Category Archives: 07-08 Q3 SP

CLS 150-01

Antony & Cleopatra v. Octavian

  • Antony had money, troops, opportunity to invade Parthia
  • Octavian stuck with veterans to settle in Italy, less developed west
  • Sextus Pompey (son of Pompey the Great) cuts off grain by sea to Rome, Lepidus & Octavian defeat him in 36 BC, then Lepidus’ troops desert to Octavian
  • Antony falls for Cleopatra (last Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt), gave her and their children vast territories he won back from Parthians (they later defeated him when he invaded them)
  • Octavian uses brillian propaganda campaign to portray Antony as under Cleopatra’s foreign thumb. wins strong support in Italy and west
  • Showdown on west coast of Greece: sea battle of Actium (near Pylos) in 31BC, Cleopatra & Antony flee, commit suicide in EG
  • Augustus – Constitutional settlements: the principiate

  • Octavian attains sole power 31 BC: how to rule? How to make his power acceptable and avoid Caesar’s rule
  • Constraints and considerations
    • cant have appearance of monoarchy
    • control of armies: how to justify? how to organize?
    • reward core supporters (eg Agrippa)
    • aristocracy: still the governing class (Senate)
    • urban masses at Rome:; volatile
    • respect existing structures, customs, practicers
  • First Settlement, 27BC

  • Requirements: proconsular imperium to control legions, legal standing in Italy without holding any republican office
  • Settlement: Proconsular imperium over Spain, Gaul & Syria (where legions are) — gets name Augustus, title Princeps (first among equals) plus it was the term given to the most senior member of the senate, other honors
  • acts of second triumvirate abolished, to signal an return to normal
  • Second Settlement

  • Augustus’ illness, resignation from consulship in 23BC
  • takes Tribunican Power (TRB): right to make a formal motion at any meeting of the Senate, protection of sacrosanctity
  • imperium proconsulate maius = greater proconsular power in any province, including those governed by the senate
  • urban masses view of settlement: rioted in 22 during grain shortage and demanded Augustus be annual consul in perpetuity, every year forever
  • Third settlement in 19 BC

  • took powers of a consul as well as a title which made him overseer of morality
  • developments of 2BC: splits the consul in half, 6 mo terms, 2 consuls per term = 4 consuls per year instead of 2
  • Augustus & start of Pax Romana

  • creating something new by “restoring” old titles, powers all had Republican era precedents (but of course went way beyond them), princeps, imperator
  • adroit use of personal authority, auctoritas
  • moral reforms, aimed at governing, class 100 years of violence and civil war destroyed the old consensus
  • from brick to marble: massive building program at Rome
  • Establish board of elders; recover lost military standards
  • yet early 28BC construction of a large mausoleum, for himself and his descendants made a strong statement
  • located by Tiber River, one of the most important buildings “House of Augustus”

PHL 204-07

Can it be morally permissible to do something horrible in order to prevent something even worse from happening?

The Utilitarian Perspective:

  • The answer is a qualified “yes”
  • the reasoning: if you object to the torture on the basis of the pain it causes, then it seems that you ought to torture in order to minimize pain
  • Nagel’s position – the structure of his view:

  • general goal maximize value, minimize evil/non-value
  • but there are absolute restrictions or prohibitions against performing certain types of acts
  • certain things are wrong no matter what
  • Nagel’s task is to explain & justirfy these restrictions
  • The View from Nowhere (nowhere = objective view of things)
  • The View from Now Here (subjective view of things)
  • Utilitarian view relies on impersonal justifications
    Absolutist view relies on interpersonal justification

  • to determine whether there is an absolutist restriction, ask can I justify what I am about to do to the people I am about to do it to? If you can justify the action to the person, then there is no absolute prohibition, but if you cannot, then there is an absolute prohibition.
  • Problem: what does Nagel mean by “justifying to the person?”

  • If he means that you must be able to justify to an actual person with all of their irrationality, then this is pretty clearly mistaken
  • he must mean something different
  • maybe he means something like “you must be able to justify if to a perfectly rational being”
  • “perfectly rational being” — hard to define
  • Nagel on true moral dilemmas

  • TMD = a case in which you are faced with 2 or more options, all of which are morally wrong
  • Nagel claims that such cases can and do exist
  • in these cases, pick the lesser of two evils, but your action is still wrong

CLS 150-01

Supposed to be review for final today. We’ll see.

