Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Moral Progress?

Day 1: Introductory thoughts about what this class is about:

"Moral Progress"?

  • What is it?
  • Does it ever happen?
  • How does it happen?
  • What prevents or discourages it from happening?
Moral Progress (improvement, getting better, getting closer to the moral truth about what should be done and how things ought to be) regarding:
  1. thinking, reasoning, arguing, debating
  2. feelings and attitudes
  3. actions, behavior, policies
Three "logical skills":
  1. attending to the meaning(s) of unclear terms: what do you mean?
  2. making claims precise regarding number or quantity: all or some (if some, then which ones?)?
  3. identifying missing unstated premises, unstated assumptions that need to be identifed so the pattern of reasoning is totally clear: making the argument logically valid.
The 3 examples below were used to illustrate the importance of these three skills for identifying and evaluating arguments.

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