Saturday, 26 February 2011

Thursday 3rd March

The main reading is the whole Baron article, please also skim the Kant. You do not have to read the Williams.

As always, questions below. Please have a think about them before the seminar, and if you can't answer them re do the reading, email me, or come to the seminar with specific issues I can help you with.

1. What is the first formulation of the categorical imperative? What does it mean to 'will a maxim as a universal law'? Can you think of any good maxims that you wouldn't will as universal?
2. What is the 2nd formulation? What is the difference between an ends and a means? Does the 2nd formulation apply to animals? Should it?

1. What is consequentialism? Is Mill a consequentialist? Is Kant?
2. What is the difference between focusing on goals and focusing on principles? Which do consequentialists focus on? Which do you focus on?
3. According to Baron (pg 10) and Kant, why do we adhere to certain principles? What do you think of this claim?
4. We are, according to Baron/Kant, obliged to have which two ends? (pg 13)
Suppose we are obliged to have certain ends, which ends do you think these should be?
5. What qualifications does Kant (according to Baron) build into his claims re:ends (pages 13 - 17)? Do you think there are any counterexamples here? I.e. Things which we think are wrong which would be following these ends?
6. What is the distinction between promoting and honouring a value? Which does the Kantian put emphasis on? Is this a problem?
7. What is the excessive demands problem? How does the Kantian avoid it? Is there any reply if you are not a Kantian?
8. What is a 'moral saint'? Do you know anyone like this? Are they good friends/lovers/fun people? What would a world of moral saints look like? Is this a problem for the consequentialist?

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