Ppt14IntrotoEthicalTheoriespt2.ppt

Philosophy 1001
PPT 14
Introduction to Ethical Theories
Part 2
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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2
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TERMS TO KNOW
Teleological /Telos
Deontological
Hedonism
Social Hedonism
Eudaimonia
Theory names
Utilitarianism
Kantian Ethics – Categorical Imperative
Virtue Theory
Care Ethics/Feminist Ethics

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Utility = usefulness
Do my actions have usefulness?
Right and wrong is defined by the usefulness (“good” outcome) of actions not by objective moral values.
Is this a consequentialist or non-consequentialist theory?

Review
Consequentialist – (Teleological)
Results of actions test their rightness
Non Consequentialist – (Deontological – Kant)
Emphasis on duty, doing what is right no matter what

UTILITARIANISM
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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

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UTILITARIANISM CONT’D
How do you measure what a “good” outcome is?
Actions should bring the most happiness (or good/pleasure) and least amount of pain or (evil) to the greatest number of people.

3 Stages of Utilitarianism
#1. We ought to act so as to promote the greatest balance of good over evil.
#2. We ought to act to bring greatest balance of pleasure over pain. (Hedonism)
#3. We ought to act to promote greatest happiness for greatest number. (Social Hedonism)
Utilitarianism- simplified; The best for the most.

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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

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UTILITARIANISM- JEREMY BENTHAM
1748-1842 –English- Founder of Modern Utilitarianism

Simple formula-Consider actions, take into consideration all people involved, choose that which brings most pleasure and least pain.
Quantity of pleasure emphasized
Hedonic Calculus – 7 measurements
Intensity
Duration
Certainty
Propinquity – how near or easy
Fecundity – will produce other pleasures
Purity- freedom from pains
Extent – number of people affected
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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

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BENTHAM CONT’D
Avoid all metaphysical/religious claims
Don’t deal with anything beyond senses (empiricist)
Deal with what’s right in front of you.

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Bentham embalmed at University College London

Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

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UTILITARIANISM JOHN STUART MILL
Mill – 1806-1873 English
Mill emphasized quality (of consequences) over quantity
Higher (reason and intellect) vs lower pleasures
Seek pleasure yes, but seek it for all, without impartiality

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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

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ACT/RULE UTILITARIANISM
Act Utilitarianism – for each act
Rule Utilitarianism – apply utilitarian principles to usual rules such as don’t steal – if rule usually brings good consequences – use it.

Other Considerations
How does a Utilitarian feel about capital punishment?
Good over evil / pleasure over pain
Does good and evil change depending on the circumstance?
Do individuals basically have no rights if decisions are made with the best interest of the many in mind?

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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

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BENTHAM AND MILL
Historical Context
Advocates for change in society – beginning of modern activism
Fought against
Slavery
Child labor
Poor treatment of women

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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

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CONTEMPORARY UTILITARIANISM
Peter Singer – Australian- 1946- present
Founder of modern animal rights movement
Definition – Singer – a person is a being who has a capacity for enjoyable experiences, for interacting with others and for having preferences about continued life.
Does this mean; infants and some impaired people may not be persons –is infanticide then, for example, acceptable?
How can Singer arrive at these conclusions?
Is Utilitarianism consequentialist or non, would it applied usually in a systemic or personal individual way?

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UTILITARIANISM
Advantages
Deal with present – not “hung up” with religious or philosophical ideas.
Solutions for present problems
Coincides with much of way we act anyway
Disadvantages
Relativism
Right and wrong changes
Might justice be subverted in order to avoid pain?

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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

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Immanuel Kant 1724-1804 (a key enlightenment thinker)
Kant thinks
of necessity, a moral law exists (even though can’t know it with certainty.)
by reason, we can discover the universal moral law
we have a duty (deontological) to follow the moral law
if we think something should be a moral law, we, at least, must obey it ourselves. (humans, in a sense, can be law makers)

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KANTIAN ETHICS

Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

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OUGHT!
Ought- all theories tell what one ought to do
a. conditional ought – based on outcome
b. unconditional ought- always do what is “right”- no matter what
Kant- since morality must be universal- absolutely binding upon everyone -unconditional moral ought is only real ought -conditional ought is relative- inferior
Morality must come from a priori reason not a posteriori or naturalist experience
Is Kant’s thinking non-consequentialist?

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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

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THE GOOD WILL – DUTY
“Nothing in the world, indeed nothing beyond the world, can possibly be conceived which could be called good without qualification, except a good will”
Good will is an intention to act in accordance with moral law. Moral law is what it is no matter what anything else is. So- rational morality is to act out of a good will because it is right to do- not for any other reason. (not for consequences) To be truly moral- actions should be done out of duty.
Shopkeeper example
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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

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CATEGORICAL IMPERATIVE
Kant’s famous ethical principle
Categorical (in every case)
Imperative (command- do this!)
In every case, do this!
2 main formulations
#1 Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.
If you think an action should be universal- (done by everyone) -do that- you are acting out of good will

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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

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CATEGORICAL IMPERATIVE – FORMULATION #2
#2
Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always as an end and never as a means only.
treat others as an “end”- a being with value and purpose
don’t treat others as only a means for your own goals
friend and attacker scenario

Kantian ethics; systemic or

personal/individual?

