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Lecture 18_Moral Inquiry and Moral Relativism

Lecture 18_Moral Inquiry and Moral Relativism - The Nature...

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The Nature of Moral Inquiry: Is Morality Relative? i. What Is Morality? Morality gives us the rules by which we live with other people. It tells us what is permitted and what is not. 1. Ethics: the study of moral principles and the foundations of morality. Concerned with what is good/bad, right/wrong. 2. Three branches: 1. Normative ethics Normative ethical theories seek to provide action-guides; procedures for answering the practical question "What ought I to do?" Seeks to provide guidelines for determining a specific course of moral action. 2. Metaethics Talks about the nature of ethics and moral reasoning, especially concerned with the justification of normative ethical guidelines (i.e., where they come from and what they mean). 3. Applied ethics Attempts to deal with specific realms of human action and to craft criteria for discussing issues that might arise within those realms. (e.g., business ethics, computer ethics, bioethics, etc.) ii. Morality as “Coming from Above” Moral laws are often said to come from God.
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