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19TH AND 20TH CENTURIES
Mill Utilitarianism 1806-1873
-- Note that there are many contemporary versions of utilitarianism. We're just looking at the classic version proposed by Mill --
I. The principle of utility (consequentialist -- as opposed to Kant, where what matters is the motive.)
A. "The right action is the one that produces the most happiness overall." [happiness, for Mill = pleasure (hedonistic utility)]
-- Not the greatest happiness for the greatest number, if by that you mean simply making the most people happy. If ten of us are each made a tiny bit happier by an action that makes you abjectly miserable, then overall the action might produce more misery than happiness, even though more of us are made happy. And if it produces more misery, you don't do it.
B. Bentham , Mill's teacher.
1. Let's make ethics scientific! Let's quantify happiness.
a. Problem of how to measure units of happiness.
b. Problem of subjectivity. Aren't different people made happy by different things? So how can we get objective measurements?
c. Mill does not attempt to quanitify. We can do the job without measuring units of happiness.
2.Bentham had himself stuffed. He's sitting at the University of London. At university meetings he's wheeled in and recorded as "present, but not voting."
II. Criticisms which Mill raises against himself and answers
A. Isn't utilitarianism selfish? Not at all! You are just one among all us billions.
B. Doesn't the utilitarian say that we'd do best living like pig's?
1. It's the critic who thinks people are pigs. There's
a hierachy of values, lower and higher and someone who knows both won't
sacrifice the higher even for perfect possession of the lower. "Better
to be a human being dissatisfied, than a pig satisfied..."
2. Even if (contrary to fact) you really would be happier living
the life of the pig, you would not be producing the greatest
C. Two selfless? If you are to count yourself with your happiness as just one among all the billions, then isn't Mill asking us to be impossibly self-sacrificing?
1. It is true that there is no intrinsic benefit for the agent to practice utilitarian ethics.
2. But Mill is not asking or expecting people to act from a utilitarian motive. Motive isn't what counts. (For example, classical capitalism: the idea is that in promoting one's own benefit, one in fact helps everybody. From the perspective of what counts as the right action, it doesn't matter what the motive was. As opposed to Kant!)
D. But how can we possibly figure out what the consequences of our actions will be on whoever might be affected...and indefinitely into the future. Isn't utilitarianism just too difficult to figure out?
1. No. We have all of human history to guide us.
2. Laws, social principles, standard beliefs, are product of all this history. So, by and large, they'll guide us correctly. History teaches that stealing produces more harm than good. You don't need to sit down and try to calculate all the consequences before you decide not to steal.
III. TWO BIG PROBLEMS which contemporary people are most worried about.
A. Doesn't utilitarianism sometimes justify injustice? That is, can't we construct a scenario in which an act that seems obviously, intuitively unjust actually produces the most happiness?
--e.g. Uncle George, whom nobody likes, is in the hospital for a minor procedure. The doctor suggests we take his organs to save the lives of five much more valuable and valued people. ---
The Utilitarian responds ---
1. In the real world, the apparently unjust act will almost never maximize happiness. For example, what if folks find out that they're killing people for their organs?
2. Bite the bullet. If an apparently unjust act ACTUALLY WILL produce the most happiness, then that's the thing to do.
B. Doesn't utilitarianism conflict with the traditional (at least in this country) position that human beings are intrinsically valuable, just as human beings? Yes. What's of value is not you, the individual person, but your pleasure. If you experience more pain than pleasure in your life, and you do not contribute more pleasure than pain to others, then your life is literally not worth living. Certainly a coherent position, but runs contrary to intellectual pillars of U.S. society and culture.
Some Political Ramifications
A Political system will be justified by whether it maximizes happiness
At first glance it looks like Mill might advocate big government. Shouldn't laws aim at making us happy? e.g. No smoking!
I. Paternalism (Restricting your freedom for your own good.) Mill is against it!
(Which of the following are paternalistic: Laws against stealing? Taxation for welfare? Laws against recreational drugs? Speed limits? Crash helmet laws? Food and drug regulations?)
A. Mill's Argument: Who cares more and knows more about your happiness, you or the government? Well, you! So in the long-run more happiness is likely to result if the government leaves you alone, so long as you're not harming anyone else.
B. Some qualifications -- applies to people capable of assessing information and making rational, fully-informed decisions. So it's okay to be paternalistic towards...
3. undeveloped societies
1. Is there some paternalism we'd all agree to? For example, food and drug regulations? (If we all
agree, is it really paternalism?)
