Wednesday, November 22, 2017

problems with your drafts? here is a list students who can help YOU

This is a list of students whose drafts are good enough that they can give sound advice:

MWF 10 am

Antonio Cardenas,
Paul Miniet,
Diego Rodriguez, 
Humbert Torres,

MWF 11am

Vanessa Arrieta,
Julian Mier,
Selena Bridges,
Karen Palacios,
Chandra Diaz de Arce,

T,R 950am

Renel Desir,
Kevin Restrepo,
Alicia Wilmot,
Yuniska Castaneda,

T,R 11:15am

Wilson Pena,
Pamela Monfort,
Dorian Ruiz,
Brittany Hall,


T 5:40pm

Devorah Korf,
Schneider Pierre,
Sofia Ocoro,


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

All regular classes: I reviewed your drafts already

If you still need to fix draft issues don't resend them to me via email. 

See me in my office. It will likely take 12 minutes. 

Here are my office hours (again)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Topics for Exam #3 (Chapter 4) MINITERM


Topics for review for Exam #3 on Chapter 4 are here.

Here is the link to your textbook. Do the tests for chapter 4.

If you have any questions, post them in this post. I'll try to get to them ASAP.

Getting your first draft ready


the paper above is from a HONORS student (name withheld) in my spring 2016.

analysis (above): the thesis paragraph is the most important paragraph in your paper, this is the argument program you will follow. see how her draft has a short clear thesis divided into two or three points, four or six sentences. 1st point, explanation, second point, explanation (third point, explanation) and so on...

next, comes the counter paragraph. you do the same thing, only with a counterargument. the paragraph starts with "prohibitionists disagree," so the reader clearly understand "who is talking." same strategy. 1st point, explanation. second point, explanation (third point, explanation) and so on... 


third paragraph is the thesis first point (medicinal marijuana to treat diseases such as glaucoma, anxiety, seizures, etc.). the difference is that the thesis is expanding and going in detail, with outside sources (in text citations, referring to the bibliography in the last page of the draft).

the fourth paragraph is the counter paragraph taking its first point. see that it begins with the right attribution "prohibitionists disagree," which informs the reader of "who's talking."

the subsequent paragraphs just follow the same dynamic until all the 6 points have been addressed.
then the thesis comes back with a conclusive paragraph wrapping up the discussion.

Here you have 3 different conclusion samples, taken from recent philosophy papers. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

now that your drafts are peer-reviewed, input your peer's suggestions and send your revised drafts to


atriff@mdc.edu

in the subject of your email please, write down:

Elizabeth Doe, First Draft Revision, MWF 10am class (whichever your class and name happens to be)

YOU HAVE A WEEK AFTER THE PEER-REVIEW TO DO THIS

First draft in-class peer-review: What to look for,

Formal issues

* left hand side:name, First Draft Philosophy Paper, class time,
* title: middle, bold,
* Times New Roman p. 12,
* double spaced,
* indented paragraphs,
* spelled check and grammar checked (very important!)
* 9 paragraphs (at least)
* minimum 1000 words,
* no front-and-back printing of draft,

Paragraph format issues

* first two paragraphs: Thesis and Counter, 3 points per paragraph.
* total of 6 sentences per paragraph. first sentence presents, the following sentence explains
* each paragraphs properly prefaced: either GS "advocates" or GS "critics" or SSM "advocates" or SSM "critics," etc. don't mind the repetition.
* 4th parag. should be Thesis 1st point, 5th parag. Counter 1st point and so on, alternating until the conclusion.
* Bibliography in separate page, at least 4 different sources,
* Only reputable sources to be cited, NO URLs, consult this for MLA conventions of citability  of digital references,


Content issues

* avoid unnecessary wordiness. the more wordy the more indication of poor research, 
* look for argument/citation ratio, 70% for argument,  30% for citation. if there is more, this is a red flag for plagiarism,
* proper introduction of each quote, "who talks" (Dr. John Doe, professor of Biology), "provenance," (at Penn State University),
* if a website, find the writer's name, her position, etc. google her name that if necessary,
* look for fat thesis paragraphs vs. thin counter paragraphs. this is a sign of poor research or bias, which is worse. your paper is as good as your counter's presentation,
* look for RELEVANCE, i.e., what is presented is properly explained and justified. 
* look for COHERENCE, i.e, the presented points in the draft successfully justify your thesis and counter's introductory paragraphs. 

CALL A SPADE A SPADE!
it's time to tell your friend the following 

* this draft needs more research
* this draft has dubious sources
* your draft is too biased towards your thesis
* the points are not presented in a coherent manner
* the points presented are not relevant,
* the sources presented are not relevant,

If you have an intuition, call it, you're probably right!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

next week, get ready for your first draft and our in-class peer-review

Dear classes: Next week we are having our in-class first-draft peer-review. Basically you'll exchange drafts with the person next to you. Pen in hand, you will mindfully & carefully critique your peer's draft. 

Here are the things to keep in mind:  1- Get your first draft ready. Here is an actual paper, first 4 paragraphs + 3 conclusion samples.

2- And here are the actual guidelines.

Basically, you just have to finish what you already started. You did four paragraphs, tackling the first point of the thesis and the first point of the counter. Do the same with the remaining points.  Add the conclusion paragraph to wrap it up,

Good luck.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Triff's Office Hours

M-F 8-9:40 
M 3:30-5:30pm
T 3:30-5:30pm

Final exam schedule (Fall 2017)


Many of you have approached me about final exam dates.

Here is the Fall 2017 Exam schedule.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

List of student assistants (so far)

MWF 10am
Rosangela Rizo
Humbert Torres
Roxy Ochoa

MWF 11am
Selena Bridges
Wilda Jean
Ryan Figueredo

TR 9:50am
Ana Esclusa
Daffodyle Saget

TR 11:15am
Ashley Leonard
Wilson Pena
Gary Zamora

Student Assistant Duties: Organizing reviews before the tests. This takes coordinating the review with me0, as I will post these reviews by sending email blasts to the class and posting review dates on our website. Being available for consultation.

THANKS,

Monday, October 9, 2017

Second assignment, philosophy paper (how to build a discussion)

This assignment takes care of four paragraphs. The first two are the most important in your paper. They are theses paragraphs. These are the program you will follow. They are a thesis and a counter-thesis. Each thesis and counter should contain two points. See that each point is explained. Suppose this is a paper against the prohibition of marijuana.

_______________________________________


P. 1 In this paper I argue against the prohibition of marijuana. First, prohibition must be weighed against the loss of personal freedom. That is to say, our laws should respect individual free will and the right of self-determination. In addition, the The War on Drugs has only served the immediate interests of politicians. By taking a moral stand against recreational drugs, or fighting the evils caused by the illegal drug trade they have only increased their popularity among constituents.

