Evaluating actions The principle of utility Strengths Criticisms Act vs. rule

Save this PDF as:
 WORD  PNG  TXT  JPG

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "Evaluating actions The principle of utility Strengths Criticisms Act vs. rule"

Transcription

1 UTILITARIAN ETHICS

2 Evaluating actions The principle of utility Strengths Criticisms Act vs. rule

3 A dilemma You are a lawyer. You have a client who is an old lady who owns a big house. She tells you that she wants her dog to inherit the house after she dies. You promise her you will see to it that her dog will be the only future owner of the house. However, you also notice that there are not enough schools for children in the district.

4 A dilemma What would you do when the old lady dies keep your promise and honor her wish, or break the promise and convert the house into a school for poor children?

5 Evaluating actions When we make moral judgments, we try to determine whether an action is right or wrong. In other words, we are evaluating it. The moral worth of an action depends on whether and to what extent it is right from a moral point of view.

6 Evaluating actions Broadly speaking, there are 2 main theoretical approaches to moral judgments: [1] evaluation based on moral rules or duty (deontology) or [2] evaluation based on consequences (consequentialism).

7 Evaluating actions Deontology, or duty-based ethics, is the view that the rightness or wrongness of an action depends on whether it follows a particular rule or principle.

8 Evaluating actions For example, if all rational people accept the principle You should be nice to those people who are nice to you an action is intrinsically right (i.e. right in itself) if it accords with this principle, intrinsically wrong if it goes against this principle.

9 Evaluating actions Deontological ethics asserts, additionally, that we have a duty to do what is right. On the contrary, if an action is wrong, we have a duty not to do it.

10 Evaluating actions Consequentialism is the view that we should evaluate actions according to their consequences. An action is right if it brings good consequences; an action is wrong if it brings bad consequences.

11 Evaluating actions From the standpoint of consequentialism, actions are not intrinsically right or wrong. For example: an act of lying is not wrong in itself; it is wrong only if it brings bad consequences.

12 The principle of utility Utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism. The classical formulation of utilitarianism is found in the writing of Jeremy Bentham ( ) and John Stuart Mill ( ).

13 The principle of utility For Bentham and his followers, morality is concerned with maximizing utility (i.e. happiness or well-being).

14 The principle of utility As a social reformer, Bentham believes that morality, as well as law and social policy, should all have the same goal: to serve for the good of all persons. The purpose of morality, as he sees it, is to make the world a better place for everyone.

15 The principle of utility Bentham and his followers saw their ethical theory as a basis for legal and social reforms. They wanted to reduce suffering and promote happiness. They wanted to make law serve human needs and interests. They wanted social policy to work for the good of all persons.

16 The principle of utility For Bentham, happiness is the only thing that has intrinsic value, i.e. the only thing that is good in itself. Other things such as money or freedom may be good too, but only to the extent that they produce happiness; what they have is instrumental value, not intrinsic value.

17 The principle of utility The same goes for actions and practices; actions and practices are not right or wrong in themselves. An action or practice is right as long as it brings more pleasure or happiness, and wrong if it causes more pain or suffering.

18 The principle of utility The 3 main propositions of classical utilitarianism: First, actions are to be judged right or wrong solely in virtue of their consequences. Nothing else matters. Right actions are, simply, those that have the best consequences.

19 The principle of utility Second, in assessing consequences, the only thing that matters is the amount of happiness or unhappiness that is caused. Everything else is irrelevant. Thus, right actions are those that produce the greatest balance of happiness over unhappiness.

20 The principle of utility Third, in calculating the happiness or unhappiness that will be caused, no one s happiness is to be counted as more important than anyone else s. Each person s welfare or well-being is equally important. In short, everyone counts, and everyone counts equally.

21 The principle of utility The way we act has consequences not only for ourselves but also for others, i.e. by causing them pleasure or pain. The utility of an action is the net amount of pleasure and pain that it causes when everyone affected by it is taken into consideration.

22 The principle of utility To put it all together, the most fundamental principle of utilitarianism is the principle of utility (also known as the greatest happiness principle ): We ought to perform the action that produces the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people.

23 The principle of utility Form the standpoint of utilitarianism, there is no need to consider the motives or intentions for which people do what they do; it is the result or consequence of one s action that matters morally.

24 The principle of utility According to the principle of utility, we need to measure, count and compare the consequences likely to be produced by various alternative actions. The morally right or best action is the one that produces the greatest overall positive consequences for everyone affected by the action.

25 The principle of utility If the rightness or wrongness of an action depends on all of its results, and these have not yet occurred, then how can we know whether an action is the right or best choice?

26 The principle of utility Utilitarianism requires us to treat every person as equal and put aside our narrow self-interest for the sake of the whole. It demands that we sacrifice our own pleasure or happiness for the greater good.

27 The principle of utility Utilitarians believe that policymakers should make decisions based on calculation of the effects of policies on society as a whole. They should not choose policies that favor themselves or their families or their friends.

28 Strengths An attractive feature of utilitarianism is that it has given morality a clear purpose: to promote general well-being or maximize overall happiness. To many people, it is obvious that morality should have a lot to do with people s happiness.

29 Strengths In addition, utilitarianism offers a logical and reasonable solution to moral decision making. In our normal lives we use utilitarian reasoning all the time: I might give money to charity when seeing that it would do more good for needy people than it would for me.

30 Strengths Utilitarianism provides a universal standard of morality according to which everyone s interest and well-being must be taken into consideration and given equal weight. As such, utilitarianism embodies an ideal of equal concern for all persons.

31 Strengths Utilitarianism demands impartiality. When applying the principle of utility, the wellbeing of everyone affected must be taken into consideration and treated equally. Everyone counts equally. No one should be given special treatment because of race, gender, or personal relationship.

