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Ethics Great Traditions - University of Montana Professor Strohl

Consequentialism The rightness or wrongness of an action depends on it's expected consequences.
Deontology (Kantianism) The rightness or wrongness of an action depends on whether rules are followed, also whether people are treated as ends or means.
Utilitarianism We should act so as to maximize over all utility (happiness).
Qualitative Hedonist Quality is determined by the most competent judges. You don't have to sacrifice a higher quality than a lower quality of pleasure.
Mill's problem with Bentham Mill argues that Bentham does not see that some pleasures are better than others.
Mill believes that you must consult a competent judge before taking an action.
Objection to Utilitarianism Too demanding. Paycheck example (donating 10 percent of your paycheck to a charity. Moral decision is where to donate the money, maximizing overall happiness.
Act Utilitarianism the right action is the one that produces the greatest amount of happiness or pleasure to the greatest number of beings.
Rule Utilitarianism You should follow rules designed to maximize overall happiness. Ex. Lying about something. If everyone lied about it it would weaken that principle.
External Sanctions Approval of fellow human beings.
Internal Sanctions Feeling of unity in our mind.
Rights Whatever we agree on as rights should never be violated.
Why is it important to have an absolute right to our private property rights? Mill believes that we are not happy unless we have security and if we don't have an absolute right to our private property we do not have security and therefore are not happy overall.
How is duty defined by Mill? Duty means following principle utility.
Bernard Williams believes the action is right for the best state of affairs and that in extreme cases Mill's theory breaks down eventually.
What project does the Utilitarian agent have? They have the project of maximizing overall happiness. The way we promote overall happiness is by pursuing lower order projects.
Why does Williams see a problem with Utilitarianism? He believes that it is self defeating because it tells us to maximize overall happiness, but is incompatible with having the type of deep commitment that is essential to the highest form happiness.
Phenonemona Appearances
Nomena Things in themselves
Autonomous Following a law you give yourself
Categorical imperative (1st Formulation) I ought never act accept in such a way that I could also will that my maxim become a universal law.
Maxim Principle you act on.
Claim 1 The only thing that is unconditionally good is a good will.
Good Will desire or intention to do good.
Claim 2 A good will is clearly exemplified only when one acts from duty without inclination.
Claim 3 Moral worth of an action depends on its maxim.
How does Kant feel people should act? Kant feels that people should act morally out of respect for the categorical imperative.
Claim 4 Acting from duty is acting out of respect for the law.
A Priori Independent of particular experience, like math, logic and reason.
A Posteriori Depending on experience, like biology and beliefs about your own desires.
How does Kant defend the categorical imperative in book 2? He defends it as an A Priori truth.
Hypothetical Good of an action depends on promoting some end.
Categorical The action is good in itself.
A Priori Argument If there is a categorical imperative you can't go out and do a survey to find it out by example. If there is a categorical imperative there has to be a representative as such. There has to be pure universality.
Grounds of our will example 1 Suicide -- This person does this out of self-love for them self. If you willed this on everyone you would not have a society left.
Grounds of our will example 2 Lying -- no one would trust if everyone lied.
Grounds of our will example 3 Laying around the pool. How could you will a universe that has all these people with abilities that do nothing to utilize them.
Grounds of our will example 4 Refraining from helping others. You could but you would not want to will that on society.
Narrow (unremitting) Contradictory
Wide (meritorious) You merely would not like that universe meritorious if you follow them. You follow it you are doing something good.
Argument of absolute worth and rational will Inclination - You put yourself as an end (non-instrumental). You value yourself when you will something you presuppose. You put yourself first as an end. You acknowledge yourself as an end.
Second Categorical Imperative Always act so as to use rational wills as ends in themselves never merely as means.
Unremitting duty Suicide is absolute. Helping people is meritorious and an unremitting duty.
Dignity The enviable value of a rational will.
Price is any good that can be equally exchanged for money.
Dignity There is not a price on it. (example - life)
Categorical imperative number 3 Act at all times as if your maxim were giving laws for a kingdom of ends.
Kingdom of ends Every member of it benefits each other by what the other does. Everyone trusts each other as an end in themselves.
Autonomy Giving yourself a law.
Heteronomy Natural inclination. (Ex. Peer pressure)
What is Rawls view of the categorical imperative? He sees it as a equal infiable dignity.
Original position (Rawls) He feels that people do not act under a "veil of ignorance" and think about how people would treat each other if they did not know what their position was in society.
1) Principles of Justice (Rawls) Everyone should have as many basic liberties as they can without infringing on the basic liberties of others.
2) Principles of Justice (Rawls) No social or economic inequalities unless: a) They benefit everyone b) They are attached to offices open to all
How does Rawls relate to Kant? He believes in the original position and that by doing so you are forced to fallow the categorical imperative.
Created by: JGILL40167