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102 Cards in this Set

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Definition: Everything in the universe has a proper function to perform. Study of purpose, ends.

Associated with both Plato and Aristotle.



- Principle of Life and Movement (Plato)

- Makes something alive or animate (Aristotle)


Definition: The faculty that calculates, measures, and decides.

Associated with Plato and his tripartite division of the soul. Highest in the "hierarchy of souls."


Definition: Drive towards action. Targets glory, honour, reputation. Also called passion.

Associated with Plato and his tripartite division of the soul. Spirit is the middle in the "hierarchy of souls."


Definition: Driven towards satisfying physical urges. Also called desire.

Associated with Plato and his tripartite division of the soul. Appetite is the lowest in the "hierarchy of souls."

Functional explanation of morality

Definition: moral life is based on proper inner workings of soul.

Associated with Plato.

Moral Balance

Definition: When reason is in control of spirit and appetite.

Associated with Plato and his tripartite division of the soul.

Moral Virtue

Definition: attained by fulfilling our function as human beings.

Associated with Plato --> character ethicist

Craftsmen, Artisans, and Traders

Definition: driven by appetite. Lowest in Plato's ideal class system.


Definition: driven by spirit- honour, reputation. Middle in Plato's ideal class system.


Definition: not a slave to one's appetites.

The virtue associated with Plato's understanding of the appetite of one's soul.


Definition: Ability to do something that frightens one.

The virtue associated with Plato's understanding of the spirit of one's soul.


Definition: ability to discern between right and wrong.

The virtue associated with Plato's understanding of the reason of one's soul.

Realm of the Forms

Definition: Plato believed a place existed outside the earthly realm where the perfect idea of all things existed and that it was from this place that we got our ideas of things as they are on earth.

False Knowledge

Definition: Plato believed that our senses can give us incorrect information and lead us to be morally sidetracked by our physical appetite.

Timarchic Character

Definition: In Plato's ideal city-state, the timarchy is one run by spirit and is therefore characterized by a want for domination and competition.

Oligarchic Character

Definition: In Plato's ideal city-state the Oligarchy is a government ruled by a rich few. It is run by the appetite and therefore characterized by a love of money and desire for recognition.

Democratic Character

Definition: In Plato's ideal city-state the Democracy is a government where important and unimportant desires are not distinguished between and therefore it is aimless and will eventually lead to anarchy. (Run by appetite)

Tyrannical Character

Definition: In Plato's ideal city-state the tyranny is a government driven by appetite and is manic in that it has only one desire.

Master Passion

Definition: The one passion that rules them all if allowed by the idle mind.

Self-Realization Ethic

Definition: the potential for moral conduct is actualized through the development of appropriate habits.


Definition: The inner urge a living or non-living thing has to fulfill it's potential.

Associated with Aristotle and is a subsection of teleology.


Definition: The ultimate end of life for which things are done.

Associated with Aristotle.

Instrumental Ends

Definition: Things that one does for the sake of something else. E.g. Studying so you can pass your final exam.

Associated with Aristotles hierarchy of ends.

Intrinsic Ends

Definition: Things one does for their own sake.

Associated with Aristotles hierarchy of ends.

Ultimate End

Definition: The highest good at which all actions aim. Must be self-sufficient, final, and attainable.

For Aristotle the ultimate end is happiness.


Definition: The ultimate end must make life desirable and lack nothing.

For Aristotle this is happiness.


Definition: The ultimate end must be achievable.

For Aristotle this is happiness.


Definition: The ultimate end of life must be desirable in itself- Intrinsically valuable.

For Aristotle this is happiness.

Distinctive Function

Definition: For Aristotle, distinctive function is what makes humans different from plants and animals.

Rational Capacities

Definition: For Aristotle, rational capacity is the distinctive function of humans. It is our soul's activity and actions that express reason. It refers to our symbolic and linguistic activity as well.