32 Strengths Utilitarianism also encourages us to show more concern for animals. Because animals, like humans, can experience pleasure and pain, utilitarian reasoning requires that we take animal welfare into consideration when we decide what is the right thing to do.

33 Criticisms One criticism of utilitarianism is that measuring and calculating utility is by no means an easy task. Is it possible or meaningful to compare, in quantitative terms, the pleasure we get from eating an ice-cream and the pleasure we get from helping a friend?

34 Criticisms Do we have any method for comparing the happiness of two different people? If the answer to this question is no, is this a problem for utilitarianism?

35 Criticisms Different people may have different ideas of happiness or pleasure. John Stuart Mill, for example, suggests that we have to distinguish between lower, bodily pleasures (e.g. eating, drinking, and sexual activity) and higher pleasures (i.e. intellectual, creative and spiritual pleasures).

36 Criticisms Mill thinks that the higher pleasures are superior to, and thus more valuable than, the lower ones. In his view, it is not just the quantity (amount), but the quality or type of pleasure that matters.

37 Criticisms Another objection is that it is usually extremely difficult, if not impossible, to predict the precise results or consequences of actions.

38 Criticisms Consider the following example: A child asked Alice for money to get home. Alice bought a train ticket for the child. Unfortunately, the train was involved in an accident and the child was injured. Was it morally wrong for Alice to buy the ticket for the child?

39 Criticisms We normally do not know the long-term consequences of our actions. Even if we agree with utilitarianism on principle, the best we can do is to perform the action that is most likely to have the best overall results.

40 Criticisms Utilitarianism has been criticized for only looking at the results of actions, without taking into account the motives of people s actions. In the previous example, Alice s action is not wrong if intention, rather than consequence, is seen as the most relevant factor in evaluating her action.

41 Criticisms Some people argue that utilitarianism is too demanding because it often requires us to promote the interests of others. For example, when I am about to go to the cinema, I should ask myself if helping the homeless in my community would promote greater happiness for all.

42 Criticisms According to utilitarian reasoning, you should sell your smartphone (or you should not have bought it in the first place) and donate the money to the Save the Children Fund. Why? Because the starving children in Africa need the money to buy food more than you need your smartphone.

43 Criticisms The implication of the principle of utility is that in order to maximize utility and promote the well-being of everyone, continual self-sacrifice is necessary, for example, by giving up one s time and money to help the needy.

44 Criticisms Most of us are aware that spending $1000 on food for some unknown person in Africa would create more happiness than spending it on entertainment or toys for our children. But most of us would not make the utilitarian choice because we think that our own happiness (or the happiness of our families) is more important.

45 Criticisms Very rarely, after all, do we take into equal account everybody s happiness before we act. Often we only consider our own happiness or the happiness of people who matter most to us.

46 Criticisms Utilitarian reasoning often implies that it would be right to sacrifice an individual s rights if it would maximize happiness for everyone else. A good example is the invasion of privacy of a celebrity (e.g. by placing a hidden camera in her bathroom) for the entertainment of the public.

47 Criticisms A friend of yours installed a hidden camera in your bathroom without you noticing it. He enjoys watching you take showers but you are not aware of it. From the utilitarian point of view, it seems there is nothing wrong with your friend s actions.

48 Criticisms Now, suppose your friend goes further by sharing the nude photos taken of you with other people over the internet. Do you think his actions can be morally justified in terms of the principle of utility?

49 Act vs. rule A common argument leveled against utilitarianism is that it justifies any action so long as it has better consequences than its alternatives. Cheating, stealing, lying, and even killing may all seem to be justified, depending on whether they maximize happiness in some particular situation.

50 Act vs. rule If it could be shown, for example, that publicly hanging someone who is innocent would have the direct beneficial effect of reducing violent crime by acting as a deterrent, then a utilitarian would say that hanging the innocent person is the morally right thing to do.

51 Act vs. rule The apparent weaknesses of utilitarianism have led some philosophers to modify the theory. They suggest that not only can we apply the principle of utility to actions, but we can also apply the principle to moral rules.

52 Act vs. rule It was John Stuart Mill who first proposed that happiness is generally more successfully pursued by acting on general rules than by measuring the consequences of each act.

53 Act vs. rule Rule utilitarianism applies the utility principle not to acts but to moral rules. The best way to promote general welfare, according to rule utilitarianism, is to adhere to those rules that are chosen to maximize utility.

54 Act vs. rule As a general rule, punishing innocent people produces more unhappiness than happiness. Thus, from the point of view of rule utilitarianism, we should adopt the rule never punish the innocent because its universal adoption would result in the greatest happiness.

55 Act vs. rule Actions that violate the rule can never be morally justified, although there might be particular instances in which punishing the innocent would produce more happiness than unhappiness.

56 Act vs. rule Act utilitarianism states that we need to consider the consequences of actions and choose the one that maximizes happiness. Rule utilitarianism, on the other hand, asks us to consider the potential consequences of different rules of action.

57 Act vs. rule Act utilitarianism: An act is right insofar as it maximizes happiness in a particular situation. Rule utilitarianism: An act is right insofar as it conforms to a moral rule the application of which will bring the greatest amount of happiness.

58 Act vs. rule A doctor has five patients under his care. One of the patients needs to have a heart transplant, one needs two lungs, one needs a liver, and the last two need kidneys. Now into his office comes a young healthy man who just wants to have a flu shot.

59 Act vs. rule Doing a utility calculus, there is no doubt in the doctor s mind that he could do more good by injecting the healthy man with a sleep-inducing drug and using his organs to save the patients. Is there anything wrong with this line of thinking?

60 Act vs. rule In the above example, there are at least three reasons to oppose classical (act) utilitarian reasoning: First, it is unjust to sacrifice the life of an innocent person who does not deserve to die. Second, killing the healthy young man clearly violates the basic human right of personal security.

61 Act vs. rule Finally, the general public will lose trust in the medical profession if they are aware that unsuspecting patients have been murdered in hospitals and their organs harvested for transplant.

