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What position does Pojman take on affirmative action?
Pojman argues against affirmative action
How does strong AA go against meritocracy according to Pojman (and what is meritocracy?)
Strong AA - Preferential hiring
Weak AA - Equal opportunities
Meritocracy - Treating as individuals (not group)/ depends on skills, education, experience
Why does Pojman think the diversity argument is a bad argument in favor of AA?
Diversity does seem worth wild but not something you can override meritocracy for
Pojmans’ first argument against AA: Reverse racism (what does he claim?)
-AA creates “new minorities” –especially poor whites
-A personal story he shares: Have you observed this kind of thing? (EX. His friend applied, Pojman called school, they had wanted a woman/black for the position)
*This is morally wrong, and unwarranted, according to Pojman, why?
-Kantian Sense: Treats people as means (a tool for a social policy to correct past injustice)
Pojamn’s second argument against AA: Meritocracy (what does he claim?)
-We think that we’ll be rewarded for our merits and accomplishments
-Meritocracy seems to be well supported and not morally problematic
How does Pojman say meritocracy is supported by both Kantian ethics and Utilitarianism?
*What are the 2 pillars that Pojman gives to support Meritocracy?
*AA Treats as means
(to treat someone as a thing, using them as a tool for creating diversity)
*Meritocracy is optimific (bringing well being to all of society) ex: like a doctor, you would want the most qualified doctor
What position does Hausman take on affirmative action?
Hausman argues for AA
Why does Hausman say that the reverse racism argument is a bad argument AGAINST AA?
-Misleading to say choosing one based on race is nothing compared to Jim Crow laws
-Hausman’s basic response: We need to get clear on the term discrimination (neutral vs negative meanings)
Why does Hausman say that compensation for past injustice is a bad argument FOR AA?
-How would we decide who is responsible, how much must be done to rectify the damage, etc?
-Further, how is it morally right to make people pay personally for mistakes made in the past?
Why does Hausman think AA is justified?
AA is NOT justified by compensation/rectification, but it IS justified by equalizing opportunity.
How does Hausman use the teacher example to support his argument in favor of AA?
So, Hausman supports letting those that got the good teacher in 1st grade get the bad teacher in 2nd grade and vice versa. AA does something similar. (basics of equal opportunity)
The different starting point of Virtue Ethics
First moral theory we looked at that looks us as people, what is our personal character like? what people should we be?
Translates as “happiness” or “flourishing”. A life of eudaimona is an excellent life for the person living it.
The basic moral principle of Virtue Ethics:
-An act is morally right just because it is the one that a virtuous person, acting in character, would do that in situation
-The virtuous person is a moral exemplar, someone who serves as a role model for the rest of us
Aristotle’s notion of the golden mean (to describe virtues)
Aristotle’s concept of the golden mean, you find virtue between means, walking to lines between 2 extremes (balance)
How the golden mean works with the virtues of courage and generosity?
What Aristotle means to find the virtues (the balance between the 2)
Courage is the balance, in the middle…not to extreme on either side
Generous is the balance, you don’t want to be stingy or giving too much money
Overall, the balance between the 2 extremes
The 4 strengths/ important features of Virtue Ethics we examined: -Moral Complexity:
there’s a moral rule corresponding to each virtue (so more than one moral rule), many moral rules of thumb, but we have to improvise. Allows more wiggle room rather than Utilitarianism and Kantianism, it is flexible
Why is this a strength? In action based ethics: we oversimplify with moral rules
Moral understanding requires emotional development, emotions help us see: morally relevant/tell what is right and wrong, emotions motivate us to do the right thing
Why is this a strength? Some say action based ethics require us to be cold and calculating no room for emotions.
Virtue can be acquired only by training, experience, and practice *We aren’t born with virtue* =Improvement/moral growth AND we interact/learn from role models
Why is this a strength? We don’t improve over time
Eudaimonia: Human flourishing (leading an excellent life) // Aritstotle: Having virtue is a very important and necessary part of having a GOOD LIFE…it motivates us if we are making ourselves a good person…WWJD?
Key Point: If we follow VE and develop virtue, we have access to a very good life
The 4 objections to Virtue Ethics we examined-Moral Guidance
Does VE give us sufficient advice about how to live? Does it really tell us what we should do?
Does morality require the enormous sacrifices made by virtuous people? Ex. Ghandi starving himself
How do VE respond to this objection? Only if you’re in their shoes,
How do we choose a person who is to serve as a moral exemplar? (role models), What if you picked someone crazy, terrible, or immoral as your role model?
The role of impartiality in traditional ethics:Kantian ethics:
Set aside our emotions and personal desires, principle of universalization will not allow us to make exceptions for ourselves, you aren’t supposed to make exceptions for yourself, we can’t operate off of emotions…why should you make an exception for your sister because you love her?
We aren’t supposed to be biased, you have to do the thing that is right for everyone, what brings the most wellbeing, we have to be impartial we can’t do what we want to do because we prefer it
Kohlberg v. Gilligan on moral development (What did Gilligan notice? What did she claim?)
