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1. Self-Centered Moral Theories

1.1. "Egoism" - Latin word "Ego" that means "I" - any view of life which puts the self and/or self-interest at the centre of everything a person does or desires

1.2. Egoistic moral theories provide "techne" for "attaching moral qualifiers" to statements about self, others, and world

1.3. justify moral judgements in terms of how and why YOU have arrived at the moral judgement you formulated


1.4.1. Psychological Egoism descriptive moral theory matter of undeniable fact - all people act exclusively in their own interests ("the way it is")

1.4.2. Ethical Egoism as a matter of fact, people ought to act exclusively in their own interests ("the way it ought to be") normative moral theory

1.5. Hedonism

1.5.1. Greek word ἡδονή (hedone) which means ‘pleasure’

1.5.2. any view which argues that pleasure is the most important element to be desired and sought after in life

1.5.3. "pleasure" = intrinsically and morally good and should motivate all actions

1.5.4. FURTHER TYPES: Psychological Hedonism: as a matter of fact, people naturally and exclusively seek after pleasure "the way things are" Ethical Hedonism: people ought to seek after pleasure notwithstanding any adverse consequences "the way things ought to be"

2. Ethical Evaluation

2.1. THOUGHT EXPERIMENT: Trolley Car Experiment - driver of trolley, two options (five track workmen and a one track workman) - flipping a switch vs. pushing a fat man down in the way

2.1.1. UTILITARIAN VIEW: Throw the switch to maximize well-being - action that offers the greatest good for the greatest number (consequence over action)

2.1.2. VIRTUE ETHICS: Throw the switch because you are a virtuous person, and saving five lives is a charitable acion - determines ethicality by considering character/natural tendencies of a person, not actions or consequences

2.1.3. DEONTOLOGY: Do not throw the switch because that would be a form of killing, and killing is inherently wrong - rightness/wrongness of actions themselves

2.1.4. DIVINE COMMAND THEORY: Do not throw the switch because you are a Christian, and killing is against the will of God - only ethical and moral courses of action are those that coincide with the will or command of God

2.1.5. ETHICAL RELATIVISM: Do not throw the switch because you feel aiding in a person's death would be culturally inappropriate - "there is no objectivity to ethical judgements"

2.2. Geneva Conventions

2.2.1. HISTORY: 1863 Red Cross, 1949 Four Geneva Conventions

2.2.2. First Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces and Field

2.2.3. Second Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea

2.2.4. Third Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War - some requirements include: treated humanely with respect for persons and their honor enabled to inform next of kin of capture allowed to correspond regularly + receive relief parcels + keep clothes, feeding utensils, personal effects supplied with adequate food and clothing

2.2.5. Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War

2.3. The Is/Ought Dilemma

2.3.1. David Hume: "Can you derive what you ought to do from facts about the world?"(HUMES' GUILLOTINE)

2.3.2. How things are aren't exactly what things should be - gap between judgements and facts - underlying assumptions

3. Different Types of Ethics

3.1. Normative Ethics

3.1.1. critically examine how moral values and principles are applied (especially through approaches: duty-based, consequences-based, virtue-based)

3.1.2. how to apply moral theories + assess effectiveness in evaluating real-life situatoins

3.2. Descriptive Ethics

3.2.1. simple, straightforward, and descriptive account of ethics/morals of a group of people

3.2.2. not interested in passing judgements about values/vices

3.2.3. just developing "snapshot" view

3.3. Applied Ethics

3.3.1. everything you have learned about morality - applied directly + practically to specific areas of our everyday and professional life

3.3.2. ex. bio-medical ethics, environmental ethics, ethics of distribution of wealth

3.4. Meta Ethics

3.4.1. very nature of morality and moral values

3.4.2. uncover + assess assumptions and principles that are the foundation for our moral thinking and acting

4. Case Studies

4.1. Dudley and Stephens - Mignonette Shipwreck Case Study

4.1.1. Crew of four: Tom Dudley, Edwin Stephens, Edmund Brooks, Richard Parker (cabin boy, 17 years old, orphaned, inexperiences sea man)

4.1.2. Shipwrecked, drew lots to choose sacrificial victim, but then Dudley told others that Parker should die because he and Stephens had wives and families

4.1.3. Dudley pushed penknife into Parker's jugular vein and killed him. Three people fed on Parker's body.

4.2. Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Capital Punishment

4.2.1. CHART + SOME ARTICLES: Article 3: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. Article 5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Article 9: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. Article 10: Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing

4.3. "Citizens must uphold and obey laws that deprive citizens of rights, freedoms and liberties vs. Citizens should disobey laws that require unethical conduct."