Sensory Capacity

Definition: For Aristotle, sensory capacity is what makes animals above plants. It refers to sense perception, desire, and self-movement.

Nutritive Capacity

Definition: For Aristotle, nutritive capacity is what plants have as far as a "soul" goes. It refers to self-nourishment, growth, and decay.


Definition: behaviour showing high moral standards (Aristotle)

Intellectual Virtue

Definition: a type of virtue involving wisdom and understanding. Acquired through instruction. (Aristotle)

Moral Virtue

Definition: a type of virtue involving temperance and patience. Product of habit. (Aristotle)

Doctrine of the Mean

Definition: living our lives in moderation. Disposition lying in a mean that is relative to us and that is determined by reason. (Aristotle)


Definition: The best moral action is the one that maximizes utility.

Principle of Utility

Definition: Approving the action that will bring about the most happiness for the greatest number of people. (Betham)

Spirit of Scientific Objectivity

Definition: Results, claims, and methods should not be influenced by a particular perspective. (Betham)


Definition: The outcome of an action determines it's moral worth. (Bentham)

Psychological Egoism

Definition: Human nature is to seek to increase ones pleasure and decrease ones pain. (Bentham)

Ethical Egoism

Definition: Because we seek to increase our own pleasure it is ethically and morally wrong to promote pain. (Bentham)

Is/Ought Fallacy

Definition: Just because something is done a certain way doesn't mean that's the way it ought to be done.

For Bentham this refers to making a moral decision based off others.

Physical Sanctions

Definition: Rewards and punishments administered not by humans but by nature. (Bentham)


Definition: Rewards and punishments meant to encourage/discourage certain behaviours. (Bentham)

Moral Sanctions

Definition: arise in informal relationships with others. E.g. To avoid embarrassment we don't go against the crowd. (Bentham)

Religious Sanctions

Definition: arise from desire to be blessed by God and go to heaven. (Bentham)

Political Sanctions

Definition: arise from states desire to keep people from breaking the law.

Bentham believes that these are the only sanctions that can be enforced. He believes they should only be imposed with the purpose of promoting the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people.

Private Ethics

Definition: the way one conducts duties to themselves.

Bentham believes the government has no business legislating for private ethics.


Definition: a form of "punishment" focused on inflicting pain, getting back at someone. (Bentham)

Bentham's Grounds for Punishment

1) Appropriate

2) Increase with decreased chance of being caught

3) Should be minimum punishment needed

4) Necessary

5) Efficacious

6) Profitable


Hedonic Calculus

Definition: a quantitative approach to determine the pleasure and pain associated with an action to discern whether it is right or wrong.

Factors of Hedonic Calculus

1) Duration

2) Intensity

3) Propinquity

4) Fecundity

5) Purity

6) Certainty

7) Extent


Higher Pleasure

Definition: More human and should be promoted over lower pleasures. Higher pleasures are derived from intellect. Three aspects: feelings, imagination, and moral sentiments.They are permanent, safe, and uncostly. (Mill)

Lower Pleasure

Definition: Derived from body. (Mill)

Human Dignity

Definition: A different way of viewing pleasure where there is no need to see pleasure as a base and abject pursuit. (Mill)

Inferior Type

Definition: Finding contentment in lower pleasures (Mill)

Superior Type

Definition: Perceives most sources of happiness in world as imperfect. (Mill)

Infirmity of Character

Definition: Improper development and moral weakness (Mill)

Enlightened self-interest

Definition: harmonize the interests of the individual with the interests of society (Mill)


Definition: Putting someone else's needs before your own.

For Mill self-sacrifice was not simply done for it's own means but altruism is a pleasure for the one being altruistic.


Definition: When two things are essentially different in kind.

Mill uses this word to describe pain and pleasure.