Kohlberg: Found that as a child was selfish, as they got older tried to treat others how they want to be treated, you’re more developed if you operate according to principles you’re thinking about the right thing to do, you’re less developed if you think about yourself
Gilligan: Women think about morality differently than men, but their way is not inferior or les-developed. They may not see moral rules as absolute. And they may not use impartiality in moral reasoning. Observed people make decisions based on the people they love
Two starting points for Ethics of Care:
1) Ethics of care sees the world as a web of social and moral relationships.
2) Ethics of care sees care (care is the most important and loving relationships) as the central feature of human life (and this has been neglected in moral theories)
Strengths of Ethics of Care
-Role of Emotion—how is it important? Care is in emotion, emotion is allowed to tell you what to do
-Against Unification- what does this mean? Not one supreme moral rule or principle, depends on the situation and who is involved
Four Objections to Ethics of Care (those we covered)
1) Ethics of care makes the moral community very narrow (small) (those we care about)
2) Do we really want to give emotion (care) such an important role in ethical theory? (can’t it sometimes prevent us from doing what is morally right)
3) There is a price to pay when we de-emphasize impartiality (it invites bias and possibly injustice)
4) If we don’t have a supreme moral rule or principles, how do we resolve moral problems? (Is it practical?) ex: dying millionaire case
-No moral truths
-Value free actions
-Yes moral truths, but…
-It depends on who (people)
-People create morality
^These create individuals
-Yes moral truths
-Independent of human belief
-Humans discover morality
-You’ll need to understand both forms of moral relativism (subjectivism [indiv] and cultural)
Ethical Subjectivism (Individualism)
-Morality is for each person to decide
-Moral truth and standards are relative to individuals
-Moral truth is whatever I (as an individual) believe to be true
-Morality is for each culture to decide
-Moral truth and standards are relative to societies or cultures
-Moral truth is whatever our society believes to be true
-You’ll need to know and understand common arguments for relativism-diversity/disagreement
Ethical Sub- Each individual has correct moral view, Cultural Rel- Each group has correct moral view
Who are we to judge” or “Who am I to judge”
-You’ll need to understand the following implications/objections to relativism:-moral infallibility
If we hold ethical subj to be true, her captors cannot be said to be immoral *since all moral views are equally plausible
-You’ll need to understand the following implications/objections to relativism: -equal plausibility:
Each individual or culture has a plausible/acceptable moral view. They are equivalent.
-You’ll need to understand the following implications/objections to relativism: -moral progress (and the test case: Dr. MLK, Jr. on racism and moral progress
Moral change would be possible but not moral progress. How do we make sense of moral progress? We used to have worse morals in the past…if they say there’s no standard of right and wrong then there is no such thing as moral progress
-You’ll need to understand the following implications/objections to relativism: -that cultural relativism collapses into subjectivism (individual relativism)- why?
A statement can’t be both true and false at the same time without being contradictory
- You’ll need to understand the following objections to moral objectivism:-equal plausibility of moral views (and the response)
If everyone has a right to their own opinion, then relativism must be true. If everyone has an equal right to their own opinion, then all opinions are equally plausible (acceptable)
Response: Everyone should have the freedom to have their own opinions (even about morality). BUT a right to one’s own view/opinion does not mean each view is equally plausible. Some are better than others.
- You’ll need to understand the following objections to moral objectivism: -objectivity supports intolerance (and the response
Moral objectivism is false because it seems to be an intolerant view (by holding that some moral views are better than others) Response: Moral Relativism cannot (and does not) require tolerance. Why?
Relativism can’t require anything– even intolerant views are morally acceptable. If you think that tolerance is required/necessary, then you are a moral objectivist. A relativist can accept intolerance if an individual or culture endorsed/supported intolerance
- You’ll need to understand the following objections to moral objectivism: -objectivity cannot allow for cultural variation (and the response):
There is legitimate cultural variation in moral practices. [Ex: Dowries; arranged marriages, etc.] But an objectivist would say that all cultures must use exactly the same moral standards. Since there are important cultural differences in morality, objectivism must be false. Response: Of course some rules (perhaps: killing innocent people for no good reason) apply to everyone universally. Basic moral principles do apply to everyone BUT when we apply these basic moral rules to different cultures and living conditions, there can still be some cultural variation. In other words, the same moral rule can be exercised in slightly different ways, depending on the cultural circumstances.
- You’ll need to understand the following objections to moral objectivism: -values have no place in a scientific world (and two possible responses):
1. If scientists cannot verify the existence of X, then the best evidence tells us that X does not exist. 2. Science cannot verify the existence of objective moral values. 3. Therefore, the best evidence tells us that objective moral values do not exist.
Response: 1. Moral values are natural features of the world (so science can help us discover morality). 2.Morals values aren’t natural (so we shouldn’t expect science to tell us about them).
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