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IB Philosophy -- Ethics and Moral Philosophy
Terms in this set (86)
Any moral theory that equips us with instruction on how one "ought" to behave in any given situation
Explores the status, foundations, and scope of moral values, properties, and words, from "above" so to speak
Focus on what is moral in everyday modern issues and choices
Normative ethical theory that promotes the greatest good for the greatest number of people
Founder of utilitarianism who believed that decision was governed by pleasure and pain
From the Greek for "pleasure", seeking it above all else
Bentham's famous series of questions to heirarchically place pleasures/pains
person who engages in any moral or immoral activity
person who bears the outcome of moral action
John Stuart Mill
Author of On Liberty, redefined utilitarianism to include "higher" and "lower" pleasures
Mill defined it as "the maximation of pleasure and the minimization of pain"
Principle of Utility
Moral command to create the greatest good for the greatest number.
Utilitarianism which judges each decision based on its own merits.
Utiltarianism which emphasizes hard societal rules that lead to the greatest happiness/good
Concerned with the maximisation of pleasure, and has been criticised by some philosophers as an overly idealistic aim.
Concerned with the minimisation of pain and is seen by many to be more pragmatic.
The theory that holds that happiness is not the only thing that is independently good, but includes truth, beauty, education,freedom, and virtue
Modern Cambridge philosopher considered an "ideal utilitarian," arguing that happiness is not the only ideal
promotes actions that fulfill the happiness of the beings involved
preference utilitarian who most famously advocated for the rightrs of animals
the doctrine that the morality of an action is to be judged soley by its outcome
theory which denies that an action is right or wrong because of its consequences, duty-based morality
deontological ethicist who wrote Critique of Pure Reason and Critique of Practical Reason who argued for "categorical imperatives" instead of hypothetical ones
Critique of Pure Reason
one of the most influential works by Immanuel Kant history of philosophy
Kant's idea of a rule that should always be followed without exception and in all cases and for every person
Kant's idea of a rule that is generally good to follow but can have exceptions, but still as a means to an end
an approach to Ethics that emphasizes an individual's character as the key element of ethical thinking, rather than rules about the acts themselves or their consequences
original Greek moral theorists who believed moral truths reside in essence of holiness, justice, prudence, and other 'forms"
Greek author of Nichomachean Ethics who advocated for a virtuous mean between two vices, one of excess, one of deficiency
book by Aristotle, inquiry into the nature of the good life for a human being.
Greek term for "character' -- base root for term ethics
Greek term for happiness, excellence, or "the good life," the ultimate goal, Aristotle
Aristotle's idea: virtue is a mean state between extreme vices of excess and deficiency
modern Scottish philosopher who reawakened Aristotelian virtue ethics in the book After Virtue.
written by Alasdair MacIntyre; thesis is that what we have in the way of moral language is left over from a way of thinking long since abandoned
ethics based on a community
Four Rules of Medical Ethics
autonomy, justice, beneficence, non-maleficence
those who believe that ethical statements can be understood as truths through reason
those who believe that ethical statements are only value judgments, not reasonable truths
the meta-ethical view that there exist such things as moral facts and moral values as an independent category of right and wrong
There are such things as moral facts, which are discovered not through reason but through a sixth sense similar to instinct
the problem of moral compulsion; why should I behave in a certain way if I don't want to?
non-cognitive ethical theory that regards ethical and value judgments as expressions of feeling or attitude
English emotivist who concluded that becuase moral statements were not claims to knowledge, they were not fit for philosophical study and should be consigned to a separate class of statements, which he termed 'factually nonsensical'
a statement is true by definition such as 'all sisters are female'
ethical sentences do not express propostions, but emotional attitiudes
the theory that knowledge of a subject is inevitably partial and limited by the individual perspective from which it is viewed
Oxford "Prescriptivist" moral philosopher who who argued that morality is an expression of human emotion and thus cannot be awarded fact status
view that at least some moral values are universal and apply to all individuals and cultures
moral values are relative to the individual
different cultures have different moral codes, so there is no objective truth in morality, and right and wrong are only matters of opinion
the rejection of all religious and moral principles, often in the belief that life is meaningless.