Definition: People who are fortunate in their outward lot and care for nobody but themselves. (Mill)

Mental Cultivation

Definition: cultivating the mind so that it finds endless pleasure in all that surrounds it. (Mill)

Social Liberty

Definition: proper relationship that should exist between individual and the state. (Mill)

Deontological Ethics

Definition: ethical perspective emphasizing the importance of doing the right thing. The importance of following the rule. (Kant & Rawls)

Impersonal Principle

Definition: principle that suggests that morality is not influenced by personal feelings. (Kant)

Ethical Relativist

Definition: person that regards morality as subjective.

Moral Certainty

Definition: Idea that morality must be found somewhere apart from everyday experience. (Kant)

Structure of Reason

Definition: Ultimate basis of morality that comes from a priori knowledge (Kant)

A Priori Knowledge

Definition: prior knowledge. Knowing something before it happens. Not derived from experience or dependant on it. (Kant)

A Posteriori Knowledge

Knowledge: knowledge derived from experience. Knowledge about something after the fact. (Kant)

The Good Will

Definition: It is good even if it is preventing something from achieving it's purpose. (Kant)


Definition: the right thing. (Kant)

Practical Reason

Definition: reason in its application to morality. (Kant)


Definitions: rules to live by. (Kant)


Definition: state or act of proceeding with caution or in the interests of oneself. (Kant)


Definition: An action not done for the sake of duty. (Kant)


Definition: reason for doing something. Determines whether or not something is moral. (Kant)

Categorical Imperative

Definition: Supreme and unconditional principle of morality that serves as the basis for all other derivative moral commands. (Kant)


Definition: concept that holds that a maxim is morally unacceptable if the individual acting on it would not wish the person most disadvantaged or most adversely affected by its application. (Kant)


Definition: idea that morality commits us to a certain way of living. (Kant)

Hypothetical Imperative

Definition: condition and specific and therefore lack properties of distinctively moral commands. If… then… (Kant)

Technical Imperatives

Definition: require us to do certain things if we want to achieve specific ends. (Kant)

Prudential Imperatives

Definition: Doing something favourable to have a positive result even though it isn't your moral duty. (Kant)


Definition: right or condition of self-government. (Kant)

Heteronomy of Will

Definition: When the will obeys the laws, etc from any other sources besides reason. (Kant)

Realm of Ends

Definition: As autonomous and rational moral agents, we base our actions on universally valid laws that we have laid down ourselves. (Kant)

Tacit Agreements

Definition: unspoken agreements on which society is based. (Rawls)

Identity of Interests

Definition: Society works because people have numerous common needs/interests that allow us to work together. (Rawls)

Conflicts of Interest

Definition: People don't agree on everything and have all the same needs so sometimes we need to decide who's interest "wins." (Rawls)

Ideal Observer

Definition: In cases of conflict of interest, we need some one with no stake in the outcome, someone who is completely, 100% unbiased, to carry out justice. Not male or female, not black or white, not young or old. (Rawls)

Common Point of View

Definition: position from which social conflicts can be judged fairly. (Rawls)

Civic Friendship

Definition: friendship between opposing parties of social conflict due to shared understanding of justice between individuals. (Rawls)

The Original Position

Definition: Hypothetical situation where individual is behind veil of ignorance. (Rawls)

Veil of Ignorance

Definition: an individual that is ignorant of: place, class, social status, history. Free of anything influential to ethical decisions except reason. (Rawls)


Definitions: unspoken rules/expectations carried by different positions in society (Rawls)

Principle of Equal Liberty

Definition: anyone can do whatever they want insofar as it doesn't impinge on the ability of others to do the same. (Rawls)

The Difference Principle

Definition: Social and economic inequalities are just only if they result in compensating benefits for everyone, in particular for the least advantaged members of society. (Rawls)

Maximin Solution

Definition: Ranking alternatives by worst outcome resulting in maximum benefits for the minimally advantaged. (Rawls)


Definition: concept concerning rightness where all members of the society would see any position in society as just and accept them as such if they were in that position. (Rawls)