2. Can all our actions be seen as other - regarding in one way or another? (In a society where we all have to pay if you crash your bike and you're not insured...?)
II. Mill on Rights (Free Speech): Personal freedom in which others should not interfere. Others have an obligation to stand back, e.g., free speech.
A. Superficially it looks like the utilitarian wouldn't allow the idea. Prima facie you might think he'd say that if leaving you alone produces happiness, do it, and if not, then don't. (Bentham calls talk about rights "Nonsense on stilts.")
B. Rights will never be absolute, they are not natural human rights, the way Locke was thinking about it, but...
C. Certain personal freedoms ought to be protected - for everybody - on utilitarian grounds. So Mill defends political rights.
D. Crucial to avoid the "tyranny of the majority"
E. e.g. Free Speech: I want to say something unpopular...
1. At first it might look like you ought to shut me up, but...
The truth is useful, and
2. I could be right or,
3. I could have some of the truth, or
4. I could be dead wrong, but you need to remember, from time to time, why you think what you think.
--The truth is most likely to come out and to be preserved if we allow ideas to compete in the market place --
5. Of course your right to free speech is not absolute. (Nobody would say it is!) You can't yell fire in a crowded theater...unless there's actually a fire.
[Fall 2013 -- skip down to "Hegel in a nutshell"]
I. Some standard neoplatonic themes (Plotinus and, under his influence, some medieval neoplatonists)
A. The One and the Many
B. The One is a sort of nothing which "expresses" itself and BECOMES something when it produces the many.
C. (For Christians) A mind above thinking which becomes when it thinks things into being. All that is is God and what He makes, so it's all God or His thought, a Christianized idealism.
D. There is a "return" from the lower to the higher. (Saw this in Plotinus) The human being thinks what is above it and returns up and up...
E. (For Christians) In using language about God: A triadic, dialectic approach.
1. Via positiva (thesis) -- God as cause, e.g. God is good or being.
2. Via negativa (antithesis) -- God transcends concept as created, e.g. God is not-good, not-being.
3. Via superlativa (synthesis) -- both positive and negative, positive grammatically to insist that God is this thing, but so far beyond what we can grasp....so bright it is as darkness to our eyes, e.g. God is super-good, super-being.
II. The critique of Kant -- remember the two problems Fichte mentioned
A. No reason to believe there is a noumenal world. What there is is the world as experienced.
B. Kant might respond -- But something has to cause our experiences! -- But that's contradictory!
III. Absolute Idealism -- It's all an Absolute Mind, expressing itself, thinking itself throughout history (HISTORY!!!) and becoming itself in the process.
IV. Why think this? As Parmenides had said, thought and being are the same. Logic reflects reality. So let's shut our eyes and THINK. The way we have to think is the way things have to be.
A. Most general concept is Being (Thesis). But Being at this most general level is indeterminate, i.e. ....
B. Not-being (Antithesis). But Being is not stuck at Non-being, there is a way for indetermintate being to be, through...
C. Becoming (Synthesis).
D. We could actually start anywhere because everything is connected. No matter where you start, with yourself, with objects in nature, human activities and institutions, end up same place through dialectical processes.
V. Human being
A. Thinking about this is Absolute Mind thinking itself (the return!)-- art, religion, and philosophy, all saying the same thing, leading to the same end, but in progressively better ways.
B. Freedom = Rationality, most free when behaving most rationally i.e. for both private and public good.
VI. The state -- just is the unity of people behaving rationally. This is the actual state.
A. The state is an individual which can be concscious of itself, "...the state represents universal self-consciousness"...the unity of the self-consciousness of the individuals.
B. The sovereign is the embodiment of universal self-consciousness. That's what justifies his authority.
VII. World History : The expression of Absolute Mind becoming....
A. Is the history of nations.
B. At each epoch one nation is at the leading edge of history.
C. Special world-historical people emerge as agents of the world spirit. (Zeitgeist -- the spirit of the age, this time's manifestation of absolute mind.)
D. It's all good. Whatever is at the leading edge of history is the most perfect manifestation of A.M. to date. Right now -- says Hegel -- it happens to be the German people.Hegel's influence...
There's a storm coming. -- Reject Judeo-Christian morality as part of the past.
A. Superiority of the German People as the most advanced
B. The Fuhrer prinzip -- the will of the people is manifested in the leader.
A. Dialectical materialism -- Reject the notion that there is Spirit becoming in history. It's all matter.
B....but (for some bizarre reason) History is the story of struggle between oppressed and oppressor which must follow a dialectic pattern.