4.3.1. Holocaust

4.3.2. Nuremberg Laws on Citizenship and Race (1935) New laws that institutionalized radical theories in Nazi ideology Excluded German Jews from Reich citizenship + prohibit them from marrying/having sexual relations with people of "German blood" Anyone who had three or four Jewish grandparents = Jew, regardless of whether or not individual himself identifies as Jew Olympic Games in 1936 - Nazi regime moderated its anti-Jewish attacks, but afterwards, stepped up persecution of German Jews and required them to register their property + workers dismiseed and taken over by non-Jewish Germans

4.4. Heinz's Dilemma (Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development)

4.4.1. BACKGROUND: Dr. Lawrence Kohlberg tried to trace moral development of human beings LEVEL 1: Pre-conventional Morality (<9 Years Old) - no personal code of morality - morality shaped by standards of adults and punishment Stage 1: Obedience and Punishment Orientation - one must be good to avoid punishment; if one is punished, they must have done wrong Stage 2: Individualism and Exchange - there is not just one right view that is handed down by authorities; different individuals have different viewpoints LEVEL 2: Conventional Morality (adolescents and adults) - internalize moral standards of adult role models Stage 3: Good Interpersonal Relationships - one must be good in order to be seen as a good person by others Stage 4: Maintaining Social Order - one is aware of wider rules of society, judgements concern obeying rules to uphold law + avoid guilt LEVEL 3: Post-Conventional Morality (10-15% capable of this thinking) - individual judgement based on self-chosen principles Stage 5: Social Contract and Individual Rights - one is aware that while rules/laws might exist, there are times where they'll work against interest of indivudual Stage 6: Universal Principles - people have own set of moral guidelines which may or may not fit the law

4.4.2. THE THOUGHT EXPERIMENT: Heinz's wife is dying from a particular type of cancer. Doctors said a new drug might save her. The drug had been discovered by a local chemist, and Heinz wants to buy some, but chemist was charging ten times the money it cost to make the drug, and Heinz couldn't afford that. OUTCOME 1: Heinz should steal the drug and not go to prison as this is unfair. OUTCOME 2: Heinz should not steal the drugs since he would be breaking the law. OUTCOME 3: Heinz should steal the drug and accept any prison sentence.

4.4.3. PROBLEMS WITH KOHLBERG'S METHODS 1. The dilemmas are artificial 2. The sample is biased (all-male sample - androcentric definition of morality) 3. The dilemmas are hypothetical 4. Poor research design

4.4.4. PROBLEMS WITH KOHLBERG'S THEORY 1. Are there distinct stages of moral development? 2. Does moral judgement match moral behavior? 3. Is justice the most fundamental moral principle?

4.5. Abortion

4.5.1. Both pro-life and pro-choice sides make objective and subjective moral arguments

4.5.2. Example: Objective moral argument when pointing out the UDHR or citing the UDHR, as the UDHR is a "universal" document (even though it is technically nonbinding and a form of normative power)

4.5.3. Example: Subjective moral arugment when defining the fetus is a human being at the point of conception

4.5.4. Real-life Example: Argentinian debate on abortion - country is Roman Catholic, but several incidences have occured where girls as young as 10 have been forced to give birth. There is a law on abortion, but it is vague and only allows it if the woman's life is in danger or if the pregnancy was a result of abuse. Even so, due to cultural relativism, doctors tend to delay procedures based on their own beliefs.

4.6. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

4.6.1. moral and ethical relativism

4.6.2. Universalism: FGM is an unacceptable violation of human rights

4.6.3. Cultural Relativism: FGM is a traditional procedure that represents the progression towards womanhood.

4.6.4. Medical and hygiene concerns

4.7. Human Cloning and Genetic Modification

4.7.1. BACKGROUND: creation of a genetically identical copy of a human Therapeutic cloning clone cells from a human for use in medcine and transplants active area of research, but not in medical practice (STEM CELLS) Reproductive cloning making an entire cloned human METHODS: Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) - nuclear of somatic cell taken from donor and transplanted into a host egg cell, which had its genetic material removed Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) - long and inefficient process (Pluripotent = stem cell can differentiate into any of three germ layers: endoderm, mesoderm, ectoderm) - reprogramming factors into specific adult cell type - send signals to make cell become pluripotent stem cell

4.7.2. Autonomy argument - but children can't choose their own genetic inheritance, so argument fails

4.7.3. departure from natural, sexual creation - but objection fails to reach heart of the matter - creating children of a CERTAIN KIND

4.7.4. MORAL PROBLEM: assault on understanding of children as gifts rather than possessions, or projects of our will, or vehicles for our happiness

