Lectures 14-15: Deontological - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Loading...

PPT – Lectures 14-15: Deontological PowerPoint presentation | free to download - id: 8140f2-M2RiN



Loading


The Adobe Flash plugin is needed to view this content

Get the plugin now

View by Category
About This Presentation
Title:

Lectures 14-15: Deontological

Description:

Lectures 14-15: Deontological & Consequential Ethics – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:24
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 107
Provided by: Daniel1592
Learn more at: http://fk.b5z.net
Category:

less

Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Lectures 14-15: Deontological


1
Lectures 14-15 Deontological Consequential
Ethics
2
Consider these quotes
  • The remarkable thing is that we really love our
    neighbor as ourselves we do unto others as we do
    unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate
    ourselves. We are tolerant toward others when we
    tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we
    forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice
    others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves.
    Eric Hoffer

3
Consider these quotes
  • We can discover this meaning in life in three
    different ways (1) by doing a deed (2) by
    experiencing a value and (3) by suffering.
    Victor Frankl.

4
Consider these quotes
  • Never let your sense of morals get in the way
    of doing what's right. Isaac Asimov.
  • When morality comes up against profit, it is
    seldom that profit loses. Shirley Chisholm

5
Consider these quotes
  • Actions are right in proportion as they tend to
    promote happiness wrong as they tend to produce
    the reverse of happiness. By happiness is
    intended pleasure and the absence of pain.
    John Stuart Mill

6
Major Ideas
  • Virtue Ethics An action is right iff it is what
    the virtuous agent would do. 1. An action is
    right iff it is what a virtuous agent would do in
    the circumstances 1a. A virtuous agent is one
    who acts virtuously, i.e., one who has
    exercises the virtues. 2 A virtue is a character
    trait a human being needs to flourish or live
    well. What is essential is to note the conceptual
    link between virtue flourishing (living well or
    eudaimonia).

7
Major Ideas
  • Deontological Ethics An action is right iff it
    is in accordance with a moral rule or principle.
    A moral rule is one that is(a) laid on us by God,
    (b) required by natural law, (c) laid on us by
    reason, (d) required by rationality, (e) would
    command universal rational acceptance, or (f)
    would be the object of choice of all rational
    beings. What is essential is the link between
    right action, moral rule, rationality.

8
Major Ideas
  • Consequential Ethics An action is right iff it
    promotes the best consequences. The best
    consequences are those in which happiness is
    maximized. What is essential to note is that it
    forges a link between consequences happiness.

9
Major Ideas
  • Before we consider consequential and
    deontological ethics, lets explore some other
    basic terms that are important to know
  • Good ideas have good consequences, bad ideas have
    bad consequences.

10
  • Lets now explore Deontological Ethics

11
Deontological Ethics
  • We should choose actions based on their
    inherent, intrinsic worth evangelical approaches
    to ethics are deontological because it
    presupposes Scripture as revelation.
  • Deontological comes from the Greek word
    deon, meaning that which is binding, in
    particular a binding duty. So, you are bound to
    your duty.

12
Deontological Framework
  • An action is right if and only if (iff) it is in
    accordance with a moral rule or principle.
  • This is a purely formal specification, forging a
    link between the concepts of right and action and
    moral rule, and gives one no guidance until one
    knows what a moral rule is.

13
Deontological Framework
  • Therefore, the links between right action, moral
    rule, and rationality based upon moral rule
    given by God or required by natural or laid on us
    by reason or required by rationality or would
    command universal rational acceptance or would by
    the object of choice of all rational beingare
    all essential aspects to any deontological
    framework.

14
Deontological Framework
  • So, the next thing the theory needs is a premise
    about that A moral rule is one that would have
    been historically
  • A. Theistic
  • 1. Given to us by God
  • 2. Is required by Natural Law (theistic
    connection)
  • B. Secular (though can still be connected to
    God)
  • 1. Is laid on us by reason.
  • 2. Is required by rationality
  • 3. Would command universal acceptance
  • 4. Would be the object of choice of all
    rational beings.

15
Deontological Ethics
  • It holds that acts are right or wrong in and of
    themselves because of the kinds of acts they are
    and not simply because of their ends or
    consequences.
  • - The ends do not justify the means.
  • - A good end or purpose does not justify a bad
    actions.
  • - You are duty-bound binding is not dependent
    on consequences, no matter if it is painful or
    pleasurable.

16
Deontological Ethics
  • For example
  • 1. You are duty-bound to keep your promise to be
    faithful to your spouse, even if a more
    attractive person comes along.
  • 2. You are duty-bound to always telling the
    truth, even if it cost you a job.
  • Duty is not based on what is pleasant or
    beneficial, but rather upon the obligation itself.

17
Deontological Ethics
  • For example, a deontologist might argue that a
    promise ought to be kept simply because it is
    right to keep a promise, regardless whether the
    doing so will have good or bad consequences.
  • In contrast, a utilitarian will argue that we
    should keep our promises only when keeping them
    results in better consequences than the
    alternatives.

18
Overview of Ethical Systems Immanuel Kant
(1724-1804)
. To act morally you must be motivated
exclusively by rational commitment to the
universal moral law or the categorical
Imperative Act in conformity with that maxim,
and that maxim only, that you can will at the
same time be a universal law. Right actions
flow out of right principles
To act morally requires the rational power to
recognize absolute moral laws that transcend our
natural world.
To act morally requires the power of the will to
rise above all natural feelings and inclinations.
This raises us above our natural world.
Second form of categorical imperative Act in
such a way that you always treat humans not
merely as a means to an end but also as an end.
Do the act that is motivated by the sincere
belief that what you are doing is the right thing
not merely for you, but for anybody seeking to
act properly in any situation.
19
Basic Terms to Know
  • 1. Deontological Ethics "rule or duty-based
    morality ...emphasizes right action over good
    consequences
  • 2. a priori "not in any way derived from
    experience or dependent upon it" concepts
    derived a priori are universal rules that
    determine, in advance, the conditions for
    knowledge in a particular domain
  • 3. maxim rule of conduct
  • 4. Hypothetical imperative an action that is
    good only as a means to something else
  • 5. Categorical imperative an action that is good
    in itself and conforms to reason categorical
    imperatives act as universal rules governing a
    situation regardless of circumstance

20
Summary
  • Thus, Kantian ethics states an action is right
    iff it is in accord with the Categorical
    Imperative (the supreme principle of morality).
    Right actions flow from right principles.
  • From using our capacity to reason Kant believes
    the Categorical Imperative can be formulated in
    at least three ways they are all equivalent with
    the first formulation being the basis. Though
    they bring out various aspects of the moral law,
    they cannot tell us more than what the first
    formula does.

