04 Intro to Ethics - Ethics is a major field in...

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Ethics is a major field in philsosophy. Somewhere around 40% of all output now is in ethics. Ethics as a discipline is a reflection into the moral life of mankind. It is an inquiry into how we live or the possible life we can lead. Socrates is the first person to systematically investigate ethics. What is justice? What role does love play in human life? Can you teach your children to be good? Ethics has been a philosophical discipline since the time of Socrates until the present day. People who write about ethics say there are 4 fields of study (DeArmey thinks there are 5). I. Normative Ethics – the heart and soul of ethics a. Deals with norms, standards, principles, rules that can be used to distinguish right actions verses wrong actions and the attempt to resolve specific moral problems (abortion, capital punishment, etc). b. An inquiry into the good life. What is the good life for human beings? Aristotle is concerned with that – not with right and wrong. He wants to know, “What is it that makes for a good persona and a good society?” – The Theory of the Virtues (good character traits and bad character traits). II. Metaethics: Questions that are at the foundation of ethics as a field of study. a. For e.g.: Do we have free will or not? Libertarianism versus Determinism (hard and soft determinism – either variety says are choices are effects of antecedent causes). b. Cognitivists vs. Non-cognitivists. Cognitivists say that moral statements can be true or false and that there is such a thing as knowledge in ethics (Most religious teachers and most religious
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This note was uploaded on 02/21/2008 for the course PHI 151H taught by Professor Dearmey during the Spring '08 term at University Of Southern Mississippi .

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04 Intro to Ethics - Ethics is a major field in...

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