P. 2 Prohibitionists disagree. They believe that marijuana is addictive and may help create new consumers rather than rescuing current ones. Addiction is a real problem which lies in the power of the drug to induce dependency.  In addition, marijuana has been proved to lead to the use of other hard drugs and increase the possibility of committing crimes. Addiction can only be sustained within a social network of sale and distribution linked to organized crime. 

_______

Now, comes the discussion of these points. In Paragraph 3 you go back to your thesis, but now you're going to take the first point, only now you flesh it out. Bring outside experts and relevant data. The counter 
(Paragraph 4) is going to do the same. 
_______ 

P. 3 Abolitionists believe that prohibition must be weighed against our personal freedoms.
They argue that persons should be able to choose what they want with their bodies, including the recreational use of drugs, as long as they do not harm others. Such arguments often cite John Stuart Mill's harm principle, which urged that "the state had no right to intervene to prevent individuals from doing something that harmed them, if no harm was thereby done to the rest of society." (Mill, Liberty, 75).

P. 4 Prohibitionists reject this idea. dependent on or abused illicit drugs. In 2007 one in every nine children under the age of 18 in the United States lived with at least one drug dependent or drug abusing parent. There is no point in having criminal laws unless those caught breaking them will at least face prosecution. Dr. John Samaras, professor of psychology at Penn Sate University argues that parental substance dependence and abuse can have profound effects on children, including child abuse and neglect. (Samaras, Drug Addiction in America, 44).

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

paper proposal sample (due in a week)

This is your first paper assignment. This is a proposal, which has three components: 

1- Heading (in Times New Roman, point 12). On the left hand side, write your name (last name first), Philosophy Paper Proposal and the day and time of your class.
2- In the middle write the title (even in tentative) in bold letters. Avoid just rewriting the topic in your title. You may change your title, this is just forcing you think about a direction.
3- Two paragraphs, the first paragraph has your thesis, followed by a brief explanation supporting it. The second paragraph has the counterthesis with a brief explanation supporting it.  
   

Doe, John
Philosophy Paper Proposal
MWF, 10am Honors

Why animals should be protected against abuse: Factory Farming in America 

          In this paper, I will try to prove that animals being raised in factory farms in America deserve a better treatment. My main argument will show the public and environmental health risks associated with unregulated factory farming, while stressing that animal cruelty is ethically wrong. 


          I will argue against a counter defended by Factory Farm advocates, that our present regulations are necessary to offer a needed product at competitive market prices. 

topics for your philosophy paper

these are the topics for your philosophy paper. each theme has a link to a wikipedia article. once you pick your topic, read the whole wikipedia article. it's actually pretty good.

see that wikipedia presents a form. take a look at the content table to your left with 12 points ranging from "history," "on the go," "cuisine variants," to "advertising," "business," and finally "criticism" (where you find the counters to fast food advocates). etc. at the end of the article you find "references," "further reading" and "external links." the "reference section has 84 footnotes! this is your bread and butter. each wikipedia article is structured following the same form.

here are the topics: 

fast food 

(this important topic is at the intersection of public health, food production and public policy, i.e., the impact of globalization and cheap homogeneous food and the coming back of artisanal food, regional cuisine, farming, promoting taste as well as the organic food movement).

factory farms & animal welfare

(generally little appreciated, this topic takes an ecological and human/animal dimension: the link between animal-processed foods, ecological degradation, all tied to the still obscure field of animal ethics).

same-sex marriage 

(one of the hottest social topics being discussed right now in America, at the intersection of personal vs. religious freedom, secularism, legislation, homosexuality, human rights, cultural consensus, etc).

government surveillance 

(a global problem intersecting, civil rights, policy, new technologies, power excess, international relations, corporate neutrality).

rule of law

(after Trump's inauguration and even with Obama's spate of executive orders, this point becomes relevant).

social media & culture 

(privacy issues, information overload, cyber bullying, fake news, etc).

robot ethics 

(moral issues arising from our present and future interaction with A.I.)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

List of student assistants for Summer B class

Sofia Fascia
Selina Savage
Gersch Schiff
James Reyes

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Final exam, Chapter 5 MINITERM

Section 5.1

Ethics is the study of moral norms & values.

Moral norms emerge from non-moral norms. i.e., "incest is wrong" only when brother & sister have sick babies.

Moral norms are behaviors of fundamental consequence for human welfare. They ensure survival.

mk = mn + "facts"

Ethics can be broadly divided into objectivism and subjectivism. Objectivism is the view that right and wrong are independent from peoples' beliefs. Subjectivism is the view that right and wrong are dependent of peoples' beliefs.

Cultural relativism: The doctrine that what makes an action right is that it's approved by that culture.

Counterarguments to cultural relativism here

What's the structure of moral knowledge? Find it here.

6. Are there universal moral principles? I think we could say yes. 1- Principle of mercy (Unnecessary suffering is wrong) 2- Principle of justice (Treat equals equally).

Section 5.2

Difference between consequentialist theories and formalist theories. Consequentialism is the theory that judges the rightness or wrongness of an action in terms of its consequences. Formalism is the theory that judges the rightness or wrongness of an action in terms of the action's form (i.e., "killing is wrong": the formalist believes that moral actions are objective).

Intrinsic (value for its own sake; personhood is an essential value: a-reason, b-autonomy, c-sentience, d-freedom) and instrumental values (value for the sake of something else).

Ethical egoism: What makes an action right is that it promotes one's BEST interest. This is equivalent to a calculus of prudence.

Find more arguments for Ethical Egoism here.

Counterarguments: (a) Moral agents are mot mere instruments for one's interest. (b) Egoism is not a socially or politically cogent theory (i.e., you would not vote for an egoist in office if you could vote for an utilitarian).

 Act Utilitarianism: What makes an action right is that it maximizes happiness everyone considered (remember this is only a particular milieu: family, class, Miami, Florida, the USA). Counterarguments: (a) McCloskey’s informant (problems with rights) (b) Brandt’s Heir (problems with duties), (c) Goodwin's Fire Rescue (problems with duties), (e) Ewing's Utilitarian torture (problems with justice). Duties: obligations one has by virtue of one's embeddedness in society. Filial, social, etc. Justice: justice is fairness.

Rule Utilitarianism: What makes an action right is that it falls under a rule that if generally followed would maximize happiness everyone considered.

RU is a better theory than AU. Why? Because if applied, it can solve the problems posed by the previous counterarguments.

In McCloskey, the rule is "Do not bear false witness." In Brandt's utilitarian heir, the rule is "Do not kill (your father)," in Ewing's Torture, the rule is "Do not torture." Yet if one knew that this particular individual, John Doe had information that would save the lives of 100 people, Rule Utilitarianism would justify torturing him (given the second clause of the definition: to "maximize happiness everyone considered."