4.7.5. Medical Problems: human cell is already really old - that amount of life is taken away from the child - the child cannot live to his or her full potential

4.7.6. MORAL STATUS OF THE EMBRYO Three ways: as a thing (miss its significance as nascent human life), as a person, or as something in between Embryo is a person: support from religious doctrines and from Kantian assumption that moral universe is divided in binary terms - everything is either a person or a thing (dualism)

4.8. Euthanasia and the Right to Die

4.8.1. Active vs. Passive Euthanasia Active: death brought about by direct intervention of another person, whether the person is a medical professional or not Passive: a person (medical or otherwise) not doing something which is considered extraordinary in maintaining life of person who is hopelessly ill

4.8.2. Challenging notions of "murder" (active) and "letting die" (passive"

4.8.3. "Physician Assisted Suicide" (PAS) physician supplies means for ending life, but act committed by person alone by means of material prescribed

4.8.4. What are the rights of a person who is suffering a debilitating disease or physical condition to decide to end his or her life?

4.8.5. How can you take into account the wishes of family members or friends?

4.8.6. What are the responsibilities of the medical staff caring for the patient?

4.8.7. What about the cost of medical treatment?

4.8.8. What are the requirements of law?

4.9. NIGHT AND FOG by Screenwriter Jean Cayrol and Director Alain Resnais and Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer - Movie about the Holocaust

4.9.1. Ideological Mechanism of "Dehumanization" - philosophical analysis of the basic value of "humanity" - what kind of "absolute" value does a human being have?

4.9.2. Consequentialist approach - assessment in terms of values that are supposed to be targeted by out actions

5. Ethics in the Public Area

5.1. Polis

5.1.1. Ancient Greek City-State

5.1.2. Small and physical size and population

5.1.3. Each citizen = direct contact with chosen leaders of the "polis" + engage in discussion & debate with them in designated public areas

5.2. Socrates (469BC - 399BC)

5.2.1. "The unexamined life is not worth living"

5.2.2. Individual had to think about his or her life in great detail to discover how to live a good life

5.2.3. Virtue connected to knowledge - search for knowledge of virtue, then keys to meaning of good life could be searched for by question/answer method

5.2.4. True answer might not be found in one's lifetime; SEARCH = most important

5.3. Plato (428BC - 347BC)

5.3.1. Agreed with Socrates - correctly constructed question/answer method = best methodology for finding the true answer to good life

5.3.2. Ethical values (ex. justice, temperance, wisdom, piety) exist in "ideal forms"

5.3.3. Virtue was a matter of knowledge - knowledge could be attained by programme of education

5.4. Aristotle (384BC - 322BC)

5.4.1. human being = "political animal" living with other animals in a community (polis)

5.4.2. human being = "rational animal" - in possession of reason - differentiate human being from any other animal

5.4.3. Theory (rational animal) runs parallel with practice (political animal)

6. Main Moral/Ethical Theories

6.1. Deontological/Duty-Based Moral Theories

6.1.1. ADVANTAGES powerful, rational deductive way of deciding right/wrong without involving emotions/feelings/subjective impulses moral evaluation - more objective rather than subjective individuals considered equal in eyes of the law certain duties + obligations apply to all cultures at all times

6.1.2. DISADVANTAGES oblige you to follow course of action that might lead to undesirable consequences absolutism in morality - fail to take into account specific circumstances difficulty when there is conflict of interests/duties impression: being moral person = same thing as following the law reduces moral thinking/moral evaluation - automatic application of duties

6.1.3. Kantian Ethics Hypothetical Imperative (hypothetically) If...Then... Everything depends on what we happen to want There isn't anything wrong about this, but this CANNOT be the basis for MORALITY Good Will rational capacity to determine what is RIGHT (what we OUGHT to do) = MORAL LAW Right or wrong never changes because it is the "universal law of rational will" Morality = sum total of rational laws valid for all rational beings Categorical Imperatives The ultimate command of reason - force & power doesn't depend on "good", but "right" capacity to develop & obey categorical imperatives of moral law = indication of autonomy (capacity to control/direct yourself) = absolute worth and value FOUR FORMULATIONS Strengths Moral theory based on functioning of human reason - applied equally to all rational human beings clears circumstantial factors from moral reasoning, making it universal clear and convincing highlights significance of acting out of duty emphasizes equal moral values + moral dignity of each individual person people should never be treated as means to any end Weaknesses not all humans reason the same way Counter-intuitive - commitment to moral law irrespective of consequences = lead to serious problems because of consequences difficult to not act for reasons of self-interest difficulty in handling situations with conflict of duties dangerous to create moral theory with absolute validity Kant's Axe: If a sinister looking man carrying an axe knocked on your door and asked for your best friend, would it be morally acceptable to lie?

