Ethics Power Point slides Lecture Notes Page

download report

Transcript Ethics Power Point slides Lecture Notes Page

ETHICS
Philosophy 120
Also known as
Religious Studies 120
Professor Marcella Norling
•
“We are discussing no small matter,
but how we ought live.”
Socrates, in Plato’s Republic
The Oxford English Dictionary
definition of PHILOSOPHY:
• Use of reason and argument in seeking
truth and knowledge of reality,
especially knowledge of the causes and
nature of things and of the principles
governing existence
• Particular system or set of beliefs
reached by this
Branches of Philosophy
• Epistemology: What is knowledge?
• Ontology: What is the nature of
existence?
• Aesthetics: What is beauty?
• Ethics: What should I do?
Ethics, or moral philosophy, ask basic
questions about the good life, about what
is better and worse, about whether there
is any objective right and wrong, and
about how we know it if there is.
An ethical theory is
• A systematic exposition of a particular
view about what is the nature and basis
of good or right
An ethical theory provides reasons or
norms for judging acts to be right or
wrong and attempts to give a
justification
DESCRIPTIVE: Factual,
describes what IS
NORMATIVE: Evaluative,
describes what SHOULD BE
WHAT
SHOULD
I DO?
EGOISM
You should act in your own best interest
UTILITARIANISM
You should act to create the greatest
good for the greatest number
KANTIANISM
You should do your moral duty by
following the Categorical Imperative:
• Form 1) Do only that which you would
will to be a universal law
• Form 2) Treat all people as ends, never
as merely means
VIRTUE ETHICS
You should be a good (virtuous) person
NATURAL LAW ETHICS
You should act in accordance with your
human nature and with the natural laws
of the universe
FEMINIST ETHICS
• Recognize and care for all people as
equally human, and attend ethically to
the full range of human experience
however shaped by gender.
If NO objective truth exists:
• Relativism: Do what your society says is
right
• Subjectivism: Do what you think is right
• Emotivism: Do what you feel is right
• Nihilism: Do whatever. Or not. Doesn’t
matter.
DIVINE COMMAND
• Do what your religion says is right
What is ethical relativism?
• The view that ethical values and beliefs
are relative to the various individuals or
societies that hold them.
• The view that NO objective right or
wrong exists.
Two forms of ethical
relativism:
• Cultural ethical relativism
• Individual ethical relativism
Arguments FOR and
AGAINST ethical relativism
• Moral Diversity
• Moral Uncertainty
• Situational Differences
Moral Diversity
• FOR ER:
• There is no
agreement on basic
moral principles
• AGAINST ER:
• Disagreement does
not prove there is no
truth.
• Some apparent
disagreements are
factual, not moral
Moral Uncertainty
• FOR ER
• We just don’t know
for sure what is
right, or if anything
is right or wrong
• AGAINST ER
• Maybe we just don’t
know YET
• We may be unsure if we
can know, but not
knowing does not prove
we can’t know
• We act as if we believe
some things are better
than other things
Situational Differences
• FOR ER:
• Times and places
are so different, one
moral code could
not possibly be right
for all
• AGAINST ER:
• There may be same
underlying values,
just expressed
differently
• Objective truth may
exist without being
absolute
Objective is not the same as
absolute
• OBJECTIVISM:
says truth
exists,objectively
• Something may be
right, good, true, but
exceptions may
exist in various
contexts
• ABSOLUTISM:
• Says rules or
principles have NO
EXCEPTIONS
• Context and the
particular are not
considered
Some attempts to come up
with a universal morality:
• Four Directives of the Parliament of the
World Religions
• United Religions Initiative
• United Nations Universal Declaration on
Human Rights
• Nuremberg Code
• Geneva Conventions
Declaration of the Parliament of the
World’s Religions (1993)
Four Irrevocable Directives
1. Commitment to a culture of non-violence and
respect for life
2. Commitment to a culture of solidarity and a
just economic order
3. Commitment to a culture of tolerance and a
life of truthfulness
4. Commitment to a culture of equal rights and
partnership between men and women.
