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17 terms

Ethics

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Aristotle
gives us principle of equality. Interested in a whole range of virtues. "Equals should be treated equally and those who are unequal unequally." virtue and nature of virtue
Socrates
Universalism
Ruth Benedict
cautioned observers against ethnocentricism - using the standards of their own culture to evaluate their subjects of study. "Morals do not exist. Only customs exist."- Cultural Relativism
Leo Tolstoy
Cultural relativism --- "After the Ball: A Tale" (man can be "loving father" one moment and a brutal sadist the next and there is not supposed to be any inconsistency) ----his writings show intense concern with ethical and existential questions and eventually religious questions.
Frederick Douglass
Universalism - critiqued the cultural relativism and talked about slavery being wrong.
Mary Midgley
She reflects philosophically on difficulties having to do with moral judgement. She argues against moral skepticism and that morality is a personal opinion. - Emotivism.
P.D. James
English crime writer. Many of her works take place in the backdrop of the UK's bureaucracies such as the criminal justice system and the health services, in which she worked
Jonathan Bennet
Cultural Relativism - acted AGAINST conscience rightly. Thinks that moral judgments can be an independent source of motivation. Argues that our feelings should often be allowed to correct our judgements.
Alan Donagan
Acted ON conscience rightly. Huckfin story and false conscience said huck really did go with his conscience but couldn't articulate it.
Fyodor Dostoevsky
critiques reason and supposed morality of actions that might improve overall happiness figure importantly. Using reason for a good structure for society.
J.S. Mill
founder of utilitarianism (classical). happiness and hedonism -(pleasure is the only intrinsic good). British classical literal thinker, "greatest happiness principle"
Bernard Williams
moral luck - thinks utilitarians distort the nature of moral thinking. "character can't be accounted for by utillitarian." wanted to find a moral philosophy that was accountable to history, politics, psychology, and culture.
Henry James
He starts with a Positivist viewpoint --for him established by psychological facts. "concepts arise out of the necessity of organizing the confused facts of experience" He concludes that in the area of religious commitment, belief can create its own truth through the effects created in the experience of the believer by his "willing nature" - Belief in God is thus pragmatically justified if it makes a positive difference in the experience of the believer.
Stanley Milgram
Obedience is as basic an element in the structure of social life as one can point to. Some system of authority is a requirement for communal living. "deviance" is seen as a danger in society or rebelling because it shakes social structure.
Anthony Trollope
He is a kind of moralist (2 husbands story) He focused on realism vs. rationalism. His insights into the self deception and hypocrisies that infect daily life. The notion of DUTY as what must or must not be done no matter what.
Immanuel Kant
Categorical Imperative - doesn't believe in moral luck. Presents us with categorical imperative, critic of utilitarian and happiness principle. Believed wrong actions are those ailing under maxims that can't be willed universally without contradiction. Believes that only a good will is unconditionally good and only it confers moral worth and a person might be kind but still fail to have good will. (Brother visiting in hospital story)
Jean-Paul Sartre
Existentialism - went to Karl Marx's writings, went into Marxism to give a philosophical base to Marxism and on that basis to investiate further the dialectic of history and its intelligibility. Dialectical reasoning

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