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Hornbook Ethics Exam Chapter 6-10
Terms in this set (31)
Explain the general notion of THE GOOD
THE GOOD is the highest purpose or function of man.
What is practical (as opposed to theoretical or speculative) reason?
Practical reason is reason applied to real life situations
What, specifically, is THE GOOD according to Aristotle?
For Aristotle, THE GOOD is action in accord with practical reason.
What are the main desirable features of theories in general and of ethical theories in particular?
All theories should be at least consistent and complete; moral theories should specify who they apply to and answer most of our questions as to what we may or may not do.
What is the Golden Mean and what does it have to do with virtue, vice, and morality as Aristotle sees these?
The Golden Mean is that point where there is neither excess nor deficiency.
For Aristotle, moral virtues are always the golden mean between vices of excess and deficiency.
According to Aristotle, what kind of virtues can be taught and what kind cannot be taught? How do we learn virtues that cannot be taught?
Aristotle says that intellectual virtues can be taught but moral virtues can only be learned by practice.
Why is the natural law theory called "natural"
It is called "natural" because, according to the theory, moral law is to be found in our nature.
What is the principle of totality?
The principle of totality says that a part may be modified only to restore a whole to its natural and proper function.
What is the principle of double effect and what conditions must be met for it to apply?
The principle of double effect says an act that has both a morally desirable and a morally undesirable outcome may be done provided
- The act is not itself evil
-Both good and bad outcomes arise equally immediately
-Only the good outcome is intended, and the good is at least as weighty as the bad.
How are "do ethics" and "be ethics" related?
For every do ethic, there is a corresponding be ethic, and vice versa.
What is THE GOOD according to
According to these theories, there is no such thing as THE GOOD!
What attitude, according to Cardwell, should we take initially towards Non-cognitivism, Nihilism, Skepticism, and Existentialism? Why?
We should accept them only as a last resort because they are sterile in the sense that if we start with them, we could never discover if they are in error.
What is the common principle that unites all existentialist?
All existentialist agree that, for man, existence precedes essence.
What is the central thesis of the Devine Command theory?
The Divine Command theory holds that an act is moral because and only because God says so.
It is said that cultural ethical relativism is based on the dubious empirical claim that there are no moral principles common to all societies. What are two additional serious objections to cultural ethical relativism?
Cultural ethical relativism says that morality is defined by the culture, Pluralism makes the theory collapse into individual relativism and the definitional aspect makes moral argument for change impossible.
If psychologist egoism were true, what "job" would ethicist be needed for?
If psychologist egoism were true, ethicists would be needed to help discover what is in fact in each person's long term interest.
What is THE GOOD for ethical egoist? ... for radical ethical altruist?
For ethical egoist, THE GOOD is one's own long-term self interest; for ethical altruist, it is everyone else's long term interests.
What serious common objection (related to moral standing) can be raised against, radical ethical egoism, radical ethical altruism, racism, sexism, and ageism?
These theories fail to treat persons of equal moral standing in like ways in like circumstances; i.e., they violate universality.
They so-called principle of utility is common to all utilitarian theories. What exactly does the principle of utility say?
The principle of utility; act so as to produce the maximum good for the maximum number.
What specifically is THE GOOD for Bentham and J.S Mill?
For Bentham and J.S Mill, THE GOOD is pleasure minus pain.
What specifically is THE GOOD for Bentham and J.S. Mill? For Bentham and J.S. Mill, THE GOOD is pleasure minus pain. Why do utilitarians disagree over whether the principle of utility is to apply at the level of acts, rules or codes?
They disagree because no matter what level one applies the principle, unintuitive results - problems - arise and these problems are only "solved" at a different level
In addition to the issue of whether the principle of utility best is to be applied at the level of acts, rules, or codes, what are three other serious problems internal to utilitarianism?
Utilitarians cannot agree on what the good is, how to measure it, or whether we are to maximize the number of individuals with higher good or the total good or the average overall good.
What are deontologists' three main objections to utilitarianism (regarding duty, justice, and Kant's "serpent windings")?
Deontologists say that utilitarianism ignores duty, ignores justice, and holds us responsible for outcomes, which we cannot control!
What specifically is THE GOOD for Kant?
For Kant, THE GOOD is rational autonomy
State the categorical imperative in each of its two most important forms:
1. Act so that you could will the maxim of your action to be a universal law.
2. Treat persons, including yourself, as ends in themselves and never as a means only
What is a maxim and how does one use it in a Kantian analysis of an ethical situation?
A maxim is a subjective principle of motivation. For a Kantian analysis, one considers whether the maxim is universaizable.
State five problems with or objections to Kant's deontology. Which of these are most serious?
It is (1) too abstract and difficult to apply (e.g., it demands that we know an actor's motives in order to judge the morality of his/her act); it (2) excludes too many acts from the moral domain, it (3) is too exclusive re moral standing; (4) it ignores outcomes; and (5) it provides no way of choosing among incompatible acts, each of which may conform with The Categorical Imperative. Number 5 is most serious
How are rights and duties related?
Right and duties are correlative; for each right there must be a corresponding duty and for each duty there must be a corresponding right.
Characterize each of the prima facie moral principles (autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, and justice) and say something about the relative importance of each.
Unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise (in approximate order of importance)
1. respect the informed, rational choices of others - Autonomy
2. do no harm - Nonmaleficence
3. help when you can - Beneficence
4. Give what's due to whom it is due - Justice
What feature common to the prima facie principles makes them good candidates for "first principles" in moral arguments?
These principles all follow from all or most of the moral theories that we have considered; hence they will be justified no matter which theory turns out to be the correct one.
What is Mill's principle of harm and what prima facie principle or principles does it follow from?
Mill says that we may interfere with an individual's action only to prevent harm to others. This follows from autonomy and nonmaleficence.
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