Format will be similar to quizzes, 8-9 pages, 1 map some multiple choice, format chronological
characteristics of polis
Solon’s reforms

GET THE LISTS FROM NOTES! Know phases of each

Persian Wars
Pelop. Wars
Alexander’s battles
Punic Wars
Ionian revolt

What is a New Man? first ever in family to become Consul

Find Athens, Sparta, Troy, Alexandria, Carthage, Sicily, Britain, Knossos, Issus, Granicus (near Troy), Rome, Miletus, Marathon, Thermopylae, Salamis, Pylos, Amphipolis, Danube, Rhine, Tiber, Sardis, Constantinople/Istanbul, Carthage, Actium,


why did Bronze age civs collapse?
what carries over Bronze age, into Polis system?
Key characteristics of Polis system?
Key elements of Spartan govt
Philip II
Spartan history
Hellenistic period
Main Greek dynasties
April 21 753, Rome founded
Cylon’s reforms
Cleisthenes (508BC)

Readings will be on final

8:30AM-10:30am Wednesday, regular classroom
bad notes, several missed classes

69AD year of the 4 emperors galba, vespasian, otho, vitelius

Vespasian (69-79) Flavian family: titus (79-81), domitian (81-96)
similarities between Vespasian & Octavian: ended civil wars, both New Men

The Antonines of the 5 good emperors AD 96-180

  • Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius & Marcus Aurelius
  • each hand picked for rule, didn’t inherit as blood relation
  • continue peace *& prposperity begun by Augustus
  • expansion mostly by Trajan: added Dacia (modern Romania)
  • building at Rome (Trajan & Hadrian) and in empire (Hadrian)
  • beginnings of barbarian invasions under Marcus Aurelius
  • Marcus Aurelius names son as heir; Commodus — a disaster
  • borders more carefully defined and fortified; e.g. Hadrians Wall across Britain; can no longer rely on threat of retaliation

PHL 204-07

War and massacre cases

How would Nagel/Mill address them? Which better, and why?

Case #1
Utilitarian: accepts certain rules of thumb

  • Do not torture innocent people
  • prevent catastrophic destruction & Death whenever possible
  • then, you think about producing the greatest happiness — the greatest happiness is produced by torturing
  • are they any other options? suppose NO.
  • will the torture be effective, and how can we know?
  • torture produces unreliable info
  • if it becomes known that we are torturing, it becomes more likely that we will be tortured.

  • let’s suppose that we somehow know that it will be effective and it will not be known that we did it
  • IF we make all these suppositions, then the utilitarian would say to torture

Nagel: advocates absolutism
|-absolute pacifism ————Nagel—————-utilitarianism-|

AP: always unacceptable to intentionally harm another
UT: any kind of action can be, in the right circumstances, morally permitted, if not required
NG: certain types of actions are wrong no matter what the consequences

two absolutist restrictions for warfare

  • restriction upon the legitimate targets of harm
  • restrictions on the means of harm to legitimate targets

PLS 200-05

Instructor/Class Evaluations, exam review

review of ethical theories, last Wed.

malfeasance, autonomy, informed consent, options for artificial induction of pregnancy

in vitro, in vivo, intrafallopian gamete transfer, egg embryo transfer, use of fertility drugs, etc.

informed consent questions

PHL 204-07

First Epicurean Argument

  1. The only thing intrinsically good for you is to experience pleasure; the only thing intrinsically bad for you is for you to experience pain
  2. Therefore some event is bad for you only if that event either causes you to experience pain (and some event is good for you only if it causes you to experience pleasure)
    – OR –
    prevents you from experiencing pleasure (Nagel)

Question: If hedonism is true, does #2 follow?


