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Philosophy: Ethics and Morality

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Title: Philosophy: Ethics and Morality


1
Ethics and Morality
Presentation made by Mariam Gamdlishvili
2
Why talk about ethics?
First of all, philosophy and ethics is one of the
classes in the course of Philosophy at the
university. The goal is to introduce students to
this theme and define main theories and terms of
ethics, and its differences with morality.
3
What is Ethics and Morality?
  • The definition of Ethics usually is confused
    with morality. So, therere explanations of
    terms
  • Ethos (Greek) and Mores (Latin) are terms having
    to do with custom, habit, and behavior.
  • Ethics is a rational reflection on morality.

4
What is Ethics?
  • Branch of Philosophy
  • What is
  • Good
  •  Other Branches? What is
  • Knowledge
  • In the world
  • Beautiful
  • Our Relationship to Other People

5
What is Morality?
  • Morality can be defined as
  • a system of rules for guiding human
  • conduct, and principles for evaluating those
    rules.
  •  Two points are worth noting in this definition
  • morality is a system
  • it is a system comprised of moral rules and
    principles.

6
Why Ethics? Why Philosophy?
Why discussing moral issues is important 1.
Controversies and dilemma 2. How to lead a good
life?
Why appealing to philosophy?
  • Philosophy
  • No ready made answers clarification of positions
  • Search for the truth through rational discussion
  • Analysis and Arguments

7
Ethical theories
  • The formal study of ethics goes back to the greek
    philosopher Socrates.
  • Philosophers have proposed many ethical theories
  • Why study these theories?
  • A useful ethical theory makes it possible for us
    to examine moral problems, reach conclusions
    through logical resoning and defend the
    conclusions.

8
Ethical theories
9
  • Utilitarianism
  • Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)
  • John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873)
  • an ethics of consequences
  • an action is good if it produces the greatest
    good for the greatest number

10
  • Utilitarianism
  • What does "good" mean???
  • a) Pleasure hedonistic utilitarianism
  • b) Pluralistic goods, e.g., friendship,
    knowledge, beauty
  • Preference utilitarianism
  • Majority vs. minority interests

11
  • Deontological Theories
  • An ethics of duty or obligation
  • a) Kant (1724-1804)
  • single principle categorical imperative
  • Universality - what maxims pass this test
  • persons as ends (what counts as a person?)

12
  • Deontological Theories
  • pluralists many duties
  • W. D. Ross, duties of
  • non-malificence do not harm
  • beneficence do good, benefit
  • justice treat equals equally
  • add autonomy respect individuals
  • The above four principles are fundamental for the
    most widely used text in contemporary ethics
    Principles of Medical Ethics, Beauchamp and
    Childress.

13
  • Deontological Theories
  • b) pluralists many duties
  • Ross' additional duties
  • fidelity be faithful
  • reparation return good for good
  • gratitude
  • self-improvement
  • Issues for deontologists
  • ranking duties
  • conflicts of duties

14
  • Related Theory virtue theory
  • A virtue is an excellence or desirable moral
    quality
  • Virtues are often defined by social role, e.g.,
    parent, child, spouse, teacher, etc.
  • What are the qualities which make for a good?
  • What are the qualities of a good physician?
  • What are the qualities of a good patient?

15
  • Natural Law Theories
  • There are certain natural tendencies or purposes
    in things
  • What is natural is, in general, to be followed
  • Natural goals are to be achieved
  • Abortion is not allowed
  • Embryonic or fetal research is not allowed if it
    results in destruction

16
  • Natural law theories
  • Natural and law and suicide
  • Natural law and sexuality
  • Two principles
  • Natural vs. artificial treatment
  • Principle of double effect

17
Right Theories What basic rights do we have?
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to
life, not to be harmed, to thrive or develop,
etc.? Where do rights come from? God, natural
rights, social contract, etc.? What do rights
entail? Fundamental rights? Positive and negative
rights What other rights are there? Education?
Health care? Are there limits on rights?
18
Where does morality come from?
  • Parents
  • Religion
  • Peers
  • Technology

19
Parents
  • Parents instill ethics and morals in children.
    Example A child yells at their friend calling
    them a name.

20
Religion
  • Most religions set guidelines on how to make
    moral judgments. Example In the Christian
    religion the ten commandments serve as guidelines
    for making ethical and moral judgments.

21
Peers
  • Friends effect your moral judgments.
  • Peer pressure can sometimes cause people to make
    moral and ethical decisions.

22
Technology
  • Technology provides many opportunities to make
    moral and ethical decisions. Example Copying
    computer games and violating copyright laws.

23
Right, Wrong and Grey areas?
  • Unclear situations in ethics, many times they are
    personal and hotly debated in politics.
  • Black and white Fairly clear straight
    forward, most people feel the same way about
    stealing, murder, honesty, charity.
  • Grey areas Natural law theories

24
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25
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