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66 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Normative ethics
The study of the values and guidelines by which we live
Applied ethics
The application of normative ethics to actual cases
Theoretical ethics (aka Metaethics)
The justification of these values and guidelines. These justifications involve skill in moral reasoning and critical thinking.
Metaphysics (aka ontology)
The nature of reality or being
* What is real?
* What is reality?
* Does God exist?
The theory of knowledge
* What is knowledge?
* How is it diff from opinion?
* What can we know?
A purely formal (like truth) discipline
* What forms of arguments are valid?
* Which are sound?
The study of value(s)
The study of moral value
* What ought humans to be?
* Are moral values abolute or relative?
The study of artistic value
Ethics fits into what group?
Every good moral theory should have?
1) Moral reasoning
2) Impartiality
Two kinds of statements are?
Descriptinve and prescriptive
What kind of statement tells us what "is" (a fact)
Descriptive statements
What kind of statement tells us what "ought" to be (a value)
Prescriptive statements
Made up of two or more propositions, one of which is supported by the
In logic, is a statement that expresses a complete thought; it can be true or false, and the same proposition can be stated in different ways.
The proposition that is affirmed or denied on the basis of the other propositions.
The proposition that provides reasons or support for the conclusion. An argument can have more than one premise.
The process by which we move from the premise to the conclusion
A means of defending a particular worldview or opinion rather than analyzing it.
Moral dilemma
A situation in which we have a conflict between moral values. In a moral dilemma, no matter what conclusion we draw or what solution we choose, it will involve doing something wrong in order to do what is right.
The conclusion is often, though not always, preceded by words or phrases
known as conclusion indicators, such as:
* therefore
* which shows that
* hence
* for these reasons
* thus
* consequently
Premises are often, though not always, preceded by words or phrases
known as premise indicators, such as:
* because
* may be inferred that
* for
* the reason is that
* since
* as shown by
What are the two main types of moral theories?
Ethical relativism and Universal subjectivism
Ethical relativism
States that morality is different for different people
State that there are fundamental, objective moral principles and values that are universally true for all people, independent of their personal beliefs or culture.
Cultural relativism
The theory that morality is relative to societal norms
What are the two types of ethical relativism?
Ethical subjectivism and Cultural relativism.
Ethical subjectivism
Claims that individual people create their own morality
Why is Cultural Relativism not the same as Sociological Relativism
Cultural relativism is a moral theory about what ought to be. Sociological relativism is a descriptive rather than normative theory.
Naturalist fallacy
Draws a conclusion about what ought to be, based on what is.
Person (personhood)
Having value
Being a part of the moral community
Why are ethical subjectivism and cultural relativism mutually exclusive
A person cannot consistently believe both that morality is created by individuals and that morality is a cultural creation.
Preconventional (aka egoism)
Avoid punishment, satisfy one's own needs
Help others, earn approval
Social contracts, universal principles (principlism/justice/equality)
Moral action
Divine commmand theory
Something is moral merely because God approves of it.

If we accept the divine command theory, the only way to resolve a moral issue such as cloning or affirmative action, or to decide if we should kill someone, would be to wait for God to speak to us. There are no other criteria for deciding right from wrong.
Natural law theorists
Disagree with the divine command theory. They maintain that God commands something because it is moral, not the other way around.

Reject cultural relativism.

If a law is unjust, we may have a moral obligation to disobey it.
Who is responsible for modern Utilitarian theory?
Jeremy Bentham
Who focused more on the quality of happiness?
John Stuart Mills
Pinciple of Utility (aka greatest happiness principle)
Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness
Sentient beings
Those beings who are capable of feeling pleasure and pain
Those traits that promote happiness have the greatest utility and the only source of political obligation for the state; it is utility alone that proved the test of what a law ought to be and which laws ought to be obeyed.

Strong focus on the consequences of actions.
Who is the best known deontologiest
Immanuel Kant
Doing what is right
for its own sake
Most fundamental moral principle for a deontologist?
Catagorical imperative
Catagorical imperiative #1
Only do something if you wish it to be universalized
Catagorical imperiative #2
Always treat humans as an ends in themselves, never as a means only
Good will
Desire to do moral duty, not for reward or any other motivation
Hypothetical imperative
A command that applies only conditionally: if A, then B, where A is a condition or goal, and B is an action
Prima facie duties
Moral duties that may on occasion be overridden by stronger moral claims.
Who came up with the Prima facie duties theory?
W.D. Ross
What are the two types of justice?
retributive justice and distributive justice
Retributive justice
Requires punishment for wrong doing in proportion to the magnitude of the crime.
Distributive justice
Refers to the fair distribution of benefits and burdens in a society.
Where do natural rights come from (according to Locke)?
God given
Who talked about natural rights?
John Locke
Rights-Based ethics
Moral rights are not the same as legal rights, although in a just society the two would overlap. Moral rights instead are generally seen as either (1) natural and existing independently or (2) derived from duties.
What are the two kinds of moral rights?
Welfare rights and liberty rights
Welfare rights
The right to receive certain social goods such as education, medical care, and police protection.
Liberty rights
The right to be left alone to pursue our legitimate interests without interference from the government or other people.
The freedom to make our own decisions
Virtue ethics
Emphasizes right being over right action. (who should I be rather than what should I do)
An admirable character trait or disposition to habitually act in a manner that benefits ourselves and other
Aristotle and virtue ethics
Humans need community in order to be virtuous. The purpose of the state is to promote the virtuous or good life.