PHIL 345.ethical theory.handout

PHIL 345.ethical theory.handout - Ethical Theory: The Great...

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Click to edit Master subtitle style 5/10/10 Teleological vs. Deontological theories (Interests vs. duties) Ethical Theory: The Great Divide
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5/10/10 Teleological or Consequentialist Ethical Theories “Telos”: Ancient Greek for goal, purpose, aim, end. The moral value of an action, rule or policy is exclusively a function of its consequences, outcomes, or results, hence, “consequentialism.” Evaluation of that action, rule, or policy is performed with respect to a privileged goal or purpose posed by that theory as an overarching
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5/10/10 Deontological theories of ethics: “Deon”: Ancient Greek: “duty,” “obligation.” “Logos”: structure, study, reason, word, speech, etc . Thus: Deontological ethics centers around the concept of duty. Morality and ethics should be approached from the point of view that upholding one’s duties is the primary or exclusive imperative for all moral agents. The agent’s motive is crucial: The moral value
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5/10/10 Teleological or Consequentialist Ethical Egoism Utilitarianism (in various forms: Act, Rule, etc.) Eudaemonism (Aristotelian Virtue Ethics) Contractarian theories (based on Social Contract)
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5/10/10 Ethical Egoism Generally, the view that one’s own self- interest should be regarded as the highest guiding good; Therefore, the value of any action, event, rule, or policy is assessed with regard to its promoting or retarding my goals (whatever they are). Self-interest: Enlightened vs. unenlightened. (No one is recommending foolish self-
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5/10/10 Utilitarianism Principle of Utility serves as the guiding value and goal of all action, social policy, government, morality, ethics; our goal is always to “maximize utility,” however defined. Utility is defined by Mill as “the greatest happiness of the greatest number” of those affected by an action, rule, or policy. “Happiness” is defined as pleasure (hedonism)
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5/10/10 Act Utilitarianism vs. Rule Utilitarianism In Act Util., moral/ethical evaluation is conducted at the level of individual actions, individual situations; in any situation, each potential action is appraised individually with a view to maximizing utility. If one option vs. another maximizes utility, then it is the preferable route to choose. In Rule Util., the evaluation is conducted at the level of the rule or policy; if a rule (when
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Act Utilitarianism: Criticisms Imposes an “overly demanding” standard--- seems to ask us to go always beyond the call of duty,” into supererogation Doesn’t cohere with our experience of particular, morally significant relationships; demands for differential consideration, vs. equal consideration:
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PHIL 345.ethical theory.handout - Ethical Theory: The Great...

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