Psychological Egoism
• The view that we all act in our own
interest all the time
• Descriptive: It is a claim about how
people ARE
• NOT an ethical theory, just a possible
foundation for a theory
Psychological Egoism
• Is TRUE because:
– We do what we want
so our actions are
selfish
– Even ‘unselfish’
actions bring us
pleasure
– People do what they
can get away with
• Is NOT True because:
– We sometimes act
out of a sense of
obligation
– Our own pleasure
may be a by-product
of unselfish actions,
not a motivation
ETHICAL EGOISM
• An ethical theory which claims that we
all SHOULD act in our own interest
• NORMATIVE, makes a claim about how
humans SHOULD act
Arguments for Ethical Egoism
• Psychological egoism is true; we all are
selfish, therefore we all should act
selfishly
• Since everyone else will be selfish you
should be too or you will lose out
• Everyone will be better off if we each
look after our own interests
Arguments against Ethical
Egoism
• Psychological egoism is untrue
• If PE is true, it is superfluous (unnecessary)
to tell us to act selfishly if we all do anyway
• Cannot get “Ought” from “Is” (if something IS
a certain way, does not prove it SHOULD be
that way)
Arguments against Ethical
Egoism (cont.)
• We seem inhuman if we truly do not
care about others; we ought not hurt
them even in self interest
• It is inconsistent and contradictory for
me to will you to act in your interest
when it may not be in my interest that
you do so
Famous Egoist: Thomas Hobbes
• Published “Leviathan” in
1651
• Without strong central
government, Hobbes
says we will be in a
“war of all against all”
• Life in time of war is
“solitary, poor, nasty,
brutish and short”
Famous Egoist: Adam Smith
• Published “Wealth of
Nations” in 1776
• Intellectual foundation
of capitalism
• Claims everyone will be
better off if we each act
in our own interest
• “Invisible hand” of free
market keeps balance
Famous Egoist: Ayn Rand
• Author, screenwriter
• Emigrated to US
from USSR in 1926
• Promoted egoism
which she called
“objectivism”, or
‘rational self-interest’
• Wrote “The Virtue of
Selfishness”
Hobbes’ LEVIATHAN
Ch XIII Of the Natural Condition of Mankind Concerning
their Felicity and Misery
• Nature hath made man so equal in the faculties of the
body and the mind…the weakest has strength to kill
the strongest…by secret machination or by
confederacy with others.
• As to the faculties of the mind…I find yet a greater
equality among men, for such is the nature of
men…they will hardly believe there be any so wise as
themselves.
• From this equality of ability arises equality of hope in
the attaining of our ends.
Hobbes’ LEVIATHAN
Ch XIII Of the Natural Condition of Mankind Concerning
their Felicity and Misery
• Hereby it is manifest that during the time men live
without a common power to keep them all in awe,
they are in that condition which is called war, and
such a war is of every man against every man.
• In such condition, there is no place for industry,
because the fruit thereof is uncertain…no
commodious building…no arts; no letters; no society;
continual fear and danger of violent death; and the
life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and
short.
Hobbes’ LEVIATHAN
Ch XIV Of the First and Second Natural Laws, and of
Contracts
• The Right of Nature is the liberty each man has to
use his own power…for the preservation of his
own…life.
• For as long as every man holds this right of doing
anything he likes, so long all men are in the condition
of war.
• Right is laid aside, either by simply renouncing it or
transferring it…
• The mutual transferring of right is that which men call
CONTRACT.
Hobbes’ LEVIATHAN
CH XV Of the Other Laws of Nature
• But when a covenant is made, to break it is
unjust: and the definition of INJUSTICE is no
other than the non-performance of the
covenant.
Hobbes’ LEVIATHAN
Part II: Of Commonwealth
Ch XVII Of the Causes, Generation, and Definition of a
Commonwealth
• …covenants without swords are but words…
• …the laws of nature… are contrary to our
natural passions…
• The only way to erect…a common power…is
to confer all their power and strength upon
one man or upon one assembly of men…
Utilitarianism
• We should act to create the GREATEST
GOOD for the GREATEST NUMBER
• GGGN
Jeremy Bentham
• Godfather to JS Mill
• Promoted utilitarian
ideas
• Created the Hedonic
Calculus to measure
pleasure
Bentham’s Hedonic Calculus
• The Hedonic
Calculus is an
instrument for
measuring the
amount of pleasure
to be created by a
particular act
•
•
•
•
Intensity
Duration (length of time)
Certainty (likelihood)
Propinquity (proximity,
nearness in space/time)
• Fecundity (fertility, ability
to increase upon itself)
• Purity (pleasure minus the
amount of pain )
• Extent (effects overall)
John Stuart Mill
• ‘Utilitarianism” 1861
• Godson of Jeremy
Bentham
• Raised on principle
of utility by Bentham
and Mill Sr.