German Philosophy; 1st Nihilist from his book The Fourfold Foot of Sufficient Reason; believed that there was no good reason to believe in moral truth
German philosopher, cultural critic, poet, philologist, Existentialist. Wrote Beyond Good and Evil, The Genealogy of Morals, and Thus Spake Zarathustra; said "God is Dead" and created modern notion of the Ubermensch (Superman) who truly expresses his "Will To Power"
a philosophical theory or approach that emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent determining their own development through acts of the will; dismisses rules in favor of creating "authentic individuals"
Danish philosopher, theologian, and cultural critic seen as the father of Existentialism; In Fear And Trembling, he argued that even religious faith had to be an authentic relationship with God; said "The Crowd is Untruth!"
Jean Paul Sartre
French Existentialist novelist, playwright, and philosopher; Author of Age of Reason and Existentialism And Humanism; most important post-WWII voice of Existentialism
authenticity is derived from the natural self, genuineness, and self-fulfillment; whereas inauthenticity is a result of external influences.
normative ethical theory that moral agents ought to do what is in their own self-interest; also called Objectivism
Objectivist novelist of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead who espoused Ethical Egoism and "the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute. "
The Ethics of Authenticity
book by Charles Taylor that attempts to rescue the modern idea of authenticity from its critics.
3 Malaises of Modernity
Individualism, Instrumental Reason, and Soft Despotism
Taylor: a belief in the sovereignty and priority of the individual in society
Taylor: notion of reason or rationality that values efficiency above all other goods; treats people as means to an end, not end in themselves
Taylor: Alexis De Tocqueville's term for a society in which most of its members have given up an active role in the ordering of society only to discover that society and government is run by an "immense tutelary power" which endangers political liberty and discourages participation.
Horizons of Significance
Taylor: "backgrounds of intelligibility", the "background against which our tastes and desires and opinions and aspirations make sense"
dialogical character of human life
Taylor; humans are capable of understanding themselves only through the shared languages of humand expression and in dialogue with one another
La Lotta Continua
Taylor: The "perpetual struggle" between individualism/authenticity and society/culture/horizons of significance.
The "Iron Cage"
Taylor: Max Weber's metaphor for modern society's self-imposed captivity to technology and instrumental forms of reason
Taylor: Percy Bysshe Shelley's notion of artistic and poetic language, or "something defined and created as well as manifested."
Taylor: Modernity's cheerleaders: those who embrace the consequences of Modernity and believe that its rejection will lead to societal regress
Taylor: Modernity's critics: those believe that modern individualism and instrumental reason lead to a culture of narcissism, endangering moral horizons and political liberty.
Ethical theory which emphasizes empathy for others
American philosopher and author of Caring: A Feminine Approach To Ethics and Moral Education
Myth of Gyges
Plato's story of a mythical king who owned a magical ring to make him invisible; good example to question consequentialism
Divine Command Theory
What is right and wrong is defined by God
German logical positivist who said about ethics "that about which we cannot speak, we must pass over in silence."
modern philosopher who argues that human default response to authority is obedience, such as in the military or police force
German word for the enjoyment obtained from the suffering of others
denying someone the status of personhood
animal ethicist who argues for the intrinsic value of all human and non-human life in symbiotic ecosystems; precluding, for instance, both animal and human medical testing
Aristotle's term for person of practical wisdom (virtue), who does not teach virtue, but is observed and learned from.
Anthropologist who analyzed the role of heroic archetypes in every culture's ethics, in The Power of Myth and Masks of the Gods
Nietzsche's "superman" or "overman" who transcends conformity and achieves authenticity in the will to power.
Harry Frankfurt's description of the distinctly human quality of forming desires about their desires, opinions about their opinions
French post-modern philosopher who examined the assumptions of modern institutions, like the inherent violence in prisons and militaries, as well as the marginalization of those labeled "insane", "deviant", etc. Ethics, for him was not about moral philosophy, but about the intentional work done to orient one's self to a moral agency.
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