Ethics

6 posts

"John Stuart Mill," by Mitch Francis

Mill’s Utilitarianism

What Utilitarianism Is
According to the Greatest Happiness Principle… [hilite]the ultimate end[/hilite], with reference to and for the sake of which all other things are desirable (whether we are considering our own good or that of other people), [hilite]is an existence exempt as far as possible from pain, and as rich as possible in enjoyments[/hilite], both in point of quantity and quality; the test of quality, and the rule for measuring it against quantity, being the preference felt by those who in their opportunities of experience, to which must be added their habits of self-consciousness and self-observation, are best furnished with the means of comparison.

"John Stuart Mill," by Mitch Francis

Mill’s Hedonism

The selections come from Mill’s (1863) Utilitarianism.[oohcol][oohead]Chapter 2[/oohead] The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals, Utility, or the Greatest Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure. To give a clear view of the moral standard set up by the theory, much more requires to be said; in particular, what things it includes in the ideas of pain and pleasure; and to what […]

"Aristotle," by Mitch Francis

Aristotle’s Ethics – Book X: On Happiness and Contemplation

This section of our text is selected from Book X of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (Εθικη Νικομαχοι). Trans. W.D. Ross.[pretty-pdf][bekkernote][avatars][oohcol] [commentary][phil writer=”Lalor”]Aristotle here argues that if happiness depends on virtue, and the best virtue is intellectual, then the life of study and contemplation is the happiest.[/commentary] [oohead class=”centerhead”]Book X[/oohead] Chapter 6: Recap before conclusion Now that we have spoken of the virtues, the forms of friendship, and the varieties of pleasure, what remains is to discuss in outline the nature of happiness, since this is what we state the end of human nature to be. Our discussion will be the more […]

The Perfect Moral Storm: Philosophers Respond to the Impending Anthropogenic Apocalypse

For at least the next 200 years, weather forecasts predict shitstorms, with global temperatures now set to remain elevated for hundreds of years to come. The latest IPCC report explains that our emissions are nearing the point of no return. Even if industrialized nations switched to solar power overnight, it is now too late to fully reverse the planet’s course. Geologists have officially termed this new epoch, where the human species has irreparably shaped earth’s geological history, the
Anthropocene. Policymakers no longer have the luxury to decide how we might “stop” global warming. Instead, we have to figure out how we’ll manage amidst climate instability.

Midgley, “Trying Out One’s New Sword”

The selection is Mary Midgley’s “Trying Out One’s New Sword,” from her Heart and Mind (St. Martin’s Press: 1981). Many thanks to Professor Midgley for permission to use this piece on thereitis.org.[oohcol class=”show-display-posts”] [oohead]”Trying Out One’s New Sword”[/oohead] [commentary][phil writer=”Lalor”] Mary Midgley is an English ethicist, who was senior lecturer at Newcastle University, England. She is the author of Beast and Man, Heart and Mind, and Wickedness. “Moral isolationists,” according to Midgley, deny we are ever in a position to judge other cultures from a moral point of view. She notes, though, that many moral isolationists think individuals from other […]

Karen Warren is an ecofeminist scholar, and was Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Macalester College in Minnesota.

Warren’s Introduction to EcoFeminism

This piece was originally published in Michael E. Zimmerman, J. Baird Callicott, George Sessions, Karen J. Warren, and John Clark (Eds.), Environmental Philosophy: From Animal Rights to Radical Ecology (Prentice-Hall, 1993), pp. 253-267.[oohcol] [commentary] Karen J. Warren is a feminist philosopher who has published essays on ecofeminism and edited several special issues on ecofeminism for Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy and the American Philosophical Association, Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy. Warren is completing three books on ecological feminism, one co-authored with Jim Cheney and entitled Ecological Feminism, and two anthologies on ecofeminism. Warren also conducts workshops on environmental ethics […]