62 Act vs. rule Given these objections, a rule utilitarian would argue that the act of killing one to save five can never be morally justified. Certain actions must be forbidden, even if they might sometimes achieve good results.

63 Act vs. rule All doctors, as the argument goes, must abide by the rules laid down in the medical code of ethics which strictly prohibit the removal or transplant of organs without patients consent.

64 Act vs. rule According to rule utilitarianism, to determine whether a rule should be followed, we need to look at what would happen if it were constantly followed. If following the rule brings the maximum amount of happiness, it is a rule that must be followed at all times.

65 Act vs. rule For rule utilitarianism to work, the rule that has been chosen must be a clearly defined rule of action that can be followed consistently by all members of a society, group or profession.

66 Act vs. rule Broadly speaking, a rule can be a law, a social norm, a custom or convention, a regulation, or a professional code of practice. An act is morally wrong if it violates a rule whose public acceptance maximizes the good.

67 Act vs. rule In August 1945, the US Air Force made history by dropping atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These two bombs killed nearly 200,000 civilians and reduced both cities to rubble. Japan surrendered immediately on seeing the incredible devastation caused by those bombs.

68 Act vs. rule Can we say, in hindsight, that sacrificing civilian lives can be justified on utilitarian grounds? Does the end (stopping the world war) really justify the means (murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians)?

69 Act vs. rule If you were a rule utilitarian, would you support or oppose the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Moral Philosophy : Utilitarianism

Moral Philosophy : Utilitarianism Moral Philosophy : Utilitarianism Utilitarianism Utilitarianism is a moral theory that was developed by Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) and John Stuart Mill (1806-1873). It is a teleological or consequentialist

More information

Utilitarianism. But what is meant by intrinsically good and instrumentally good?

Utilitarianism. But what is meant by intrinsically good and instrumentally good? Utilitarianism 1. What is Utilitarianism?: This is the theory of morality which says that the right action is always the one that best promotes the total amount of happiness in the world. Utilitarianism

More information

Philosophical Ethics. Consequentialism Deontology (Virtue Ethics)

Philosophical Ethics. Consequentialism Deontology (Virtue Ethics) Consequentialism Deontology (Virtue Ethics) Consequentialism Deontology (Virtue Ethics) Consequentialism the value of an action (the action's moral worth, its rightness or wrongness) derives entirely from

More information

Suppose... Kant. The Good Will. Kant Three Propositions

Suppose... Kant. The Good Will. Kant Three Propositions Suppose.... Kant You are a good swimmer and one day at the beach you notice someone who is drowning offshore. Consider the following three scenarios. Which one would Kant says exhibits a good will? Even

More information

24.02 Moral Problems and the Good Life

24.02 Moral Problems and the Good Life MIT OpenCourseWare http://ocw.mit.edu 24.02 Moral Problems and the Good Life Fall 2008 For information about citing these materials or our Terms of Use, visit: http://ocw.mit.edu/terms. Three Moral Theories

More information

Ethical Theory. Ethical Theory. Consequentialism in practice. How do we get the numbers? Must Choose Best Possible Act

Ethical Theory. Ethical Theory. Consequentialism in practice. How do we get the numbers? Must Choose Best Possible Act Consequentialism and Nonconsequentialism Ethical Theory Utilitarianism (Consequentialism) in Practice Criticisms of Consequentialism Kant Consequentialism The only thing that determines the morality of

More information

-- did you get a message welcoming you to the cours reflector? If not, please correct what s needed.

-- did you get a message welcoming you to the cours reflector? If not, please correct what s needed. 1 -- did you get a message welcoming you to the coursemail reflector? If not, please correct what s needed. 2 -- don t use secondary material from the web, as its quality is variable; cf. Wikipedia. Check

More information

Kant, Deontology, & Respect for Persons

Kant, Deontology, & Respect for Persons Kant, Deontology, & Respect for Persons Some Possibly Helpful Terminology Normative moral theories can be categorized according to whether the theory is primarily focused on judgments of value or judgments

More information

Ethics is subjective.

Ethics is subjective. Introduction Scientific Method and Research Ethics Ethical Theory Greg Bognar Stockholm University September 22, 2017 Ethics is subjective. If ethics is subjective, then moral claims are subjective in

More information

in Social Science Encyclopedia (Routledge, forthcoming, 2006). Consequentialism (Blackwell Publishers, forthcoming, 2006)

in Social Science Encyclopedia (Routledge, forthcoming, 2006). Consequentialism (Blackwell Publishers, forthcoming, 2006) in Social Science Encyclopedia (Routledge, forthcoming, 2006). Consequentialism Ethics in Practice, 3 rd edition, edited by Hugh LaFollette (Blackwell Publishers, forthcoming, 2006) Peter Vallentyne, University

More information

Traditional Morality and Utilitarianism. Chapter 16, Kai Nielsen Introduction to Ethics Professor Douglas Olena

Traditional Morality and Utilitarianism. Chapter 16, Kai Nielsen Introduction to Ethics Professor Douglas Olena Traditional Morality and Utilitarianism Chapter 16, Kai Nielsen Introduction to Ethics Professor Douglas Olena Conservatism or Absolutism Utilitarianism is accused of having monstrous implications. Opposed

More information

24.01: Classics of Western Philosophy

24.01: Classics of Western Philosophy Mill s Utilitarianism I. Introduction Recall that there are four questions one might ask an ethical theory to answer: a) Which acts are right and which are wrong? Which acts ought we to perform (understanding

More information

Philosophical Ethics. The nature of ethical analysis. Discussion based on Johnson, Computer Ethics, Chapter 2.