  • Being saved from the Mad Stabber: did this action benefit you?
  • Cash intercepted by the Rottten Mailman: did the mailman harm you?
  • The deprivation account of the harm of death:
    The harm of death is not that it puts you into a bad or harmed state; the harm consists of the fact that your death prevents you from experiencing future pleasures

    advantages of this view:

    • it can explain why we think it a greater tragedy for the very young to die, but not as great for the very old to die
    • it can explain why we view some deaths as benefits
    • Second Epicurean Argument

    • The problem of the subject/time of the harm of death:
    • The assumption of this argument is that all harms and benefits are states of a person.
    • example to question this assumption: severe cognitive impairment — doesn’t necessarily put you in a bad state. the harm is not a state you are in, it is instead dependent upon comparing the way you are with the way you would be
    • Some problems for the deprivation account

    • does the account allow us to ever know whether any event harmed of benefited us?
    • It requires you to compare what actually happened with what would have happened
    • our knowledge of what would have happened is hard to come by

PLS 200-05

Biomedical issues cont’d

Death = cessation of life

  • euthanasia: willful termination of life
  • who decides?
  • two types: active – administration of a procedure to cause death / passive – deny treatment
  • Bio-technology

  • Bio = study of life & living things, Technology = use or creation of technical means
  • 1950’s: DNA discovered – “fabric of life”
  • 1960’s: shift from academic environments to market development (production)
  • 1970’s: rapid development of commercial products
  • 1980’s: global commercial development (competitors Europe & Japan)
  • 1990’s: global competition for economic markets & new tech development (competitors China, E. Europe)
  • 2000’s: globalization quickens
  • Health Care

  • artificial insulin
  • human growth hormone
  • Agriculture

  • propagation of plants
  • development of livestock
  • Environmental

  • waste treatment
  • Energy production

  • alternatives to petrochemical products
  • National security

  • biometric identifiers
  • non-lethal technologies
  • NBC detectors
  • Human Genome Project: sequenced the human genetic code

PHL 204-07

Paper rewrites available if desired: due June 13 23:59 (final exam day), must also include original paper. (rewrite)

*** HANDOUT ***

RE Epicurus’ First Argument — Is premise 1 true (is hedonism correct?)

Standard anti-hedonist argument:

  1. If hedonism were correct, then we will be forced to evaluate the value of a life in a certain way
  2. but this evaluation is incorrect
  3. so hedonism is not correct

Problems with this argument:

  1. premise #2 above seems convincing only to those who already think hedonism is false
  2. premise #1 seems to rely on a bad interpretation of what hedonism says waht hedonism really is

A new argument against hedonism?

  • The Betrayed Businessman example
    1. B1: loves family, respects friends & colleagues, etc. (reciprocated)
    2. based on these relationships, he has a set of experiences (E1)
    1. B2: loves family, respects friends & colleagues, etc. (NOT reciprocated)
    2. based on these relationships, he has a set of experiences (E2)

Who, if anyone, in this example, is living a better life / whose life is going better?

Can what you don’t know hurt you??

The experience machine (VR/Matrix-like system)

  • experiences are indistinguishable from reality
  • prior memories are eliminated, replaced with new memories for continuity
  • feedback loop
  • you will experience more pleasure, guaranteed
  • Nagel’s argument against hedonism

  • everyone (including the hedonist) agrees that the discovery of betrayal causes sadness.
  • non-hedonist can explain this – the sadness results because we have learned something bad has happened
  • the hedonist cannot explain this – the betrayal is value neutral for the hedonist
  • we have reason to prefer theories that have more explanatory power so we have reason to prefer non-hedonist theories over hedonism

CLS 150-01

Walked out, not putting up with LaForce’s shit anymore.

PLS 200-05


Biomedical issues

  • reproductive technologies
  • life maintenance technologies
  • Ethics: the part of philosophy that deals with good & bad: morality, societal values

  • sets a code of behavior, professional occupations, etc
  • applies only to these organizations or professions
  • Law: what is legal in terms of the legal code, what is lawful or permissible in society

  • applies to all members of society

Ethical Theories (medical)

  1. what is the consequence?
  2. what is the obligation?
  3. what are the patient’s rights?
  4. what does intuition tell us to do?

How to apply these issues to treatment and care of human beings?

  1. What does it mean to be human?
    • self-consciousness
  2. autonomy
    • self direction
    • self control
    • make choices
  3. informed consent
    • rights of patient
    • nature of condition
    • consequences of treatment
  4. Moral rights
    • subject (individual)
    • legal code
  5. Malfeasance
    • wrongdoing

ersatz families: temporary?
“Traditional” families?

Informed Consent:

  • how is it done?
  • risks?
  • consequences
  • alternatives?
  • what does the law require?
  • Life?

  • how to define?
  • how to allocate treatment?
    • need
    • money
    • availability
    • age
    • quality of post-procedural care