Q_03__10.23.07_ProblemSet - NBA 671 Fall 2007 CLASS...

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NBA 671 Fall 2007 CLASS QUESTIONS (3) October 23 ETHICAL PRINCIPLES AND THEORIES Donaldson and Werhane, “Introduction to Ethical Reasoning” Ethical justification and ethical theories o Expectation: Decisions should be ethically justified—i.e., based (in part) on ethically sound reasons. o Ethical theories: Normative accounts of ethical justification—of when reasons are ethically sound. o Types of ethical theories Consequentialist : The rightness or wrongness of action or policy X depends on X’s (likely) consequences. Deontological : The rightness or wrongness of X depends on its conformity to or violation of relevant rules or principles. Character-based : The rightness or wrongness of X depends on the qualities of character (virtues or vices) exemplified by the agent in doing X. Consequentialism o Ethical Egoism: My doing X is right or wrong depending on whether or not it is in my best interest. (In effect, this is a rejection of social morality.) o Utilitarianism: The rightness or wrongness of X depends on whether or not it maximizes the overall good (utility) of the stakeholders collectively. Act Utilitarianism: X is right only if it—the action or policy X—maximizes net utility for all stakeholders. (Cost-benefit analysis applied to all stakeholders.) What is utility (the good)? * Bentham: Pleasure (or pleasure net of pain) * Mill: Happiness * Pluralists: Intrinsic value of desirable ends (knowledge, friendship, etc.) * Economists: Satisfaction of preferences
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Problems with Act Utilitarianism: * Maximizing the good is unrealistic—too demanding. * Act utilitarianism permits serious injustices. * Cost-benefit calculations discount future costs and benefits: What about future generations? Rule Utilitarianism: X is right only if it conforms to a rule which, if generally accepted, would maximize utility for all stakeholders. Problems with this (standard) version of Rule Utilitarianism:
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Q_03__10.23.07_ProblemSet - NBA 671 Fall 2007 CLASS...

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