A primer of major ethical theories

Save this PDF as:

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "A primer of major ethical theories"

Transcription

1 Chapter 1 A primer of major ethical theories Our topic in this course is privacy. Hence we want to understand (i) what privacy is and also (ii) why we value it and how this value is reflected in our norms and practices. This second question makes our course a course in applied ethics, like a course on environmental ethics or medical ethics. It is common to begin applied ethics courses with a brief overview of traditional ethical theories. Our brief overview of these theories today will be necessarily cursory and incomplete. But often when we re debating an ethical issue, our arguments appeal to principles or concepts which are adopted by some but not all ethical theories, and it is hence good to have some familiarity with these theories. For other, shorter presentations of very similar material, see [Vallentyne2014aa], [McNaughton2014aa], [Hursthouse2014aa]. The following presentation is indebted heavily to [Baron1997aa], which I use in quarter-long courses on normative ethics. Utilitarianism, or the tradition following Mill 1. The basic idea. The basic idea of utilitarianism is that what is right is what promotes everyone s happiness. The initial attractiveness of utilitarianism is that [... ] the only fundamental moral facts are facts about individual well-being ([Scanlon1982] p. 108). Mill himself thought that there was a natural enough inference from the individual member of society to society as a whole: [... ] that each person s happiness is a good to that 1

2 2 1. A primer of major ethical theories person, and the general happiness, therefore, a good to the aggregate of all persons ([Mill1991] Chapter 4 3). 2. Happiness. But what is meant by happiness? If it just means pleasure and the absence of pain, then the utilitarian can t easily explain why it s ever right for sometime to spend time doing anything other than eating good food, sitting in the sun, etc. One move is to say something like: these are mere short-term pleasures but one also ought invest in well-being over the long-term. Another move is to say that there s some difference between lower-order pleasures and higher-order pleasures. 3. Traditional objections. Many of the traditional objections to utilitarianism focus on cases where it departs from consensus views on what constitutes sound moral judgement. For instance, suppose that I could cheat on my exam without anyone finding out about it, and that I would be much happier as a result and everyone else would be equally happy. Or, suppose that some I am in some tragic situation where I could save ten innocent lives only by letting nine innocent people die. Utilitarianism seems to clearly suggest that I should cheat and let people die, whereas consensus views suggest that these actions are outright wrong or at least deeply troublesome. 4. Act vs. rule utilitarianism. One standard utilitarian response to these kinds of objections is to distinguish between act and rule utilitarianism. The act utilitarian says: the right action is the one which promotes everyone s happiness. The rule utilitarian says: the right system of rules is the one which promotes everyone s happiness. For instance, the rule utilitarian might say something like: it s wrong to cheat because a system of rules in which cheating is prohibited would lead to more happiness than a system of rules in which cheating is allowed. One great difficulty for rule utilitarianism is to say something useful about what exactly constitutes a system of rules. E.g. if rules like Sean is allowed to cheat when it does not harm others is allowed, then it seems like there might be little difference between rule- and act-utilitarianism. Kantian ethics, or deontological approaches 5. Ends in themselves. Kant thinks that it s really important to treat people as ends in themselves, and not means to some other end (cf. [Kant1996] 4:429). People are free, rational agents: they have freedom to choose which goals to adopt, and they deliberate rationally about which goals they want to adopt. One way to think about what it means to treat people as ends in themselves

3 Kantian ethics, or deontological approaches 3 is: people s status as free rational agents is an intrinsic good, which is important regardless of whatever good benefits this might produce, and it s a more important good than any other good (cf. Hill [Hill-Jr.1980] pp ). 6. Example: lying. Suppose that I know of a job opportunity and when a friend asks me whether I know of any job opportunities, I lie and say that I don t know of any. For the utilitarian (or maybe: for the act utilitarian), whether this was right or wrong probably depends on a complicated calculation as to whether the job opportunity would have been good for my friend. For the Kantian, this is always wrong because I have robbed my friend of a choice. But lying becomes problematic for the Kantian because it almost looks like they would have to say that lying is nearly always wrong. For instance, suppose my friend is an alcoholic and asks me whether there is any liquor in the house. Seems like in this case one might have the intuition that one should lie, whereas the Kantian would seem to suggest that telling the truth is better. 7. Example: happiness of others. Suppose that my college-aged child wants to become an artist when I believe that being a doctor would be better, and I am thus faced with the dilemma of whether to financially support my child in her dreams. For the utilitarian, this is ultimately a question of which would result in more happiness, perhaps in the long term. For the Kantian, another important consideration is respecting the agency of my child. But this can again become problematic for the Kantian since it kind of looks like her view is that this value dominates all others. For instance, if I am in the fortunate position of being able to financially help a friend who habitually makes bad decisions, maybe I should place conditions on my aid. 8. Acting from a sense of duty. The utilitarian has a pretty quick answer to why people should want to do the right thing: they want to do it because it makes them or others happy. It s less clear what Kantian should say. Kant s own view is that the good person acts the way she does simply out of a respect for the moral laws, or out of a sense of duty. Given that moral laws often conflict with what would make one happy, the life of the good person is characterized by a great deal of inner conflict for Kant. 9. Actions, maxims, and the categorical imperative. An action is what you do, while a maxim is your reason for doing it. For instance, one person might rob a bank, thinking to himself: Rob a bank whenever you need money! While another person might rob a bank, thinking to himself Rob a bank whenever your son needs an expensive operation! These two robbers do the same action, but have different maxims. With this, we can formulate Kant s categorical imperative: Act only on that maxim through which you can at