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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

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KANT AND CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
Kant’s ethical ideas very influential through time, influencing law significantly.
retributive punishment – “eye for an eye”
wrong to punish a law breaker to deter or to protect others- this disrespects humanity of guilty person

punish for guilt inflicting equal measure of injury for crime
so- a murderer must be executed for sake of justice not for any other reason
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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

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ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
Advantages
deals with relativism
gives principle for deciding what is right or wrong
Categorical Imperative
Disadvantages
is there agreement about moral law?
does morality from duty always hold up?
De-emphasizes natural world as component of the moral world

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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

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ARISTOTLE – ETHICS
Nicomachean Ethics- famous work on Ethics
Applied same compare/contrast study method to people that used on plants and animals-
What makes people function at their best? = Virtue
There is some kind of “good” all things aim at -Telos
For human beings the good is -eudaimonia (gk)
Happiness – a self sufficient final end to actions
This Happiness or “end” for humans
To function in unique purpose- to use reason in accordance with virtue is the highest good or happiness

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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

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VIRTUE ETHICS
Consequentialist ethics – focus on results of actions
Non-consequentialist ethics – focus on actions as being

right or wrong no matter the outcome

Virtue Ethics – focus on the actor (the person)
a. what is the character of the person?
b. underlying idea; if a person has the right character, they will act in right ways and systemic ethical systems will not be needed as much.
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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

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Aristotle – Virtues are traits of character manifested in habitual action
Character- the substance of a thing
the material is porous or dense
character of steel is unbending
when know character- can predict function
I know he will show up- that’s his character
character implies a continual condition
a person’s character – the sum of the qualities and traits of their life

Virtue ethics; systemic or personal individual approach?

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VIRTUE

Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

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HOW DOES A PERSON BECOME VIRTUOUS?
Aristotle (7 considerations about virtues )
#1. Habitual action
a. Empiricist – so no innate ideas- where traits come from?
b. habitual action establishes virtues
#2. “Good” traits
a. a person can have bad traits
b. so- a virtue is a good trait of character manifested habitually
#3. Virtues are means poised between extremes
a. ex Foolhardy ……Courageous (Golden Mean)
#4. Can a good trait in a bad cause still be a virtue?
#5. Are virtues absolute – should we never lie?
#6. Why are virtues important? -good results for individual and society
a. Aristotle-”The virtuous person will fare better in life”(B. Franklin)
#7. Are virtues universal, the same for everyone? mostly- yes

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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

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As Christianity emerged in the Greco-Roman era, it too emphasized virtue as a fundamental ethical idea. Christianity views virtuous living as the natural outflow of Christian life.
Colossians 3:12-14
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
(NIV version)

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VIRTUES AND CHRISTIANITY

Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

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Aristotelian virtue ethics influenced history for many centuries as did Christianity’s similar focus. Promoting the character of the individual was part of most ethical thinking until various theories in modern age.
In the wake of what seems to be some ethical confusion in the 20th / 21st century, virtue ethics has been reinvigorated by some contemporary theorists / philosophers.
Margaret Anscombe (Anscombe Society- i.e. Princeton)

Alasdair Macintyre
Both challenged current trends and suggested a return to Aristotle

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VIRTUE ETHICS IN HISTORY AND TODAY

Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

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ADVANTAGES /DISADVANTAGES
Advantages
1. Provides motivation for doing good
2. Helps understand problem of partiality
3. Prevents problems
4. Prepares a person to live ethically in many situations

Disadvantages
1. Values character over action but still, what action do you take?
2. Doesn’t solve complicated ethical issues
3. Can two virtuous people disagree about an issue?

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Phil Ppt 1 Definitions day 2

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CARE ETHICS (FEMINIST ETHICS)
Care Ethics focuses on the idea that relationships form the basis for moral obligations and that within relationships care and assistance can be given to others.
The feminist term is used to highlight the idea of nurturing and caring that is often associated more with women than men whereas a justice perspective, often emphasized in ethical theories is often more associated with men than women.
Advantages
No particular moral principle is required to care for others and caring can be emphasized.

Disadvantages
Is devising an ethical theory based on gender differences effective and is de-emphasizing justice workable?

PPT #9
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PPT #9

CARE ETHICS /FEMINIST ETHICS
Consequentialist or Non?
Systemic or Personal/Individual?

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COMPARISON OF THEORIES
Non Consequentialist and usually personal individual
Divine Command, Natural law/Natural rights, Kantian
Consequentialist and usually systemic
Social Contract, Egoism, Utilitarianism,
Virtue Ethics, somewhere between Consequentialist and Non but personal individual approach
Care Ethics, Consequentialist but personal approach

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TERMS TO KNOW
Teleological /Telos
Deontological
Hedonism
Social Hedonism
Eudaimonia
Theory names
Utilitarianism
Kantian Ethics – Categorical Imperative
Virtue Theory
Care Ethics/Feminist Ethics

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THINGS TO KNOW
Can you describe the basic idea of each of the theories we have covered?
Can you describe at least one advantage and disadvantage of each theory we have covered?
Where applicable, can you list the names of notable individuals associated with the theories we have covered?
For each theory, can you list whether it is consequentialist or non-consequentialist and whether that theory is likely to applied in a systemic or personal/individual way?

To Ponder
Do any of the theories we have covered represent the way you think?

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END

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ETHICS 2002

PPT

7

GENERAL ETHICAL CONCEPTS

PPT#7

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