6.1.4. Divine Command Theory Uses religious teachings + principles as foundation argues that all moral laws/rules/regulations - guarantee moral quality of an aciton variety of interpretations according to teachings of the religious tradition which it is based (morality depends on & proceeds from God) ADVANTAGES: Assurance that there is a God that supports believers in their efforts to lead morally good life Security of absolute, objective, universal, unchanging moral laws/rules/regulations Connections of righteous God - demands of morality = hope that struggle for good/moral life will be rewarded DISADVANTAGES Euthyphro Dilemma Atheism Nature of all things that exist are defined on the basis of "causes" "cause" = "explanation" of what a thing is + how it came to be

6.1.5. Natural Law Theory FOUR CAUSES The Formal Cause The Material Cause The Efficient Cause The Final Cause Aristotelian Natural Law Theory - the causes, Aquinas Natural Law Theory = reflection of God's eternal + absolutely intelligent law

6.2. Teleological/Consequentialist Moral Theories

6.2.1. Utilitarianism HISTORY: FOUNDING OF UTILITARIANISM Latin word: utilitas - "usefulness" + utilis - "usable" select best action that will be useful in producting THE GREATEST GOOD FOR THE GREATEST NUMBER tries to be objective and impartial - you are not a "special case" Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) Act Utilitarianism analysis of each act in isolation from other acts deciding which action will produce greatest good for the greatest number - perform moral evaluation on case-by-case basis no carry-over effect to next action you will be considering identified with Jeremy Bentham + methodology Preference Utilitarianism Peter Singer (1946-) judges actions to be morally good/bad on degree to which they help achieve the REALIZATION of the PREFERENCES of a group of people preferences of each individual = uniquely valuable Argues for best interests of all individuals (Replaces "pleasure" with "best interests") Ideal Utilitarianism G.E. Moore (1873-1958) doesn't promote increase of pleasure or happiness as exclusive determinant of moral quality of action action judged to be morally good to the extent that it promotes/increases/maximizes certain REFINED STATES OF MIND or HIGH IDEALS (ex. compassion, justice, etc.) Rule Utilitarianism rests on central tenet of all Utilitarian moral theories: maximize happiness or pleasure for the greatest number importance placed on moral rules, regulations, and guidelines practical leve - help people by offering them moral rules that save everyone time of performing individual act utilitarian analysis moral rules = storehouse of moral experience and wisdom of a group of people identified with John Stuart Mill

6.2.2. included in general moral code of individual/group IF AND ONLY IF rule confirmed to bring greatest good for the greatest number

6.2.3. Situation Ethics Joseph Fletcher (1905-1991) there exist certain situations that might require people involved in those situations to set aside traditional moral principles if love (AGAPE) is best served Four Fundamental Presuppositions Pragmatism: Morality must have a practical application in daily, real-life situations Relativism: A practical moral theory should avoid taking stands on issues that are absolute and unchanging. A moral theory usefulness depends on its ability to be flexible and relative to the demands of changing situations. Positivism: In order for a moral theory to be effective and meaningful, it must start off with a fundamental, existential choice to be a good person who wishes to do good. Personalism: All moral decision making and all moral action must keep the well-being and interests of the person in first place over and above the cold, objective requirements of the law Six Fundamental Principles Love is always and without exception intrinsically good Love is the unique norm which stands before and above the law Love is the foundation for justice making justice possible Love is serious, demanding, and all-embracing - not trivial and sentimental Love is the factor - the final court of appeals - that justifies the means Love is engaged in each situation as it arises according to the circumstances of the situation Advantages Flexible theory - challenges you to take account of circumstances surrounding each situation that requires you to take a moral stand simple principle - all love = cornerstone of all moral evaluation require each person to take responsibility for their own actions in context of meaningful principle - Love focuses clearly on needs of real-life individuals Disadvantages temptation to depend too highly on subjective, personal approach to moral evaluation difficulties in seeing down the road to concrete consequences of moral decision danger of becoming extremely individualistic without leaving room for input of others

6.3. Character-Based Moral Theories

6.3.1. version of Virtue Ethics developed largely by female philosophers

6.3.2. Care Ethics good life not about logical/rational determination of moral quality of action, but one that focuses on virtues of care/self-sacrifice/networking/nurture of fellow humans emphasis on social practices + education of people with regard to essential virtues (empathy + sympathy)