4 4 1. A primer of major ethical theories the same time will that it should become a universal law ([Kant1996] 4:421). 10. Examples: lying. Suppose that I lie, thinking to myself: Lie whenever it is to my advantage!. Can I really want the world to be such that everyone is permitted to lie when it is to their advantage? That would be a chaotic world in which society as we know it could not exist. The categorical imperative thus suggests that it s wrong to lie when it is to your advantage. What s the relation between this and 1.6? Well, presumably the connection is: if it s okay for me to lie when it s to my advantage, then there being no relevant moral difference between me and other agents, it should also be okay for others to lie when it s to their advantage. 11. Examples: helping others. Likewise, suppose that I fail to help someone, thinking to myself: Don t help people when it is not to your advantage!. The categorical imperative asks to us consider whether I could really want the world to be organized such that everyone is allowed to act like that. Perhaps I would be in need of aid at some point, and I would hence be wanting a world in which people don t want to help me. But Sidgwick later pointed out that this depends a lot on who exactly you are: [... ] a strong man, after balancing the chances of life, may easily think that he and such as he have more to gain, on the whole, by the general adoption of the egoistic maxim; benevolence being more trouble than profit ([Sidgwick1981aa] p. 389 fn, cf. [Herman1984] p. 581 ff). Virtue ethics, or neo-aristotelian approaches 12. Basic idea: taking virtues seriously. The two theories we described so far can seem a little far-removed from some of our usual evaluative modes of speech. If I ask you what makes a good person, it might be natural to start talking about things like being kind, being diligent, being trustworthy, etc. Perhaps the utilitarian and Kantian each have complicated reasons why these traits make for a person who does largely good. But the idea of virtue ethics is to take these modes of evaluation as what comes first: a good person is a virtuous person, a good life is a virtuous life, etc. This kind of theory was first set out by Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics ([Aristotle1999aa]), and so virtue approaches are sometimes labelled as neo-aristotelian. 13. Virtue and function. Besides listing virtues, is there anything that one can say about what a virtue is? A traditional Aristotelian answer was that: virtues are that which enables an object to perform its function well. For instance, rhythm is a virtue of a harpist (since the function of a harpist is to play), having 20/20 vision is a virtue of an eye (since the function of an eye is

5 Virtue ethics, or neo-aristotelian approaches 5 to see), having an ample root system is a virtue of a plant (since the function of a plant is to grow). But what exactly is the function of a human? Aristotle thought it was: an activity of the soul ([Aristotle1999aa] 1102a5). Some modern virtue theorists, like Hursthouse, hold onto some variant of this idea, in that they think virtue is what helps you to flourish or have a good life ([Hursthouse2014aa] p. 46). Other modern virtue theorists, like Slote, take the specific virtues themselves to be what is primarily good, and dispense with talk of functions as outdated ([Baron1997aa] p. 209). 14. Doctrine of the mean. Perhaps the most famous Aristotelian claim about virtue was the so-called doctrine of the mean: But having these feelings at the right times, about the right things, toward the right people, for the right end, and in the right way, is the intermediate and best condition, and this is proper to virtue. ([Aristotle1999aa] 1106b21-5) E.g. bravery is having feelings of fear and confidence at the right times, about the right things, etc; temperance is having feelings of pleasures and pains at the right times, about the right things, etc. Modern virtue theorists tend to keep some part of the Aristotelian view, emphasizing the relation to emotional states and the consideration of contextual factors. 15. The reality of virtues. Paradigmatic virtues such as honesty and kindness are not only ideals to which we should aim, but they are also stable character traits. I think that this comports fairly well with every day usage, and it s implicit in the Aristotelian doctrine that what causes virtue is actions which the virtuous human would do in the way that the virtuous human would do them ([Aristotle1999aa] 1105b10-15). However, it has been recently noted (e.g. [Doris1998aa]) that the stable attribution of virtues seems inconsistent with long-standing research in social psychology which suggests that the presence of such traits can be easily manipulated by environmental factors. E.g. people are significantly more disposed to help others when they have recently found some change on the ground. 16. How to apply virtue ethics. Since our course has a dimension of an applied ethics course, it is natural to ask how to apply virtue ethics. Annas suggests that one think about the virtues as not merely being ideals or goals to aspire to, but also as making moral demands on us ([Annas2015aa] p. 11). For instance, honesty not only recommends telling hard truths but also demands it. Likewise, the prevalence of virtue talk in everyday evaluation almost makes it easier to apply: tell business people that they have violated some ethical principle and they may say something dismissive about ethical principles. But tell them that they have shown themselves to be cowards or liars or bullies or unprofessional and they will react negatively indeed ([Hartman2013aa] p. 251).