Philosophical Ethics. The nature of ethical analysis. Discussion based on Johnson, Computer Ethics, Chapter 2. Philosophical Ethics The nature of ethical analysis Discussion based on Johnson, Computer Ethics, Chapter 2. How to resolve ethical issues? censorship abortion affirmative action How do we defend our moral

More information

Deontology: Duty-Based Ethics IMMANUEL KANT

Deontology: Duty-Based Ethics IMMANUEL KANT Deontology: Duty-Based Ethics IMMANUEL KANT KANT S OBJECTIONS TO UTILITARIANISM: 1. Utilitarianism takes no account of integrity - the accidental act or one done with evil intent if promoting good ends

More information

Annotated List of Ethical Theories

Annotated List of Ethical Theories Annotated List of Ethical Theories The following list is selective, including only what I view as the major theories. Entries in bold face have been especially influential. Recommendations for additions

More information

Deontology: Duty-Based Ethics IMMANUEL KANT

Deontology: Duty-Based Ethics IMMANUEL KANT Deontology: Duty-Based Ethics IMMANUEL KANT A NOTE ON READING KANT Lord Macaulay once recorded in his diary a memorable attempt his first and apparently his last to read Kant s Critique: I received today

More information

Benjamin Visscher Hole IV Phil 100, Intro to Philosophy

Benjamin Visscher Hole IV Phil 100, Intro to Philosophy Benjamin Visscher Hole IV Phil 100, Intro to Philosophy Kantian Ethics I. Context II. The Good Will III. The Categorical Imperative: Formulation of Universal Law IV. The Categorical Imperative: Formulation

More information

NORTH SOUTH UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY DHAKA, BANGLADESH

NORTH SOUTH UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY DHAKA, BANGLADESH NORTH SOUTH UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY DHAKA, BANGLADESH Semester: Spring 2016 Course Code: PHI 104 (Section: 2) Class Time: ST 04.20 PM-05.50 PM Course Title: Introduction to Ethics

More information

Making Decisions on Behalf of Others: Who or What Do I Select as a Guide? A Dilemma: - My boss. - The shareholders. - Other stakeholders

Making Decisions on Behalf of Others: Who or What Do I Select as a Guide? A Dilemma: - My boss. - The shareholders. - Other stakeholders Making Decisions on Behalf of Others: Who or What Do I Select as a Guide? - My boss - The shareholders - Other stakeholders - Basic principles about conduct and its impacts - What is good for me - What

More information

AS UTILITARIANISM EXAMPLE EXAM ANSWERS

AS UTILITARIANISM EXAMPLE EXAM ANSWERS AS UTILITARIANISM EXAMPLE EXAM ANSWERS The general principles of Utilitarianism: consequential or teleological thinking in contrast to deontological thinking: The greatest happiness principle; AO1 Explain

More information

Journalists have a tremendous responsibility. Almost every day, we make

Journalists have a tremendous responsibility. Almost every day, we make Applied Ethics in Journalism A N I NTRODUCTION Patricia Ferrier Journalists have a tremendous responsibility. Almost every day, we make decisions that affect other people, decisions that might mean invading

More information

Introduction to. Ethics

Introduction to. Ethics Introduction to Ethics Ethics is Practical! But men must know, that in this theatre of man s life, it is reserved only for God and angels to be lookers on. Francis Bacon (1561-1626) Advancement of Learning,

More information

Philosophical Ethics. Distinctions and Categories

Philosophical Ethics. Distinctions and Categories Philosophical Ethics Distinctions and Categories Ethics Remember we have discussed how ethics fits into philosophy We have also, as a 1 st approximation, defined ethics as philosophical thinking about

More information

Let us begin by first locating our fields in relation to other fields that study ethics. Consider the following taxonomy: Kinds of ethical inquiries

Let us begin by first locating our fields in relation to other fields that study ethics. Consider the following taxonomy: Kinds of ethical inquiries ON NORMATIVE ETHICAL THEORIES: SOME BASICS From the dawn of philosophy, the question concerning the summum bonum, or, what is the same thing, concerning the foundation of morality, has been accounted the

More information

(i) Morality is a system; and (ii) It is a system comprised of moral rules and principles.

(i) Morality is a system; and (ii) It is a system comprised of moral rules and principles. Ethics and Morality Ethos (Greek) and Mores (Latin) are terms having to do with custom, habit, and behavior. Ethics is the study of morality. This definition raises two questions: (a) What is morality?

More information

EXERCISES, QUESTIONS, AND ACTIVITIES My Answers

EXERCISES, QUESTIONS, AND ACTIVITIES My Answers EXERCISES, QUESTIONS, AND ACTIVITIES My Answers Diagram and evaluate each of the following arguments. Arguments with Definitional Premises Altruism. Altruism is the practice of doing something solely because

More information

UNALTERABLE LIFESTYLES

UNALTERABLE LIFESTYLES UNALTERABLE LIFESTYLES 1 UNALTERABLE LIFESTYLES Dec. 5, 2012 Sermon in a sentence: We need the Spirit of God to empower us to live a lifestyle that pleases Him. Scriptures: 1 Cor. 6:9-20 1 Cor. 6:9-20

More information

Louisiana Law Review. Cheney C. Joseph Jr. Louisiana State University Law Center. Volume 35 Number 5 Special Issue Repository Citation

Louisiana Law Review. Cheney C. Joseph Jr. Louisiana State University Law Center. Volume 35 Number 5 Special Issue Repository Citation Louisiana Law Review Volume 35 Number 5 Special Issue 1975 ON GUILT, RESPONSIBILITY AND PUNISHMENT. By Alf Ross. Translated from Danish by Alastair Hannay and Thomas E. Sheahan. London, Stevens and Sons

More information

Quote. Analyzing Ethical Dilemmas. Chapter Two. Determining Moral Behavior. Integrity is doing the right thing--even if nobody is watching

Quote. Analyzing Ethical Dilemmas. Chapter Two. Determining Moral Behavior. Integrity is doing the right thing--even if nobody is watching Chapter Two Determining Moral Behavior Quote Integrity is doing the right thing--even if nobody is watching - Unknown Analyzing Ethical Dilemmas 1 - Identify the facts 2 Identify relevant values and concepts

More information

MILL. The principle of utility determines the rightness of acts (or rules of action?) by their effect on the total happiness.

