33 Matching Annotations
  1. Apr 2019
    1. hence, it appears that the Internet is encouraging bad morals

      This is an interesting take. The Internet - a thing - is given volition. It "encourages", it tempts. Hardly the first time we've seen this with technology, but it's part of that misallocation of causes.

  2. Feb 2019
    1. one's moral values will rise to the corresponding level.

      This reminds me of the "Q" question, the assumption that just exposure to literature will inculcate an upstanding character: the banner model for humanities education.

  3. Jan 2019
    1. We can begin to envisage as well how a theory of reading and writing can become a training in moral judgment.

      If this is the case, what is rhetoric's relation to morality?

    1. The Victorian periodical The Westminster Review wrote that the introduction of gas lamps would do more to eliminate immorality and criminality on the streets than any number of church sermons.
  4. Sep 2018
    1. Instead of taking these characteristics and saying that they are the basis for “human dignity,” why don’t we simply accept our destiny as creatures who modify themselves?

      He mentioned several times that human nature can be the basis for values and morality, but here he says that human nature is subject to change. In that case It sounds like he believes that the standards of morality and value which are based on human nature should also change and that doesn't sound like very firm ground to stand on.

    1. Another approach to confinement is to build rules into the mind of the created superhuman entity (for example, Asimovs Laws of Robotics). I think that any rules strict enough to be effective would also produce a device whose ability was clearly inferior to the unfettered versions (so human competition would favor the development of the more dangerous models).

      The author points out that human competition, which thus far has driven the exponential development/advancement of technology, would drive developers towards the "unfettered versions." While I agree that it would likely be the case, I think it's possible that the author is underestimating how much of ourselves would likely end up in the superhuman. Aspects of humanity that were likely never intended to be in the superhuman, but will end up there inherently due to who is programming it.

  5. Dec 2017
    1. This degree of medical information is such as the mass of scientific students would wish to possess, as enabling them, in their course thro life, to estimate with satisfaction the extent & limits of the aid to human life & health, which they may understandingly expect from that art: and it constitutes such a foundation for those intended for the profession, that the finishing course of practice at the bedsides of the sick, and at the operations of surgery in a hospital, can neither be long nor expensive.

      The authors of the Rockfish Gap Report recognized the need to create curriculum that focused on the moral/ethical implications of medical practice. The fact that the "extent & limits" of the practice is emphasized here demonstrates that there is more to care than simply repairing the body on an anatomical level, thus prompting the need for a more compassionate kind of care. The initial purpose of UVA's medical curriculum was to create a more compassionate pool of health-providers, and this vision persists today in programs like the nursing school's Compassionate Care initiative. This fully aligns with Jefferson's belief that students should focus on their area of study from a micro and macro level, synthesizing knowledge of the hard sciences with philosophical and ethical inquiry.

    2. John Robinson of Rockbridge County, has executed a deed to the President & Directors of the Literary fund, to take effect at his death for the following tracts of Land, to wit

      The development of the University was an incredible feat that I am sure many wanted to be a part of. John Robinson likely hoped to do some good in death by having his final legacy be contributing his land and slaves for the university's use. Though Lexington was not chosen as the site for the University, Robinson's willingness to donate the wealth he accumulated throughout his lifetime to UVA demonstrates the human tendency to be a part of a cause greater than who they are individually, thus in a sense defying death.

  6. Nov 2017
    1. To develope the reasoning faculties of our youth, enlarge their minds cultivate their morals, & instil into them the precepts of virtue & order.

      I do not think this goal was possible with the existence of slaves at UVA. No one can accept the most immoral institution and remain moral. I find excerpts like this extremely interesting, as these men apparently valued virtue but still supported the university’s ownership of slaves. The existence of slaves also cultivated a racist mindset among the students, not a "virtuous" one, which was counterproductive to the founders’ goal.

  7. Oct 2017
    1. To give to every citizen the information he needs for the transaction of his own business. To enable him to calculate for himself, and to express & preserve his ideas, his contracts & accounts in writing.

