Response to Sen Questions


Published in: on September 26, 2006 at 11:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Development Ethics and Globalization – David Crocker

 In Development Ethics and Globalization, David Crocker explores Globalization and all the questions that it exposes and uncovers in today’s world. These questions start from things so basic, as is globalization a good/bad thing to detailed plans on how to go about globalization in order to provide the most benefit for all those involved. I thought that Crocker did an amazing job on this article. Not only does it fully get across the idea of how pressing and how complicated this issue is through use of stating endless questions about every complications, but it also did a very good job of defining all these new terms and ideas and really presenting the ideas in a non-biased, matter of fact way. (more…)

Published in: on September 20, 2006 at 12:08 am  Leave a Comment  

J.J.C. Smart in Utilitarianism: for and against

J.J.C. Smart in Utilitarianism: for and against       I read the first forty-two pages of Utilitarianism: for and against (which were authored, as is the whole first half, by J.C.C. Smart). The selection was divided into 5 parts, excluding the introduction: act- vs. rule-utilitarianism, hedonistic vs. non-hedonistic utilitarianism, average vs. total happiness, negative utilitarianism, and rightness/wrongness of actions. Each of these sections seemed to be treated in an incomplete manner; ignoring the tendency of Smart to delay his explanations to later pages in the text, it is evident that Smart cannot attend all the questions before utilitarianism in the space provided (although that seems desirable). And, in fact, it was not his intention to battle with critics of the system, unfortunately for us. He aimed this book at convincing those who are so inclined to adopt utilitarianism that their choice is a valid one. Unfortunately, Smart did not convince me; rather, he left me with some questions. Addressing each section in turn, my queries should make evident a general question of what utilitarianism, according to Smart, can really say to guide man’s moral behavior.      (more…)

Published in: on September 15, 2006 at 6:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Convince me

1. Describe the “relative” conditions of virtue ethics?

2. Can’t wait to see more on the connection between existentialism and
Rand. Weird connection. Existance proceeds essence: how many ways can this be interpreted?

3. If you can represent Nietzsche’s view in a numbered way, and contrast it to
Rand’s, that would be really cool.

Published in: on September 15, 2006 at 6:52 pm  Comments (1)  

Comments on Eric Mack’s “The Fundamental Moral Elements of Rand’s Theory of Rights” – published in The Philosophic Thought of Ayn Rand

Mack’s piece did answer some of my questions and revealed that I had been incorrectly interpreting
Rand’s work, and was working from far too incomplete of an understanding of her idea of “self-interest.” My main problem with
Rand was my incorrect understanding of valid self-interest. The quote that Mack gives of her objectivist ethics “The fact that a living entity is, determines what it ought to do” does explain some concerns I had. A being’s purpose is entailed in its existence. The way in which this is used is to identify valuing in respect to life and living. Living, being the ultimate purpose of a man, is properly facilitated by valuing things correctly in respect to that goal. The thing about this that I admire is that
Rand finally has given some  grounding for her absolute-ish claims about ethics, or at the very least, the possibility of an objective view of ethics. This seemed striking to me for the reason that most of the views of ethics I’ve been accustomed with are subjective and relative. Even virtue ethics, which, if I had to choose my favourite, would be such, relies on relative conditions. (more…)

Published in: on September 13, 2006 at 3:43 pm  Comments (3)  

Reponse to posts on Sen’s “Human Rights and Capabilities”


Published in: on September 13, 2006 at 9:55 am  Leave a Comment  

Question about Sen’s distinction between capability/ freedom/ opportunity

  1. I am pretty confused about Sen’s capability/freedom/opportunity distinction. I don’t even really see where he has a final point after all this. I realize that he wants to make a distinction between being forced to do something you’d do anyway and being forced to do something, which given the option, you would choose not to do or to do otherwise. This entire section is weird because he starts off with two examples to contrast and then contrasts one of those with a whole different one when he starts on a new point, so I don’t really understand where he is going. Is he trying to say that one or the other is worse?
Published in: on September 12, 2006 at 2:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Questions about Sen’s philosophy– what is public reason for him?

  1. I don’t particularly understand what Sen means by “the role of public reasoning”. He is very concerned about it and I’m not quite sure what he is using as his definition. By the end of the paper I thought he meant the publics ability to interact with the capabilities that are required in their society and their ability to discern them by themselves. However, since I don’t understand his concern with a “set” list of capabilities forever and ever (which I don’t think that Nussbaum supports, although she does support a universal list) because I don’t think that this is really what anyone is trying to say. Is there anyone that supports that view, because he didn’t mention anyone?
  2. (more…)

Published in: on September 12, 2006 at 2:54 am  Leave a Comment  

Sen’s Human Rights and Capabilities: A Frustrated Response

In Amartya Sen’s article, Human Rights and Capabilities, Sen explores the capabilities and the ways that he believes they are both useful and not useful in a political theory. While reading this article I found it extremely hard to understand Sen’s points as I felt like he would randomly throw out something he disagreed with but he didn’t present it as I disagree with x’s theory because of y. He just said things like, I disagree with this.            (more…)

Published in: on September 11, 2006 at 4:42 pm  Leave a Comment