Philosophy Study Guide

Philosophy Study Guide - Philosophy Study Guide Unit Three:...

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Philosophy Study Guide Unit Three: Knowledge of Morality Where does moral value lie for: Cultural Moral Relativism, Ethical Egoism, Utilitarianism, Kantianism, and Divine Command Theory? What is moral for each of these theories? Cultural Moral Relativism bases its moral value on the facts of cultural variability. The cultural moral relativist supposes that because beliefs about right and wrong vary between cultures, it follows that there are no universal, cross-culturally valid moral truths. Ethical Egoism bases its moral value on the theory that each person ought to only pursue his/her own self-interest. It allows that we may not be compelled to act so (as PE’s belief), and it does not rule out acting in other’s interest too. But the latter should be done only when it is in our interest. It does not say do only what you want, or what gives short term pleasure. It says that persons ought to do what really is in his/her own best advantage over the long run. It endorses selfishness, but not foolishness. Utilitarianism bases its moral value on the view that our moral obligation is always to act in such a way as to maximize good consequences for the greatest number of morally sufficient beings. In this classical form, “good consequences” are measured by the amount of happiness produced (or unhappiness minimized). It is the theory that equates “good” and “right”, i.e., the right thing to do is always the good thing. Kantianism bases its moral value on the Categorical Imperative. They say that all morality is secular and rational. All moral rules are absolute and exceptionless and therefore “categorical”. They also say that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always as an end and never as a means only. Divine Command Theory bases its moral value on religion as the moral authority. Basically morality is decided by what God says is right. What is Psychological Egoism and what kind of theory is it? What is Ethical Egoism and what kind of theory is it? What is the relationship between these two? Psychological Egoism (PE) is a “scientific” theory about human nature that alleges that humans cannot do other than always act in a self-centered manner (all our acts are selfish, self-interested or self-centered. PE’s rarely distinguished these). It is a descriptive type of ethics. Ethical Egoism (EE) is the theory that each person ought to only pursue his/her own self-interest. It is a prescriptive type of ethics. The relationship between the two is that if PE was true, it would eliminate all moral theories that ever suggest that we ought to do something other than pursue our self interest or be selfish. Because we cannot do other than act in a self-centered manner, it would make no sense to say we ought to act otherwise. This if PE is true, the only possible moral theory is Ethical Egoism (EE).
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Warner 2 Be able to offer two criticisms of Ethical Egoism as a moral theory. EE cannot provide solutions for conflicts of interest, which is just what we need
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Philosophy Study Guide - Philosophy Study Guide Unit Three:...

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