MILL. The principle of utility determines the rightness of acts (or rules of action?) by their effect on the total happiness. MILL The principle of utility determines the rightness of acts (or rules of action?) by their effect on the total happiness. Mill s principle of utility [A]ctions are right in proportion as they tend to

More information

Backward Looking Theories, Kant and Deontology

Backward Looking Theories, Kant and Deontology Backward Looking Theories, Kant and Deontology Study Guide Forward v. Backward Looking Theories Kant Goodwill Duty Categorical Imperative For Next Time: Rawls, Selections from A Theory of Justice Study

More information

Plato s Republic Book 3&4. Instructor: Jason Sheley

Plato s Republic Book 3&4. Instructor: Jason Sheley Plato s Republic Book 3&4 Instructor: Jason Sheley What do we want out of a theory of Justice, anyway? The Trolley Problem The trolley problem: A trolley is running out of control down a track. In its

More information

Kant. Deontological Ethics

Kant. Deontological Ethics Kant 1 Deontological Ethics An action's moral value is determined by the nature of the action itself and the agent's motive DE contrasts with Utilitarianism which says that the goal or consequences of

More information

Deontological Ethics. Kant. Rules for Kant. Right Action

Deontological Ethics. Kant. Rules for Kant. Right Action Deontological Ethics Kant An action's moral value is determined by the nature of the action itself and the agent's motive DE contrasts with Utilitarianism which says that the goal or consequences of an

More information

Deontological Ethics

Deontological Ethics Deontological Ethics From Jane Eyre, the end of Chapter XXVII: (Mr. Rochester is the first speaker) And what a distortion in your judgment, what a perversity in your ideas, is proved by your conduct! Is

More information

Virtue Ethics. Chapter 7 ETCI Barbara MacKinnon Ethics and Contemporary Issues Professor Douglas Olena

Virtue Ethics. Chapter 7 ETCI Barbara MacKinnon Ethics and Contemporary Issues Professor Douglas Olena Virtue Ethics Chapter 7 ETCI Barbara MacKinnon Ethics and Contemporary Issues Professor Douglas Olena Introductory Paragraphs 109 Story of Abraham Whom do you admire? The list of traits is instructive.

More information

Take 1. What is the issue? What do you do and why?

Take 1. What is the issue? What do you do and why? 3.1 What is Ethics? Take 1 You're hungry, you've got no money, and there you are wandering around Bob's Hyper-Mega Giganto Food Store-o-Mart! You spot your favourite chocolate bar. Coast is clear; no one

More information

Ethical non-naturalism

Ethical non-naturalism Michael Lacewing Ethical non-naturalism Ethical non-naturalism is usually understood as a form of cognitivist moral realism. So we first need to understand what cognitivism and moral realism is before

More information

Chapter 12: Areas of knowledge Ethics (p. 363)

Chapter 12: Areas of knowledge Ethics (p. 363) Chapter 12: Areas of knowledge Ethics (p. 363) Moral reasoning (p. 364) Value-judgements Some people argue that moral values are just reflections of personal taste. For example, I don t like spinach is

More information

Deontology, Rationality, and Agent-Centered Restrictions

Deontology, Rationality, and Agent-Centered Restrictions Florida Philosophical Review Volume X, Issue 1, Summer 2010 75 Deontology, Rationality, and Agent-Centered Restrictions Brandon Hogan, University of Pittsburgh I. Introduction Deontological ethical theories

More information

RS1/2 ETH: Introduction to Religion and Ethics (AS) by Gordon Reid

RS1/2 ETH: Introduction to Religion and Ethics (AS) by Gordon Reid GCE Religious Studies RS1/2 ETH: Introduction to Religion and Ethics (AS) by Gordon Reid RS 1/2 ETH: Introduction to Religion and Ethics (AS) Topic 1: Aquinas Natural Law Aim: At the end of this topic

More information

Social Context. Social Context

Social Context. Social Context Social Context Professional Skills in Computer Science Lecture 21: Legal, Social, Ethical and Professional Issues (1) Ullrich Hustadt Department of Computer Science School of Electrical Engineering, Electronics,

More information

Ethics (ETHC) JHU-CTY Course Syllabus

Ethics (ETHC) JHU-CTY Course Syllabus (ETHC) JHU-CTY Course Syllabus Required Items: Ethical Theory: An Anthology 5 th ed. Russ Shafer-Landau. Wiley-Blackwell. 2013 The Fundamentals of 2 nd ed. Russ Shafer-Landau. Oxford University Press.

More information

CHAPTER 2 Test Bank MULTIPLE CHOICE

CHAPTER 2 Test Bank MULTIPLE CHOICE CHAPTER 2 Test Bank MULTIPLE CHOICE 1. A structured set of principles that defines what is moral is referred to as: a. a norm system b. an ethical system c. a morality guide d. a principled guide ANS:

More information

LYING TEACHER S NOTES

LYING TEACHER S NOTES TEACHER S NOTES INTRO Each student has to choose one of the following topics. The other students have to ask questions on that topic. During the discussion, the student has to lie once. The other students

More information

Strengths & Weaknesses of Utilitarianism

Strengths & Weaknesses of Utilitarianism Strengths & Weaknesses of Utilitarianism Strengths with a simple symbol for each please! It is quite easy to use It gives clear guidance on working out the correct moral action It looks at results this

More information

Ethics. Road map. Outline. Gary W. Oehlert. February 5, Three class sessions on ethics:

