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Ethics Terms-

Ethics the moral standards by which people judge behavior.
Morality principles of right and wrong in conduct; ethics
“Book of the Dead” Egyptian,(1600 BCE), described the proper conduct needed for a happy afterlife
Hammurabi’s Code one of the earliest legal codes (1760 BCE), established standards of behavior and listed crimes and their various punishments.
Legend of “Gilgamesh” a long poem from ancient Mesopotamia (2150 BCE-2000 BCE) recounts legends and myths about the hero-king Gilgamesh and suggests that one “fulfills one’s destiny through service and fidelity to whatsoever becomes one responsibility.”
The Hebrew Torah comprises the first five books (Genesis; Exodus; Leviticus; Numbers and Deuteronomy) of the Hebrew Bible (the Tanakh); legal and ethical systems, consists of the Ten Commandments and other rules, such as 613 mitzvot
Hero Stories exemplified virtues, encapsulated moral instruction
Thales (c.585 BCE) thought water was foundation of everything
Democritus (460 – 360 BCE) atomists, things consist of an infinite number of particles.
Democritus Known as the ‘laughing philosopher’ because of his emphasis on the value of "cheerfulnes"
Socrates (470 – 399 BCE) “knowledge is virtue”
Socrates (470 – 399 BCE) “had to drink hemlock poison as prison sentence
Socrates (470 – 399 BCE) “None of his teachings are written down, just preserved in Plato’s plays. Aristotle said Socrates created “inductive arguments and universal definitions”
Socrates (470 – 399 BCE) “striving for good is the condition of all humans and the soul is a person’s conscious personality
Socratic method keep questioning to discover truth, ask searching questions
Sophists from different cultures, questioned Athenians whether religious morals were conventional – thus changeable – or natural – permanent.
Sophists Taught rhetoric – persuasive speech.
Sophists Charged fees for their lectures, Plato called them “shopkeepers”.
Sophists argued for a moral philosophy of relativism (conduct or morals cannot be reduced to concepts or principles; it isn’t possible to know the "true" nature of anything because perceptions differ from person to person), one based on self-interest
Protogoras (490 – 420 BCE) Sophists, “man is the measure of all things…”
Gorgias Sophists, denied there was any truth at all
Thrasymachus (400’s BCE) Sophists, thought people should pursue their own interests at any expense
Plato (428 - 348BCE) convinced we could if we could discover the real objects behind all the shadows, and thereby attain true knowledge. saw morality as a quest to live by Virtues (Courage; Justice; Temperance; Wisdom)
Plato Socrates student
Plato The Cave –ones perception changes, education is like leading people out of a cave and changing their perceptions
Plato Divided Line – There is some degree of knowledge at every point, with the lowest point being the visible world and imaging and the highest point intelligible knowledge: imagining, belief, thinking, perfect intelligence – Plato
Plato Concept of soul - reason, spirit, appetite
Aristotle (384 – 322 BCE) invented logic, metaphysics (what does it mean to “be”)
Aristotle advocated living by the Golden Mean (the desirable middle between two extremes, between excess and inadequacy).
Aristotle Four causes of change – what is it? Of what is it made of? By what is it made? For what end is it made?
Aristotle Right reason – when the rational part of soul controls the irrational part of soul
Aristotle Ethics “Right Action” – “What is the good of man?” “an activity of the soul in conformity with virtue”, doing what is morally right out of sense of duty. Incomplete because don’t take into account character
Aristotle Plato's student
Epicurus (342 – 270 BCE) relied on Democritus atomic theory. Chief aim of life is pleasure, but not “eat, drink and be merry” or gluttony, more “pleasures of the mind”
Stoics Cannot control events, but can control attitude toward what happens. “we have nothing to fear, but fear itself”. God is in everything. Providence is determined by god. Universal brotherhood due to “spark” carried by all people
Heroclitus Stoic, fiery beginning
Zeno Stoic, founder
Stoics valued courage and acceptance of one's role in life
Skeptics Socratic form of doubt; maintained that that human knowledge was limited and uncertain
Pyrrho Stoic, (363-270BC), greatest good comes from peace of mind, accept our limits
Neo-Platonists it is the soul that is primary and gives form to the body.
Neo-Platonists Became a decisive element during the Middle Ages; believed that salvation could be found in a mystical union with God.
Plotinus Neo-Platonists, (204 ca- 270ce) – • Virtue Ethics – Socrates, fulfilling one’s function
The Cardinal Virtues (Plato) temperance, courage, wisdom, justice (Aristotle) Generosity, Good Temper, Friendship, Self respect, Honor, Shame, Pride, Truthfulness
Ethical egoism each person ought to do whatever will promote his/her own interests
Utilitarianism we ought to do whatever will promote the greatest happiness for the greatest number
Kant’s theory our duty is to follow rules that are considered “universal rules”, rules that apply to all people in all circumstances
Social contract theory the right thing to do is follow the rules that rational, self-interested people agree upon to their mutual benefit
Friedrich Nietzsche (1840 – 1900) all people have different virtues
Empiricism philosophical doctrine that says all knowledge is derived from our senses
John Locke (1632-1704) Empiricism, moral behavior is based on pleasure (good) and pain (evil). We decide morality by our senses. Locke thought that morals could be proved just as mathematical problems could be proved.
David Hume (1711-1776) Empiricism,placed more emphasis on feelings than most previous philosophers arguing that moral assessments are emotional reactions
Utilitarianism is considered a consequentialist
Utilitarianism Consequentialist, moral philosophy (ethics based on acting in whatever way results in the best consequences).
Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) Utilitarianism, strongly opposed capital punishment. He believed that legal punishment should be adapted to fit the crime.
Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) Utilitarianism, did not believe that sexual behavior should be legislated as long as it caused no harm to others
Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) Utilitarianism, believed euthanasia was morally correct, the phrase "greatest good”
Hedonic Calculus Jeremy Bentham) Utilitarianism, how to calculate effect according to INTENSITY, DURATION, CERTAINTY, PROPINQUITY, FECUNDITY, PURITY, EXTENT
John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) Utilitarianism, he theorized that "higher happiness" is the goal of humankind. His thinking moved past the idea of quantity of happiness to the quality of happiness.
Auguste Comte (1798-1857) Utilitarianism, theory of Positivism. Comte believed that knowledge derived from science could be applied to the social realm. He maintained that if something could not be reduced to fact, it isn't real. Positivism
Positivism Utilitarianism, genuine knowledge is acquired only by science and that metaphysical speculation has no validity.
Social contract theory people give up some of their natural rights to a government in exchange for social order
Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679) Social contract theory, main author, Leviathon, Politically, the "consent of the governed".
Social Contact Theory would not ask people to do anything that they wouldn't do for others with the expectation that the same set of rules would be followed by everyone else.
Reciprocity Social contract theory
Homer (700 BCE) Odyssey and Illiad, ascribed moral consistency to gods
Thales (c.585 BCE) thought water was foundation of everything,
Anaximander (c.610–c.546 BCE) indeterminate boundless, all life came from the sea,
Anaximenes (6th.century BCE) air is foundation of everything, quality determined by quantity of something.
Hesiod(700 BCE) thought in terms of traditional mythology with human-like gods, “What are things really like?” “How can we express the process of change?”
Pythagoras (570 – 497 BCE) thought math was ultimate purity, concept of form
Heraclitus (540 – 480 BCE) all things are in change – fire and flux
Paramenides (510 BCE-) something is or is not – dumb theory “cat on carpet”
Zeno (489 BCE) 4 paradoxes,a runner cannot win a race because a line has infinite points yet a race is won in a finite measure of time – another dumb theory
Empedocles (490 – 439 BCE) everything part of 4 elements; air, water, fire, and earth
Anaxagoras (500 – 428 BCE) everything consists of mind and matter, reason as a separate quality
Leucippus & Democritus (460 – 360 BCE) atomists, things consist of an infinite number of particles
The Divine Command Theory god is the law-giver; morally right is following commands of God, morally wrong is going against God’s commands • The Theory of Natural Law
Theory of Natural Law laws of nature not only describe how things are but how they ought to be
Theory of Natural Law God has a plan for the universe which creates the rational order
Immanuel Kant (b. 1724-1804) one of philosophy's most important figures.
Immanuel Kant He both lived during and helped define the Age of Enlightenment
Immanuel Kant He did not think personal freedom was a right to be bestowed but rather it was the natural expression of all humans.
Immanuel Kant He was a fervent believer in the rights of freedom of thought and speech
Hypothetical Imperative Kant, you have a desire to do or have something. In order to achieve the desire you have a series of oughts--that is, non-moral actions that will get you what you wish to achieve.
Categorical Imperative Kant, comes to us through reason. An act is categorical if it is something that applies to everyone in all instances, must be acted on the same way and every time the situation arises
Maxim Kant, is a procedure for reasoning if an act is morally permissible and if it is a moral obligation.
Absolute Rules Kant, allow us to be moral agents whose conduct is guided by universal laws.
Universalizability Kant, the applicability of a moral rule to all
Dignity Kant, the unconditional respect and esteem all humans should receive just in virtue of being rational and human.
Retributivism Kant, punishment can only address the crime, and it must be proportionate to the crime. This is clearly akin to the Biblical adage, "an eye for an eye."
Cultural Relativism What is thought of as “right” in one culture is “abhorrent” in another
Cultural Relativism there is no such thing as universal truth in ethics, only cultural codes
Cultural Relativism take pride in tolerance of other cultures
Cultural Relativism right and wrong are matters of opinion, and opinions vary from culture to culture
Cultural differences argument there is no reason to believe that just because there are 2 different opinions both can be correct; one of them could be simply wrong, or mistaken
Cultural differences argument can’t object to another culture – even if it is repressive or cruel
Cultural differences argument can’t object to own culture – even if it is repressive or cruel
Cultural differences argument there would be no progress, such as women’s rights or human rights
Universal Values Concepts that are recognized by all human beings and societies as morally good
Universal Values honesty/ truth, not harming others/murder, care of children, fairness
Ethical Subjectivism there are no objective moral truths, only feelings about moral behavior
David Hume (Empiricism) Ethical Subjectivism, no such hing as virtue or vice, only feelings about something
Simple Subjectivism When a person says that something is morally good or bad, this means that he/she/approves of that thing, or disapproves of it
Simple Subjectivism can’t account for disagreement, yet both can’t always be right
Simple Subjectivism interprets ethical sentences as statements of fact; specifically the speakers attitude
Emotivism second stage of Ethical Subjectivism, moral or ethical judgments are expression of attitudes, not moral truths.
Charles Stevenson (1908- 1979) Emotivism,language is used in a variety of ways – to convey information, to command, and to influence
Emotivism Makes a distinction between attitudes and feelings
Ethical Egoism how things should be, acting in your own self-interest is moral
Ann Rand Ethical Egoism, individual life is so precious that it is of the highest moral value and should never be sacrificed to anything or anyone else
Psychological Egoism how things are - It is natural to act exclusively in your own self-interest
Altruism acting for the sake of others regardless of self
Principle of Equal Treatment people should be treated in the same way unless there is a relevant difference between them
Created by: nlwood