21
Categorical Imperative
  • The CI does not depend on a logically prior
    condition though it assumes the predisposition
    that one wishes to be rational and will follow
    what rationally determined duty dictates (in
    contrast to hypothetical imperatives which means
    that the consequent depends upon the antecedent
    If p, then q). Thus, morality is a function of
    human reason. Human reason is governed by Logic.
    Q.E.D., to be irrational is to be inhuman. To be
    sure, there are perfect and imperfect duties.
    Actions are characterized as perfect because they
    follow directly from an application of the
    universalization of the Categorical Imperative in
    contrast to imperfect duties that follow from CI
    only after considering other factors (e.g.,
    seeking our own happiness). An imperfect duty is
    just as strong in its action guiding force as a
    perfect duty. Thus, their point of origin
    highlights their differences.

22
Three Formulations of the Categorical Imperative
  • First formulation Act in conformity with the
    maxim and the maxim only, that you can will at
    the same time a universal law. This means that
    what I consider doing, it must be something that
    I can will or accept that all do (universal) it
    is replacing individual preferences with purely
    universal terms.
  • Second formulation Act in such a way that you
    treat humanity, whether in your own person or in
    that of another, always an end and never as a
    means only. In essence, every person has
    intrinsic value and that humanity is a limit or
    constraint on our action.
  • Third formulation Therefore, every rational
    being must act as if he were through his maxim
    always a legislating member in the universal
    kingdom of ends. In other words, we have to
    will what is consistent with the operations of
    the kingdom as a whole. In sum, all people
    should consider themselves as both members and
    heads

23
Major Points to Consider
  • 1. What gives an act moral worth is our motives
    because we cant necessarily control the
    consequences of our act or/and things do not
    always turn out as we want. He calls this motive
    the good will. Therefore, we are responsible
    for our motives to do good or bad, and thus it is
    for this that we are held morally accountable.
  • 2. What is the right motive is acting out of a
    will to do the right thing only an act motivated
    by this concern for the moral law is right.
  • Consider the following Shopkeeper illustration

24
Major Points to Consider
  • 3. Kants Shopkeeper illustration A shopkeeper
    charges her customers a fair price and charges
    the same to all. But what is the shopkeepers
    motive?
  • A. If the shopkeepers motive for charging a
    fair price is that it serves her own best
    interest, then this motive is not praiseworthy.
  • B. If the shopkeepers motive for charging a
    fair price is because she is sympathetic toward
    her customers, then this motive is still not
    praiseworthy.
  • C. If the shopkeepers motive is to do the right
    thing because it is the right thing, then her
    motive is indeed praiseworthy. Only doing that
    which is morally right is praiseworthy.
  • We do not always know when our acts are
    motivated by self-interest, inclination or pure
    respect for morality. Also, we often act from
    mixed motives. However, we are certain that the
    motive is pure when we do what is right
    regardless how we feel or/and the consequences.

25
Major Points to Consider
  • 4. In order for our action to have moral worth we
    must not only act out of a right motivation but
    we must also do what is right.

Right Motive
Right Act
The motive and the act must be morally right! We
must not only act of duty (have the right motive)
but also according to duty or as duty
requires (do what is right).
26
  • 5. How we are to know what the right thing to do
    is to test our motives and actions against the
    categorical imperative. If our motive and acts
    meets the criteria of the categorical imperative
    we are obligated to do it.

CATEGORICAL IMPERATIVE Oughts that tell us
what we ought to do no matter what, under all
conditions, and are universally binding
(categorical imperative). 1st form of
Categorical Imperative Act only on that maxim
which can will as a universal law. This means
that what I consider doing, it must be something
that I can will or accept that all do (universal).
Right Motive
Right Act
27
According the first formula
  • According to the first formula the agent must
    be willing to eliminate all individual reference
    from the maxim of her action. The most
    significant exclusion from the maxim is oneself.
    Therefore, in order to pass the test of the
    categorical imperative in the first formulation,
    one must be prepared to go on willing even if it
    contains no reference to oneself.

28
  • 6. Thus, whatever I consider doing, it must be
    something that I can will or accept all do.
  • A law by its very nature has a degree of
    universality. Act only on that maxim which you
    can will as a universal law.

Maxim is a description of the action that I
will put to the test.
7. How do I know what I can and cannot will
as a universal practice?
As a rational being I can only will what is
non-contradictory
29
  • 8. First Two Forms of the Categorical Imperative

2nd form of Categorical Imperative Always treat
humanity, whether in your own person or that of
another, never simply as a means but always at
the same time as an end. This means that every
person has intrinsic value that humanity is a
limit or constraint on our action.
1st form of Categorical Imperative Act only on
that maxim which can will as a universal
law. This means that what I consider doing, it
must be something that I can will or accept that
all do (universal) it is replacing individual
preferences with purely universal terms.
30
1st Categorical Imperative
  • 1st Categorical Imperative is a decision
    procedure for moral reasoning. 4 Steps
  • 1. Formulate a maxim that enshrines your
    reasoning for acting as you propose.
  • 2. Recast maxim as universal law of nature
    governing all rational agents-all people will
    act upon.
  • 3. Consider whether your maxim is even
    conceivable in a world governed by this law of
    nature.
  • 4. Ask whether you would or could rationally
    will to act on this maxim in such a world.