6.3.3. Virtue Ethics Plato: a virtue = a characteristic possessed by a person - enables that person to be who he/she was + do what he/she was meant to do + achieve his/her specific goal in life Aristotle: virtue = disposition of one's character practical matters + must be practiced for them to be engrained in one's character THE GOLDEN MEAN: virtue will guide person to middle path between vices of Excess and Deficiency Practice of virtues - guide person's character to fulfillment - supreme good = happiness, wellbeing, fulfillment "Virtue is its own regard" "Practice makes perfect" Elizabeth Anscome (1919-2001) criticize approahces of teleological/deontological moral theories as being too focused on law/duty/moral obligation/consequences Bernard Williams (1929-2003) traditional moral theories fail to take into account factors like family, friends, social communities Alasdair Maclntyre (1929-2015) virtues embedded in cultural environment Attention on character of actor/moral agent rather than nature/quality of action/decision ADVANTAGES: holistic considers emotions/motivations highly individualistic + adaptable Character development + personal responsibility + cultural context considered shifts focus from actions to actor interpersonal relationships + life experiences considered DISADVANTAGES unclear action guidance relativist disagreement on what virtues are/what are most important conflict situations between 2+ virtues? no clear definition of "supreme happiness" of a person vague in terms of rewards and punishments

7. Moral Evaluation: Objective or Subjective?


7.1.1. moral statements describe actual states of affairs in the world

7.1.2. moral values are part and parcel of very fabric of real world

7.1.3. moral values independent of feelings/thinking of person making the statement

7.1.4. hence, moral statements carrry "truth value"



7.2.1. moral values/statements are dependent on person expressing them - feelings, emotions, personal judgements

7.2.2. hence, moral statements remain relative + particular to person + culture + historical period

7.2.3. moral values/statements undergo change & development depending on variety of factors


7.3. Moral Qualifiers

7.3.1. Certain evaluative words like "good" "bad" "right" "wrong", or judgemental phrases like "this ought to be done" and "this ought to be avoided

7.3.2. attached to judgements we make about people, actions, events, etc.

7.3.3. attached to such judgements by means of certain specific techniques or theories

7.3.4. techniques or theories identified in history of philosophy as MORAL THEORIES

8. Basics of Moral Theories

8.1. Definition of a Moral Theory

8.1.1. Presents a methodology or framework of applying moral qualifiers to personal judgements

8.1.2. Helps people make serious judgements about what a person ought to do + others and their actions Help person clarity concepts, evaluate claims, identify assumptions

8.1.3. DICTIONARY DEFINITION: "a moral theory…explains why a certain action is wrong - or why we ought to act in certain ways."

8.1.4. GREEK WORD: "techne" = body of specialized knowledge - show how certain "craft"/"art" should be carried out Moral theory is like "techne" = body of knowledge meant to show how to perform certain "art" "art" = making moral judgement about event, action, situation, person

8.2. Deductive Reasoning

8.2.1. Moves "downwards" from abstract theoretical level to specific practical, conrete levels

8.2.2. "top-down" method

8.2.3. use and rely on theories, laws, already-established norms - applied directly to situation under consideration to reach true/valid conclusion

8.3. Inductive Reasoning

8.3.1. moves "upwards" from specific, practical, conrete situation to more abstract level of general rules, laws, and theories

8.3.2. "bottom-up" method

8.3.3. determine how well general rules match demands of specific situation

8.4. Deontological Moral Theories (Background)

8.4.1. Greek words δέον (déon) meaning ‘duty’ or ‘that which is binding’ and λόγος meaning ‘reasoned discourse

8.4.2. Deductive and duty-based moral theory

8.5. Teleological Moral Theories

8.5.1. Inductive reasoning, "bottom-up", and consequence-based moral theory

8.5.2. Greek words τέλος (telos) meaning ‘purpose’, ‘result’ or ‘goal’ and λόγος meaning ‘reasoned discourse’

8.5.3. moral theories of responsibility

8.5.4. ADVANTAGES moral theories of accountability suited for practical application to real life situations Extent to which "the ends justify the means" to achieve particular goal through specific course of actions offer good degree of flexibility in how they are interpreted relative to demands of particular situations + do not expect you to formulate universal, unchanging moral judgements about similar situations interpreted and applied differently across different cultures "case-by-case" application

8.6. Other-Centered Moral Theories

8.6.1. Altruism (Latin word 'altreri' - 'for the other'

8.6.2. it is best to act for others and the interests of others rather than to act solely for yourself and your personal interests

8.6.3. Morally preferable to live for others rather than to live for yourself

8.6.4. emphasize virtues such as charity, benevolence, compassion, etc.

8.6.5. FURTHER TYPES: Psychological Altruism: people are built to be concerned for others Ethical Altruism: people ought to always act in the interests or others