6

7 Bibliography [Annas2015aa] Julia Annas. Applying virtue to ethics. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 32(1):1 14, [Aristotle1999aa] Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics. Hackett, Indianapolis, second edition, [Baron1997aa] Marcia W. Baron, Philip Pettit, and Michael Slote. Three methods of ethics: A debate [Doris1998aa] John M Doris. Persons, situations, and virtue ethics. Nous, 32(4): , [Hartman2013aa] Edwin Hartman. The virtue approach to business ethics. In Daniel C. Russell, editor, The Cambridge Companion to Virtue Ethics, pages Cambridge University Press, [Herman1984] Barbara Herman. Mutual aid and respect for persons. Ethics, 94(4): , [Hill-Jr.1980] Thomas E. Hill Jr. Humanity as an end in itself. Ethics, 91(1):84 90, [Hursthouse2014aa] Rosalind Hursthouse. Virtue theory. In Hugh LaFollette, editor, Ethics in practice: an anthology, pages Blackwell, Malden, third edition, [Kant1996] Immanuel Kant. Groundwork for the metaphysics of morals. In Practical Philosophy, The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant, pages Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, [Mill1991] John Stuart Mill. Utilitarianism. In Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, volume 10, pages Routledge, London, [McNaughton2014aa] David McNaugton and Piers Rawling. Deontology. In Hugh LaFollette, editor, Ethics in practice: an anthology, pages Blackwell, Malden, third edition, [Scanlon1982] T.M. Scanlon. Contractualism and Utilitarianism. In Utilitarianism and Beyond, pages Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, [Sidgwick1981aa] Henry Sidgwick. The Methods of Ethics. Hackett, Indianapolis, [Vallentyne2014aa] Peter Vallentyne. Consequentialism. In Hugh LaFollette, editor, Ethics in practice: an anthology, pages Blackwell, Malden, third edition,

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

-- 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

Lecture 12 Deontology. Onora O Neill A Simplified Account of Kant s Ethics

Lecture 12 Deontology. Onora O Neill A Simplified Account of Kant s Ethics Lecture 12 Deontology Onora O Neill A Simplified Account of Kant s Ethics 1 Agenda 1. Immanuel Kant 2. Deontology 3. Hypothetical vs. Categorical Imperatives 4. Formula of the End in Itself 5. Maxims and

More information

Deontology. Immanuel Kant ( ) Founder of Deontology

Deontology. Immanuel Kant ( ) Founder of Deontology Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) Founder of Deontology The right act is that which is in accordance with the correct moral rule (GK. deon) or principle (Kant calls these maxims ) Rejects hedonism Rejects consequentialism

More information

A Review on What Is This Thing Called Ethics? by Christopher Bennett * ** 1

A Review on What Is This Thing Called Ethics? by Christopher Bennett * ** 1 310 Book Review Book Review ISSN (Print) 1225-4924, ISSN (Online) 2508-3104 Catholic Theology and Thought, Vol. 79, July 2017 http://dx.doi.org/10.21731/ctat.2017.79.310 A Review on What Is This Thing

More information

Mill s Utilitarian Theory

Mill s Utilitarian Theory Normative Ethics Mill s Utilitarian Theory John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism The Greatest Happiness Principle holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they

More information

Virtuous act, virtuous dispositions

Virtuous act, virtuous dispositions virtuous act, virtuous dispositions 69 Virtuous act, virtuous dispositions Thomas Hurka Everyday moral thought uses the concepts of virtue and vice at two different levels. At what I will call a global

More information

Course Syllabus Ethics PHIL 330, Fall, 2009

Course Syllabus Ethics PHIL 330, Fall, 2009 Instructor: Dr. Matt Zwolinski Office Hours: MW: 12:00-2:00; F: 11:15-12:15 Office: F167A Course Website: http://pope.sandiego.edu/ Phone: 619-260-4094 Email: mzwolinski@sandiego.edu Course Syllabus Ethics

More information

Lecture 6 Workable Ethical Theories I. Based on slides 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Pearson Addison-Wesley

Lecture 6 Workable Ethical Theories I. Based on slides 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Pearson Addison-Wesley Lecture 6 Workable Ethical Theories I Participation Quiz Pick an answer between A E at random. What answer (A E) do you think will have been selected most frequently in the previous poll? Recap: Unworkable

More information

Definitions: Values and Moral Values

Definitions: Values and Moral Values Definitions: Values and Moral Values 1. Values those things that we care about; those things that matter to us; those goals or ideals to which we aspire and by which we measure ourselves and others in

More information

GS SCORE ETHICS - A - Z. Notes

GS SCORE ETHICS - A - Z.   Notes ETHICS - A - Z Absolutism Act-utilitarianism Agent-centred consideration Agent-neutral considerations : This is the view, with regard to a moral principle or claim, that it holds everywhere and is never

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

Philosophers in Jesuit Education Eastern APA Meetings, December 2011 Discussion Starter. Karen Stohr Georgetown University

Philosophers in Jesuit Education Eastern APA Meetings, December 2011 Discussion Starter. Karen Stohr Georgetown University Philosophers in Jesuit Education Eastern APA Meetings, December 2011 Discussion Starter Karen Stohr Georgetown University Ethics begins with the obvious fact that we are morally flawed creatures and that

More information

Kantian Deontology - Part Two

Kantian Deontology - Part Two Kantian Deontology - Part Two Immanuel Kant s Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals Nathan Kellen University of Connecticut October 1st, 2015 Table of Contents Hypothetical Categorical The Universal