31
  • 9. Second Form of the Categorical Imperatives

Explains how we ought to treat ourselves.
2nd Categorical Imperative Always treat
humanity, whether in your own person or that of
another, never simply as a means but always at
the same time as an end. This means that every
person has intrinsic value that humanity is a
limit or constraint in our action.
Treat ourselves other as ends rather than
merely as means.
The moral conclusions should be the same whether
we use the 1st or 2nd form of the categorical
imperative.
32
  • 10. Third Formulation of the Categorical
    Imperative Hypothetical Kingdom of Ends

All maxims as proceeding from our own
law-making ought to harmonize with a possible
kingdom of ends as a kingdom of
nature." Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals,
4436/104.
  • Key Points
  • Think of ourselves as members of a society of
    beings whose permissible ends are to be
    respected.
  • 2. Test our maxims by asking, whether, supposing
    the maxims were natural laws, there would be a
    society of that kind. In other words, we are
    obligated to act only by maxims which would
    harmonize a possible kingdom of ends.
  • 3. We have a perfect duty not to act by maxims
    that create incoherent or impossible states of
    natural affairs when we attempt to universalize
    them
  • We have an imperfect duty not to act by maxims
    that promote unstable or greatly undesirable
    states of affairs.
  • Kant seems to assume that those who apply the
    categorical imperative to their maxims will come
    out with answers that agree when the maxims
    tested are alike. J.B. Schneewind, Autonomy,
    Obligation, Virtue, pg. 338.

33
Third Categorical Imperative introduces a social
dimension to Kantian Morality
  • The formulation of the CI states that we must
    act in accordance with the maxims of a member
    giving universal laws for a merely possible
    kingdom of ends (4439).
  • It combines the others in that (i) it requires
    that we conform our actions to the maxims of a
    legislator of laws (ii) that this lawgiver lays
    down universal laws, binding all rational wills
    including our own, and (iii) that those laws are
    of a merely possible kingdom each of whose
    members equally possesses this status as
    legislator of universal laws, and hence must be
    treated always as an end in itself.
  • The intuitive idea behind this formulation is
    that our fundamental moral obligation is to act
    only on principles which could earn acceptance by
    a community of fully rational agents each of whom
    have an equal share in legislating these
    principles for their community.

34
Summary of first three categorical imperatives
  • The Categorical Imperative requires that I act
    only on maxims that I can will as universal law.
  • The categorical imperative is supposed to give us
    a test for maxims.
  • Maxim is the is subjective principle of an
    action. The principle of an action is that
    prescription from which the action follows.
  • If the maxim meets the test, the action that
    follows from it has moral worth if the maxim
    does not meet it, the action does not have moral
    worth.

35
1st Categorical Imperative
  • 1st Categorical Imperative requires willingness
    to continue to the subscription to the maxim of
    an action even if all individual or singular
    reference is excluded from it. Eliminating
    individual or singular reference requires
    eliminating reference to me. In other words,
    think of replacing individual references with
    purely universal terms.

36
1st Categorical Imperative
  • Act in such a way that you always treat
    humanity, whether in your own person or in the
    person of any other, never simply as a means, but
    always at the same time as an end.
  • Rather than thinking that humanity is the goal
    or proper end of our action, he presupposes that
    humanity is a limit or constraint on our action.
  • This kind of constraint can be seen mostly
    clearly by tracing the connection with the first
    formula, the Formula of Universal Law. Remember,
    the agent must be willing to eliminate all
    individual reference from the maxim of her
    action. The most significant exclusion here is
    that of herself. Therefore, be prepared go on
    willing the maxim even if it contains no
    reference to herself.
  • The constraint that the second formula imposes
    is that the maxim of an action must be such that
    any other free and rational person can adopt it.
    Treating humanity as an end in itself is, for
    Kant, respecting our capacity for free and
    rational choice in his term, it is respecting
    our autonomy. I am constrained, according to
    this first formula, by the consideration that is
    wrong, other things being equal, to impede the
    agency of others. To treat another human being
    as merely a means is to ignore the other as a
    center of agency. The clearest cases here are
    those of coercion and deception.
  • For example If I take the hand of one of my
    students in my class and with it I strike the
    neighbouring students face, I have bypassed the
    first students agency. I have treated her
    merely as a means, as though she were merely an
    organic hitting implement. The same is true when
    I deceive somebody, because if I conceal the
    nature of the situation, I impede her ability to
    make a free and rational choice for that
    situation.

37
1st Categorical Imperative
  • The constraint that the second formula imposes
    is that the maxim of an action must be such that
    any other free and rational person can adopt it.
    Treating humanity as an end in itself is, for
    Kant, respecting our capacity for free and
    rational choice in his term, it is respecting
    our autonomy. I am constrained, according to
    this first formula, by the consideration that is
    wrong, other things being equal, to impede the
    agency of others. To treat another human being
    as merely a means is to ignore the other as a
    center of agency. The clearest cases here are
    those of coercion and deception.
  • For example If I take the hand of one of my
    students in my class and with it I strike the
    neighbouring students face, I have bypassed the
    first students agency. I have treated her
    merely as a means, as though she were merely an
    organic hitting implement. The same is true
    when I deceive somebody, because if I conceal
    the nature of the situation, I impede her ability
    to make a free and rational choice for that
    situation.

38
What is the connection between the categorical
imperative is the following
  • If I cannot will maxim X as universal law, then
    I am acting for reasons that it is not possible
    for everyone to share. But to act toward people
    on the basis of reasons they cannot possibly
    share is to use them, to treat them as a mere
    means to my goals. In fact, all people should
    consider themselves both members and heads
    because we have a perfect duty not to act in
    maxims that create incoherent or impossible
    states of natural affairs for it will lead to
    unstable or greatly undesirable states of
    affairs. See, the truly autonomous will is not
    subject to any particular interest. Kants idea
    here is that one should not treat others in ways
    they couldnt rationally assent to.

