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24 Cards in this Set

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Heteronomy
For Kant, heteronomy is the opposite of autonomy. Whereas an autonomous person is one whose will is self-determined, a heteronomous person is one whose will is determined by something outside of the person, such as overwhelming emotions. Etymologically, heteronomy goes back to the Greek words for "other" and "law."
Emotivism
A philosophical theory which holds that moral judgments are simply expressions of positive or negative feelings.
Moral Isolationism
The view that we ought not to be morally concerned with, or involved with, people outside of our own immediate group. Moral isolationism is often a consequences of some versions of moral relativism.
Consequentialism
Any position in ethics which claims that the rightness or wrongness of actions depends on their consequences.
Psychologism Egoism
The doctrine that all human motivation is ultimately selfish or egoistic.
Areté
The Greek word for "excellence" or "virtue." For the Greeks, this was not limited to human beings. A guitar, for example, has its areté in producing harmonious music, just as a hammer has its excellence or virtue in pounding nails into wood well. So, too, the virtue of an Olympic swimmer is in swimming well, and the virtue of a national leader lies in motivating people to work for the common good.
Moral Ballpark
The domain of actions, motives, traits, etc. that are open to moral assessment, that is, can be said to be morally good or morally bad.
Compatibilism
The belief that both determinism and freedom of the will are true.
Morality
"Morality" refers to the first-order beliefs and practices about good and evil by means of which we guide our behavior. Contrast with Ethics, which is the second-order, reflective consideration of our moral beliefs and practices.
Ethical Egoism
Ethical Egoism. A moral theory that, in its most common version (universal ethical egoism) states that each person ought to act in his or her own Self-interest. Also see Psychological Egoism.
Noumenal
A Kantian term that refers to the unknowable world as it is in itself. According to Kant, we can only know the world as it appears to us, as a phenomenon. We can never know it as it is in itself, as a noumenon. The adjectival forms of these two words are "phenomenal" and "noumenal," respectively.
Absolutism.
The belief that there is one and only one truth; those who espouse absolutism usually also believe that they know what this absolute truth is. In ethics, absolutism is usually contrasted to relativism.
Inclination
This is the word that Kant used (actually, he used the German word Neigung) to refer to our sensuous feelings, emotions, and desires. Kant contrasts inclination with reason. Whereas inclination was seen as physical, causally-determined, and irrational, reason was portrayed as non-physical, free, and obviously rational.
Agnosticism
The conviction that one simply does not know whether God exists or not; it is often accompanied with a further conviction that one need not care whether God exists or not.
Naturalism
In ethics, naturalism is the theory that moral values can be derived from facts about the world and human nature. The naturalist holds that "is" can imply "ought."
Universalizability
Immanuel Kant used this term when discussing the maxims, or subjective rules, that guide our actions. A maxim is universalizable if it can consistently be willed as a law that everyone ought to obey. The only maxims which are morally good are those which can be universalized. The test of universalizability ensures that everyone has the same moral obligations in morally similar situations.
Natural Law
In ethics, believers in natural law hold (a) that there is a natural order to the human world, (b) that this natural order is good, and (c) that people therefore ought not to violate that order.
Skepticism
There are two senses of this term. In ancient Greece, the skeptics were inquirers who were dedicated to the investigation of concrete experience and wary of theories that might cloud or confuse that experience. In modern times, skeptics have been wary of the trustworthiness of sense experience. Thus classical skepticism was skeptical primarily about theories, while modern skepticism is skeptical primarily about experience.
Phronesis
According to Aristotle, Phronesis is practical wisdom, the ability to make the right decision in difficult circumstances.
Pluralism
The belief that there are multiple perspectives on an issue, each of which contains part of the truth but none of which contain the whole truth. In ethics, moral pluralism is the belief that different moral theories each capture part of truth of the moral life, but none of those theories has the entire answer.
Particularity
contracted w/ universality refers to specific attachments (friendships, loyalties, etc.) and desires (fundamental projects, personal hopes in life) that are usually seen as morally irrelevant to the rational moral self.
Supererogatory
Literally, "above the call of duty." A supererogatory act is one that is morally good and that goes beyond what is required by duty. Some ethical theories, such as certain versions of utilitarianism, that demand that we always do the act that yields the most good have no room for supererogatory acts.
Naturalistic Fallacy
any argument which attempts to define the good in any terms whatsoever, including naturalistic terms; for Moore, Good is simple and indefinable. Some philosophers, most notably defenders of naturalism, have argued that Moore and others are wrong and that such arguments are not necessarily fallacious.
Utilitarianism
A moral theory that says that what is moral right is whatever produces the greatest overall amount of pleasure (hedonistic utilitarianism) or happiness (eudaimonistic utilitarianism). Some utilitarians (act utilitarians) claim that we should weigh the consequences of each individual action, while others (rule utilitarians) maintain that we should look at the consequences of adopting particular rules of conduct