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Normative Terms_1

Normative Terms_1 - ESPM 162 Handout#1 ESPM 162 Bioethics...

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ESPM 162, Handout #1 ESPM 162 Bioethics and Society Theoretical Terms and Concepts I Spring 2008 Norms A norm is a rule or standard of behavior that is expected of a group. Prescriptive ideas or “Should” ideas derive from norms. Laws, ethical rules, standards of behavior are all norms. 2 Types Normative Arguments This course encourages you to be able to categorize different types of arguments, and understand where they derive from. There are two main categories of argument that you should be able to distinguish and produce. 1. Social Utility Arguments: These arguments derive from utilitarianism, a moral theory that the correct choice or outcome is the one yielding the greatest utility --'utility' being defined as pleasure, preference- satisfaction, or in reference to an objective list of values. (a) Social utility arguments are all “likely consequences” arguments. All require calculation of likely costs and likely benefits. (b) Different sorts of considerations are possible under Utilitarian rubric: you need to specify which goods, values, interests, policies you are trying to achieve, and explain why these goals promote general social utility or social welfare (e.g., economic growth, equity)
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