      This part of the text makes it known that everyone who was to be involved in the University's establishment should have the right of knowing what goes on with his own transactions. While reading this, i was constantly reminded of how my engagement constantly talks about people having the right to control what goes on to their bodies. Some people choose to stay ignorant to the problems going on in their body while others care to know what is going on and what indeed is the best way to proceed forward. It is all a right and in no way, shape, or form should this right be violated and/or questioned. I believe that while, several other aspects of the document were designed for failure, this section provided some sort of hope for equality and self awareness. - Kayla Thomas

    2. Education, in like manner engrafts a new man on the native stock, & improves what in his nature was vicious & perverse

      This section reminded me of the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes who believed the nature of man is inherently bad and the purpose of government and education is to control man's selfish desires. In my opinion, I side more with John Locke's philosophy that the nature of man is inherently good but society is corrupted by certain negative people. Education's purpose should be to remind people of their virtuous nature and not become distracted by the inequalities and failures of society.

    3. To understand his duties to his neighbours, & country, and to discharge with competence the functions confided to him by either.

      This idea seems to be really important in being a conscious and involved member of society in our time. In light of recent events, we can look to interpret the "duties to [our] neighbors" to mean that we need to care for and support each other, regardless of differences.

    4. enlarge their minds cultivate their morals

      The report consistently gives reference and importance to the student's morals. I think that this is ironic because the morals of the university have changed so much since the commencement of the university. It was acceptable in 1819 to consider slaves as property, not people. This was something that did not exist on student's moral compass until about 1953, when the first black student stepped on grounds. And even then, students and faculty pushed Mr. Gregory Swanson (the first black student at uva) to leave because of all the ridicule he dealt with. So, was the university truly built on morals if we could not accept all? Morals of the university have thankfully changed over time.

    5. To improve by reading, his morals and faculties.

      I think the term "morals" is interesting in this sentence considering the time period. One of the morals that most people lacked during this time period was owning slaves.The next sentence also says "understand his duties to his neighbors, and country." However, his duty was only to treat white people right and either discard or treat minorities unfairly. It also say "the functions confided to him by either." The crazy thing is the a lot of the people in the country were not represented or given the function to confide in him.

  8. Sep 2017
    1. that to secure Ourselves where we are, we must tread with awfull reverence in the footsteps of Our fathers.

      The word "secure" demonstrates a need for status and purpose. This seems interesting in reflecting on the document as a whole, which is essentially a declaration of establishment and is securing the meaning of the university. "Tread with awful reverence" prompts a reflection upon what is considered a good and valuable life in this situation. Do we need to keep this reverence in mind with all decisions that come with the progression of the school? Tana Mardian

    2. Districts of such extent as that every parent should be within a days journey of his son at school, would be desirable in cases of sickness

      In my Mortality and Morality engagement class, we often times talk about the role of family in the event that someone does become sick and how their presence can make a huge impact on how a situation is carried out. Family is often time seen as an extra layer of protection over any individual, especially for children. We assume that children are not old enough or mature enough to make major decisions for themselves, so it is ideal to keep them within reach in case of emergency. Therefore, if a school can supply resources that could be beneficial in times of need many parents would view that as a plus. - Kayla Thomas

  9. Apr 2017
    1. Evil is always evil, and it may be thought of, perhaps, as essentially destructive, a willed and deliberate negation of organic life. It is always evil to kill another human being, even though it is sometimes right to do so.

      A fascinating distinction.

  10. Mar 2017
  11. Feb 2017
    1. Conspiracy theorists have argued that the AIDS virus was deliberately created as part of a plot to kill black or gay people

      "Those who found morality on sentiment, more than on reason, are inclined to comprehend ethics under the former observation, and to maintain, that, in all questions, which regard conduct and manners, the difference among men is really greater than at first sight it appears." - Hume

  12. Jan 2017
  13. Sep 2015
    1. . Psychologists have thought about morality primarily as a system of rules that prevents people from hurting each other and taking their possessions. But I believe that morality is much richer and more balanced. Most people don’t want to rape, steal, and kill. What they really want is to live in a moral community where people treat each other well, and in which they can satisfy their needs for love, productive work, and a sense of belonging to groups of which they are proud. We get a visceral sense that we do not live in such a moral world when we see people behave in petty, cruel, or selfish ways. But when we see a stranger perform a simple act of kindness for another stranger, it gives us a thrilling sense that maybe we do live in such a world.
  14. Jul 2015
    1. depending on the degree of concavity of utility, which also can be interpreted in an aggregate model as the degree of aversion to income inequality in society.

