Shorty topics #2

Here are the new (week #2) “shorty” topics; please do one of these. These are due by email Sunday night (Sept. 9th). As always, send to Bonnie if you’re registered for PHI 632 and to Ron if you’re registered for PHI 652. And more information is on the Shorties Page.

  1. Epicurus claims both that no pleasure is intrinsically bad and virtue is a necessary and sufficient condition for leading a pleasant life. In your view, can he consistently maintain both views? Why or why not?
    How might Bentham respond to Nozick’s experience machine example?

  2. Mill famously says, “It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied.” (123) Can he consistently make this claim and be a hedonist? Why or why not?
  3. Haybron says that hedonism “appears to commit something of a category mistake.” (176) What does he mean by this, and is he right?
  4. According to Haybron, happiness has a causal depth that pleasure lacks. What does he mean by this? Is this claim consistent with his project of determining the nature of happiness as a psychological state? Why or why not?
  5. Haybron faults hedonism for treating the case of the flat tire as it treats the case of the parent who learns of a child’s sudden death. Explain why he thinks this shows that hedonism is false. Can a successful hedonist response be made?