Here you have more arguments for traditional utilitarianism. 

Section 5.3

 Kant’s Categorical Imperative: What makes an action right is that everyone can act on it (which yields universalizability), and you'd have everyone acting on it (which yields reversibility: Golden Rule). Remember Triff's circuit.

Perfect duty: A duty that must always be performed no matter what (keeping our promises). Imperfect duty: A duty that doesn't have to be performed always (taking a shower every day). 

Problem with Kant's first formulation: (a) Hare’s Nazi fanatic (I've commented this as the Al Qaeda paradigm). The Al Qaeda jihadist tells you that he's following Kantian ethics. He follows reversibility since he immolates himself with his victims. His actions follow a universalizability principle since (even if he was an infidel) he would wish that all infidels die -including himself.

Can Kant respond to that counter?

Kant's Second Formulation: TREAT PEOPLE AS ENDS, NEVER MERELY AS MEANS TO AN END. 

Kant's second formulation yields the principle of respect.  Are there problems with the second formulation? Yes, these are known as "problems of exceptions to the rule". Some times we have to treat people as means to ends. Example: Broad's Typhoid Man. What to do then?

Sunday, July 2, 2017

draft revisions (glossary of my symbols)

here are the symbols I use in the revision of your drafts:
______________________________
C/P: Fix copy and paste ratio, this is a red rflag for plagiarism. Fix it by paraphrasing in your own words the whole paragraph.

FixSent: Fix the sentence, it reads awkwardly.


FdbetAr: Find a better argument. Generally it means the argument is not relevant. Find a new one.

InsuffRsrch: Insufficient research.

?? : Don't get it, "what do you mean," vague, etc.

Hypb: Hyperbolic. Fix the tone of your sentence. Hyperbolic language is a sign of poor research.  

TooW: Too wordy, cut, trim, less is more.

Need+W: The draft is short on words. 1,000 words minimum,

WT: Who talks? Proper prefacing, i.e., Same-marriage critics, or Same-marriage activists, never mind the cacophony, what we need is clarity.

Mss1Pt, missing first point, Mss2Pt, missing second point, Mss3Pt, missing third point,

Insffexpl: Insufficient explanation,

Insffinfo: Insufficient information,

ITC: Missing in-text-citation,

OS: The paragraph needs outside source,

Prefproprly: Preface the paragraph properly with either _____ advocate or ______ critic,



Wednesday, June 28, 2017

On the distinction between number and quality when talking about ourselves (for Summer A class)


Because of our discussion yesterday and some of the comments put forward just before the class ended. We talked about how a white person is not qualified to talk for a black person (and viceversa), a man for a woman (and viceversa), a heterosexual for a homosexual (and viceversa), a non-transgender for a transgender and viceversa). At first, these qualifications may seem limiting, indeed overbearing. After all (as Roberto pointed out), even amongst blacks, a black person may say (referring to another black person) "this black person is not qualified to talk for me."

discussion continues here.

Student assistants for Summer A class

Athenais Acquaviva
Emily Mader
Julio Cesar Leyva

Thursday, June 15, 2017

watson: the smartest machine ever built!



as part of our conversation about functionalism & AI (see the discussion about hypothesis and the talk about "corpus" around 4:00).

also, read this article, by ray kurzweil.

to proper understand what Watson does you should be proficient in these areas:

natural language processing, which includes

SYNTAX
morphological linguistics,
parsing, 
lexical semantics (a promising subfield of the intersection between syntax and semantics)

SEMANTICS
machine translation,
natural language understanding (this is where the name AI comes from)
sentiment analysis (I love this, where the psychology intersects para-logical processes) 
disambiguation,
discourse analysis,

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Topics for Exam #1 (Summer A)

Chapter 1
 

1- Necessary and sufficient conditions (think of some examples as we did in the Homeworks):

"X" is nec. for "Y", iff Y cannot exist w/o "X," or if "X" is not present, "Y" will not occur.
"X" is suf. for "Y", iff "X" cannot exist w/o "Y," or if "X" is present then "Y" will happen.


2- Logical impossibility, i.e. if it violates a law of noncontradiction (something cannot both be and not be at the same time), causal impossibility (i.e. if it violates a law of nature).
Example: Levitating is logically possible, but causally impossible. QUESTION: If something is logically impossible, can it be causally possible?

3- Argument A set of premises and a conclusion.

4- Deductive arguments: valid (if the conclusion necessarily follows from the premises); sound (a valid argument with true premises).
REMEMBER: There are valid arguments which are unsound.

5- Inductive arguments: strong (an argument that would establish its conclusion with a high degree of probability if the premises were true), cogent: a strong argument with true premises.

6- IBE (or Inference to the Best Explanation) also known as Hypothetical Induction: Hypothesis, which if true, would provide the BEST EXPLANATION for the evidence.7- Criteria of adequacy: Simplicity, consistency, fruitfulness, conservatism and scope.

8- Thought experiment, counterexample, test implication

9- The difference between conceivability and possibility

10- Fallacies. These are the fallacies I want you to know: Begging the question, Appeal to the person (Ad Hominem), Appeal to Ignorance, Appeal to Authority, Appeal to Tradition, Appeal to Fear, Appeal to the Masses, Hasty Generalization, False Dilemma.

Chapter 7

1- All boxes in 537, 539, 541.


Belief: A mental state of acceptance (a belief could be false).
Justification: The reasons why one holds a belief (there are good and bad justifications).
Truth: Correspondence, Pragmatic and Coherence.
Suspension of belief. Neither accept nor reject a belief.
Theories of truth: Correspondence: Truth is a fact (example: "Snow is white.") 
Pragmatic Theory: Truth is what best does the job at hand. (example: "Dom Perignon is a good champagne.")
Coherence Theory of Truth: Truth is what best coheres with the rest of my knowledge.

Think of examples of each of these and their differences. When we don't have all the evidence, or when we're dealing with complicated problems, we may use the pragmatic criteria: With history, forensics, matters of opinion and taste we are more likely to deal with truth as pragmatic than as factual. How can you tell the difference? With the Correspondence Theory I have the facts: "It's raining outside". However, the question: "Is democracy a good system of government?" demands a more pragmatic investigation. In the soft sciences "truth" is obtained more with the pragmatic method.
Have handy the following concepts: performative knowledge, knowledge by acquaintance.
 

Section 7.1 & Section 7.2 are summarized here.

Section 7.3

1- Standard Account of Knowledge: K= JTB / Counterexample: Gettier's Guy in Barcelona.
2- Defeasibility Theory: K = UJTB /Counterexample: Lehrer's demented Mrs. Grabbit.
3- Causal Theory: K = SCTB / Counterexample: Goldman's Fake Barns.
4- Reliability Theory: K = RPTB / Counterexample: Lehrer's Human Thermometer.    