Ethics. Road map. Outline. Gary W. Oehlert. February 5, Three class sessions on ethics: School of Statistics University of Minnesota February 5, 2007 Outline Road map Three class sessions on ethics: 1 General 2 Scientific 3 Statistical Full Disclosure These classes draw heavily and extensively

More information

A NOTE ON UTILITARIANISM & CONSEQUENTIALISM FOR PHILOSOPHY 13 Richard Arneson Fall, 2004

A NOTE ON UTILITARIANISM & CONSEQUENTIALISM FOR PHILOSOPHY 13 Richard Arneson Fall, 2004 1 A NOTE ON UTILITARIANISM & CONSEQUENTIALISM FOR PHILOSOPHY 13 Richard Arneson Fall, 2004 Broadly speaking, utilitarianism holds that morality should guide conduct in such a way that the outcome is best

More information

10/12/2015. Karen Russom, CPA, CMA, CIA, CGMA

10/12/2015. Karen Russom, CPA, CMA, CIA, CGMA Karen Russom, CPA, CMA, CIA, CGMA 1 Professor of Accounting at Lone Star College, Houston Professional experience at Chevron Oil Company as an internal auditor and financial analyst BBA, MBA CPA, CMA,

More information

Short Answers: Answer the following questions in one paragraph (each is worth 4 points).

Short Answers: Answer the following questions in one paragraph (each is worth 4 points). Humanities 2702 Fall 2007 Midterm Exam There are two sections: a short answer section worth 24 points and an essay section worth 75 points you get one point for writing your name! No materials (books,

More information

Q2) The test of an ethical argument lies in the fact that others need to be able to follow it and come to the same result.

Q2) The test of an ethical argument lies in the fact that others need to be able to follow it and come to the same result. QUIZ 1 ETHICAL ISSUES IN MEDIA, BUSINESS AND SOCIETY WHAT IS ETHICS? Business ethics deals with values, facts, and arguments. Q2) The test of an ethical argument lies in the fact that others need to be

More information

CLIMBING THE MOUNTAIN SUMMARY CHAPTER 1 REASONS. 1 Practical Reasons

CLIMBING THE MOUNTAIN SUMMARY CHAPTER 1 REASONS. 1 Practical Reasons CLIMBING THE MOUNTAIN SUMMARY CHAPTER 1 REASONS 1 Practical Reasons We are the animals that can understand and respond to reasons. Facts give us reasons when they count in favour of our having some belief

More information

Ethics in Engineering, and Engineering of Ethics

Ethics in Engineering, and Engineering of Ethics Ethics in Engineering, and Engineering of Ethics Mehdi N. Bahadori Professor (emeritus) of Mechanical Engineering, Sharif University of Technology bahadori@sharif.edu Abstract Engineers are expected to

More information

Philosophy. Aim of the subject

Philosophy. Aim of the subject Philosophy FIO Philosophy Philosophy is a humanistic subject with ramifications in all areas of human knowledge and activity, since it covers fundamental issues concerning the nature of reality, the possibility

More information

FORMING ETHICAL STANDARDS

FORMING ETHICAL STANDARDS FORMING ETHICAL STANDARDS Ethical standards of any type require a devotion to ethical action, and ethical action often comes in conflict with our instinct to act in our own self-interest. This tendency

More information

Altruism. A selfless concern for other people purely for their own sake. Altruism is usually contrasted with selfishness or egoism in ethics.

Altruism. A selfless concern for other people purely for their own sake. Altruism is usually contrasted with selfishness or egoism in ethics. GLOSSARY OF ETHIC TERMS Absolutism. The belief that there is one and only one truth; those who espouse absolutism usually also believe that they know what this absolute truth is. In ethics, absolutism

More information

#NLCU. The Ethical Leader: Rules and Tools

#NLCU. The Ethical Leader: Rules and Tools The Ethical Leader: Rules and Tools #NLCU March 12, 2017 Washington, DC Dr. Scott Paine Director, Leadership Development and Education Florida League of Cities Agenda So What is Ethics? Sample Ethical

More information

Deontology. Marianne Talbot University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education

Deontology. Marianne Talbot University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education Deontology Marianne Talbot University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education 1 Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) schriftman.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/immanu... 2 Kant believed that morality is a system

More information

Weighing The Consequences. Lying, Chapter 4 Sissela Bok Contemporary Moral Problems Professor Douglas Olena

Weighing The Consequences. Lying, Chapter 4 Sissela Bok Contemporary Moral Problems Professor Douglas Olena Weighing The Consequences Lying, Chapter 4 Sissela Bok Contemporary Moral Problems Professor Douglas Olena Chapter Preface What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good

More information

TOPIC 27: MORALITY OF HUMAN ACTS

TOPIC 27: MORALITY OF HUMAN ACTS TOPIC 27: MORALITY OF HUMAN ACTS 1. The Morality of Human Acts Human acts, that is, acts that are freely chosen in consequence of a judgment of conscience, can be morally evaluated. They are either good

More information

The Utilitarian Approach. Chapter 7, Elements of Moral Philosophy James Rachels Professor Douglas Olena

The Utilitarian Approach. Chapter 7, Elements of Moral Philosophy James Rachels Professor Douglas Olena The Utilitarian Approach Chapter 7, Elements of Moral Philosophy James Rachels Professor Douglas Olena Outline The Revolution in Ethics First Example: Euthanasia Second Example: Nonhuman Animals Revolution

More information

PHILOSOPHY (PHIL) Philosophy (PHIL) 1. PHIL 56. Research Integrity. 1 Unit

PHILOSOPHY (PHIL) Philosophy (PHIL) 1. PHIL 56. Research Integrity. 1 Unit Philosophy (PHIL) 1 PHILOSOPHY (PHIL) PHIL 2. Ethics. 3 Units Examination of the concepts of morality, obligation, human rights and the good life. Competing theories about the foundations of morality will

