Philosophy and the Science of Human Nature (PHIL 181)
Professor Gendler begins with a general introduction to moral theories--what are they and what questions do they answer? Three different moral theories are briefly sketched: virtue theories, deontological theories, and consequentialist theories. Professor Gendler introduces at greater length a particular form of consequentialism—utilitarianism—put forward by John Stuart Mill. A dilemma is posed which appears to challenge Mill's Greatest Happiness Principle: is it morally right for many to live happily at the cost of one person's suffering? This dilemma is illustrated via a short story by Ursula Le Guin, and parallels are drawn between the story and various contemporary scenarios.
00:00 - Chapter 1. What Is a Moral Theory?
15:37 - Chapter 2. Introducing Utilitarianism
37:34 - Chapter 3. The Omelas Story
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://oyc.yale.edu
This course was recorded in Spring 2011.
Tagged under: Moral theory,moral motivation,Glaucon' Challenge,good,utilitarianism,deontology,John Stuart Mill,Immanuel Kant,duty,Greatest Happiness Principle,consequentialism,Omelas,Ursula Le Guin
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