5- Virtue Perspectivism: K = AB (apt belief). Also K= AK (animal knowledge) + RK (reflective knowledge

According to Sousa, knowledge is a kind of performance, because it has a goal: true belief. So, knowledge needs aptness = accuracy +adroitness  
accuracy ---> goal seeking
adroitness--> exhibiting skill 

Sosa believes there are two kinds of knowledge: Animal and Reflective. Animal Knowledge is externalist in nature. The animal is not aware of its knowledge. It relies exclusively on its sense (what I call "antennas"). 

On the other hand, Reflective Knowledge (RK) is internal in nature: It's a second-order knowledge that is acquired by reflecting on the principles and processes that underlie Animal Knowledge (AK, a first order of knowledge). 

This is the picture. If you have AK you can know without being aware you know. If you have RK you basically know that you know.   

6- This is how Sousa's theory (Virtue Perspectivism) solves each of the preceding counterexamples:  

1. in the case of Gettier's Guy in Barcelona, Smith doesn't have AK, nor does he have RK that "Jones owns a Ford" or "Brown is in Barcelona."    
2. In the Mrs. Grabbit thought experiment, the librarian has both AK and RK that Tom Grabbit stole the book. 
3. In Goldman's Fake Barns thought experiment, Henry has AK that he sees real barns, but he doesn't have RK that he doesn't see fake ones. So, in a sense he doesn't know he knows. 
4. In Lehrer's Human Thermometer thought experiment, Mr. Truetemp has AK of the temperature (he has a thermometer attached to his skull), but he doesn't have RK (he doesn't know why he knows). 

These answers prove that Virtue Perspectivism is a better theory than the previous ones. It can tell us what the issue is, and what needs to get fixed.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

topics for our final exam (all classes)

Ethics is the study of moral values. Metaethics is the study of ethics.

Moral values are behaviors of fundamental consequence for human welfare.

mj = mn + facts

Is there moral knowledge? (here I flesh out moral naturalism)

Subjective relativism: What makes an action right is that one approves of it. C/A, an action can be right and wrong at the same time. The subjectivist doesn't pay attention to the properties of the world. For him, right and wrong are relational properties, like big and small, not like "square" and "round." They believe moral judgments are "secondary properties," brought by the observer. Formalists, on the other hand, believe that moral judgments express PRIMARY properties of the world. Just like the juice in the wine or the broth in the chicken soup. 

Cultural relativism: The doctrine that what makes an action right is that it's approved by that culture. Counterarguments: 1- Logical contradiction (see above), impossibility for moral disagreements and 2- The fact that cultures are not that different at a deeper level. One can point to differences between "deep" values (moral values, i.e., human behavior of fundamental consequence for human welfare) and "superficial" values (domestic habits, etiquette, fashion, etc) other cultural values to the effect that most cultures seem to share the same deep moral values.

 5. Logical Structure of Moral Arguments: mj = mn + "facts" (this is not a formula, just an approximation). What is a "fact"? A belief held by factual evidence (i.e., child abuse is wrong because of the facts we know about psychology, human rights, child development, etc,).

 6. Are there universal moral principles? YES. We could point to at least two: 1- Principle of mercy (Unnecessary suffering is wrong) 2- Principle of justice (Treat equals equally).

Section 5.2 

1. Difference between Consequentialist theories and Formalist theories.

Consequentialism is the theory that judges the rightness or wrongness of an action in terms of its consequences. Formalism is the theory that judges the rightness or wrongness of an action in terms of the action's form (i.e., "killing is wrong": the formalist believes that moral actions are objective).

 2. Intrinsic value (value for its own sake; personhood is an essential value: a-reason, b-autonomy, c-sentience, d-freedom) and instrumental values (value for the sake of something else).

 3. Ethical egoism: What makes an action right is that it promotes one's best interest. This is equivalent to a calculus of prudence. C/A (a) Moral agents are mot mere instruments for one's interest. (b) Egoism is not a socially or politically cogent theory (i.e., you would not vote for an egoist in office if you could vote for an utilitarian).

Click here for my notes on Ethical Egoism

 4. Act Utilitarianism (or Traditional utilitarianism): What makes an action right is that it maximizes happiness everyone considered (remember this is only a particular milieu: family, class, Miami, Florida, the USA). C/A (a) McCloskey’s informant (problems with rights) (b) Brandt’s Heir (problems with duties), (c) Goodwin's Fire Rescue (problems with duties), (e) Ross Unhappy promise (problems with duties) (6) Ewing's Utilitarian torture (problems with justice).

 5. Rule Utilitarianism: What makes an action right is that it falls under a rule that if generally followed would maximize happiness everyone considered. RU is a better theory than AU. Why? Because if applied, it can solve the problems posed by the previous counterarguments. In McCloskey, the rule is "Do not bear false witness." In Brandt's utilitarian heir, the rule is "Do not kill (your father)," in Ewing's Torture, the rule is "Do not torture." Yet if one knew that this particular individual, John Doe had information that would save the lives of 100 people, Rule Utilitarianism would justify torturing him (given the second clause of the definition: to "maximize happiness everyone considered."

Click here for my notes on utilitarianism

Section 5.3 

Kant's Formalism. Formalism is the theory that AIR because of the action's form.

1. Kant’s Categorical Imperative: What makes an action right is that everyone can act on it (which yields universalizability), and you'd have everyone acting on it (which yields reversibility: Golden Rule). Remember Triff's circuit.

2. Duties: obligations one has by virtue of one's embeddedness in society. Perfect duty: A duty that must always be performed no matter what. And imperfect duties.

Here are my notes on Kantian ethics.

3. Kant's Second Formulation: TREAT PEOPLE AS ENDS, NEVER AS MEANS TO AN END. Problems with the second formulation? C/A The problem with Kantian theory is the problem of exceptions to the rule. Should I keep a promise even if it puts someone's life in danger? Then, some times we have to treat people as means to ends. Example: Broad's Typhoid Man. What to do then? Pluralistic Formalism: What makes an action right is that it falls under the highest ranked duty in a given situation.

Here are my notes on Kant's second formulation. 

 4. Ross’ Pluralistic Formalism: AIR if it falls under the highest ranked duty in a given situation. So now we have prima facie duties and actual duties.
Prima Facie Duty: A duty that must be performed unless it conflict with a more important duty. Actual duties: One that must be performed in a particular situation.

You must know hierarchy and each one of these duties as I explained in class:
1- Justice, 2- fidelity, 3- reparation, (are the three most important) followed by: 4- beneficence, 5- non-maleficence, 6- gratitude, 7- self-improvement.

