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Philosophy and Ethics

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Philosophy and Ethics Is lying always wrong? Is conscience a reliable guide? Are all values relative? The Ethical Continuum Subjectivism All values are relative. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Philosophy and Ethics


1
Philosophy and Ethics
  • Is lying always wrong?
  • Is conscience a reliable guide?
  • Are all values relative?

2
The Ethical Continuum
Situationism
Utilitarianism
Rational Choice
Egoism
Objectivism
Cultural Relativism Subjectivism
Absolutism
Relativism
3
(No Transcript)
4
Subjectivism
  • All values are relative.
  • Existentialist Perspective
  • I make my own good no one can judge.
  • Language Theory
  • Moral terms are personal, individual.
  • My logic determines my truth, and its mine.
  • My statements can be tested as true or false.
  • Most value statements are nonsense, because they
    are value-based.
  • Therefore we cannot argue them.
  • But how do we resolve differences?

5
Cultural Relativism
  • Whatever a culture believes is good is good.
  • Social authority determines good.
  • There are few or no values that are universal.
  • But what if a cultural belief is based upon a
    falsehood?
  • What if my value is not good for me?
  • How do we then make laws?
  • Are we to tolerate sadistic evil and genocide
    because it is a cultural value somewhere?

6
Egoism
  • Psychological Egoism (Epicurus)
  • All acts are motivated by self-interest.
  • It is human nature to seek self-interest.
  • It is impossible to be unselfish.
  • Ethical Egoism (Ayn Rand)
  • Each person ought to act in his own
    self-interest.
  • Enlightened Egoism (Hobbes)
  • Do both of the above, but without narcissism.
  • Are there no selfless acts?

7
Objectivism
  • Values exist outside of human reality.
  • Absolute values are morally binding to all
    humans.
  • Divine Command Theory
  • We ought to follow self-evident truths
  • Natural Law
  • It is our duty to act on rational, categorical
    imperatives.
  • The Forms of the Good (Plato)
  • Beauty, Truth, Justice

8
Utilitarianism
  • What is good is what produces the greatest
    happiness for the greatest number of people.
  • The balance of pleasure and pain must be weighed
    against alternatives to action
  • All value claims must stand the test of
    consequences.
  • But what if the good of the mass obligates us to
    harm the individual?

9
Situationism
  • Love is the only absolute value
  • All other values are based on the situation each
    of us is in.
  • Morality therefore is in a constant process of
    change.

10
Possible Combinations
  • Rational Choice
  • A rational person can choose right living if she
    is free, impartial and informed.
  • People in this state will naturally have right
    views and intentions.
  • People in this state will choose right speech,
    actions, and livelihoods.
  • People in this state will conduct themselves with
    right effort, mindfulness, and concentration.

11
Virtue Ethics
  • What are the traits of a good person?
  • How are these traits cultivated?
  • What are the moral categories that define the
    good person?
  • What virtues will allow me to function as a good
    human being?

12
Feminist Ethics
  • Do women operate uniquely from the domain of
    morality of responsibility?
  • Psychological logic of relationships?
  • Caring
  • Do men operate uniquely from the domain of
    morality of rights?
  • Formal logic of justice.
  • Can there be an ethic for both?

13
Essential Questions
  • Does the individual or the group deserve greater
    weight?
  • Is the good of all persons to count equally?
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