More information

In-Class Kant Review Dialogue 1

In-Class Kant Review Dialogue 1 1 Kant Review Dialogue 1 Micah Tillman 05 April, 2010, slightly revised 18 March, 2011 Tedrick: Hey Kant! In-Class Kant Review Dialogue 1 Why, hello there Fredward. Tedrick: It s Tedrick. Fredward is my

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

Chapter 2 Reasoning about Ethics

Chapter 2 Reasoning about Ethics Chapter 2 Reasoning about Ethics TRUE/FALSE 1. The statement "nearly all Americans believe that individual liberty should be respected" is a normative claim. F This is a statement about people's beliefs;

More information

Philosophy 125C Great Philosophers Spring 2011 McMillan Hall 149 Tuesday-Thursday 10-11:30

Philosophy 125C Great Philosophers Spring 2011 McMillan Hall 149 Tuesday-Thursday 10-11:30 Philosophy 125C Great Philosophers Spring 2011 McMillan Hall 149 Tuesday-Thursday 10-11:30 Professor: Anne Margaret Baxley Office: Wilson Hall 105 Office hours: Wed 10-12 E-mail: abaxley@wusd.edu ^eii:

More information

SUMMARIES AND TEST QUESTIONS UNIT 6

SUMMARIES AND TEST QUESTIONS UNIT 6 SUMMARIES AND TEST QUESTIONS UNIT 6 Textbook: Louis P. Pojman, Editor. Philosophy: The quest for truth. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN-10: 0199697310; ISBN-13: 9780199697311 (6th Edition)

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

The form of relativism that says that whether an agent s actions are right or wrong depends on the moral principles accepted in her own society.

The form of relativism that says that whether an agent s actions are right or wrong depends on the moral principles accepted in her own society. Glossary of Terms: Act-consequentialism Actual Duty Actual Value Agency Condition Agent Relativism Amoralist Appraisal Relativism A form of direct consequentialism according to which the rightness and

More information

The Pleasure Imperative

The Pleasure Imperative The Pleasure Imperative Utilitarianism, particularly the version espoused by John Stuart Mill, is probably the best known consequentialist normative ethical theory. Furthermore, it is probably the most

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

Rashdall, Hastings. Anthony Skelton

Rashdall, Hastings. Anthony Skelton 1 Rashdall, Hastings Anthony Skelton Hastings Rashdall (1858 1924) was educated at Oxford University. He taught at St. David s University College and at Oxford, among other places. He produced seminal

More information

KANTIAN ETHICS (Dan Gaskill)

KANTIAN ETHICS (Dan Gaskill) KANTIAN ETHICS (Dan Gaskill) German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) was an opponent of utilitarianism. Basic Summary: Kant, unlike Mill, believed that certain types of actions (including murder,

More information

Contemporary theories of Virtue Ethics are often presented as theories that are in

Contemporary theories of Virtue Ethics are often presented as theories that are in Virtue Ethics, Kantian Ethics and Consequentialism Introduction Contemporary theories of Virtue Ethics are often presented as theories that are in opposition to Kantian Ethics and Consequentialist Ethics.

More information

Course Prerequisites: No prerequisites.

Course Prerequisites: No prerequisites. HON 294-002 Spring 2010 HON 294: Kantian Ethics Classes: TTH 10:15 11:30AM 344 Withers Hall Instructor: Professor Marina F. Bykova Office: 451 Withers Hall Phone: 515-6332 E-mail: mfbykova@unity.ncsu.edu

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

Chapter 3 PHILOSOPHICAL ETHICS AND BUSINESS CHAPTER OBJECTIVES. After exploring this chapter, you will be able to:

Chapter 3 PHILOSOPHICAL ETHICS AND BUSINESS CHAPTER OBJECTIVES. After exploring this chapter, you will be able to: Chapter 3 PHILOSOPHICAL ETHICS AND BUSINESS MGT604 CHAPTER OBJECTIVES After exploring this chapter, you will be able to: 1. Explain the ethical framework of utilitarianism. 2. Describe how utilitarian

More information

Introduction to Ethics

Introduction to Ethics Introduction to Ethics Auburn University Department of Philosophy PHIL 1020 Fall Semester, 2015 Syllabus Instructor: Email: Version 1.0. The schedule of readings is subject to revision. Students are responsible

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

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

The fact that some action, A, is part of a valuable and eligible pattern of action, P, is a reason to perform A. 1

The fact that some action, A, is part of a valuable and eligible pattern of action, P, is a reason to perform A. 1 The Common Structure of Kantianism and Act Consequentialism Christopher Woodard RoME 2009 1. My thesis is that Kantian ethics and Act Consequentialism share a common structure, since both can be well understood

More information

Contemporary moral issues

Contemporary moral issues Spring 2016 Philosophy 221 Contemporary moral issues Course packet Dr. Eric Carter North Carolina State University Contents I Ethical thought in the seventies: Abortion, social justice, and euthanasia

More information

IN DEFENSE OF THE PRIMACY OF THE VIRTUES

IN DEFENSE OF THE PRIMACY OF THE VIRTUES BY JASON KAWALL JOURNAL OF ETHICS & SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY VOL. 3, NO. 2 AUGUST 2009 URL: WWW.JESP.ORG COPYRIGHT JASON KAWALL 2009 In Defense of the Primacy of the Virtues I N RECENT DECADES THERE HAS BEEN

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

Introduction to Ethics

Introduction to Ethics Instructor: Email: Introduction to Ethics Auburn University Department of Philosophy PHIL 1020 Fall Quarter, 2014 Syllabus Version 1.9. The schedule of readings is subject to revisions. Students are responsible

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

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

(d) Exam Writing Options Candidates can satisfy the MPL Comp requirement in one of two ways.