Click here formy notes on W D Ross' Pluralistic Formalism

 Pluralistic Formalism improves upon Kantian theory's problem with exceptions.

 Section 5.4 

 Aristotle's virtue. Aristotle begins by saying that virtue is an admirable human quality. There are intellectual and moral virtues. Intellectual virtues are dispositions, such as wisdom and understanding, which help discover truth.

 Moral virtues are dispositions such as courage, temperance, friendliness, justice, etc. Intellectual virtues can be thought, moral virtues need to be practiced. They help us avoid moral problems but more importantly, they help our moral balance (since generally a poor action is a manifestation of defect or excess).

 The highest good for humans, the highest aim of all human practical thinking, is eudaimonia. What makes a virtuous character (ethikē aretē) possible, which is in turn necessary if happiness is to be possible. He describes a sequence of necessary steps: righteous actions (under the influence of teachers) allow the development of the right habits, which in turn can allow the development of a good character in which the habits are voluntary, and this in turn gives a chance of achieving eudaimonia.

 Virtue is an admirable human quality, marked by a disposition to behave in certain ways in certain circumstances. Then, there is the mean between excess and defect.

Here are some examples:

defect             mean         excess
cowardice----courage----rashness
apathy----gentleness----short temper
stinginess----generosity----extravagance
grouchiness----friendliness----flattery
boorishness----wittiness----buffoonery
self-deprecation----truthfulness----boastfulness
insensibility----self-control----debauchery

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Triff's office hours (Summer 12 week)

T, R, 8-9:40am

necessary and sufficient conditions


Necessary conditions:

X is a necessary condition for Y means, 

if we don't have X, then we don't have Y, or without X, you won't have Y

To say that X is a necessary condition for Y does not mean that X guarantees Y

Having gasoline in my car (I have a gasoline engine) is a necessary condition for my car to start. Without gasoline (x) my car (y) will not start. Of course, having gasoline in the car does not guarantee that my car will start. There are many other conditions needed for my car to start.

Having oxygen in the earth's atmosphere is a necessary condition for human life. However, having oxygen will not guarantee human life. There are many other conditions needed for human life other than oxygen in the atmosphere.

Being 18 years of age is a necessary condition for being able to buy cigarettes legally in North Carolina. Yet, being 18 years of age does not guarantee that a person will buy cigarettes. There are many other conditions that lead to a person buying cigarettes than being 18 years of age.

Sufficient conditions:

X is a sufficient condition for Y means,

if there is X, then Y happens (X guarantees Y)

Rain pouring from the sky is a sufficient condition for the ground to be wet.
______

Test yourself: 

*Is sunlight a necessary or sufficient condition for the flowers to bloom?

*Is earning a final grade of C a necessary or sufficient condition for passing the course?

*Is being a male a necessary or sufficient condition for being a father?

*Is having AIDS a necessary or sufficient condition for having the HIV virus?

*Is studying for a test a necessary or sufficient condition for passing a test?

*Is completing all the requirements of your degree program a necessary or sufficient condition for earning your degree?

Friday, May 12, 2017

regading homo "erectus"


the table above with the different "homo" developments.



Thursday, April 27, 2017

what to do with EROS?

"I love you"

what does this proposition mean? very little if at all --methinks. the proposition comes to us reified & depleted. its normativity in shambles:

here
here
here
here,
here

let's use new words: EROS, Agape, Philia, Storge,  

forget about one thing fits-all, that's ludicrous. let's be naturalists here. LOVE is an human emotion: a visceral, conscious reaction to an external stimulus. it serves a purpose, it brings us closer to OTHERness.

only that there are different "love-notes" for different given referents:

my parents and immediate family? they elicit storge. my friends? philia. my girlfriend? eros.
my mentors and role models? agape.

the picture is rich and complex.

now, i want to address EROS (because you're in the middle of it). EROS is lust, boundless desire for the flesh, a raw emotion which Nietzsche calls Bejahung ("life affirming").

If someone penetrated the depths of EROS, it was French poet Charles Baudelaire. in fact, he redefined EROS for fin-de-siècle european culture. here's a little taste from his Flowers of Evil:

Si le viol, le poison, le poignard, l'incendie, 
N'ont pas encore brodé de leurs plaisants dessins 
Le canevas banal de nos piteux destins, 
C'est que notre âme, hélas! n'est pas assez hardie.

(If rape, poison, dagger and fire,
Have still not embroidered their pleasant designs
On the banal canvas of our pitiable destinies,
It's because our soul, alas, is not bold enough!)

Baudelaire goes against the norms of political correctness of his time. This is a force as unbounded & self-destructive akin to the Freudian Todestrieb.

the problem of love is how to bring it under control (particularly these days of self-centered banality, with social media driving the narratives).

the key is not ever to repress EROS (you'll pay dearly if you do that), but to educate it. each one of us deserves to plunge in EROS' turbulent waters, at least once. How do you educate this riptide? By transforming sexual desire into a productive force.

Give yourself time to experiment. Explore relationships and learn the lessons. See how the sex drive can -at times- drain you or, on the other hand, make you sharp and resilient. for sure, you'll make mistakes, you'll break relationships, you'll suffer, but you'll grow.

it's possible to have pleasure and still respect persons. do not trade with persons. be fair with your lovers and be as honest as you can.

don't worry, Aphrodite will protect you.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

final draft guidelines:

you're supposed to bring a hard copy of your final draft on finals date. here are the guidelines:

1- Times New Roman p. 12
2- Heading, left hand side:

John Doe,
Final Draft
Phi 2010, Honors10am

3- Title, centered, bold,
4- Double-spaced,
5- Indent each new paragraph,
6- "Works cited" or "Bibliography" on a separate page, following MLA protocols (with last day of revision for digital sources),
7- No binders, no blank page cover,
8- All drafts must be STAPLED,

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

W D Ross pluralistic formalism (with a triffean twist)

Kant is a formalist. Formalists believe that the rightness of an action is given by the action's form. what's the form? as a moral naturalist I say in the moral "facts" of the action (recall moral facts are given by moral norms accepted by moral selection). Kant doesn't need this. His categorical imperative works from the presumption that we're all inside the Sapiens club.

The problem is that Kant never allowed for exceptions to the rule. "Breaking a promise" is wrong. Always wrong. Are there exceptions to these rules? NOPE, not Kant.  This  is a serious problem. A theory must offer viable solutions in the world, and the world is a jungle.

What if I promise A something, but now, if I keep my promise to A, then B's life is in danger? Should I keep the promise? 

Kant doesn't say. But W.D. Ross, a 20th Century formalist, did. His theory is known as Pluralistic Formalism.

AIR if it falls under the highest ranked duty in a given situation.  

