained power

Absolute power

Three kinds of laws

What kind of laws God can change

The Argument from Revoking Established Moral Standards

Argument:

Examples: immoralities of the patriarchs

Criticism 1

Criticism 2

Aquinasís interpretations

The Argument from Absolute Power

Argument

Premise 1

Premise 2

Criticism 1

Criticism 2

Criticism 3

Divine Command Theory After Scotus

Ockham:

Luther

Calvin

Grotius

Cambridge Platonists

Criticisms of Divine Command Theory

Cudworthís criticism: morality becomes arbitrary

Response (inadequate one)

Response (better one)

Benthamís Criticism: Difficulty in Identifying Godís Will

Response

Leibnizís Criticism: Divine Goodness becomes Meaningless

Response

The Relation Between Religion And Morality

Background

Linking God with morality became less popular since 18th century scientific approaches to ethics

Lingering Problems with Religious Ethics

Criticism 1

Response

Criticism 2

Response

Criticism 3

Response

Limits of religious appeals

Limitation 1

Limitation 2

 

5. THE SOCIAL CONTRACT

Introduction

Example: anti-government groups

Disease and cure

Platoís presentation of social contract theory

Hobbesís Theory

State of nature

Causes of unsociability

Selfishness

Equality

Quarrel (three reasons)

Status of morality in the state of nature

Examples proving the state of nature:

Laws of Nature

First law:

Second law:

Third law:

Other laws

Fourth law:

Fifth law:

Political Theory and Moral Theory

Political theory:

Source of governmental authority

Best form of government

Moral theory (two points)

Summary

The pre-political state of nature for humans is a condition of mutual conflict that contains no objective moral values

We achieve peace by mutually agreeing to give up our rights to harm each other

To assure compliance, we create governments that punish those who break the agreements

To further secure compliance we recognize various laws of natures and† acquire moral virtues

Criticisms of Hobbes

Hydeís criticism: morality is immutable and eternal

First response

Second response

Clarkeís criticism: punishment alone will not motivate us to always keep contracts

Sneaky contract breaker:

Hobbesís answer:

Extra-cautious sneaky contract breaker

Virtue theory response:

Humeís criticism: we donít even tacitly agree to a social contract

Reganís criticism: social contract excludes animals

Others excluded from the contract

Response

Three levels of moral consideration

Social Contract Theory After Hobbes

17th and 18th century theories

Pufendorf:

Locke:

Rousseau:

Contemporary views of social contract theory (three features)

Prisonerís dilemma

Point of dilemma

Rawls

Original position:

Veil of ignorance:

Two rules of justice:

Socialism

Lingering problems with social contract theory

Mixing Moral Theory with Political Theory

Problem with mixing moral theory with political theory

Social Contract versus Social Reciprocation

Occurrent mental state

Dispositional mental state

Dispositional contentment with social reciprocation

 

THE CATEGORICAL IMPERATIVE

Introduction

Example: cheating in college

Kantís Moral Theory

Influences on Kantís Theory

Baumgarten: duties to God, oneself, and others

Wolff:

Primary principle of morality

View of God and morality

Morality and reason

Rejection of Epicurus and Hutcheson

Motives that Influence the Human Will

Human will:

Two main motives of the will

Moral motivations must be rationally informed duty toward the categorical imperative (three points)

Two imperatives (commands)

Hypothetical imperative

Moral imperative

The Formula of the Law of Nature

General formula

Step by step procedure (four steps)

Formula of the law of nature

Formula: ďAct as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will a universal law of nature.Ē

Deceitful promise

Maxim:

Contradiction:

Suicide

Maxim:

Contradiction:

Wasting talents

Maxim:

Contradiction:

Being uncharitable

Maxim:

Contradiction:

The Formula of the End Itself

Formula: ďAct in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end.Ē

Instrumental vs. inherent value

Instrumental value

Inherent value

Inherent value of humans

Negative and positive component

Negative

Positive

Four examples

Deceitful promise

Suicide

Wasting talents

Being uncharitable

Other formulas

Formula of Autonomy:

Formula of the Kingdom of Ends:

Summary

Criticisms of Kantís Theory

Schopenhauerís Criticism: The Categorical Imperative Reduces to Egoism

Two motives for human conduct

The real step-by-step procedure of the categorical imperative:

(1)

(2)

Reply:

Hegelís Criticism: The Categorical Imperative has no Practical Application

Hegelís examples

Reply 1:

Reply 2:

Internal contradiction

External contradiction

Millís Criticism: The Categorical Imperative Reduces to Utilitarianism

First part of Millís criticism:

Second part of Millís criticism:

Reply:

Anscombeís Criticism: There Is No Procedure for Constructing Maxims

Reply:

Lingering Problems with the Categorical Imperative

The Formula of the Law of Nature reduces to Traditional Duty Theory

Deceitful promise example is one-of-a-kind, and is not a good model for how typical conflicts arise

Main point: we must follow our specific moral duties that we know through our natural intuition

The Formulas not Equivalent

Key differences between first and second formula

 

10. UTILITARIANISM

Introduction

Karla Faye Tucker:

Utilitarian moral theory:

Hedonistic utilitarianism:

Historical Development of Utilitarianism

Epicurusís theory:

Eighteenth-Century Contributions

Hutcheson (four aspects):

(1) Compute consequences of our actions; (2) the standard of morality is the happiness/pleasure produced as all people are affected; (3) includes both long term and short term happiness; (4) includes both higher and lower pleasures

Hume: †(two aspects)

(1) Usefulness (utility) of actions is connected with the pleasing consequences of actions; (2) some actions are useful only when followed as a rule (early version of rule utilitarianism)

Benthamís Utilitarian Calculus

Seven factors of the calculus:

Millís Utilitarianism

Five aspects of Millís theory

General Happiness and Higher Pleasures

Difference between higher and lower pleasures

Rule utilitarianism

Act-Utilitarianism (definition):

Two tiered system:

Rule-Utilitarianism (definition)

Three tiered system:

Rule-utilitarianism and the problem of no time to weigh alternatives

Rule-utilitarianism resolves moral dilemmas

Criticisms of Utilitarianism

Gisborneís Criticism: We Cannot know All of the Consequences

Fisherman analogy:

Rule utilitarian reply:

Act utilitarian reply:

Bradleyís Criticism: Utilitarianism Conflicts with Ordinary Moral Judgments

Adultery example

Slavery example

Rule utilitarian reply:

Act utilitarian reply:

Groteís Criticism: Utilitarianism Only Perpetuates the Status Quo

Issue 1: whether utilitarianism would ever allow standards of morality to shift beyond the status quo

Reply:

Issue 2: whether utilitarianism has any room for people with special moral vision.

Reply:

Albeeís Criticism: Higher Pleasures are Inconsistent with Hedonism

If we see pleasure as the sole criterion, then we must de-emphasize dignity (i.e., the basis of higher pleasures); however, if we see dignity as the principal criterion, then we must de-emphasize pleasure

Option 1:

Option 2:

Pain and suffering:

Ordinary pleasure and higher pleasure:

Lingering Problems with Utilitarianism

Pleasure is Not the Only Important Moral Value

Assessment of hedonistic utilitarianism

Good points:

Bad points:

Ideal Utilitarianism (main points)

Preference Utilitarianism (main points)

Problems with the Bare-Bones Utilitarian Formula

Three problems with bare-bones version of utilitarianism