(d) Exam Writing Options Candidates can satisfy the MPL Comp requirement in one of two ways. UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY MORAL, POLITICAL, AND LEGAL PHILOSOPHY COMPREHENSIVE EXAM INSTRUCTIONS AND READING LIST I. GENERAL OVERVIEW AND INSTRUCTIONS (a) Content The Moral,

More information

Notes on Moore and Parker, Chapter 12: Moral, Legal and Aesthetic Reasoning

Notes on Moore and Parker, Chapter 12: Moral, Legal and Aesthetic Reasoning Notes on Moore and Parker, Chapter 12: Moral, Legal and Aesthetic Reasoning The final chapter of Moore and Parker s text is devoted to how we might apply critical reasoning in certain philosophical contexts.

More information

Course Coordinator Dr Melvin Chen Course Code. CY0002 Course Title. Ethics Pre-requisites. NIL No of AUs 3 Contact Hours

Course Coordinator Dr Melvin Chen Course Code. CY0002 Course Title. Ethics Pre-requisites. NIL No of AUs 3 Contact Hours Course Coordinator Dr Melvin Chen Course Code CY0002 Course Title Ethics Pre-requisites NIL No of AUs 3 Contact Hours Lecture 3 hours per week Consultation 1-2 hours per week (optional) Course Aims This

More information

Ethical Reasoning and the THSEB: A Primer for Coaches

Ethical Reasoning and the THSEB: A Primer for Coaches Ethical Reasoning and the THSEB: A Primer for Coaches THSEB@utk.edu philosophy.utk.edu/ethics/index.php FOLLOW US! Twitter: @thseb_utk Instagram: thseb_utk Facebook: facebook.com/thsebutk Co-sponsored

More information

Lecture 8. Ethics in Science

Lecture 8. Ethics in Science Lecture 8 Ethics in Science What is ethics? We can say it is a system for guiding our choices in different situations But it is not just rational choices. It is about situations where our conceptions of

More information

Lecture 6 Workable Ethical Theories I. Based on slides 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Pearson Addison-Wesley

Lecture 6 Workable Ethical Theories I. Based on slides 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Pearson Addison-Wesley Lecture 6 Workable Ethical Theories I Participation Quiz Pick an answer between A E at random. (thanks to Rodrigo for suggesting this quiz) Ethical Egoism Achievement of your happiness is the only moral

More information

INTRODUCTORY HANDOUT PHILOSOPHY 13 FALL, 2004 INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY---ETHICS Professor: Richard Arneson. TAs: Eric Campbell and Adam Streed.

INTRODUCTORY HANDOUT PHILOSOPHY 13 FALL, 2004 INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY---ETHICS Professor: Richard Arneson. TAs: Eric Campbell and Adam Streed. 1 INTRODUCTORY HANDOUT PHILOSOPHY 13 FALL, 2004 INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY---ETHICS Professor: Richard Arneson. TAs: Eric Campbell and Adam Streed. Lecture MWF 11:00-11:50 a.m. in Cognitive Science Bldg.

More information

Chapter 2 Determining Moral Behavior

Chapter 2 Determining Moral Behavior Chapter 2 Determining Moral Behavior 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

More information

Lecture Notes Rosalind Hursthouse, Normative Virtue Ethics (1996, 2013) Keith Burgess-Jackson 4 May 2016

Lecture Notes Rosalind Hursthouse, Normative Virtue Ethics (1996, 2013) Keith Burgess-Jackson 4 May 2016 Lecture Notes Rosalind Hursthouse, Normative Virtue Ethics (1996, 2013) Keith Burgess-Jackson 4 May 2016 0. Introduction. Hursthouse s aim in this essay is to defend virtue ethics against the following

More information

FREEDOM AND THE SOURCE OF VALUE: KORSGAARD AND WOOD ON KANT S FORMULA OF HUMANITY CHRISTOPHER ARROYO

FREEDOM AND THE SOURCE OF VALUE: KORSGAARD AND WOOD ON KANT S FORMULA OF HUMANITY CHRISTOPHER ARROYO Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK, and 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA METAPHILOSOPHY Vol. 42, No. 4, July 2011 0026-1068 FREEDOM AND THE SOURCE OF

More information

Modern Deontological Theory: Rawlsian Deontology

Modern Deontological Theory: Rawlsian Deontology Modern Deontological Theory: Rawlsian Deontology John Rawls A Theory of Justice Nathan Kellen University of Connecticut February 26th, 2015 Table of Contents Preliminary Notes Preliminaries Two Principles