C. Homo faber -- man is a maker who is a sort of nothing until he gets hold of material objects. He becomes something by his creative activity.
III. Atheist Existentialists -- existence precedes essence. (Each human being is sort of like Hegel's A.M.) There is no human nature. Each of us exists as a nothing, until he starts to choose, and whatever he chooses is good just because he chooses it.
Continental Philosophy -- rooted in Hegelianism, though at a considerable distance. Criticism of ability of human beings to access truth. We are historical creatures, bound to our roles at our point in history. In English-speaking circles mainly influential in English departments and Women's and Ethnic Studies programs.
IV. As an anglophone response -- Analytic Philosophy
A. The job of the philosopher is not to tell you what exists. Science does that. It's just to analyze language.
B. Logical positivism -- let's say that the only meaningful language is what can be empircially verified in the most radical way. No metaphysics!!!
C. Logical positivism died the death long about the mid-70's
1. made science impossible.-- can't empirically verify any universal claims. Remember Hume.
2. self-refuting. "A proposition is meaningful only if it admits of empirical verification."
Now, in English-speaking circles, we're back to business as usual -- doing the sort of stuff that Plato and Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas, Descartes and Hume did..
Nietzsche 1844 - 1900
I. God is Dead! i.e. There is no God.
A. No evidence - no disproof of God.
B. Just people beginning to give up on Christianity.
II. No objective morality, [Aquinas 4th way!] No fundamental distinction
between man and beast
III. Fundamental human nature
Dionysian vs. Apollonian, wild, frenzied life force vs. principle of control
Dionysian more fundamental, needs Apollonian else would destroy self - art
IV. Basic critique of the society: It's Christian...life-denying
A. It's succumbed to the slave morality.
will to power (we all have it)
B. Naturally two kinds of people...2 moralities
Masters - motivated by will to power, recognizes his own superiority, creates his own "morality," no "purpose", sees that "good" is cruelty, exploitation, conquest. Barbarians, Vikings! Life affirming!
Slaves - herd of weak, oppressed > slave morality > helpful, humble, friendly, self-sacrificing
C. Slaves want power - so enforce slave morality even on the masters. Christianity - first Christians humble, poor etc.
(Judaism, too) - Utilitarianism just a dolled up pseudo-scientific version of the slave morality.
V. Superman - totally free
History is moving towards Him - Utopia when the masters free themselves from the slave morality.
Replace religion with art
Superman - Balance between Dionysian and Apollonian
Controlled life-force pours forth as art
(Hitler - failed painter, 3rd Reich is his masterpiece)
Hegel (1770-1831) in a nutshell --
Remember Fichte? Why believe in Kant's noumenal world? Kant cannot say that it's necessary as the cause of the phenomenal world, since he says that causation exists only in the phenomenal world. So get rid of it!
Hegel's German Idealism
I. The world is ideas -- God's ideas. But Hegel offers a very different picture from Berkeley.
II. World History is God expressing Himself and "Growing" over time. "The God of history."
A. History becomes super important.
B. History (and, for Hegel, pretty much everything ) follows a dialectical pattern.
1. Thesis (Status quo -- the way things stand, what is now the case)
2. Anti-thesis (Negation of or opposition to the status quo) -- introduces a struggle
3. Synthesis (the struggle produces a new situation rooted in both sides, and this synthesis becomes the new thesis)
C. The individual is to be understood through his role in society at his time in history.
D. The present -- for every present -- represents the most complete expression of God up to that point, through the most advanced people at that point. (Progressivism on steroids! For Hegel it was the Germans.)
E. The leader of the people is at the very forefront of the divine, historical development and so traditional moral principles do not apply to him. He just does what he needs to do to advance history.
Hegel is the grandfather of many charming developments, including...
Fascism, Marxism, Feminism, Progressivism, other ...isms. Here's what they have in common...
I. All human experience is to be viewed in light of sweeping historical theory in which human existence is essentially a struggle for power.
A. Individual is to be understood mainly as a member of his race, or class, or gender, etc. depending on which "ism" you embrace.
B. You think what you think and do what you do because of your role in society at your point in history.
II. So they reject past philosophical problems and method of doing philosophy based on evidence, argument, reasoning from premises to conclusions.
A. Traditional enterprise just an expression of the power struggle.
B. Also reject Judeo-Christian religious tradition, for same reason.
C. And reject liberal democracy of the sort that Locke espoused -- natural human rights (life, liberty and property), basic equality of all human beings -- for same reason.