      This is always the kicker in policy questions and where rational people can actually disagree. People have different valuations of the same moral ideals. This is why I periodically try to imagine the basis of my morality space and evaluate to what extent it is orthonormal.

  15. Nov 2013
    1. He says, for example, "I am rich," when the proper designation for his condition would be "poor." He misuses fixed conventions by means of arbitrary substitutions or even reversals of names. If he does this in a selfish and moreover harmful manner, society will cease to trust him and will thereby exclude him.

      This seems like a punishment, but we are looking at it with our moral lens.

    2. This peace treaty brings in its wake something which appears to be the first step toward acquiring that puzzling truth drive: to wit, that which shall count as "truth" from now on is established. That is to say, a uniformly valid and binding designation is invented for things, and this legislation of language likewise establishes the first laws of truth.

      Truth without morality. Truth because of social conventions.

    3. What men avoid by excluding the liar is not so much being defrauded as it is being harmed by means of fraud. Thus, even at this stage, what they hate is basically not deception itself, but rather the unpleasant, hated consequences of certain sorts of deception.

      We think we dislike deception, but we really hate the consequences of that choice. It has not yet gained the moral distinction.

    1. I shall not object to your opinion that moral virtue is undoubtedly useful and suitable for the use of all arts, but in no way shall I admit that any art is a moral virtue.

      shedding the art of implied moral and philosophical attributes

    2. For although I admit that rhetoric is a virtue, it is virtue of the mind and the intelligence, as in all the true liberal arts, whose followers can still be men of the utmost moral depravity. Nor is rhetoric a moral virtue as Quintilian thinks, so that whoever possesses it is incapable )f being a wicked man

      This sounds more realiistic

  16. Oct 2013
    1. Of these professors the morals must first be ascertained, a point of which I proceed to treat in this part of my work, not because I do not think that the same examination is to be made, and with the utmost care, in regard also to other teachers (as indeed I have shown in the preceding book), but because the very age of the pupils makes attention to the matter still more necessary. 3. For boys are consigned to these professors when almost grown up and continue their studies under them even after they are become men. Greater care must in consequence be adopted with regard to them in order that the purity of the master may secure their more tender years from corruption and that his authority deter their bolder age from licentiousness. 4. Nor is it enough that he give, in himself, an example of the strictest morality, unless he regulate also, by severity of discipline, the conduct of those who come to receive his instructions.
    2. Of these professors the morals must first be ascertained, a point of which I proceed to treat in this part of my work, not because I do not think that the same examination is to be made, and with the utmost care, in regard also to other teachers (as indeed I have shown in the preceding book), but because the very age of the pupils makes attention to the matter still more necessary

      morality a central issue. Teaching children while young and still susceptible

    1. People think that morals are corrupted in schools; indeed they are at times corrupted, but such may be the case even at home. Many proofs of this fact may be adduced; proofs of character having been vitiated, as well as preserved, with the utmost purity under both modes of education. It is the disposition of the individual pupil, and the care taken of him, that make the whole difference

      Here's the thing: there is compelling contemporary psychological evidence that shows that our moral behaviors are, in fact, greatly influenced by our environment. Even those of us who are steadfast in our moral convictions are influenced. So it makes sense to place the even more susceptible youth in suitable environment to at least aid in proper moral development.

  17. Sep 2013
    1. These charges are of two kinds. Some of them say that the profession of the sophist is nothing but sham and chicane, maintaining that no kind of education has ever been discovered which can improve a man's ability to speak or his capacity for handling affairs, and that those who excel in these respects owe their superiority to natural gifts; while others acknowledge that men who take this training are more able, but complain that they are corrupted and demoralized by it

      Charges against rhetoric

    1. neglected all the good things which this study affords, and became nothing more than professors of meddlesomeness and greed