More information

Socratic and Platonic Ethics

Socratic and Platonic Ethics Socratic and Platonic Ethics G. J. Mattey Winter, 2017 / Philosophy 1 Ethics and Political Philosophy The first part of the course is a brief survey of important texts in the history of ethics and political

More information

THE BASIC STRUCTURE OF AN ACADEMIC ESSAY

THE BASIC STRUCTURE OF AN ACADEMIC ESSAY Thesis Statement Your main claim for your paper - This is what you are trying to to prove. Your thesis must take a position that genuinely can be argued from more than one side. It should be factual. It

More information

Term Gods and Goddesses The Mandir (Trip included) Diwali Karma and reincarnation Weddings

Term Gods and Goddesses The Mandir (Trip included) Diwali Karma and reincarnation Weddings Term 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Sikhism 5ks The Khalsa Artefacts Start of Sikhism The Gurdwara NDEs Personal Religious Scientific Essay writing Looking for God Islam Can God have a human body? Is God real? What are

More information

Consider the situation as local parents of children who swim in the lake. Would they agree that the excess is a "mere technicality"?

Consider the situation as local parents of children who swim in the lake. Would they agree that the excess is a mere technicality? A TOURIST PROBLEM I Marvin Johnson is Environmental Engineer for Wolfog Manufacturing, one of several local plants whose water discharges flow into a lake in a flourishing tourist area. Included in Marvin's

More information

Debate and Debate Adjudication

Debate and Debate Adjudication Debate and Debate Adjudication Rachmat Nurcahyo,M.A. Yogyakarta State University National Polythecnic English Debate Competition 2012, Tual Maluku Tenggara Overview What is Competitive Debate Understanding

More information

PROFESSIONAL ETHICS IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

PROFESSIONAL ETHICS IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING PROFESSIONAL ETHICS IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING CD5590 LECTURE 1 Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic Department of Computer Science and Engineering Mälardalen University 2005 1 Course Preliminaries Identifying Moral

More information

Introduction to Moral Reasoning

Introduction to Moral Reasoning Introduction to Moral Reasoning TO M REGAN 1. Some Ways Not to Answer Moral Questions Moral Judgments and Personal Preferences: Some people like classical music; others do not. Some people think bourbon

More information

Many Faces of Virtue. University of Toronto. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

Many Faces of Virtue. University of Toronto. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research Philosophy and Phenomenological Research Philosophy and Phenomenological Research Vol. LXXXIX No. 2, September 2014 doi: 10.1111/phpr.12140 2014 Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, LLC Many Faces

More information

Philosophy 3G03E: Ethics

Philosophy 3G03E: Ethics Philosophy 3G03E: Ethics September-December 2009 Instructor: Dr. D. L. Hitchcock Lectures: Tuesdays 19:00 to 20:50, Arthur Bourns Building (ABB) 163 Optional tutorials: Tuesdays 21:00 to 21:50, ABB 163

More information

THE ETHICS OF STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION: WINTER 2009

THE ETHICS OF STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION: WINTER 2009 Lying & Deception Definitions and Discussion Three constructions Do not lie has the special status of a moral law, which means that it is always wrong to lie, no matter what the circumstances. In Kant

More information

Life, Lottery, for the Pursuit of Organs

Life, Lottery, for the Pursuit of Organs ESSAI Volume 12 Article 27 Spring 2014 Life, Lottery, for the Pursuit of Organs Virginia Meglio College of DuPage Follow this and additional works at: http://dc.cod.edu/essai Recommended Citation Meglio,

More information

used. probably also have an ethically as that tell us behavior they find ethical sometimes do

used. probably also have an ethically as that tell us behavior they find ethical sometimes do A Framework for Thinking Ethically Learning Objectives: Students completing the ethics unit within the first-year engineering program will be able to: 1) Define the term ethics and identify sources of

More information

Scanlon on Double Effect

Scanlon on Double Effect Scanlon on Double Effect RALPH WEDGWOOD Merton College, University of Oxford In this new book Moral Dimensions, T. M. Scanlon (2008) explores the ethical significance of the intentions and motives with

More information

Theme D: Religion, peace and Conflict

Theme D: Religion, peace and Conflict Theme D: Religion, peace and Conflict Religion, violence, terrorism and war The meaning and significance of: peace justice forgiveness reconciliation. Violence, including violent protest. Terrorism. Reasons

More information

Syro Malabar Church UK On The Path of Salvation Year 7 Teachings of Jesus Revision Notes

Syro Malabar Church UK On The Path of Salvation Year 7 Teachings of Jesus Revision Notes Lesson 1: To Attain Eternal Life Learn the 10 commandments Syro Malabar Church UK Greatest commandment or the two commandments which summaries all the 10 commandments: You shall love the Lord your God

More information

The Trolley Problem. 1. The Trolley Problem: Consider the following pair of cases:

The Trolley Problem. 1. The Trolley Problem: Consider the following pair of cases: The Trolley Problem 1. The Trolley Problem: Consider the following pair of cases: Trolley: There is a runaway trolley barreling down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five people. The

More information

Ethical Principle. & Practice.: A Two-Edged Sword By Rev. Clinton A. Chisholm

Ethical Principle. & Practice.: A Two-Edged Sword By Rev. Clinton A. Chisholm CJEI JUNE 2001 Ethical Principle. & Practice.: A Two-Edged Sword By Rev. Clinton A. Chisholm Rev. Chisholm. M.A. is Director of the Institute of Leadership Development and a visiting lecturer at the Caribbean

More information

Several influential court cases shaping our legal system over the year have

Several influential court cases shaping our legal system over the year have The Duty to Rescue Will Bennett Philosophy of Law Several influential court cases shaping our legal system over the year have revolved around whether we have a duty to rescue others or not. In the case

