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philosophical inquiry into nature and grounds of morality

moral standing

all beings who are covered by moral code

moral agency

being held accountable for choices made


capacity to make decisions on own; comes with living

conventional morality

basic rules that govern where you are

3 kinds of ethics

descriptive- rules that govern a culture; normative- moral rules and principles establishing universals, analytic



2 types of normative ethics

teleological-seeking to achieve goal; deontological- duty based, actions are good or bad in themselves

hedonistic utilitarianism

maximize pleasure, minimize displeasure

eudaimonistic utilitarianism

happiness is all

ideal utilitarianism

there are higher pleasures like shakespeare; higher aesthetic pleasures

act utilitarian

behaviors designed to maximize happiness; act on better utility

rule utilitarian

rules of thumb "one should not lie"


intrinsic (worthy of moral consideration) and instrumental (capacity to bring happiness to self and others) value


Intrinsic value is absolute, instrumental value is not important

rational autonomy

moral life is based on this, no using people as a means to an end

3 forms of moral law

must be universalizable, principle of ends, self acceptance of rule


we have higher and lower pleasures


virtue is middle ground between 2 extremes

Hauerwas and Burrell

moral understanding comes from narratives, we think narratively, virtue is shaped by communities, play by rules of narrative,

John Hick

We experience the world through our moral standing, perception--interpretation--signified--experience as

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