Question

1. Can moral value be aggregated? (discuss Kant’s view vs. a utilitarian’s view, before explaining and defending your own view)
2. What is the connection between desire and happiness, according to Plato? Do you agree?
3. How could Plato’s thought experiment of “the Myth of Gyges” be used to challenge contractarianism? Do you think this challenge is successful?

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Kant’s view is, absolutely, that moral value cannot be aggregated. A prime example of this is his notion that a person is an end in itself. That is, a person’s ‘value’ is such that there is no circumstance in which some consideration or interest or goal or end could have higher value than that of the person – a person could never be used as a means to some other end. So, when dealing with incomparable, unsurpassable, absolute value, there can be no place for a notion of aggregation of value. Utilitarianism, on the other hand, is based on the notion that the moral value at stake in different courses of action can be summed and compared – the course of action which results in the greatest net value, i.e. the greatest net happiness, is the moral action...

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