39
  • 10. Perfect and Imperfect Duties

Imperfect Duties Are those duties that dont
whole heartily conform to the categorical
imperative. e.g., If I were an egoist and
concerned only about myself, no one could accuse
me of using other people I would simply leave
them alone. But this attitude practice is
inconsistent with the duty to treat others as
persons. As persons, they also have interests
and plans, and to recognize this I must at least
sometimes and in some ways seek to promote their
ends and goals.
Perfect Duties Perfect duties are absolutes
necessary they conform to the categorical
imperative. eg., We can and should absolutely
refrain from making false or lying promises.
40
  • The following are 4 examples famously used by
    Kant.

41
1st example Suicide
  • Whenever continuing to live will bring more pain
    than pleasure, I shall commit suicide out of
    self-love.
  • 1. Suicide cant be a universal law for one cant
    will that would be universal will.
  • 2. Remember, suicide would be morally right if
    and only if the person who is thinking about
    suicide can consistently will that suicide be a
    universal law.

42
1st Example Suicide
  • A man reduced to despair by a series of
    misfortunes feels wearied of life, but is still
    so far in possession of his reason that he can
    ask himself whether it would not be contrary to
    his duty to himself to take his own life. Now he
    inquires whether the maxim of his action could
    become a universal law of nature. His maxim is
    'From self-love I adopt it as a principle to
    shorten my life when its longer duration is
    likely to bring more evil than satisfaction.' It
    is asked then simply whether this principle
    founded on self-love can become a universal law
    of nature. Now we see at once that a system of
    nature of which it should be a law to destroy
    life by means of the very feeling whose special
    nature it is to impel to the improvement of life
    would contradict itself and, therefore, could not
    exist as a system of nature hence that maxim
    cannot possibly exist as a universal law of
    nature and, consequently, would be wholly
    inconsistent with the supreme principle of all
    duty." (Quoted from the Fundamental Principles of
    the Metaphysic of Morals, as translated by T.K.
    Abbott)

43
2nd example Lying Not Keeping Promise
  • Whenever I need money, then I shall borrow the
    money and promise to repay, even though I know I
    will not repay.
  • 1. Lying and not keeping promise cant be a
    universal law for one cant will that would be
    universal will.
  • 2. Remember, lying and not repaying would be
    morally right if and only if the person who is
    thinking about lying and not keeping promise can
    consistently will that lying and not keeping
    promise be a universal law.

44
3rd Example Developing Ones Habits
  • "A third finds in himself a talent which with the
    help of some culture might make him a useful man
    in many respects. But he finds himself in
    comfortable circumstances and prefers to indulge
    in pleasure rather than to take pains in
    enlarging and improving his happy natural
    capacities. He asks, however, whether his maxim
    of neglect of his natural gifts, besides agreeing
    with his inclination to indulgence, agrees also
    with what is called duty. He sees then that a
    system of nature could indeed subsist with such a
    universal law although men (like the South Sea
    islanders) should let their talents rest and
    resolve to devote their lives merely to idleness,
    amusement, and propagation of their species- in a
    word, to enjoyment but he cannot possibly will
    that this should be a universal law of nature, or
    be implanted in us as such by a natural instinct.
    For, as a rational being, he necessarily wills
    that his faculties be developed, since they serve
    him and have been given him, for all sorts of
    possible purposes." (Quoted from the Fundamental
    Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals, as
    translated by T.K. Abbott)

45
3rd example Developing Ones Habits
  • When Im comfortable as I am, I shall let all my
    talents rust.
  • 1. Everyone necessarily wills that some of his or
    her talents be developed.
  • 2. If everyone necessarily wills that some of his
    or her talents be developed, then no one can
    consistently will that his non-use of talents to
    be a universal law.
  • 3. Non-use of talents is morally right if and
    only if the agent thinking about non-use of
    talents can consistently will that non-use of
    talents be a universal law. (The Categorical
    Imperative)
  • 4. Therefore, allowing ones talents to rust is
    morally wrong.

46
4th Example Helping Others.
  • A fourth, who is in prosperity, while he sees
    that others have to contend with great
    wretchedness and that he could help them, thinks
    'What concern is it of mine? Let everyone be as
    happy as Heaven pleases, or as be can make
    himself I will take nothing from him nor even
    envy him, only I do not wish to contribute
    anything to his welfare or to his assistance in
    distress!' Now no doubt if such a mode of
    thinking were a universal law, the human race
    might very well subsist and doubtless even better
    than in a state in which everyone talks of
    sympathy and good-will, or even takes care
    occasionally to put it into practice, but, on the
    other side, also cheats when he can, betrays the
    rights of men, or otherwise violates them. But
    although it is possible that a universal law of
    nature might exist in accordance with that maxim,
    it is impossible to will that such a principle
    should have the universal validity of a law of
    nature. For a will which resolved this would
    contradict itself, inasmuch as many cases might
    occur in which one would have need of the love
    and sympathy of others, and in which, by such a
    law of nature, sprung from his own will, he would
    deprive himself of all hope of the aid he
    desires." (From the Fundamental Principles of the
    Metaphysic of Morals, as translated by T.K.
    Abbott)

47
4th example Helping Others
  • When I am flourishing and others are in
    distress, I shall give nothing to charity.
  • Everyone necessarily wills that he or she be
    helped in desperate circumstances.
  • 2. If everyone necessarily wills this, then no
    one can consistently will that non-help be a
    universal law.
  • 3. Not helping others is morally right if and
    only if the agent thinking about not helping
    others can consistently will that not helping
    others be a universal law. (The Categorical
    Imperative)
  • 4. Therefore, not helping others is not morally
    right.

