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ETHICS = MORAL PHILOSOPHY

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... Critique of Judgment (1790) The Metaphysics of Morals (1797) 1. What can I know? Truth 2. What ought I to do? Good 3. What can I hope for / judge? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: ETHICS = MORAL PHILOSOPHY


1
ETHICS MORAL PHILOSOPHY
  • Ethics inquiry into the nature of morality,
    codes and principles of moral action.
  • Morality actual practice of living according to
    certain rules of conduct or moral behavior.
  • Absolutism vs. Subjectivism (moral relativism)
  • Cultural relativism and moral relativism
  • Are religious beliefs reducible to ethics?
  • First-order/second-order desires/volitions

2
ETHICAL THEORIES
  • COGNITIVIST vs. NONCOGNITIVIST
  • VIRTUE ETHICS (TELEOLOGICAL)
  • UTILITARIAN (CONSEQUENTIALIST)
  • DEONTOLOGICAL (DUTY-ORIENTED)
  • SUBJECTIVISM
  • EXPRESSIVISM
  • EMOTIVISM
  • EXISTENTIALISM

3
ARISTOTLE (384 - 322 B.C.E.)NICOMACHEAN ETHICS
  • BOOK I CHAPTER 1
  • TELOS END, PURPOSE, GOAL, FINALITY
  • Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every
    action and pursuit, is thought to aim at some
    good.
  • Now, as there are many actions, arts, and
    sciences, their ends also are many.

4
CHAP. 2 ETHICS - POLITICS
  • If, then, there is some end of the things we
    do, which we desire for its own sake (everything
    else being desired for the sake of this), and if
    we do not choose everything for the sake of
    something else (for at that rate the process
    would go on to infinity, so that our desire would
    be empty and vain), clearly this must be the good
    and the chief good.

5
CHAP. 4 EUDAIMONIA
  • HUMAN FLOURISHING WELL-BEING HAPPINESS THE
    HIGHEST GOOD FOR HUMAN LIFE
  • all knowledge and every pursuit aims at some
    good, what it is that we say political science
    aims at and what is the highest of all goods
    achievable by action.

6
CHAP. 6 FUNCTION OF HUMAN NATURE
  • If we declare that the function of man is a
    certain form of life, and define that form of
    life as the exercise of the soul's faculties and
    activities in association with rational
    principle, and say that the function of a good
    man is to perform these activities well and
    rightly, and if a function is well performed when
    it is performed in accordance with its own proper
    excellence--from these premises it follows, that
    the Good of man is the active exercise of his
    souls faculties in conformity with excellence or
    virtue, or if there be several human excellences
    or virtues, in conformity with the best and most
    perfect among them.

7
BOOK II - CHAP. 1 VIRTUE
  • Virtue, then, being of two kinds, intellectual
    and moral, intellectual virtue in the main owes
    both its birth and its growth to teaching (for
    which reason it requires experience and time),
    while moral virtue comes about as a result of
    habit, whence also its name (ethike) is one that
    is formed by a slight variation from the word
    ethos (habit).

8
CHAP. 6 VIRTUE as MEAN
  • Virtue, then, is a state of character
    concerned with choice, lying in a mean, i.e. the
    mean relative to us, this being determined by a
    rational principle, and by that principle by
    which the man of practical wisdom would determine
    it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that
    which depends on excess and that which depends on
    defect and again it is a mean because the vices
    respectively fall short of or exceed what is
    right in both passions and actions, while virtue
    both finds and chooses that which is
    intermediate. Hence in respect of its substance
    and the definition which states its essence
    virtue is a mean...

9
CHAP. 9 GOODNESS
  • That moral virtue is a mean, then, and in what
    sense it is so, and that it is a mean between two
    vices, the one involving excess, the other
    deficiency, and that it is such because its
    character is to aim at what is intermediate in
    passions and in actions, has been sufficiently
    stated. Hence also it is no easy task to be good.

10
Ethics - Human Nature
  • Chicken-egg question which came first ?
  • zoon logon /animal rationale ? zoon politikon
  • Rationality ? Sociability
  • Aristotles critique of Platos theory of Forms
  • Universal Goodness / empirical, particular
    instances of good (people, constitutions, etc.)
  • In order to achieve a state of well-being or
    happiness (eudaimonia), proper social, political
    institutions are necessary.
  • Moral virtues Ethos Perfectionism

11
Immanuel Kant (1724 1804)
  • Critique of Pure Reason (1781)
  • The Groundwork of the Met. of Morals (1785)
  • Critique of Practical Reason (1788)
  • Critique of Judgment (1790)
  • The Metaphysics of Morals (1797)
  • 1. What can I know? Truth
  • 2. What ought I to do? Good
  • 3. What can I hope for / judge? God / Art
  • 4. What is human ?