More information

Computer Ethics. Normative Ethics and Normative Argumentation. Viola Schiaffonati October 10 th 2017

Computer Ethics. Normative Ethics and Normative Argumentation. Viola Schiaffonati October 10 th 2017 Normative Ethics and Normative Argumentation Viola Schiaffonati October 10 th 2017 Overview (van de Poel and Royakkers 2011) 2 Some essential concepts Ethical theories Relativism and absolutism Consequentialist

More information

Philosophical Ethics. Course packet

Philosophical Ethics. Course packet Philosophical Ethics Course packet Instructor: John Davenport Spring 2004 Phlu 1100-004 MW 11:30-12:45 Contents of Course Packet 1. Syllabus 2. Our Culture of Academic Integrity: A Mutual Commitment The

More information

DEONTOLOGICAL ETHICS

DEONTOLOGICAL ETHICS DEONTOLOGICAL ETHICS In ethical theories, if we mainly focus on the action itself, then we use deontological ethics (also known as deontology or duty ethics). In duty ethics, an action is morally right

More information

Moral Argumentation from a Rhetorical Point of View

Moral Argumentation from a Rhetorical Point of View Chapter 98 Moral Argumentation from a Rhetorical Point of View Lars Leeten Universität Hildesheim Practical thinking is a tricky business. Its aim will never be fulfilled unless influence on practical

More information

VIRTUE RULES AND UNIVERSALIZABLE RULES. Lee Vincent, The Evergreen State College

VIRTUE RULES AND UNIVERSALIZABLE RULES. Lee Vincent, The Evergreen State College 45 VIRTUE RULES AND UNIVERSALIZABLE RULES Lee Vincent, The Evergreen State College Attempting to describe the relation in meaning between the imperatives, Be honest and Tell no lies, seems to be an effective

More information

Computer Ethics. Normative Ethics Ethical Theories. Viola Schiaffonati October 4 th 2018

Computer Ethics. Normative Ethics Ethical Theories. Viola Schiaffonati October 4 th 2018 Normative Ethics Ethical Theories Viola Schiaffonati October 4 th 2018 Overview (van de Poel and Royakkers 2011) 2 Ethical theories Relativism and absolutism Consequentialist approaches: utilitarianism

More information

Hello again. Today we re gonna continue our discussions of Kant s ethics.

Hello again. Today we re gonna continue our discussions of Kant s ethics. PHI 110 Lecture 29 1 Hello again. Today we re gonna continue our discussions of Kant s ethics. Last time we talked about the good will and Kant defined the good will as the free rational will which acts

More information

Ethical Theories. A (Very) Brief Introduction

Ethical Theories. A (Very) Brief Introduction Ethical Theories A (Very) Brief Introduction Last time, a definition Ethics: The discipline that deals with right and wrong, good and bad, especially with respect to human conduct. Well, for one thing,

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

Consequentialism. Mill s Theory of Utility

Consequentialism. Mill s Theory of Utility Consequentialism Mill s Theory of Utility Consequentialism Theory of Normative Ethics Has a different way of determining what the good life is from Aristotle: J.S. MILL: Good -----> THEORY OF CONSEQUENTIALISM

More information

Summary of Kant s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals

Summary of Kant s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals Summary of Kant s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals Version 1.1 Richard Baron 2 October 2016 1 Contents 1 Introduction 3 1.1 Availability and licence............ 3 2 Definitions of key terms 4 3

More information

Kant's Moral Philosophy

Kant's Moral Philosophy Kant's Moral Philosophy I. Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (178.5)- Immanuel Kant A. Aims I. '7o seek out and establish the supreme principle of morality." a. To provide a rational basis for morality.

More information

16RC1 Cahana. Medical professionalism: Where does it come from? A review of different moral theories. Alex Cahana. Introduction

16RC1 Cahana. Medical professionalism: Where does it come from? A review of different moral theories. Alex Cahana. Introduction 16RC1 Cahana Medical professionalism: Where does it come from? A review of different moral theories Alex Cahana Department of Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Department Bioethics & Humanities University

More information

Honors Ethics Oral Presentations: Instructions

Honors Ethics Oral Presentations: Instructions Cabrillo College Claudia Close Honors Ethics Philosophy 10H Fall 2018 Honors Ethics Oral Presentations: Instructions Your initial presentation should be approximately 6-7 minutes and you should prepare

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

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

Evaluating actions The principle of utility Strengths Criticisms Act vs. rule UTILITARIAN ETHICS Evaluating actions The principle of utility Strengths Criticisms Act vs. rule A dilemma You are a lawyer. You have a client who is an old lady who owns a big house. She tells you that

More information

Introduction to Ethics

Introduction to Ethics Question 1: What is act-utilitarianism? Answer 1: Act-utilitarianism is a theory that is commonly presented in the writings of Jeremy Bentham and looks at the consequences of a specific act in determining

More information

Critical Reasoning and Moral theory day 3

Critical Reasoning and Moral theory day 3 Critical Reasoning and Moral theory day 3 CS 340 Fall 2015 Ethics and Moral Theories Differences of opinion based caused by different value set Deontology Virtue Religious and Divine Command Utilitarian