More information

SAMPLE Prior Learning Proposal for USM Core: Ethical Inquiry requirement

SAMPLE Prior Learning Proposal for USM Core: Ethical Inquiry requirement SAMPLE Prior Learning Proposal for USM Core: Ethical Inquiry requirement NOTE: this student completed one of the required texts for USM s Ethical Inquiry requirement and applied that reading throughout

More information

Ayer and Quine on the a priori

Ayer and Quine on the a priori Ayer and Quine on the a priori November 23, 2004 1 The problem of a priori knowledge Ayer s book is a defense of a thoroughgoing empiricism, not only about what is required for a belief to be justified

More information

The role of ethical judgment based on the supposed right action to perform in a given

The role of ethical judgment based on the supposed right action to perform in a given Applying the Social Contract Theory in Opposing Animal Rights by Stephen C. Sanders Copyright 2016. All rights reserved. The role of ethical judgment based on the supposed right action to perform in a

More information

Epistemic Consequentialism, Truth Fairies and Worse Fairies

Epistemic Consequentialism, Truth Fairies and Worse Fairies Philosophia (2017) 45:987 993 DOI 10.1007/s11406-017-9833-0 Epistemic Consequentialism, Truth Fairies and Worse Fairies James Andow 1 Received: 7 October 2015 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published online:

More information

Virtue Ethics without Character Traits

Virtue Ethics without Character Traits Virtue Ethics without Character Traits Gilbert Harman Princeton University August 18, 1999 Presumed parts of normative moral philosophy Normative moral philosophy is often thought to be concerned with

More information

The Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Study Course. Basic Concepts and Content

The Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Study Course. Basic Concepts and Content The Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Study Course Basic Concepts and Content Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation (http://www.mayorsforpeace.org/english/hnpc/hnpc_top.htm) Basic Concepts and Content 1. What are

More information

Divine command theory

Divine command theory Divine command theory Today we will be discussing divine command theory. But first I will give a (very) brief overview of the discipline of philosophy. Why do this? One of the functions of an introductory

More information

Phil 108, August 10, 2010 Punishment

Phil 108, August 10, 2010 Punishment Phil 108, August 10, 2010 Punishment Retributivism and Utilitarianism The retributive theory: (1) It is good in itself that those who have acted wrongly should suffer. When this happens, people get what

More information

ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY. Refuting opposing arguments

ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY. Refuting opposing arguments ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY Definition Organization Supporting our ideas Refuting opposing arguments Language Sample argumentative essay Definition: In this kind of essay, we not only give information but also

More information

General Policy On Sexual Offenders for Church of the Open Arms, UCC

General Policy On Sexual Offenders for Church of the Open Arms, UCC General Policy On Sexual Offenders for Church of the Open Arms, UCC Church of the Open Arms UCC, is an open and affirming congregation and as such affirms the dignity and worth of all persons. We are committed

More information

Why I am not a Consequentialist David S. Oderberg

Why I am not a Consequentialist David S. Oderberg Why I am not a Consequentialist David S. Oderberg This is an introductory talk on why I am not a consequentialist. I am not going to go into the details of consequentialist theory, or to compare and contrast

More information

SATISFICING CONSEQUENTIALISM AND SCALAR CONSEQUENTIALISM

SATISFICING CONSEQUENTIALISM AND SCALAR CONSEQUENTIALISM Professor Douglas W. Portmore SATISFICING CONSEQUENTIALISM AND SCALAR CONSEQUENTIALISM I. Satisficing Consequentialism: The General Idea SC An act is morally right (i.e., morally permissible) if and only

More information

Lecture #3: Utilitarianism

Lecture #3: Utilitarianism 2 Recall the three aspects of moral theory an account of a good human life an account of good character Lecture #3: Utilitarianism an account of goodness in action (including duty) We are going to begin

More information

ETHICS (IE MODULE) 1. COURSE DESCRIPTION

ETHICS (IE MODULE) 1. COURSE DESCRIPTION ETHICS (IE MODULE) DEGREE COURSE YEAR: 1 ST 1º SEMESTER 2º SEMESTER CATEGORY: BASIC COMPULSORY OPTIONAL NO. OF CREDITS (ECTS): 3 LANGUAGE: English TUTORIALS: To be announced the first day of class. FORMAT:

More information

Ramsey s belief > action > truth theory.

Ramsey s belief > action > truth theory. Ramsey s belief > action > truth theory. Monika Gruber University of Vienna 11.06.2016 Monika Gruber (University of Vienna) Ramsey s belief > action > truth theory. 11.06.2016 1 / 30 1 Truth and Probability

More information

Class 23 - April 20 Plato, What is Right Conduct?

Class 23 - April 20 Plato, What is Right Conduct? Philosophy 110W: Introduction to Philosophy Spring 2011 Hamilton College Russell Marcus I. Nihilism, Relativism, and Absolutism Class 23 - April 20 Plato, What is Right Conduct? One question which arises

More information

Argument Basics. When an argument shows that its conclusion is worth accepting we say that the argument is good.

Argument Basics. When an argument shows that its conclusion is worth accepting we say that the argument is good. Argument Basics When an argument shows that its conclusion is worth accepting we say that the argument is good. When an argument fails to do so we say that the argument is bad. But there are different

More information

THE SO-CALLED DOCTRINE or principle of double effect (hereafter called

THE SO-CALLED DOCTRINE or principle of double effect (hereafter called Univ. a/wisconsin-milwaukee Is the Principle of Double Effect Morally Acceptable? Haig Khatchadourian THE SO-CALLED DOCTRINE or principle of double effect (hereafter called "the Principle") plays a central

More information

hij Teacher Resource Bank GCE Religious Studies Unit 1A: Religion and Ethics 1 Scheme of Work

hij Teacher Resource Bank GCE Religious Studies Unit 1A: Religion and Ethics 1 Scheme of Work hij Teacher Resource Bank GCE Religious Studies Unit 1A: Religion and Ethics 1 Scheme of Work Copyright 2008 AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved. The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA)

More information