12
Kantian Ethics of Duty Deontological
  • 1. There are objective moral values
  • 2. These principles can be known a priori
  • 3. Moral principles must hold universally
  • 4. Reason alone can deliver knowledge of
    principles that hold universally as duties
  • 5. Duties are not hypothetical but categorical
    imperatives (nonconditional, nonempirical)
  • 6. Autonomy of the will moral principle

13
Foundations / Groundwork (Grundlegung)
  • therefore, the basis of obligation must not be
    sought in the nature of man, or in the
    circumstances in the world in which he is placed,
    but a priori simply in the conception of pure
    reason and although any other precept which is
    founded on principles of mere experience may be
    in certain respects universal, yet in as far as
    it rests even in the least degree on an empirical
    basis, perhaps only as to a motive, such a
    precept, while it may be a practical rule, can
    never be called a moral law.

14
Pure Practical Reason
  • For in order that an action should be morally
    good, it is not enough that it conform to the
    moral law, but it must also be done for the sake
    of the law, otherwise that conformity is only
    very contingent and uncertain since a principle
    which is not moral, although it may now and then
    produce actions conformable to the law, will also
    often produce actions which contradict it.

15
The supreme principle of morality
  • The present treatise is, however, nothing more
    than the investigation and establishment of the
    supreme principle of morality, and this alone
    constitutes a study complete in itself and one
    which ought to be kept apart from every other
    moral investigation.
  • Nothing can possibly be conceived in the world,
    or even out of it, which can be called good,
    without qualification, except a good will.

16
Good Will Freedom
  • A good will is good not because of what it
    performs or effects, not by its aptness for the
    attainment of some proposed end, but simply by
    virtue of the volition that is, it is good in
    itself, and considered by itself is to be
    esteemed much higher than all that can be brought
    about by it in favour of any inclination, nay
    even of the sum total of all inclinations.

17
Will (Wille) vs. Choice (Willkür)
  • We have then to develop the notion of a will
    which deserves to be highly esteemed for itself
    and is good without a view to anything further, a
    notion which exists already in the sound natural
    understanding, requiring rather to be cleared up
    than to be taught, and which in estimating the
    value of our actions always takes the first place
    and constitutes the condition of all the rest. In
    order to do this, we will take the notion of
    duty, which includes that of a good will,
    although implying certain subjective restrictions
    and hindrances.

18
Categorical Imperative
  • Freedom of the Will Autonomy To act from Duty
    (as opposed to according to duty)
  • Maxim the subjective principle of volition
  • The moral law the objective principle (that
    which would also serve subjectively as a
    practical principle to all rational beings if
    reason had full power over desire)
  • Duty to act out of respect for the moral law

19
1st Formula Universalizability
  • There is therefore but one categorical
    imperative, namely, this Act only on that maxim
    whereby thou canst at the same time will that it
    should become a universal law.
  • if there is a categorical imperative (i.e., a
    law for the will of every rational being), it can
    only command that everything be done from maxims
    of one's will regarded as a will which could at
    the same time will that it should itself give
    universal laws
  • Formal, universalizable conception of freedom

20
2nd Formula Humanity as an End
  • So act as to treat humanity, whether in thine
    own person or in that of any other, in every case
    as an end withal, never as means only.
  • This principle, that humanity and generally every
    rational nature is an end in itself (which is the
    supreme limiting condition of every man's freedom
    of action), is not borrowed from experience,
    because it is universal, applying as it does to
    all rational beings, as an objective end, which
    must as a law constitute the supreme limiting
    condition of all our subjective ends, it must
    therefore spring from pure reason.
  • Material, relational conception of equality

21
3rd Formula Realm of Ends
  • The conception of the will of every rational
    being as one which must consider itself as giving
    in all the maxims of its will universal laws, so
    as to judge itself and its actions from this
    point of view- this conception leads to another
    which depends on it and is very fruitful, namely
    that of a kingdom of ends.
  • Act according to the maxims of a member of a
    merely possible kingdom of ends legislating in it
    universally.
  • Self-contained system conception of community
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