In our previous example, the promise to A he calls "prima facie duty" (a duty at first sight). I must perform this duty, unless... well, unless keeping my promise to A endangers the life of B.   
This second duty is clearly more important for us, so it becomes what Ross calls "actual duty." This duty doesn't say "break your promise" it says rather "do not endanger the life of a person." It's the contrasting of the two that allows me to break my promise to A. 

Ross recommends a criteria of duties that I have revised. They are:

1. justice (being fair to people)
2. fidelity (keeping one's word, contracts, written & oral),
3. reparation (compensation in kind to others for one's breaking duties in 2.),
4. benevolence (doing good to people),
5. gratitude (making up, compensating what people have done for us),
6. non-maleficence (avoiding wishing or doing evil to people: think of treating people merely as a means to an end),
7. self-improvement (taking care of oneself), 

why justice first? 

justice seems to supervene on other duties, for example, gratitude (one can be grateful and unjust not just and ungrateful). even if you take the prize of the egoist 7. self improvement, justicfe seems to supervene on 7. why? because to maximize one's BEST interest, one has to be fair to oneself. yes! no BEST interest tramples on justice to oneself, thus 1. presupposes even 7.  
 
next, why fidelity second with reparation? because fidelity and reparations are twin sisters. if one fails one's promise one is in debt and should repair the wrong doing. lastly. self-improvement should be left for last as a safeguard against relapsing into an egoist calculus.

Triff's Hollandaise



(rumors have it that Hollandaise is not really French but Dutch) then, consensus indicate that Hollandaise is incorporated to sauce status when venerable Cuisiner des Roi Pierre La Verenne calls it "mother of all sauces." The truth is that Hollandaise harks back to the genius of Escoffier. He is to French cuisine what Descartes is to French philosophy (Escofier's Hollandaise uses a reduction --me neither).

I learned my Hollandaise via Abdel, a Francophile Lebanese cook I met while cooking at this Greek Diner I've talked to you about on 95 and Broadway in NY. He was a decent chef, escaping the civil war in Lebanon, but too old to take BS from a Greek ignoramus. Abdel left in less than a month and I took his place and changed the Diner into a Dominican/Haitian/Cuban/Greek/ dive (in NY the neighborhood's ethnicity dictates your cuisine). Just when the place was full of patrons, Carmen made my life miserable and I took a TA at Rutgers fleeing from the crisis (this is when sweet the spirit of philosophy appeared for the first time: Triff, it's me, Sophia. I see what you need).

Hollandaise is the story of the evolution in emulsion sauces (i.e, mayonnaise, aïoli, rémoulade, vincent and béarnaise). The old classical Hollandaise almost qualifies as mayonnaise. My version is suited for our self-conscious, fitness-obsessed times: lighter & delicate.

Ingredients

3 egg yolks, 1 tablespoon water, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 6-8 ounces of soft unsalted butter, 1 dash cayenne pèpper, salt to taste, pepper to taste.

Directions:

Hollandaise is a temperamental woman, both in beauty and unpredictability. She demands undivided attention and self-confidence. Why? Emulsified butter sauces sense our human fears and break on us -if you let them, that is. Let's start with whisking egg yolks, water, and lemon juice in a saucepan for lemony happiness. If the emulsion breaks it still gives you a pass at redemption. Whisk the broken sauce back into a clean teaspoon of water and you’ll have it back in moments (as they say: it faut avoir foi en soi).

 this should be the consistency of your Hollandaise

Back to the saucepan: keep whisking tirelessly until the emulsion gets thicker and pale. Now set the pan over moderately low heat and continue to whisk at reasonable speed, reaching all over the bottom and insides of the pan. Careful: at this stage the eggs tend to overcook. Off the burner, but don't stop whisking! Then back to low-to-moderate heat for a few seconds, and then back on. If, by chance, the eggs seem to congeal too fast, set the pan in the bowl of cold water to cool the bottom, then back on whisking. Now the eggs become frothy and increase in volume, and then thicken. When you can see the pan bottom through the streaks of the whisk and the eggs are thick and smooth, remove from the heat.


Now comes the art: By spoonfuls, add the soft butter, whisking constantly to incorporate each addition. The emulsion begins to form and you may add the butter in slightly larger amounts, always whisking until fully absorbed. Continue incorporating butter until the sauce has thickened into a consistently light texture. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding droplets of lemon juice if needed. Taste it, add some more lemon (the sauce should be distinctly lemony), and add a pinch of cayenne.  C' est ça!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Important guidelines for your final draft submission (HONORS classes) pay attention!!!

Guideline for final paper:

1- You're supposed to hand the final draft on the day of the final. 

2- The draft must be stapled, no binders, no cover page. 
3- At the top left the draft:

PHI 2010 HONORS
John Doe (your name)
MWF 10am class  

4- Your draft should be written in Times New Roman point 12
paginated on the top, right hand side.
5- Title in bold (centered). 
6- Your draft must be double spaced, with a minimum of 1,200 words.
7- MLS style of citations, (all same font, same size, including online sources). 
8- Please, properly spell check your drafts.

All of these details are worth points!! 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

draft's second revision

* THESIS & COUNTER paragraphs: a two-point thesis composed of declaration "In this paper I argue in favor of..." followed by two points argument, each followed by an explanation. the explanation must respond these questions: how? why? only one sentence. so, first paragraph should have about five sentences, no much more than that.
 
* begin each paragraph with "so-and-so" ADVOCATES or "so-and-so" CRITICS.

* internal coherence: check paragraphs 3, 5 for arguments 1& 2 of your thesis and paragraphs 4, 6 for arguments 1 and 2 of the counter. there must be a correspondence between these paragraphs. example, if you find anything in paragraph 3 or 5 that doesn't correspond to your first or second points of your thesis YOU HAVE A PROBLEM OF COHERENCE. please, pay attention to this point!

* COPY AND PASTE PROBLEMS (70% for argument, 30% for quote). here if the paragraph looks too good then it's not good. Write down C/P (copy and paste), "I need your voice." Very likely these paragraphs are copied-and-pasted. Just call it! or I'll call it! 

AT LEAST 4 SOURCES  IN BIBLIOGRAPHY. EVERY FACTOID IN THE DRAFT PROPERLY OUTSOURCED. 

kant's second formulation

let's start this post with the counter against kant's categorical imperative. i'm not going to use the NAZI fanatic. instead let's think of a ISIS jihadist using Kant's CI as his duty to "kill all infidels." that is to say, "kill all infidels" becomes a universal principle.

next, the jihadist puts himself in the place of the infidel and still wants all the infidels killed (this is a perverse surjective one-to-all, but it's doable). on the other hand, the jihadist applies reversibility ("I kill you while I kill myself").

is there a counter to this? YES, kant's second formulation can answers to the jihadist's counter.

known as the second formulation of the categorical imperative this is an elegant formulation:
Handle so, daß du die Menschheit sowohl in deiner Person, als in der Person eines jeden andern jederzeit zugleich als Zweck, niemals bloß als Mittel brauchst.
in english: "treat people as ENDS in themselves and not merely as means to an end" 

some words here that need attention:

1- MENSCHHEIT (humanity)  this is the Homo Sapiens club I always talk about. we're ALL in the club because we think. being inside the club gives us intrinsicality,  i.e., properties that can't be negotiated. the reason is that if you are in the club you -automatically- have them.