More information

PHIL1010: PHILOSOPHICAL ETHICS FORDHAM UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR ROBIN MULLER M/TH: 8:30 9:45AM OFFICE HOURS: BY APPOINTMENT

PHIL1010: PHILOSOPHICAL ETHICS FORDHAM UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR ROBIN MULLER M/TH: 8:30 9:45AM   OFFICE HOURS: BY APPOINTMENT PHIL1010: PHILOSOPHICAL ETHICS FORDHAM UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR ROBIN MULLER M/TH: 8:30 9:45AM EMAIL: ROBIN.MULLER@GMAIL.COM OFFICE HOURS: BY APPOINTMENT COURSE DESCRIPTION This class is an introduction to

More information

PHIL%13:%Ethics;%Fall%2012% David%O.%Brink;%UCSD% Syllabus% Part%I:%Challenges%to%Moral%Theory 1.%Relativism%and%Tolerance.

PHIL%13:%Ethics;%Fall%2012% David%O.%Brink;%UCSD% Syllabus% Part%I:%Challenges%to%Moral%Theory 1.%Relativism%and%Tolerance. Draftof8)27)12 PHIL%13:%Ethics;%Fall%2012% David%O.%Brink;%UCSD% Syllabus% Hereisalistoftopicsandreadings.Withinatopic,dothereadingsintheorderinwhich theyarelisted.readingsaredrawnfromthethreemaintexts

More information

Nietzsche and Aristotle in contemporary virtue ethics

Nietzsche and Aristotle in contemporary virtue ethics Ethical Theory and Practice - Final Paper 3 February 2005 Tibor Goossens - 0439940 CS Ethics 1A - WBMA3014 Faculty of Philosophy - Utrecht University Table of contents 1. Introduction and research question...

More information

In Kant s Conception of Humanity, Joshua Glasgow defends a traditional reading of

In Kant s Conception of Humanity, Joshua Glasgow defends a traditional reading of Glasgow s Conception of Kantian Humanity Richard Dean ABSTRACT: In Kant s Conception of Humanity, Joshua Glasgow defends a traditional reading of the humanity formulation of the Categorical Imperative.

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

Kant The Grounding of the Metaphysics of Morals (excerpts) 1 PHIL101 Prof. Oakes. Section IV: What is it worth? Reading IV.2.

Kant The Grounding of the Metaphysics of Morals (excerpts) 1 PHIL101 Prof. Oakes. Section IV: What is it worth? Reading IV.2. Kant The Grounding of the Metaphysics of Morals (excerpts) 1 PHIL101 Prof. Oakes Section IV: What is it worth? Reading IV.2 Kant s analysis of the good differs in scope from Aristotle s in two ways. In

More information

Take Home Exam #2. PHI 1700: Global Ethics Prof. Lauren R. Alpert

Take Home Exam #2. PHI 1700: Global Ethics Prof. Lauren R. Alpert PHI 1700: Global Ethics Prof. Lauren R. Alpert Name: Date: Take Home Exam #2 Instructions (Read Before Proceeding!) Material for this exam is from class sessions 8-15. Matching and fill-in-the-blank questions

More information

Virtue Ethics. What kind of person do you want to grow up to be? Virtue Ethics (VE): The Basic Idea

Virtue Ethics. What kind of person do you want to grow up to be? Virtue Ethics (VE): The Basic Idea Virtue Ethics What kind of person do you want to grow up to be? Virtue Ethics (VE): The Basic Idea Whereas most modern (i.e., post 17 th century) ethical theories stress rules and principles as the content

More information

Categorical Imperative by. Kant

Categorical Imperative by. Kant Categorical Imperative by Dr. Desh Raj Sirswal Assistant Professor (Philosophy), P.G.Govt. College for Girls, Sector-11, Chandigarh http://drsirswal.webs.com Kant Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (1724 1804)

More information

Quiz 1. Criticisms of consequentialism and Kant. Consequentialism and Nonconsequentialism. Consequentialism in practice. Must Choose Best Possible Act

Quiz 1. Criticisms of consequentialism and Kant. Consequentialism and Nonconsequentialism. Consequentialism in practice. Must Choose Best Possible Act Quiz 1 (Out of 4 points; 5 points possible) Ethical Theory (continued) In one clear sentence, state one of the criticisms of consequentialism discussed in the course pack. (up to 2 bonus points): In one

More information

Autonomous Machines Are Ethical

Autonomous Machines Are Ethical Autonomous Machines Are Ethical John Hooker Carnegie Mellon University INFORMS 2017 1 Thesis Concepts of deontological ethics are ready-made for the age of AI. Philosophical concept of autonomy applies

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

PHIL 2000: ETHICS 2011/12, TERM 1

PHIL 2000: ETHICS 2011/12, TERM 1 PHIL 2000: ETHICS 2011/12, TERM 1 Professor: Christopher Lowry Email: lowry@cuhk.edu.hk Office: Leung Kau Kiu Building, Room 219 Office Hours: Tuesdays 2:30 to 4:30, and Wednesdays 9:30 to 11:30, or by

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

The Exeter College Summer Programme at Exeter College in the University of Oxford. Good Life or Moral Life?