48
  • 11. Advantages of Kants Moral Theory

Fairness, Consistency, and morally equal
treatment of all people for they are
intrinsically valuable.
Emphasizes the Law of Non-contradiction we would
not will anything that is not rational.
Emphasizes doing what is morally right (it is our
duty).
It is universally binding and Impartial-in order
for an action to be morally permissible, we
should be able to will it for all.
49
12. Criticisms against Deontological Ethics
Duty centered ethics stressing obedience to
rules, as opposed to result-centered or
utilitarian ethics.
  • 1. No clear way to resolve moral duties when they
    come into conflict with each other.
  • 2. Deontological ethics are consequential moral
    systems in disguise enshrined in customs and law
    have been known to give the best consequences.
  • 3. Do not readily allow for gray areas because
    they are based on absolutes.
  • 4. Which duties qualify given time or location
    Are old duties still valid?
  • 5. Human welfare and misery Some principles may
    result in a clash with what is best for human
    welfare prescribe actions which cause human
    misery.
  • 6. Rule worship The refusal to break a
    generously beneficial rule in those areas in
    which it is not most beneficial is rule worship.
  • 7. Exclusive focus on rationality ignores our
    relations to with other human beings.

50
There is no clear way to deal with moral
conflicts consider the following
  • a. Killer comes to the door If a killer comes
    to the door and ask for a friend of yours inside
    whom he intends to kill, you must tell the truth
    (illustration by Kant).
  • But there is only one exceptionless rule in
    Kants philosophy and that is given in the
    categorical imperative We are never permitted
    to do what we cannot will as a universal law or
    what violates the requirement to treat persons as
    persons.
  • Kant may not give us adequate help in deciding
    what to do when moral conflicts are involved
    because in the above example, both to tell the
    truth and preserve life are moral obligations.

51
Regarding Impartiality Rationality
  • b. Kants moral philosophy is its belief in
    impartiality in order for an action to be rally
    permissible, we should be able to will it for
    all.
  • However, persons do differ in significant ways
    (gender, race, age, and talents). In what way
    does morality require that everyone be treated
    equally and in what does it perhaps require that
    different person be treated differently (e.g.,
    gender).
  • c. Kants stress on rationality may be considered
    to be too male-oriented, too Westernized. It is
    subject to the continental critique of structure
    (Foucault).

52
Kants View of Virtue/Vice
  • Kant defines virtue as the moral strength of a
    human being's will in fulfilling his duty
    (6405) and vice as principled immorality.
    (6390) This definition appears to put Kant's
    views on virtue at odds with classical views such
    as Aristotle's in several important respects.
  • First, Kant's account of virtue presupposes an
    account of moral duty already in place. Thus,
    rather than treating admirable character traits
    as more basic than the notions of right and wrong
    conduct, Kant takes virtues to be explicable only
    in terms of a prior account of moral or dutiful
    behavior. He does not try to make out what shape
    a good character has and then draw conclusions
    about how we ought to act on that basis. He sets
    out the principles of moral conduct based on his
    philosophical account of rational agency, and
    then on that basis defines virtue as the trait of
    acting according to these principles.

53
Kants View of Virtue/Vice
  • Second, virtue is for Kant a strength of will,
    and hence does not arise as the result of
    instilling a second nature by a process of
    habituating or training ourselves to act and feel
    in particular ways. It is indeed a disposition,
    but a disposition of one's will, not a
    disposition of emotions, feelings, desires or any
    other feature of human nature that might be
    amenable to habituation. Moreover, the
    disposition is to overcome obstacles to moral
    behavior that Kant thought were ineradicable
    features of human nature. Thus, virtue appears to
    be much more like what Aristotle would have
    thought of as a lesser trait, viz., continence or
    self-control.

54
Kants View of Virtue/Vice
  • Third, in viewing virtue as a trait grounded in
    moral principles, and vice as principled
    transgression of moral law, Kant thought of
    himself as thoroughly rejecting what he took to
    be the Aristotelian view that virtue is a mean
    between two vices. The Aristotelian view, he
    claimed, assumes that virtue differs from vice
    only in terms of degree rather than in terms of
    the different principles each involves. (6404,
    432) But prodigality and avarice, for instance,
    do not differ by being too loose or not loose
    enough with one's means. They differ in that the
    prodigal acts on the principle of acquiring means
    with the sole intention of enjoyment, while the
    avaricious act on the principle of acquiring
    means with the sole intention of possessing them.

55
Kants View of Virtue/Vice
  • Fourth, in classical views the distinction
    between moral and non-moral virtues is not
    particularly significant. A virtue is some sort
    of excellence of the soul , but one finds
    classical theorists treating wit and friendliness
    along side courage and justice. Since Kant holds
    moral virtue to be a trait grounded in moral
    principle, the boundary between non-moral and
    moral virtues could not be more sharp. Even so,
    Kant shows a remarkable interest in non-moral
    virtues indeed, much of Anthropology is given
    over to discussing the nature and sources of a
    variety of character traits, both moral and
    non-moral.

56
Kants View of Virtue/Vice
  • Fifth, virtue cannot be a trait of divine beings,
    if there are such, since it is the power to
    overcome obstacles that would not be present in
    them. This is not to say that to be virtuous is
    to be the victor in a constant and permanent war
    with ineradicable evil impulses. Morality is
    duty for human beings because it is possible
    (and we recognize that it is possible) for our
    desires and interests to run counter to its
    demands. Should all of our desires and interests
    be trained ever so carefully to comport with what
    morality actually requires of us, this would not
    change in the least the fact that morality is
    still duty for us. For should this come to pass,
    it would not change the fact that each and every
    desire and interest could have run contrary to
    the moral law. And it is the fact that they can
    conflict with moral law, not the fact that they
    actually do conflict with it, that makes duty a
    constraint, and hence virtue essentially a trait
    concerned with constraint.

57
Kants View of Virtue/Vice
  • Sixth, virtue, while important, does not hold
    pride of place in Kant's system in other
    respects. For instance, he holds that the lack of
    virtue is compatible with possessing a good will.
    (6 408) That one acts from duty, even repeatedly
    and reliably can thus be quite compatible with an
    absence of the moral strength to overcome
    contrary interests and desires. Indeed, it may
    often be no challenge at all to do one's duty
    from duty alone. Someone with a good will, who is
    genuinely committed to duty for its own sake,
    might simply fail to encounter any significant
    temptation that would reveal the lack of strength
    to follow through with that commitment. That
    said, he also appeared to hold that if an act is
    to be of genuine moral worth, it must be
    motivated by the kind of purity of motivation
    achievable only through a permanent,
    quasi-religious conversion or revolution in the
    orientation of the will of the sort described in
    Religion.

