Philosophy Week 1Making Decisions/ChoicesHow we view different issues....Historical influences .Religion .Family .Peers .School .Prior experiences .The law .AgePhilosophy- a theory or attitude held by a person that acts as aguiding principle for behaviorEthics- philosophical study of morality (deals with moral principles that govern a person’s behavior/help to make decisions) Bioethics- the moral issues and problems that have arisen as a result of modern medicine and research (issues often life-or-death, principles can be personal, organizational, worldwide, etc.) e.g. = planned parenthood/abortion Laws- all citizens must adhere or risk liability, mandatory Legal decisions- shape medical ethics and involve moral reasoning Ethical dilemma- a conflict between moral obligations that is difficult to reconcile and that requires moral reasoning (i.e. both are right/both are wrong)/ a situation necessitating a choice between two equal alternatives (sometimes undesirable).E.g. deciding to save (pregnant) mother or baby Ethical principles- provide the tools to aid in resolving conflict in a just, fair and moral manner
Ethical Theories (divisions).1) Normative- moral standards that regulate right/wrong conduct and take a stance, basic principles & virtues identified to guide morality, provide coherent, systematic and justifiable answers to questions .2) Nonnormative- involves analyzing mortality without taking a moral positionMeta-ethics- study of origin/meaning of ethical conceptsDescriptive ethics- factual descriptions/explanations of moral behaviors and beliefs .3) Applied ethics- theories and principles are applied to actual moral problemsHistory Virtue- behavior showing high moral standards.1) Greek–Socrates- the ultimate object of human activity is happiness, and the necessary means to reach it, virtue (virtue=knowledge) .2) Plato- did not consider virtue to exist in wisdom alone, but in balancing intellect, emotion, andappetite .3) Aristotle – the real founder of systematic ethics - True happiness, though presented to him by the gods as the object and reward of virtue, can be attained only through a man's own individual exertions .Munson’s Taxonomy of Ethical Theories1) Utilitarianism2) Kant’s ethics3) Ross’ ethics4) Rawls’ ethics of justice5) Natural law ethics/moral theology 6) Theories without principlesUtilitarianism/Consequentialism.Bentham and Mill (1700 to 1870) .“Actions are right as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend toproduce the reverse of happiness” .Principle of utility or “the greatest happiness principle” - the most benefit for majority .Evaluate consequences of actions to choose morally right action .Rule Utilitarianism- actions are morally right if they comply with a rule that leads to the greatest good (conveying wrong rule=wrong)
Kant’s Theory German philosopher late 1700’sDeontological theory (duty/obligation)Ethics must be both unconditional (no exceptions) and universal(applicable to all human beings).