• Improved upon
Bentham’s ideas on
utility
• INTRINSIC good: Good in and of itself
• INSTRUMENTAL good: Good for
getting to something else
• MILL said we must measure
both QUANTITY and
QUALITY when measuring
pleasures
• MILL said there are
HIGHER and LOWER
pleasures.
Humans can appreciate
higher pleasures; pigs
cannot.
• ACT Utilitarianism: Consider the
consequences of this act alone
• RULE Utilitarianism: Consider the
consequences of this act as a general
practice (if most people did it most of
the time)
Immanuel Kant
• 1785, published
Fundamental
Principles of the
Metaphysics of
Morals
Kant’s Categorical Imperative
Form One
I. I am never to act otherwise than so that
I could also will that my maxim should
become a universal law
(Modern version: Do only that which you
would will to be a universal law)
Kant’s Categorical Imperative
Form Two
II. So act as to treat humanity, whether in
thine own person or in that of any other,
in every case as an end withal, never as
a means only
(Modern version: Treat all people,
yourself included, as an end, never as
merely a means)
Nothing can possibly be conceived in
the world, or even out of it, which can
be called good without qualification,
except a Good Will.
Even if it should.... lack power to
accomplish its purpose... like a jewel, it
would still shine by its own by its own
light, as a thing which has whole value
in itself
• Kant’s four examples of how to apply
the Categorical Imperative:
1.Suicide
2. Lying Promise
3. Rusting Talents
4. Aid the Needy
• How to become virtuous, according to
Aristotle:
• 1. Practice habits of virtue
Intellectual virtues: can learn from a teacher
-Moral virtues: can only learn through
experience and habit
2. Aim for the Golden Mean
The Golden Mean is the midpoint between
extremes, between deficiency and excess
• An example of the midpoint is the virtue
of courage:
• Too little=cowardly
• Courage= just enough (the mean)
• Too much=foolhardy
• 3. Strive for excellence (arete)
• Develop your character to be the best it
can be
• The word “natural” can mean
• The Norm: characteristic of most
members of a species
• Right purpose: Using something as
intended, for its intended purpose
• Occurring in nature: not created
artificially, happens on its own without
human intervention
• Sociobiology:
Systematic study of the biological basis of
all forms of societal behavior in all
species
• St. Thomas Aquinas accomplished the
GREAT SYNTHESIS
• Combining Aristotle with Christianity to
produce a religiously based concept of
the ordered universe with natural laws
operating in it
Natural Law? Used and abused:
Social Darwinism: Applies biological
principles to societal constructs; survival
of the fittest; justified exploitation of
workers by industrialists
Racism: Presumes biological inferiority of
some groups; used to justify slavery,
legal inequality, limit access to goods
Sexism: Woman and men “naturally” have
different roles; used to justify unequal
legal, educational, and economic rights
DO men and women reason
differently about morality?
IF men and women reason
differently about morality, WHY
might that be?
• Explanations for a difference MIGHT
include:
• BIOLOGY
• SOCIAL TRAINING
• PSYCHOSEXUAL DEVELOPMENT
BIOLOGICAL INFLUENCES
• Brain structure
• Hormones
• Physical strength/ body and muscle
mass
• Being able to get pregnant
• Giving birth
SOCIAL/CULTURAL
INFLUENCE
•
•
•
•
Socialization from birth
Education
Expectations (vocational, familial)
Role training as caregivers
PSYCHOSEXUAL
DEVELOPMENT
• Freud
• Male life task: differentiate from
feminine, develop autonomy
• Female life task: seek similarity to, and
relationship with, feminine
Traditional Ethical
Perspectives
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
FEMININE:
Responsibility
Relationship
Solidarity
Personal
Partial
Private
Natural
Feeling
Compassionate
Concrete
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
MASCULINE:
Rights
Individual
Autonomy
Impersonal
Impartial
Public
Contractual
Reason
Fair
Universal
Traditional justice theories of
Ethics see people as:
•
•
•
•
Detached (digital, isolated units)
Self-sufficient
Equal in social power
Calculators and planners
Traditional idea of rationality :
• Leaves out a lot
• Exaggerates the role of reason
• Is a highly abstract idealization
CARE ETHICS
• We are all embedded in a web of social
relationships
• Ideal self of other theories is false, and
it is not the only model
• Morally crucial work takes place in
‘private’ areas of lives