58
Kants View of Virtue/Vice
  • Kant here describes the natural human condition
    as one in which no decisive priority is given to
    the demands of morality over happiness. Until one
    achieves a permanent change in the will's
    orientation in this respect, a revolution in
    which moral righteousness is the nonnegotiable
    condition of any of one's pursuits, all of one's
    actions that are in accordance with duty are
    nevertheless morally worthless, no matter what
    else may be said of them. However, even this
    revolution in the will must be followed up with a
    gradual, lifelong strengthening of one's will to
    put this revolution into practice. This suggests
    that Kant's considered view is that a good will
    is a will in which this revolution of priorities
    has been achieved, while a virtuous will is one
    with the strength to overcome obstacles to its
    manifestation in practice.

59
Criticisms against Deontological Ethics
  • How do decide between two principles?
  • What about moral conflict between two morally
    right principles.
  • From where or whom do we get our principles?
    Nature? God?
  • If from nature, that assumes that what is in
    nature is actually good? How do we define
    nature?

60
Criticisms against Deontological Ethics
  • 1. No clear way to resolve moral duties when they
    come into conflict with one another.
  • They are consequential moral systems in
    disguised-enshrined in customs and laws that have
    been known to promote the best consequences.
  • Do not readily allow for gray areas because they
    are based on absolutes.
  • Which duties qualify given time and location.
    Are old duties still valid?
  • Human welfare and misery Some principles may
    result in a clash with what is best for human
    welfare and prescribe actions which cause human
    misery.
  • Rule worship Refusal to break a rule because it
    is rule, even if it is not beneficial.

61
  • Lets now explore consequential ethics

62
Consequential Ethics
  • We choose the actions that bring about the best
    outcomes. There are many kinds of consequential
    forms of ethics. Lets consider the following
  • - Egoism we should always act to maximize our
    own individual interests.

63
A. Consequential Ethics
  • We choose the actions that
  • bring about the best outcomes
  • - Egoism we should always act to maximize our
    own individual interests.
  • - Utilitarianism we should act to maximize the
    happiness of all affected by the action.

64
A closer look at Utilitarianism
  • This theory that holds that an act is right or
    wrong according to the utility or value of its
    consequences.
  • An act that produces more good than harm has
    greater value than act that produces more harm
    than good.

65
A closer look at Utilitarianism
  • Utilitarianism believe in the value of ethical
    laws in helping people determine which action
    will probably bring about the greatest good for
    the greatest number of people.
  • While they are not against laws or values
    (antinomians), they are not absolutists either.
  • Every act is judged by its results, not by it
    intrinsic and universal value.

66
A closer look at Utilitarianism
  • In order to do determine the best consequence,
    some argue that you must add up the happiness in
    one person and then multiply the total happiness
    in the total number of people and subtract the
    total pain.
  • If the result is positive then the action is
    good.
  • If the result is negative then the action is bad.

67
A closer look at Utilitarianism
  • Uses of Utilitarian Ethics in terms of Pleasure
    vs. Pain (Peter Singer)
  • 1. When we testify the safety of a new
    shampoo, we drip the shampoo in concentrated form
    into the eye of rabbits, causing them terrible
    pain. But does shampoo leaving your hair
    lustrous and manageable, sufficient to justify
    the infliction of so much suffering?

68
A closer look at Utilitarianism
  • 2. The taste of a char-grilled steak, juicy
    and tender, is a genuine source of pleasure. But
    can this gourmet pleasure (which is not essential
    to sustain our lives), and in fact may shorten
    our lives by contributing to LDL levels, justify
    the infliction of suffering on cattle that are
    raised on crowded feedlots, and then herded into
    slaughter houses?

69
A closer look at Utilitarianism
  • 3. It must be delightful to live in an elegant
    home, richly equipped with a Jacuzzi and sauna in
    addition to having a master bedroom suite with an
    entire wall-covered entertainment system. But is
    it really right to spend that much on luxuries
    that add only a small increase to our pleasure
    when the same resources could be used to care for
    impoverished children living in hunger? For
    example, 21.00 US dollars can feed over 150
    elementary students in Ghana for two weeks (rice
    mixed with yams).

70
A closer look at Utilitarianism
  • 4. I purchase another expensive GQ suit to
    add to my already stuffed closet-for it will
    bring me pleasure. But is that small increment
    of pleasure even remotely comparable to the
    pleasure and relief of suffering that would
    result if I took that same money and purchased
    clothes to orphan children or a threadbare
    family?

71
A closer look at Utilitarianism
  • 5. A tummy tuck will certainly improve sagging
    appearances and make some of us feel better. But
    the cost of a tummy tuck can be used to drill a
    water well and provide clean and pure water to an
    entire village in most third world countries.

72
A closer look at Utilitarianism
  • 6. Utilitarian Ethics and Public Policy
  • If we are trying to decide whether a new
    football stadium with luxury boxes for the very
    rich is a better investment than decent
    inner-city schools and health care for the poor,
    is utilitarian calculations a better guide for
    making such decisions than deontological ethics?

73
Problems with Utilitarianism
  • The end does not justify the means.
  • An act is not automatically good simply because
    it has a good goal.
  • The road to destruction is paved with good
    intentions (Prov. 1412).
  • Ex. President Nixons goal of national security
    was noble, but the criminal activity of Watergate
    was not justified.

74
Problems with Utilitarianism
  • Utilitarian acts have no intrinsic value.
  • Ex. The attempt to save a life is not an
    intrinsically valuable act.
  • No benevolence, no sacrifice, no love has any
    value unless it happens to have good results.
  • Ex. If forced to choose to save either a
    medical doctor or a poor child from a destructive
    house fire, one is obligated to save the medical
    doctor.

75
Problems with Utilitarianism
  • People are subject to the greater good of
    statistics
  • Ex. If forced to choose to save either a medical
    doctor or a poor child from a destructive house
    fire, one is obligated to save the medical doctor
    because we know he is able to help people we
    dont know the future of the child.