III. Active Revolutionary Critique of society, tradition. Traditional political arrangements, morality and religion need to go! They are instruments of power designed to maintain the status quo.
IV. Utopian (overthrow oppressors and construct the ideal society)
I. Central insight: fundamental factor which shapes human experience, underlies historical change is "economics," material condition of life.
A. Certainly something to be said for this. Air conditioning...computers...
B. He calls his theory, "Dialectical materialism'"
a. What there is and all there is is material things...no God, no souls etc.
b. Everything is determined (causally necessitated by physical laws of nature such that whatever happens happens as a matter of necessity.)
c. Way cool, because now we can have a Science of history!
d. So, he abandons Hegelian idealism.
e. History is not God. But still there is this inexorable and ordered progressive march, following the Hegelian pattern.
2. Dialectical: thesis, antithesis, synthesis
Thesis: Status quo. Inevitably involves class struggle because there is SCARCITY. Oppressed and oppressor.
Antithesis: The response against the status quo
Synthesis: The result of the struggle, becoming the
new status quo.
II. Human life operates on 2 levels
A. The substructure, that is, the foundation which produces everything else in the human condition.
1. The most fundamental stratum is the forces of production, that is the material resources and technology.
2. The forces of production give rise to the relations of production, that is the social relations having to do with producing goods and services.
3. But why do the forces of production cause certain relations of production? Because a certain social organization is the most efficient way to get the most out of the forces of production.
--- The perennial and ubiquitous problem that drives everything else is SCARCITY!!!
B. The superstructure, relatively trivial ideologies and institutions that are produced by the substructure.
1. For example, law, religion, ethics, philosophical beliefs, family structures.
2. You think what you think and do what you do as a result of where you are in the the social system in your point in history.
3. Job of the beliefs and institutions in the superstructure is just to defend the status quo.
a. For example, "Religion is the opiate of the masses."
b. Search for objective truth in philosophy is futile.
c. Old dead guys are not right. They just thought whatever they were determined to think by when and where they were.
III. History: What drives social changes?
A. There are relations of production which will maximize forces of production most efficiently.
B. Pre- History->Slavery -> Feudalism -> Capitalism
C. The dialectical process
1. Each stage - struggle, oppressor and oppressed
2. oppression not "evil" really, because social system is the inevitable product of forces of production.
3. "revolution," change absolutely determined, unavoidable given changes in those forces.
IV. Feudalism -> Capitalism because of industrial revolution
A. Now machinery produces best and most.
B. Absolutely need the capitalist who can amass wealth to build the factories and direct production.
C. Need masses of workers to work in the factories.
-- Capitalism: Many workers who work for wages, profit goes to somebody else, factory owner. A necessary step in the progress of world history. --
V. But Capitalism entails a new problem, Alienation: that is, separation from something to which you were and ought to be related.
A. Human essence = "homo faber", conscious creativity, vs. lower animals.
B. Objectification -> We're nothing independent of the world - we're mere potential. We become something when we make things in the world - pouring our powers into material reality.
C. But in capitalist society because of private ownership of means of production we suffer alienation.
1. From your own labor - sell it, don't do what you want, hate work
2. From product - don't make what you want, it's not yours.
3. From other individuals - competition
workers vs. capitalist
workers vs. worker
capitalist vs. capitalist
4. From species - being - i.e., a human being is a social being who makes, all of that is taken from us - we're alienated from our own nature.
VI. The solution
A. Capitalism contains the seeds of its own destruction
1. (inevitably) poor get poorer, more numerous, society divides into 2 classes, the workers and the capitalists.
2. But...because of the very nature of the system, the workers are now massed around factories. They are brought together and able to get better organized.
B. Violent revolution! Overthrow the capitalists, get rid of private ownership of means of production.
VII.The Socialist system:
A. The dictatorship of the proletariat (the workers now own the means of production and make the decisions)
B. The problem of scarcity will be solved by full-automation!
C. No more competition, and our new motto will be "From each according to his ability to each according to his
-- Do people need competition and incentives in order to work? Is the socialist system contrary to human nature? - No! --
D. We will develop a new cooperative consciousness, attitude, beliefs - all result from substructure, with abolution of private property, no scarcity - no need for a competitive attitude.
A. Government will whither away - no need for force to maintain order because no classes, no struggle, no competition, no crime.