The Exeter College Summer Programme at Exeter College in the University of Oxford. Good Life or Moral Life? The Exeter College Summer Programme at Exeter College in the University of Oxford Good Life or Moral Life? Course Description This course consists of four parts, each of which comprises (roughly) three

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

Philosophy 102 Ethics Course Description: Course Requirements and Expectations

Philosophy 102 Ethics Course Description: Course Requirements and Expectations Philosophy 102 Ethics Spring 2012 Instructor: Alan Reynolds Email: alanr@uoregon.edu Office: PLC 324 Class meetings: 204 Chapman Hall MTWR 9-9:50 Office Hours: W 10-12 or by appointment Course Description:

More information

EUROANESTHESIA 2007 Munich, Germany, 9-12 June 2007

EUROANESTHESIA 2007 Munich, Germany, 9-12 June 2007 EUROANESTHESIA 2007 Munich, Germany, 9-12 June 2007 WHERE DO THE PRINCIPLES OF BIOMEDICAL ETHICS COME FROM? 16RC1 ALEX CAHANA Postoperative and Interventional Pain Program, Department Anesthesiology, Pharmacology

More information

Virtue Ethics. A Basic Introductory Essay, by Dr. Garrett. Latest minor modification November 28, 2005

Virtue Ethics. A Basic Introductory Essay, by Dr. Garrett. Latest minor modification November 28, 2005 Virtue Ethics A Basic Introductory Essay, by Dr. Garrett Latest minor modification November 28, 2005 Some students would prefer not to study my introductions to philosophical issues and approaches but

More information

[Forthcoming in The International Encyclopedia of Ethics, ed. Hugh LaFollette. (Oxford: Blackwell), 2012] Imperatives, Categorical and Hypothetical

[Forthcoming in The International Encyclopedia of Ethics, ed. Hugh LaFollette. (Oxford: Blackwell), 2012] Imperatives, Categorical and Hypothetical [Forthcoming in The International Encyclopedia of Ethics, ed. Hugh LaFollette. (Oxford: Blackwell), 2012] Imperatives, Categorical and Hypothetical Samuel J. Kerstein Ethicists distinguish between categorical

More information

Philosophical Ethics Syllabus-Summer 2018

Philosophical Ethics Syllabus-Summer 2018 Philosophical Ethics Syllabus-Summer 2018 Professor Allysa Lake E-mail Alake6@fordham.edu Course Description: What does it mean to be a good person? How should we act? How should we live? What are our

More information

Chapter 2: Reasoning about ethics

Chapter 2: Reasoning about ethics Chapter 2: Reasoning about ethics 2012 Cengage Learning All Rights reserved Learning Outcomes LO 1 Explain how important moral reasoning is and how to apply it. LO 2 Explain the difference between facts

More information

Kantianism: Objections and Replies Keith Burgess-Jackson 12 March 2017

Kantianism: Objections and Replies Keith Burgess-Jackson 12 March 2017 Kantianism: Objections and Replies Keith Burgess-Jackson 12 March 2017 Kantianism (K): 1 For all acts x, x is right iff (i) the maxim of x is universalizable (i.e., the agent can will that the maxim of

More information

Sidgwick on Practical Reason

Sidgwick on Practical Reason Sidgwick on Practical Reason ONORA O NEILL 1. How many methods? IN THE METHODS OF ETHICS Henry Sidgwick distinguishes three methods of ethics but (he claims) only two conceptions of practical reason. This

More information

A Primer on Decision Making through Ethical Analysis

A Primer on Decision Making through Ethical Analysis A Primer on Decision Making through Ethical Analysis John Stuart Mill John Frye, MA Department of Biophysics, Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, Ohio 44106 Introduction What follows is a brief

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

Thinking Ethically: A Framework for Moral Decision Making

Thinking Ethically: A Framework for Moral Decision Making Thinking Ethically: A Framework for Moral Decision Making Developed by Manuel Velasquez, Claire Andre, Thomas Shanks, S.J., and Michael J. Meyer Moral issues greet us each morning in the newspaper, confront

More information

Course Syllabus. CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, NORTHRIDGE Contemporary Ethical Issues (RS 361 ONLINE #14955) Spring 2018

Course Syllabus. CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, NORTHRIDGE Contemporary Ethical Issues (RS 361 ONLINE #14955) Spring 2018 Course Syllabus CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, NORTHRIDGE Contemporary Ethical Issues (RS 361 ONLINE #14955) Spring 2018 Instructor: Albert Tevanyan E-mail: albert.tevanyan@csun.edu Office hours online:

More information

Introduction to Philosophy Philosophy 110W Spring 2011 Russell Marcus

Introduction to Philosophy Philosophy 110W Spring 2011 Russell Marcus Introduction to Philosophy Philosophy 110W Spring 2011 Russell Marcus Class 26 - April 27 Kantian Ethics Marcus, Introduction to Philosophy, Slide 1 Mill s Defense of Utilitarianism P People desire happiness.

More information

On Audi s Marriage of Ross and Kant. Thomas Hurka. University of Toronto

On Audi s Marriage of Ross and Kant. Thomas Hurka. University of Toronto On Audi s Marriage of Ross and Kant Thomas Hurka University of Toronto As its title suggests, Robert Audi s The Good in the Right 1 defends an intuitionist moral view like W.D. Ross s in The Right and

More information