Psychological vs. Ethical egoism
Psychological Egoism claim that individuals do only what is in their own interest
This is descriptive, not prescriptive.
Psychological Egoism fails to give moral guidance it says this is what people do,
not what people s
Why Study Ethics?
Ideally, we would have a complete system of ethics which would tell us precisely what
to do and why in every possible situation. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be a
We will see that all systems of ethics have parti
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) extremely influential Prussian philosopher.
Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals (1785) - Kant argues that
human beings have a rational capacity which allows us to reason and
discover the moral rules written into the Universe
Ross' Two Principles for Conflict Resolution
1. Always do that which is in accord with the more pressing prima facie duty.
2. Always do that which bears the greatest amount of prima facie rightness over
prima facie wrongness.
Strengths of Intuitionism
deontological Greek deon= duty
there are higher standards or principles of morality which must be obeyed
the consequences of actions are irrelevant
Two Kinds of Non-Consequentialist Ethics
1. Act There are no general rules
Care Ethics Do women and men have the same moral sense?
Some ethicists claim that men are oriented toward justice and women are oriented
Carol Gilligan (1936-) - women and men think differently about ethics, and the unique
view of women sh
Characteristics of a Strong Ethical Theory
Contradictions should not arise when the theory is applied to life.
The theory should help individuals resolve moral issues.
Moral claims must not be based on subjective
Bioethics (life ethics) is concerned with establishing and maintaining proper
relationships between physicians and patients.
the greatest catalyst in our time for the renewed interest in applied ethics
Medical ethics or bioethics has become inc
Morality is Not Necessarily Religion-Based
The existence of God cannot be proven.
Those who are not religious may be moral.
It is difficult to be objective about morality if beginning from a religious perspective.
Different religions have dissimilar moral