76
Problems with Utilitarianism
  • The need for an absolute standard
  • Relative norms do no stand alone. They must be
    relative to something which is not relative. So,
    unless there is a standard, how can they know
    what is the greater good.

77
Problems with Utilitarianism
  • The end is an ambiguous term
  • If the utilitarian contends that ethics should
    be based on what will bring the best results in
    the long run, how long is long? A few years?
    a life-time? Eternity? Anything beyond the
    immediate present is outside of the human range.

78
Problems with Utilitarianism
  • Ambiguous as well in determining whether the
    end means for the greatest number or for all
    individuals.
  • Could good could be achieved for the most people
    if basic rights were denied to some people? Is
    this intuitively right?

79
Problems with Utilitarianism
  • Pleasure vs. Pain
  • Pain and Pleasure are not exact opposites. Is
    this true?
  • How do you measure pain and pleasure?
  • Can pain be beneficial over and against pleasure?

80
Conclusion to Consequentialism
  • Consequentialists believe that consequences are
    the only things that matter
  • A. We do not necessarily know the outcome.
  • B. The consequences of our own action may be
    unpredictable.

81
(No Transcript)
82
Conclusion to Consequentialism
  • C. he consequences of other peoples actions
    which impact on our actions may also be
    unpredictable.
  • D. We do not know what the consequences will be
    of our action in the long term.
  • E. We cant necessarily control the consequences.

83
Concluding thought to Consequentialism
  • Dostoyeskys Challenge to Utilitarian Ethicists
  • Tell me honestly, I challenge you-answer me
    imagine that you are charged with building the
    edifice of human destiny, the ultimate aim of
    which is to bring people happiness, to give them
    peace and contentment at last, but that in order
    to achieve this it is essential and unavoidable
    to torture just one speck of creation,
    thatlittle child beating her chest with her
    little fists, and imagine that this edifice has
    to be erected on her unexpiated suffering for
    having done nothing wrong tears. Would you agree
    to be the architect under those conditions? Tell
    me honestly!
  • The Karamazov Brothers, trans. Ignat Avsey
    (Oxford Oxford University Press, 1994).

84
Overview of Ethical Systems Utilitarianism
A theory of moral reasoning within teleological
ethics or consequentialism that looks to the
principle of utility, i.e., the degree to which
an act is helpful or harmful in order to
determine the rightness or wrongness of an act.
Negative Utilitarianism by K. Popper in The Open
Society Its Enemies (1945) Promote the least
amount evil or harm prevent the greatest amount
of harm for the greatest number
J.J. C. Smart Preference Utilitarianism
Maximize the achievements of peoples priorities
it is for each person to decide what counts as
being happy.
R.M. Hares 2-level utilitarianism The logic of
moral terms facts about human nature
condition) leads to a 2 level version whereby
both rule act utilitarianism are bridged
intuitive level (simple, general rules)
critical level (act utilitarianism.
J. Bentham Only 2 intrinsic values Good is
whatever brings the greatest happiness to the
greatest number.
Motive Utilitarianism (Robert Adams) Inculcate
motives within ourselves that will be generally
useful across the spectrum of the situations we
are likely to encounter.
John S. Mill Cultural, intellectual, spiritual
pleasures are of greater values than mere
physical pain or pleasure.
John S. Mill Though still hedonistic
utilitarianism Mill argues that cultural,
intellectual, and spiritual pleasures are of
greater values than just mere physical pain or
pleasure.
Ideal Utilitarianism by G.E. Moore The
rightness or wrongness of acts is determined by
their actual consequences our duty produce the
best possible consequences.
85
A Closer look at Consequentialism
  • Classic utilitarianism is a complex combination
    of many distinct claims, including the following
    claims about the moral rightness of acts (even
    though it reduces all morally relevant factors to
    consequences)

86
Issues of Formulation How utility is to be
defined and whether it can be measured in the way
utilitarians requires
  • 1. Consequentialism whether an act is morally
    right depends only on consequences (not
    circumstances, the intrinsic nature of the act,
    or anything that happens before the act).
  • 2. Actual Consequentialism whether an act is
    morally right depends only on the actual
    consequences (not foreseen, foreseeable,
    intended, or likely consequences).
  • 3. Direct Consequentialism whether an act is
    morally right depends only on the consequences of
    that act itself (not consequences of the agent's
    motive, of a rule or practice that covers other
    acts of the same kind, and so on).

87
Issues of Formulation How utility is to be
defined and whether it can be measured in the way
utilitarians requires
  • 4. Evaluative Consequentialism moral rightness
    depends only on the value of the consequences (as
    opposed to other features of the consequences).
  • 5. Hedonism the value of the consequences
    depends only on the pleasures and pains in the
    consequences (as opposed to other goods, such as
    freedom, knowledge, life, and so on).
  • 6. Maximizing Consequentialism moral rightness
    depends only on which consequences are best (as
    opposed to satisfactory or an improvement over
    the status quo).
  • 7. Aggregative Consequentialism which
    consequences are best is some function of the
    values of parts of those consequences (as opposed
    to rankings of whole worlds or sets of
    consequences).

88
Issues of Formulation How utility is to be
defined and whether it can be measured in the way
utilitarians requires
  • 8. Total Consequentialism moral rightness
    depends only on the total net good in the
    consequences (as opposed to the average net good
    per person).
  • 8. Universal Consequentialism moral rightness
    depends on the consequences for all people or
    sentient beings (as opposed to only the
    individual agent, present people, or any other
    limited group).
  • 9. Equal Consideration in determining moral
    rightness, benefits to one person matter just as
    much as similar benefits to any other person (
    all who count count equally).
  • 10. Agent-neutrality whether some consequences
    are better than others does not depend on whether
    the consequences are evaluated from the
    perspective of the agent (as opposed to an
    observer).