B. It's the end of history!!! Human essence is restored - we can labor freely and express ourselves!
VIII. Problems with Marxism
A. It seems to be self-contradictory. Beliefs function of economic situation?
1. Philosophy is part of the superstructure.
Inevitably driven by what happens in the substructure. Can't reach objective
So why believe Marx? Doesn't he say what he says because he's mid-nineteenth century middle class German of ethnically Jewish descent?
2. Marx responds, I'm different because my claims are Scientific!
B. Well, is Marxism good science?
1. Predictive power
a. revolution in industrialized nations?
b. violent revolution necessary to improve workers conditions?
c."Marxist" governments - impoverish their countries, genocidal, repressive, totalitarian
2. Defenders say, the revolution hasn't been tried. But that still means failed predictions. Either it didn't happen the way Marx said it would, or it didn't happen at all!
C.. More fundamental problem: There is no reason to exempt science from the rest of the human condition in which everything is determined by the forces of production. To do so contradicts Marx's fundamental world view.
I. Only indigenous American philosophy (fits the stereotype).
II. Peirce 1839-1914 (Founder - trouble publishing)
James 1842-1910 (Popularizer - without negative connotation)
Dewey 1859-1952 (Influence on American education)
---------Critique of earlier philosophy-------
The wrong view...
l. Task of P is to find out what's the case
2. True belief is one that copies things
The right view....
III. The point of philosophy and of thinking in general is to solve problems: real problems that really concern us as actors in the world. "Do not doubt in philosophy what you do not doubt in your heart." (Descartes' question about the external world?)
IV. The test of whether or not a theory ought to be accepted is whether or not it works i.e. does it help us accomplish whatever it is we're trying to do?
A. Language and concepts grow out of our action in the world.
Clock, not a ‘copy' view...computer
Hard and Soft
B. "Truth" = what's useful
C. aim should be to achieve a belief that really helps
get the job done, ‘subjective satisfaction' - looking for some abstract
"truth" beyond a theory that works is futile in any case, but it's also
pointless in that it doesn't really help.
V. Pragmatism is more of a method than a world view. Not saying this or that is the case about the universe.
A. Method involves a community effort...meanings of words do not arise in a private, but in a public context.
B. Special approval of science...the rules governing the scientific community involve freedom from dogma and openness to experiment.
C. Dewey on education: Goal is to remold society through the schools. Do away with traditional and religious perspectives. Experimental method: teach how to think, not what to think. Replace traditional values with new pragmatic values ...the good is what works!...discoverable through science.
----A Standard Criticism: Is the distinction between knowing the truth and finding a belief that's useful a false dichotemy?-----
VI. Pragmatic solutions to P problems (2 examples)
A. Is there truth? (i.e. is human reason capable of coming up with good solutions?)
1. Logically you can't prove it without begging the question, but ...
2. You have to assume it to get anywhere
B. Free Will
1. Options, indeterminism v. determinism - 2 competing faiths.
2. Look to consequences and see what we can live with.
3. Indeterminism - chance
a. Destruction of laws of nature, chaos?
b. No. Here's what indeterminism looks life...
Divinity Ave. vs. Oxford St.
4. Determinism - whatever happens, has to happen. Nothing else could possibly have happened
a. Judgments of regret
b. Radical pessimism about entire universe
c. Escape with fatuous optism?
d. But then we ought not make the judgment of regret (And
we're back with pessimism)
either way universe stinks!
No praise or blame, no point in effort
5. Opt for indeterminism
--We're looking at one example --
(Logical Positivism) A.J. Ayer 1910-1989
We hate this idealism stuff! Ah, for the days of David Hume!
Rejecting of traditional P at least as radical as with Marx.
I. The job of philosophy is just to analyze language. Science
tells us what's the case.
II. Two kinds of propositions (Statement which can be made in different languages. A "sentence" means a proposition stated in some specific language. )
Analytic (necessarily true and just about how we use words, not about any objective facts in the world) 2+2 = 4, All bachelors are unmarried men
Synthetic (about the world and empirically testable) The train will be by any time
III. Verification Principle (to distinguish the meaningful from the meaningless synthetic propositions)
"A synthetic proposition is meaningful only if it can be empirically verified, at least in principle."
i.e. we must be able to point to some sense experience .
A. The box is blue
B. There is a planet outside the orbit of Pluto
(in principle - some sense data)
A. Metaphysics: There is a God. There is not a God. I have an immortal
soul. I do not...
Not open to empirical observation, therefore...
