2011 Fall Proseminar Class Notes B

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This is the main page for posting information relevant to our Seminar Sessions. You should post for the Tuesday evening seminar by Sunday night.

November 1, 2011


Student Research Notes

Rachel Ku

Mental Illness/Health, Memory in Philosophy

November 8, 2011

Dennett Chapter 1

Student Research Notes

Casey Collins- Environmental Ethics

Environmental ethics is a field of ethics that attempts to assess the moral relationship between humans and the environment as well as the value and moral status of the non-human entities in the environment.

Alan Marshall's categories of environmental ethics help lay a foundation for ways to approach the issue. There are three:

Libertarian Extension: Moral consideration ought to be extended to aspects of the environment based on innate worth. A "civil-liberty" approach to environmental ethics. Peter Singer might ring a bell.

Ecologic Extension: The moral worth of environmental components is based on the interconnection that they all share. However, the entire ecological system has intrinsic value, not its individual parts.

Conservation Ethics: The moral worth of the environment is based on its utility to humans (anthropocentric). We ought to conserve the environment because it benefits us.

Basically, what I want to investigate is the idea of inherent worth in non-human entities. The above categories are very different in terms of how the environment ought to be valued. From my experience, there is significant diversity in opinion on the inherent worth of the environment and its components.

November 15, 2011

Dennett Chapter 2 and 3

Student Research Notes

Dennett's Philosophy as Explained by Dennet

Here are a few videos to help understand some of Daniel Dennett's thoughts on evolutionary reasons for what we are today, and his concept on Meme theory which is important to understand when trying to learn about a so called "new atheist" like Dennett. The first video is titled "Cute, sexy, sweet, funny" and discusses why we find things cute, sexy, funny, etc., here is the link[1]. The other video is called "Dan Dennett on dangerous memes" where he discusses the concept of memes, which are vital for understanding how Darwinian theory can be applied to things that seem outside evolution, like human creations, ingenuity, and religion.[2]