Phil 102b crns: 48693, 48687, 46596

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San Diego Mesa College

Phil 102b

CRNs: 48693, 48687, 46596

Spring 2015

Instructor: Prof. Nina Rosenstand

Prof. Rosenstand’s office: SB 311P

Office hours: MTWTh 11:15-12:30 and by appointment

Messages to Prof. Rosenstand: (619) 388-2407

E-mail: (e-mails will be answered during Prof. Rosenstand’s office hours.)

Stay informed about possible changes to the readings and test dates. Changes, if any, will be posted on the website.
Final examinations:

MW classes:

12:45 class:

Monday May 18, 12:45: Final exam.

Wednesday May 20, 12:45: final meeting.

3:55 class:

Monday May 18, 3:55: Final exam.

Wednesday May 20, 3:55: final meeting.

TTh class: Tuesday May 19, 12:45: Final exam

Thursday May 21: 12:45: final meeting.

Finals will be returned during the final meeting.

Use a SCANTRON FORM # 882; Please use pencil #2. Make sure your scantron answers are clear and unambiguous; otherwise the scantron machine can't read them. Read the questions carefully. Total possible points: 50.

Plagiarism policy: Using unauthorized open books, electronic devices or notes during the test, or consulting with other students, will result in an F on the test, and will be reported.

There will be 12 True/False questions; each correct answer is worth 2 points.

There will be 13 Multiple Choice questions; each correct answer is worth 2 points.

TMTS Ch.5, “Utilitarianism” pp.231-260, 278-281

TMTS Ch.6, “Kant’s Deontology” pp.282-303

TMTS Ch.8, "Virtue Ethics"(Socrates and Plato) pp.391-392, 396-412

TMTS Ch.9, "Aristotle's Virtue Theory" pp.440-458, 460-462 + Narrative: “Icarus”

Ch.10, “Contemporary Perspectives” pp.477-480 (time permitting)


TMTS Ch.5, “Utilitarianism” pp.231-260, 278-281

The Principle of Utility = the Greatest Happiness Principle

Utilitarianism is a consequentialist theory

Jeremy Bentham’s hedonistic calculus

The hedonistic calculus allows for animal suffering to be taken into consideration

Pros: easy to use, egalitarian

Cons: shows bias; can be manipulated; reduces pains, pleasures and people to “sheer numbers”

Descartes: animals have no minds and can’t feel pain

The hedonistic calculus would approve of torture if yielding good results

John Stuart Mill: Bentham’s godson, tutored childhood, nervous breakdown at 20

Relationship with Harriet Taylor: intellectual partnership. Women’s rights advocates.

Mill: 3 areas of influence in philosophy:

Women’s rights, Higher and Lower Pleasures Theory, and the Harm Principle Theory

Bentham’s utilitarianism was unpopular in Victorian England

Mill’s revision of Bentham’s utilitarianism: some pleasures are higher, and some are lower

Mill: “Better to be a human being dissatisfied than to be a pig satisfied, better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied”

Mill: The harm principle: individuals and state should only interfere if someone does harm to others, not to themselves

Mill: Right to privacy is a major point in the harm principle: consenting adults.

Mill: Children and immature adults are excluded from the harm principle for their own protection

Mill: “Backwards nations” are also excluded, and should be ruled by civilized nations, for their own good

Mill was colonial administrator of India

MW classes: Narrative: The Invention of Lying. Mark lies to his dying mother about life after death, with good or bad consequences?
TMTS Ch.6, “Kant’s Deontology” pp.282-303

Immanuel Kant, German philosopher

The good will: good intentions to respect moral law; consequences don’t count

“The good will shines like a jewel by its own light”

The store owner’s 4 options

hypothetical imperatives: If I want X, then I must do Y, conditional command

The categorical imperative: Absolute moral command

Structure of cat.imp.: State your maxim, universalize it, ask if it is rational.

Maxim = principle for an action

Universalization = making a maxim into a universal law

Example: the man who wants to borrow money

autonomous lawmaker = using cat.imp. to set moral rules for oneself

Kant’s assumption: reason is universal

5 Criticisms: 1) Mill: Kant is referring to consequences; 2) cat.imp. doesn’t solve conflict between duties; 3) the loophole, making the maxim too specific; 4) What is rationality? Depends on goal; 5) Cat.imp. allows for no exceptions (example: the killer at the door)

Intrinsic value vs. instrumental value

Kant: rational beings should be treated as “ends-in-themselves”

“means to an end” vs “merely a means to an end” (use vs. abuse, disrespect)

“ends in themselves”: respect for rational beings including yourself

rational persons vs. non-rational things

Problems: what about humans who are not rational, and animals

Kant regards animals as things

Kant’s last book: invented concept in-between “person” and “thing,” for humans. Not for animals.

But Kant was against animal experiments.

Kingdom of Ends: Kant’s utopia, using cat. imp. and treating people with respect
TMTS Ch.8, "Virtue Ethics" pp.391-392, 396-412

ethics of conduct (what to do?) vs. virtue ethics (how to be?)

virtue (arete: excellence)

The late 20th century revival of virtue ethics [from your notes]

Christianity (God gets credit for good character) vs. ancient virtue ethics (you take credit for creating your own good character)

The charges against Socrates: offending gods, corrupting youth

Socrates’ final words: owing a rooster to Asclepius

Socrates: People do morally wrong acts out of ignorance

Plato: 3 parts of the soul: reason, willpower, appetites

3 corresponding virtues: wisdom, courage, temperance

Freud’s three parts of the psyche: id, ego, superego

Plato’s three sections of the ideal state: philosopher-kings, police & military, and the general population

Women’s place in the ideal state determined by talent, not gender. So: women in gov’t, and military.

TMTS Ch.9, "Aristotle's Virtue Theory" pp.440-458, 460-462+ Narrative: “Icarus”

Aristotle's theory of four causes: material, efficient, formal, final

teleology: theory of purpose

teleological explanation vs. causal explanation (“giraffes”)

the Golden Mean= relative mean between extremes of excess and deficiency

examples of virtues (courage, pride, anger, etc.)

happiness (eudaimonia) is the reward of virtue

Aristotle had enormous influence on Western and Middle Eastern thinking.

Problems with ancient virtue ethics: undemocratic; can’t solve difference of opinion.

Narrative: “The Flight of Icarus”: the Golden Mean: not too high, not too low

examples of virtues (courage, pride, anger, etc.)

happiness (eudaimonia) is the reward of virtue
Time permitting:

Ch.10, “Contemporary Perspectives” pp.477-480

The late 20th century revival of virtue ethics by Philippa Foot and others

The political aspect of conduct vs. character:

Are social policies more important than a politician’s character?


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