B. propositions about mental states. The problem is this: When I utter a proposition about my own interior state, presumably I intend for it to have meaning for you. But my inner states are not empirically verifiable from your perspective.
"I have a headache."
"I'm imagining a yellow daffodil."
[But we say this sort of thing all the time!]
If I'm saying something meaningful to you, then my statement must be open to verification by you. So what I must really mean is -"I am going to behave a certain way." That's something you could observe!
C. ethical language. Can value talk be empirically observed?
NOPE! So what can we say about ethical language? We talk about good and bad all the time. We must mean something!
EMOTIVISM - ethical language does not state facts of any kind!
a. expresses emotion
b. attempts to instill emotion in others
"It's wrong to torture small children for fun"=
Boo! Torturing small children!
Funny consequence - no possibility of disputing about values. In order to disagree we have to making what we take to be statements of fact. "It's a value judgment."
Absolute abandoning all moral principles!
A. Verification entails observation -- but my observing (on a Humean sort of view) occurs in my own mind...what grounds objectivity or allows for agreement?
B. Does it (log. pos.) give an adequate account of language? God? Headache? Ethics!
C. Morally absurd!
D. V.P. renders scientific language meaningless! Science talks in universals.
"Water boils at 212 F"
1. Can you verify that? i.e. prove it true or false - No! It's supposed to be a universal law - i.e. it's supposed to hold true tomorrow. The future will be like the past. No empirical evidence!
2. Move to probability. Probably "Water boils at 212F" because probably the future will be like the past. No! No empirical evidence for that either!
E. . The V.P. seems to render itself meaningless!
1. It can't be empirically verified! Tee hee!
2. It's just a heuristic device, a tool which we choose to adopt
to help us in our quest to analyze language.
Why should I adopt it?
- French, atheist, existentialism
- Reject traditional P, focus on human experience, actor in world, but not as part of historical struggle, focus is on individual, radical freedom.
I. Existence precedes essence (define)
chair, - essence preceeds existence
[God - human nature]
Aquinas - everybody shares basic goods...primitive man, modern middle class person
Sartre finds this implausible
Man is nothing - no kind of thing - until he acts and chooses
II. A. No objective, transcendent values
We must give things, actions, institutions, value by choosing
"We can never choose evil"
B. Our choices are not determined (by heredity, environment, subconscious...)
1. "science" of psychology totally wrong-headed. Freud,
B.F. Skinner, Marx...
2. The paradigm example - knife, waterfall - We're literally free to do whatever we are physically capable of doing.
3. I and I alone am totally responsible for my actions - I can't blame them on anything outside myself.
III. anguish: When I choose I choose for all mankind i.e. with no external values or rules, we all create, invent rules, we're providing the examples which others may choose to follow. We're saying - this is a good way to do!
Enormous responsibility - What do I know? How can I set myself up as the example?
forlornness - As Dostoyevsky said, without God everything is permissible.
No guide for choosing. Just choose. The choice has value because
it's chosen. You give it value. Sartre's student - What if
he said I just can't make a decision. "Condemmed to be free"
despair - Can never have certainty. What happens depends
on everybody's choices, but everybody is radically free. Cause that
you worked so hard for today may be totally abandoned tomorrow.
(I'm working for socialism, others may choose fascism)
IV. Why people don't like it.
A. quietism? If one state of affairs is not objectively better than another, why should I bother? "No reality except in actions."
B. horrifies some people because of insistence upon responsibility-
What if you're a failure. " I could have done this great thing, but
circumstances were against me...I'm really a great P, etc."
existentialism insists that what you do is what you are
C. subjectivity (vs. objectivity - objective values, objective
(If all good is in the eye of the beholder then doesn't anything go?
What if young Frenchman is Jeffrey Daumer?
Why is socialism to be preferred to Fascism?
Answer: [Rogers: To the extent that it really responds to the criticism of subjectivity it repudiates much, most of what he said earlier. Result would be an ethic not totally different from Mill or Kant or even Aquinas.]
I. We won't talk in terms of good and evil, but in terms of truth and falsehood. One ought to recognize the truth.
II. Truth is we're radically free - there is a universal human condition
- to hide this truth from ourselves is to live inauthentically (e.g. +
-, I have to do it, great actress)...
III. We can construct an ethical system: We ought to choose truth, i.e. freedom for ourselves and for everyone - don't interfere with freedom of other individuals, work towards freedom for all
Freedom - ability to make your own choices, do what you want
Axe murder mother?