2- ZWECK as "end," the word in German means something like a target to aim at. thus, Kantian ENDS are goals.

3- MERELY,  as (only, as nothing else but) i.e., turning people into instruments, means to further ENDS
 
Conclusion: the jihadist uses people as a means to his ideology. NOT RIGHT.

it has been observed that the second formulation yields a modern notion of RESPECT (Kant uses the words Achtung and respekt). the opposite of respect is contemptuous disregard.
 
and therefore the following notion of DIGNITY. dignity is something one has, or better one owns, an inherent property of the self.
___________

another lesson to learn: all this vocabulary is 100% Kantian. that's why we use it. words and terms do have a provenance. be mindful where words come from.

my notes on kantian ethics

we should start with this question: Was soll ich tun? (What should I do? or what is the right thing to do? ) which kant considers takes us into ethical territory.

this territory requires several PERSON properties:

Reason (Vernunft)
Freedom (Freiheit)
The will (Der Wille)

the faculty dealing with this ethical territory is "practical reason" (praktische Vernunft). there is Reason (our thinking faculty) and the "practical" part which is the proposition we think of before we act: say, "breaking a promise is wrong"

according to Kant these propositions (which exist in the language and in the culture) express the action of the will (which is the choosing tree-model we examined in chapter 3).

this brings the idea of moral obligation. Kant says: "the will is a faculty of choosing only what reason (irrespective of inclination) as practically necessary."

in this tree-diagram reason is supervenient, freedom is there hanging, and the will is the one which acts.

you could see the diagram above including the different elements: Reason, Freedom, the will plus the subjective and objective results.  

the form that expresses this model above is the categorical imperative, what makes an action right is that everyone can act on it and you would be willing to have everyone acting on it. see that there are two aspects here. the yellow part is universalizability, the green part is reversibility. which is expressed by the categorical imperative diagram below.

the Categorical Imperative (above) expresses moral obligations, derived from the idea of DUTY (Pflicht). 

see that the action must satisfy the two branches simultaneously. there are two maxims here, left (universalizability) and right (reversibility).  "R" Reversibility: is one-to-one, and it requires "a putting in the place of b" the old Golden Rule: "do onto others as you would have them do onto you". "U" Universalizability: one imagines oneself as representing the club of Homo Sapiens, sort of saying: "my action now becomes universally required for all moral agents" (a one-to-all relationship).

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

my notes to utilitarianism

3-  traditional utilitarianism: AIR if it maximizes happiness everyone considered (the greatest majority of people) in construction....

Utilitarians are all consequentialists: AIR because of the consequences of the actions.
(we think consequentialism begins in China with Mozi, who promoted a philosophy of impartial caring. Only the Chinese could do that).

Utilitarianism is a 100% British moral theory. A side note: Karl Marx loved England's political climate because of utilitarianism. A famous utilitarian in the 19th Century is J. Stuart Mill. In the 20th century we have Richard M. Hare, and a great advocate for animal rights, professor Peter Singer. 

It's clear that utilitarianism wins over egoism as a social theory. Here we have to go to the explicit terms of the theory. One favors the individual, the other favors the group. If you vote for politicians A & B and you know A is an egoist and B an utilitarian, you'd be smart enough to vote for B.

Problems with the calculation of happiness

What is happiness? A kind of Greek eudaimonia.  Mill has a good point that happiness cannot only be defined in quantity but also in quality. Ex: what gives more happiness, to watch a bad series on TV or a good film? To spend two hours watching porno or to have a nice conversation with your girlfriend? (by the way I confess that my younger self was on the lesser side here, so I speak with propriety). How do you calculate happiness?

There are six counters against Traditional Utilitarianism, from page 351 to 355, pointing to problems utilitarianism faces with rights, duties and justice (please, revise these).

4- rule utilitarianism: AIR if it falls under a rule, which if followed would mzaximizes happiness everyone considered (this is same as above, but checked by local rules first).

RU needs now to defeat all the counters against TU. The RU takes case by case, and applies a rule. If the rule works, then the rule applies. Rules like "Never cheat," "Never steal," "Never lie," work, but they are accompanied by the subsequent "if it maximized happiness for the majority." The RU claims that she can face these counters to TU better.

1- McCloskey's Informant: "Do not bear false witness" declares the action of apprehending an innocent negro wrong. The RU could argue that apprehending an innocent person doesn't solve the problem, only makes it worse. 2- In Brand't Utilitarian Heir the RU applies "Never kill innocent people." Killing your own father is parricide and makes the TU's calculation bogus. 3- In Ross Unhappy Promise, the rule is "Keep your promises," and so on.

On the other hand, the RU cannot undercut its own utilitarian bent. The definition sates: "Keep your promises, unless it maximizes happiness," so when should one break the rule? Well, a rule that would allow you to kill somebody whenever doing so would produce more happiness than unhappiness is not permitted. But a rule that allowed you to kill somebody whenever it would produce a great deal more happiness than unhappiness probably would be morally correct. This is case by case.  

Monday, April 17, 2017

happiness is a warm gun (with math included)

that's a John Lennon's lyric for a Beatles' song, but I discovered something in my discussion with you about happiness that's pretty warm.

I'm suggesting to you that happiness is not outside in the world. Happiness is INSIDE. Indeed,
Aristotle and the ancient Stoics talked about keeping an inner balance.

Let's call this balance "happiness." 

happiness is a distribution factor "soothing" adversity.

The world is in constant opposition with us. The only way to WIN the world is not by fighting back, that's stupid. Fighting the world means spending your energy for nothing (since the world is supervenient on you). The only way to WIN is to play with the world. Adversity is just a frame of mind. We should arm ourselves with a shield against adversity.

Here's the shield in 3 steps:

1- keep the world at bay (it's called ATARAXIA)
2- do as much good as you can (without loosing yourself in the effort, it's called EUNOIA  or benevolence), so the world gives you back what you sow.
3- when necessary be prepared to turn defeat into victory (it's called GRIT).

this is where math comes in,

there's a function suggested by Gauss & Laplace,  concerning probability distributions. I'm simplifying the details. The point is that you could see happiness as factor dealing with a distribution of adversity: 



to be happy you have to know how to deal with adversity.   

yeah, happiness is a warm gun.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

ethics egoism (pros and cons)

ethical egoism: AIR if it maximizes one's (my) BEST interests.