89
Issues of Formulation How utility is to be
defined and whether it can be measured in the way
utilitarians requires
  • These claims could be clarified, supplemented,
    and subdivided further. What matters here is just
    that these claims are logically independent, so a
    moral theorist could consistently accept some of
    them without accepting others. Yet classic
    utilitarians accepted them all. That fact makes
    classic utilitarianism a more complex theory than
    it might appear at first sight.
  • It also makes classic utilitarianism subject to
    attack from many angles. Persistent opponents
    posed plenty of problems for classic
    utilitarianism. Each objection led some
    utilitarians to give up some of the original
    claims of classic utilitarianism. By dropping one
    or more of those claims, descendants of
    utilitarianism can construct a wide variety of
    moral theories. Advocates of these theories often
    call them consequentialism rather than
    utilitarianism so that their theories will not be
    subject to refutation by association with the
    classic utilitarian theory.

90
John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) Hedonistic
Utilitarianism
Greatest Happiness Principle Acts are right in
proportion as they tend to promote happiness
(intended pleasure), wrong as they tend to
produce the reverse of happiness (pain and
privation of pleasure). Cultural, intellectual,
spiritual pleasures are of greater value than
mere physical pleasure, because the former would
be valued more highly by competent judges than
the latter. A competent judge, according to Mill,
is anyone who has experienced both the lower
pleasures and the higher.
Mill was an advocate of rule utilitarianism you
obey those rules which experience has shown will
produce the greatest happiness of the greatest
number. When you always know what people will do
you get predictability and security.
Pleasures differ from each other qualitatively as
well as quantitatively, a higher pleasure being
intrinsically better than a lower
pleasure. It is better to be a human being
dissatisfied than a fool satisfied.Bentham
treats all forms of happiness as equal a
pushpin is as good as opera. Some desires are
primitive others the result of experience,
training, self-discipline, special
associations.
Mill reaffirmed though developed the hedonistic
theory of Bentham from strict hedonistic path by
saying that some kinds of pleasure, whatever
their quantity, are intrinsically superior to
others. .
Qualitative differences easily recognizable
whereas quantitative differences are difficult to
determine. He also differed with Bentham by
denying that human motivation implies egoism.
Even though we are by nature pleasure-seekers, we
can be trained through proper development of our
feelings to find pleasure in the pleasure of
others.
We ought to choose the action which looks most
likely to produce most happiness. In order to do
so we should usually be guided by those general
rules which have been formulated as a result of
the long experience of men in society The
beliefs that have come down are the rules of
morality for the multitude, and or the
philosopher, until he has succeeded in finding
better. A rule is valid only because it passes
the utilitarian test and it is difficult to
believe
John S. Mill Cultural, intellectual, spiritual
pleasures are of greater values than mere
physical pain or pleasure.
The only justification society has in interfering
with the liberty of action of an individual is
self-protection People should be allowed to
think do whatever they like. Mill was worried
about the tyranny of the majority in his Essay
On Liberty.
91
John Stuart Mill
  • Essential Terms
  • 1. higher pleasures "pleasures of the intellect,
    ...relating to our feelings and imagination"
    also those relating to our moral values.
  • 2. lower pleasures bodily and physical pleasures
  • 3. inferior type persons who find enjoyment by
    indulging in the lower pleasures (88-89)
  • 4. superior type persons who find enjoyment by
    indulging in the higher pleasures
  • 5. altruism personal sacrifice "putting other's
    interests before one's own"
  • 6. incommensurable (in this case) two things
    that are incomparable because they are
    essentially different. Mill uses this word to
    describe the comparison of pleasure and pain.

92
John Stuart Mill
  • 7. Although Mill was heavily influenced by
    Bentham, there are two specific points of the
    latter's utilitarian theory that are rejected in
    Mill's version
  • Mill did not regard all pleasures equally. He
    made a distinction between higher and lower
    pleasures.
  • Mill rejects Bentham's hedonic calculus because
    he believes that pleasures and pains are
    incommensurable.
  • 8. Higher pleasures are such because they
  • offer a sense of human dignity,
  • offer greater permanency, safety, and
    un-costliness, and
  • challenge us to develop our intellectual
    capabilities.
  • 9. The only persons qualified to judge the
    relative merit of pleasures are those acquainted
    with the higher pleasures. Mill inserts this
    qualification so that his ethics can overcome the
    charge the it is an ethics for pigs and because
    he argues that anyone who is acquainted with both
    types or pleasures will certainly affirm the
    superiority of the higher type.

93
Egoism vs. Altruistic Utilitarianism
  • Enlightened self-interest is rejected in favor of
    consider the greatest happiness of all concerned.
  • Persons responsible for making ethical decisions
    should do so from a disinterested, benevolent
    perspective.
  • The value of personal sacrifice or altruism takes
    center stage over that of psychological egoism.
  • If one can see that personal interests are bound
    up with communal interests, then the conflict
    between ego and community will be minimized.

94
Other Points on Mills
  • 10. Human Suffering Mill argues that "we have
    ... a moral duty to prevent or to reduce to human
    suffering.
  • Selfishness and a want of mental cultivation are
    the greatest causes of unhappiness.
  • Individuals who have not taken the time to
    develop their intellectual capabilities are
    unlikely to share the view that the improvement
    of the human condition is of paramount
    importance.
  • 11. On Democracy
  • Although he favored democracy, Mill sees the
    possibility for domination of the minority by the
    majority under a strict system of "mob rule.
  • Accordingly, Mill argues that safeguards be put
    in place to protect the interests and viewpoints
    of minorities in the political process. Note that
    the term minority is not meant to denote racial
    minorities, but rather all types of political and
    social minorities that do not share
    majority/mainstream views.

95
Utilitarianism vs. Deontological Ethics
  • Utilitarian Ethics
  • Consequential Outcomes-Based.
  • Case-by-Case.
  • Hypothetical Imperative.
  • 4. Happiness (Greatest Happiness Principle)
  • Deontological Ethics
  • One universal law for each situation.
  • All times, all places, all people.
  • Categorical Imperative (Maxim-rule)
  • 4. Duty, Obl
About PowerShow.com