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16 terms

Introduction to Philosophy and Ethics

STUDY
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philosophy
"the love of wisdom"
subject matter of philosophy
1. the most fundamental and universal issues of human life, in particular: being, knowledge, beauty, and morality [studied in the major branches of philosophy]
2. fundamental principles of other disciplines, such as math, music, law, etc. [studied in the minor branches of philosophy]
method used in philosophy
1. "love" -- an attitude of desire for and openness to the truth; willingness to engage in open-minded inquiry and to reject prejudices and preconceptions
2. rational analysis and argument -- philosophy avoids using emotion, faith, and other non-rational psychological capacities
major branches of philosophy
1. metaphysics
2. epistemology
3. aesthetics
4. ethics
minor branches of philosophy
provide fundamental principles to other disciplines; too many to list; most begin with "philosophy of . . ."; thus: philosophy of language, philosophy of math, philosophy of science, etc.
metaphysics
the branch of philosophy that studies being, existence, or reality
epistemology
the branch of philosophy that studies knowledge
ethics
the branch of philosophy that studies morality
aesthetics
the branch of philosophy that studies beauty, art, and the experience of pleasure
branches of ethics
1. descriptive ethics
2. normative ethics
3. applied ethics
4. metaethics
descriptive ethics
the branch of ethics that describes people's ethical behavior, language, and experiences without making normative judgments about it; a part of the social sciences rather than philosophy; not really studied in PHI 220
normative ethics
the branch of ethics that attempts to give a rational account of morality by producing theories of right and wrong
applied ethics
the branch of ethics that applies normative theories to specific issues such as abortion, euthanasia, business, war, politics, etc.
metaethics
the branch of ethics that studies normative ethics; explains the meaning and logical structure of moral beliefs and theories; explains what normative ethics is and what it means to practice it; discusses the status of moral knowledge, especially whether that knowledge is objective or subjective
normative claim
a statement that makes a value judgment
descriptive claim
a statement that describes a fact, but makes no value judgment about it