PROS

BEST = conducive to self-preservation in society (i.e., playing by the mns of society).

want to see the force of BEST? not everything I consider my interest is in my BEST interest.

ex. having sex with a person I just met vs. being faithful to my girlfriend. my BEST interest is creating behavioral dispositions of fidelity towards my girlfriend. Why? It's good to keep my relationship healthy, but even more important for the egoist, it develops behaviors of self-governance that I need for life in general.

BEST also means playing by the rules of society. a very important rule is tit-for-tat, which translates as BENEVOLENCE (doing good).* The egoist tries to maximize her relationships in the world by being benevolent (whenever permitted) to increase her chances of success in the world. Why?

The more good she does, the more good is owed to her. You reap what you sow, is her lemma.

So, an egoist ends up being altruistic. But she is not fooling herself that altruism should erase the expecting good in return, why not? because that reinforces the stereotype of the free rider. I don't care how altruistic you appear, you don't want a friend that doesn't reciprocate the good you do for her (if you do, you are a self-destructive masochist).

CONS

Egoism has a slant for instrumentalizing people, i.e., treating people as means to her ends (we'll see the problem this presents when we study Kant's deontology).

Friday, April 14, 2017

my counter to cultural relativism

CR is the view that mn are culturally bounded.

CR is a theory about inconmensurability between groups. in class i propose to refute this in two different ways, via group theory in algebra or via moral naturalism.

1. one way to go is through mathematics: here's my simplified proof for group isomorphism,


2. the second way is to through natural history: hierarchies within the findings of values within a group (we learn this through anthropology, unfortunately they generally agree with CR).

a) if there are values, this presupposes a hierarchy.
b) if there is a hierarchy, some values are harder than others (hard for naturalism are those values that ensure survival). remember those values can be considered moral values, i,e. mns.
c) harder values cannot be endogenous to groups, since groups are associations of homo sapiens. harder values make HS associations possible.

thus,
harder values are common to different groups, i.e., they are intercultural.
mns are culturally interdependent. LQQD.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

notes to 5.2 (egoism and traditional utilitarianism)


mk = mn + facts  (you already know these facts are "soft," we've explained this)

from what we've learned, it all boils down to the difference between mn and mk,

let's see how this works for the following ethical positions. we use AIR for (an action is right):

1- ethical egoism: AIR if it maximizes one's (my) BEST interests. 

there are 3 modalities: a- individual, b- personal and c- universal
in a- it's "my" interests, b- someone's interests, c- the rule applies to everybody (everyone should act in this manner).

defenders: Max Stirner, Nietzsche, Ayn Rand, Sidgwick, etc.

ethical egoists believe in mn, but these values are subject-centered.

with BEST interest, the ethical egoist has a check to unregulated self-destructive interests. she should seek interests that ensure her prospering in the world. guess what? she has learned by moral natural selection that the best way to succeed in the world is to be a bit altruistic (that's benevolence, doing good). she also understands that this world is rule by a tit-for-tat social dynamics. free riders don't succeed in the long run.

the altruistic counter to ethical egoism? an ethical egoist is not altruist for its own sake, but enough that she fosters some altruism. which altruist is such that she doesn't care to reap what she sows? some people have presented the counter that the ethical egoist treats people as a means to an end. and this is true. later when we study kant's deontology this may become an opening.

our textbook presents an interesting counter on page 344. the ethical egoist is walking through the woods and finds his rival bleeding and in need of help and she lets him die (she is maximizing her best interest). it seems a good counter since ethical egoism doesn't have a check against that. one could retort that even an altruist may do that, after all humans may know what's their duty and yet, fail to act on it. it's called AKRASIA (the weakness of the will).

2- psychological hedonism: we are all egoists by default.

ethical hedonist's lemma: it would be impossible to cite an action that isn't done to maximize internal good.

this argument is very popular, but the problem is that it's too general. enough to come up with actions that one has done for the sake of one's duty. yes, ethical egoists have duties (filial duties, some social duties)

3-  utilitarianism: AIR if it maximizes happiness everyone considered (the greatest majority of people) in construction....

Utilitarians are all consequentialists: AIR because of the consequences of the actions.
(we think consequentialism begins in China with Mozi, who promoted a philosophy of impartial caring. Only the Chinese could do that).

Utilitarianism is a 100% British moral theory. A social theory, see the thrust of the theory goes for the greatest majority of people (a side note: Karl Marx loved England's political climate because of utilitarianism). Utilitarianism's main advocate in the 19th century is J. Stuart Mill. In the 20th century we have Richard M. Hare and a great advocate for animal rights: professor Peter Singer. 

It's clear that utilitarianism wins over egoism as a social theory. Here we have to go to the explicit terms of the theory. One favors the individual, the other favors the group. If you vote for politicians A & B and you know A is an egoist and B an utilitarian, you'd be smart enough to vote for B --unless A a member of your family.

Problems with the calculation of happiness

What is happiness? A kind of Greek eudaimonia.  Mill has a good point that happiness cannot only be defined in quantity but also in quality. Ex: what gives more happiness, to watch a bad series on TV or a good film? To spend two hours watching porno or to have a nice conversation with your girlfriend? (by the way I confess that my younger self was on the lesser side here, so I speak with propriety). How do you calculate happiness?

Then there are five counters from page 351 to 355 pointing to problems utilitarianism faces with rights, duties and justic (please, revise these).

4- rule utilitarian: AIR if it falls under a rule, which if followed would mzaximizes happiness everyone considered (this is same as above, but checked by local rules first).

RU needs now to defeat all the counters against TU. Ca it do that? The RU takes it case by case and imposes a rule. If the rule works, then the rule applies. Rules like "Never cheat," "Never steal," "Never lie," work but only accompanied by the subsequent "if it maximized happiness for the majority." The RU claims that she can face these counters to TU better.

McCloskey's informant: "Do not bear false witness" declares the action of apprehending an innocent negro wrong. The RU could argue that apprehending an innocent person doesn't solve the problem, only makes it worse. In Brand't utilitarian heir the RU applies "Never kill innocent people." Killing your own father is parricide and makes the TU's calculation bogus. In Ross unhappy promise, the rule is "Keep your promises," and so on.

On the other hand, the RU cannot undercut its own utilitarian bent. The definition still sates: "Keep your promises, unless it maximizes happiness," so when should one break the rule? Well, a rule that would allow you to kill somebody whenever doing so would produce more happiness than unhappiness is not permitted. But a rule that allowed you to kill somebody whenever it would produce a great deal more happiness than unhappiness probably would be morally correct.