HC.Week2Bb

HC.Week2Bb - Overview Week 2 Moral conflicts and moral...

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Overview Week 2 Moral conflicts and moral decisions Major Ethical Theories -Teleological theories -Deontological Theories Recent Challenges to these theories Virtue Ethics Feminist Ethics/Care ethics Casuistry Ethical Principles
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Moral Conflicts Examples: Jude and the wallet TatianaTarasoff case This leads us to engage in moral reasoning which helps provide justification or reasons for the decisions we make.
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Moral Decisions Moral decisions are based on ethical principles or ethical theories. Why ethical principles or theories? -Because they provide language and concepts for discussing and resolving moral dilemmas -Because they provide guidance and evaluation
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Major Ethical Theories Teleological or Consequence-based Theories (Utilitarian Theory) Deontological or Duty-based Theories (Kant’s Theory) (Ross’s Theory)
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Teleological Theories These theories are based on some conception of the human good, or telos Most prominent theory: Utilitarianism
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Two classical Utilitarians Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) Central features of Utilitarianism: 1. The Principle of Utility 2. The Standard of Goodness
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The Principle of Utility (PU) or the Greatest Happiness Principle PU “Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.” (Mill) GHP “Those actions are right that produce the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people” (Mill) Key concept in both formulations is happiness Utilitarians employ a calculus (decision procedure) for assessing which action maximizes goodness. Jude: Should I keep the wallet or return it? Keeping the wallet has some benefits and costs Returning the wallet has some benefits and costs
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The Standard of Goodness But on what basis should we judge the goodness or badness of an action? For Bentham, the standard is pleasure or lack of pain (happiness =pleasure) For Mill, the standard is happiness (or lack of unhappiness) Utilitarianism states that we should act in ways that maximize pleasure or happiness and minimize pain or unhappiness.
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Who counts? Whose benefits and costs should be included? Utilitarianism rests on the principle which demands that we consider the welfare of everyone that has the capacity to experience pleasure and pain . So both humans and animals count, and importantly “each counts for one and no more than one”.
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Consequentialism All utilitarian theories decide the rightness or wrongness of an action based entirely on its consequences. Morality consists in producing good consequences, not in having good intentions.
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Two Types of Utilitarianism 1. Act Utilitarianism 2. Rule Utilitarianism
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Act Utilitarianism Act utilitarianism is concerned with the consequences that follow from individual actions and does not concern itself with types of actions.
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It employs a simple , action guiding calculus It is impartial It is not merely a formal system, but aims
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This note was uploaded on 06/25/2009 for the course PHIL 2450 taught by Professor Sethi,n during the Spring '09 term at Cornell.

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HC.Week2Bb - Overview Week 2 Moral conflicts and moral...

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