pgs__39-51_and_basics_of_Utilitarianism - Pgs. 39-51 I....

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Pgs. 39-51 I. Check list of correlation between virtues and principles on pg. 39. Remember, the principle tells you what to do in a specific situation. The virtue is about a particular attitude you take in your life, ie. a characteristic. II. Moral Ideals- one of the advantages of virtue ethics over principle-based ethics is that virtues allow us to discuss ideals rather than just standards. In other words, while we can say that someone has followed particular principles by simply not doing wrong, with virtues we can instead discuss just how virtuous a person is. A. There are different types of actions a person can take: 1. There are “actions that are right and obligatory (such as truth-telling). These are captured by principles just as well as they are captured by virtues. Remember though that with principles, we usually have strict rules (e.g. tell the truth at all times) while the virtue is more of an attitude (be an honest person). These strict obligations are positive actions that need to be accomplished. Note that they could still be controversial. Do we, for example, have a strict obligation to take care of our parents when they get old? Do they have an obligation to leave us money? 2. There are “actions that are wrong and prohibited (such as murder)”. We can separate 2 from 1 by noting that weak obligation means things we shouldn’t do but usually can avoid doing. So, unlike telling the truth, which is an active act on our part, not murdering people really just requires us NOT to act. Note that “weak” here doesn’t mean that we don’t have to obey the morality in question, but only that obeying doesn’t require as much on our part. Strict obligations require us to be more aware. Weak obligations just require that we not do particular acts. 3. Some of our ideals and values don’t have anything to do with morality. They are neither required by us nor forbidden. For example, you may like to go to the movies on the weekends. As long as you aren’t breaking other obligations or doing something wrong, there’s no problem.
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course PHY 204 taught by Professor Sharp during the Spring '08 term at Alabama.

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pgs__39-51_and_basics_of_Utilitarianism - Pgs. 39-51 I....

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