Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for Sebastian Gardner, DH Mellor / A Oliver and Jonathan Glover

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55 ideas

1. Philosophy / C. History of Philosophy / 4. Later European Philosophy / c. Eighteenth century philosophy
Hamann, Herder and Jacobi were key opponents of the Enlightenment [Gardner]
Kant halted rationalism, and forced empiricists to worry about foundations [Gardner]
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 3. Metaphysical Systems
Only Kant and Hegel have united nature, morals, politics, aesthetics and religion [Gardner]
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 6. Ockham's Razor
Ockham's Razor is the principle that we need reasons to believe in entities [Mellor/Oliver]
2. Reason / E. Argument / 2. Transcendental Argument
Transcendental proofs derive necessities from possibilities (e.g. possibility of experiencing objects) [Gardner]
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 2. Geometry
Modern geoemtry is either 'pure' (and formal), or 'applied' (and a posteriori) [Gardner]
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 6. Fundamentals / c. Monads
Leibnizian monads qualify as Kantian noumena [Gardner]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 6. Categorical Properties
Properties are respects in which particular objects may be alike or differ [Mellor/Oliver]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 12. Denial of Properties
Nominalists ask why we should postulate properties at all [Mellor/Oliver]
16. Persons / A. Concept of a Person / 1. Existence of Persons
Persons are conscious, they relate, they think, they feel, and they are self-aware [Glover]
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 5. Abstracta by Negation
Abstractions lack causes, effects and spatio-temporal locations [Mellor/Oliver]
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 5. Action Dilemmas / a. Dilemmas
A problem arises in any moral system that allows more than one absolute right [Glover]
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 5. Action Dilemmas / b. Double Effect
Double Effect: no bad acts with good consequences, but possibly good acts despite bad consequences [Glover]
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 5. Action Dilemmas / c. Omissions
Harmful omissions are unavoidable, while most harmful acts can be avoided [Glover]
Acts and Omissions: bad consequences are morally better if they result from an omission rather than an act [Glover]
It doesn't seem worse to switch off a life-support machine than to forget to switch it on [Glover]
21. Aesthetics / A. Aesthetic Experience / 1. Aesthetics
Aesthetics presupposes a distinctive sort of experience, and a unified essence for art [Gardner]
21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 7. Ontology of Art
Art works originate in the artist's mind, and appreciation is re-creating this mental object [Gardner]
21. Aesthetics / C. Artistic Issues / 5. Objectivism in Art
Aesthetic objectivists must explain pleasure being essential, but not in the object [Gardner]
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 1. Nature of Value / d. Subjective value
Aesthetic judgements necessarily require first-hand experience, unlike moral judgements [Gardner]
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 2. Values / c. Life
What matters is not intrinsic value of life or rights, but worthwhile and desired life, and avoidance of pain [Glover]
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 2. Values / e. Death
'Death' is best seen as irreversible loss of consciousness, since this is why we care about brain function [Glover]
22. Metaethics / C. The Good / 1. Goodness / g. Consequentialism
You can't separate acts from the people performing them [Glover]
22. Metaethics / C. The Good / 1. Goodness / h. Good as benefit
Aggression in defence may be beneficial but morally corrupting [Glover]
22. Metaethics / C. The Good / 2. Happiness / d. Routes to happiness
The quality of a life is not altogether independent of its length [Glover]
23. Ethics / D. Deontological Ethics / 1. Deontology
Duty prohibits some acts, whatever their consequences [Glover]
23. Ethics / E. Utilitarianism / 1. Utilitarianism
Satisfaction of desires is not at all the same as achieving happiness [Glover, by PG]
23. Ethics / E. Utilitarianism / 5. Rule Utilitarianism
Rule-utilitarianism is either act-utilitarianism, or not really utilitarian [Glover]
24. Political Theory / A. Basis of a State / 2. Population / a. Human population
How can utilitarianism decide the ideal population size? [Glover]
The sanctity of life doctrine implies a serious increase of abnormality among the population [Glover]
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 6. Liberalism / g. Liberalism critique
Autonomy favours present opinions over future ones, and says nothing about the interests of potential people [Glover]
If a whole community did not mind death, respect for autonomy suggests that you could kill them all [Glover]
25. Social Practice / A. Freedoms / 5. Freedom of lifestyle
Autonomy seems to acquire greater weight when the decision is more important to a person [Glover]
25. Social Practice / C. Rights / 2. Moral rights
Being alive is not intrinsically good, and there is no 'right to life' [Glover]
You can't have a right to something you can't desire, so a foetus has no 'right' to life [Glover]
25. Social Practice / F. Life Issues / 1. Causing Death
If someone's life is 'worth living', that gives one direct reason not to kill him [Glover]
Utilitarians object to killing directly (pain, and lost happiness), and to side-effects (loss to others, and precedents) [Glover]
What is wrong with killing someone, if another equally worthwhile life is substituted? [Glover]
The 'no trade-off' position: killing is only justified if it prevents other deaths [Glover]
Societies spend a lot to save known persons, but very little to reduce fatal accidents [Glover]
25. Social Practice / F. Life Issues / 2. Euthanasia
The Nazi mass murders seem to have originated in their euthanasia programme [Glover]
Euthanasia is voluntary (patient's wish), or involuntary (ignore wish), or non-voluntary (no wish possible) [Glover]
Involuntary euthanasia is wrong because it violates autonomy, and it has appalling side-effects [Glover]
Maybe extreme treatment is not saving life, but prolonging the act of dying [Glover]
25. Social Practice / F. Life Issues / 3. Abortion
If killing is wrong because it destroys future happiness, not conceiving a happy child is also wrong [Glover]
Defenders of abortion focus on early pregnancy, while opponents focus on later stages [Glover]
If abortion is wrong, it is because a foetus is a human being or a person (or potentially so) [Glover]
If abortion is wrong because of the 'potential' person, that makes contraception wrong too [Glover]
Conception isn't the fixed boundary for a person's beginning, because twins are possible within two weeks [Glover]
How would we judge abortion if mothers had transparent wombs? [Glover]
Abortion differs morally from deliberate non-conception only in its side-effects [Glover]
If viability is a test or boundary at the beginning of life, it should also be so for frail old people [Glover]
Apart from side effects, it seems best to replace an inadequate foetus with one which has a better chance [Glover]
It is always right for a qualified person to perform an abortion when requested by the mother [Glover]
25. Social Practice / F. Life Issues / 4. Suicide
One test for a worthwhile life is to assess the amount of life for which you would rather be unconscious [Glover]