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Louis P.Pojman Ethics: discovering right and wrong

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Louis P.Pojman Ethics: discovering right and wrong

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  1. Louis P.PojmanEthics: discovering right and wrong

  2. Ethical theories

  3. Normative subjects

  4. Traits of Moral Principles • Prescriptivity • Universalizability • Overridingness • Publicity • Practicability Pojman p 7

  5. What and how do we evaluate

  6. Types of action Right Wrong (permissible) (not permissible) Obligatory Optional Neutral Supererogatory Pojman p 10

  7. The Purposes of Morality • To keep society from falling apart. • To ameliorate human suffering. • To promote human flourishing. • To resolve conflicts of interest in just ways. • To assign responsibility for actions. Pojman p 18

  8. Ethical Relativism 1. The Diversity Thesis: there are no universal moral standards held by all societies 2. The Dependency Thesis: to act in a certain way is relative to the society 3. The Conclusion: there are no absolute or objective moral standards Pojman p 28

  9. Ethical Subjectivism • Solipsism • Atomism • Escapism Pojman p 33

  10. Ethical Conventionalism • Conservative • Totalitarian • Intolerant Pojman p 41

  11. The doctrine of natural law 1. Morality is a function of human nature. 2. Reason can discover valid moral principles by looking at the nature of humanity and society. Pojman p 45

  12. The key ideas of the natural law tradition • Human beings have an essential rational nature • Reason can discover the laws for human flourishing • The natural laws are universal and unchangeable Pojman p 47

  13. The doctrine of double effect an act is morally permissible: • The Nature-of-the-Act Condition • The Means-End Condition • The Right-Intention Condition • The Proportionality Condition Pojman p 48

  14. Moral absolutism and objectivism

  15. Prima facie principles valid rules of action that one should generally adhere to but that, in cases of moral conflict, may be overridableby another moral principle. Pojman p 51

  16. Minimal principles of the core morality • Do not kill innocent people. • Do not cause unnecessary pain or suffering. • Do not steal or cheat. • Keep your promises and honor your contracts. • Do not deprive another person of his or her freedom. • Do justice, treating equals equally and unequals unequally. • Reciprocate: Show gratitude for services rendered. • Tell the truth, or, at least, do not lie. • Help other people, at least when the cost to oneself is minimal. • Obey just laws.Pojman p 52

  17. Justification of Moderate Objectivism • Human nature is relatively similar, having a common set of needs and interests. • Moral principles are functions of human needs and interests, instituted by reason. • Some moral principles will meet human needs and promote human interests better than others. • These principles can be said to be objectively valid principles. • Therefore an objectively valid set of moral principles is applicable to all humanity. Pojman p 53-54

  18. The attraction of ethical relativism 1. The option that absolutism and relativism are the only alternatives. 2. Objectiviam is confused with realism. 3. The move from descriptive cultural relativism to normative ethical relativism. 4. Drive to moral nihilism and relativism because of the decline of religion in Western society. 5. As metaethics so ought also ethics be morally neutral (amoral). Pojman p 56-58

  19. Egoism The doctrine thatit is morally right always to seekone's own self-interestwithout regard for others. Pojman p 71

  20. Four types of egoism

  21. Ethical egoism 1. The Economist Argument individual selfinterest in a competitive marketplace produces a state of optimal goodness for society at large 2. The Argument for the Virtue of Selfishness altruism is suicidal 3. The Hobbesian Argument because we are predominantly psychological egoists it is morally permissible to act entirely out of self-interestPojman p 72-74

  22. A critique of ethical egoism 1. The Inconsistent Outcomes Argument morality is not a guide to action 2. The Publicity Argument egoist must act alone, atomistically or solipsistically in moral isolation 3. The Paradox of Egoism in order to reach the goal of egoism on emust give up egoism and become (to some extent) an altruist 4. Counterintuitive Consequences helping others at one's own expense is morally wrong Pojman p 76-78

  23. Altruism The theory that we can and should sometimes act in favor of others' interests. Pojman p 66

  24. Four types of altuism

  25. Reciprocal Altruism No duty to serve those who manipulate us, but willing to sharewith those willing to cooperate. Pojman p 80

  26. Axiology -10..........................0.........................+10 negative neutral positive evil/disvalue (value neutral) highest value Pojman p 85

  27. Value (to be of worth) intrinsic worthy in itself (because of its nature) instrumental creation of choosers (because of its consequences) Pojman p 86-87

  28. Plato's question Do we desire the Good because it is good, or is the Good good because we desire it? Pojman p 85

  29. Schema of the Moral Process ACTIONS Failure: weakness of will leads to guilt DECISIONS Failure: perverse will leads to guilt JUDGMENTS Weighing Failure: error in application PRINCIPLES Normative question: What ought I do? VALUES Objects of desire or objects existing independently of desires FORMS Hierarchies of beliefs, values, OF LIFE and practices; cultures or ways of life RATIONAL Of ethical theories JUSTIFI- 1. Impartiality CATION. 2. Freedom 3. KnowledgePojman p 95

  30. The Relation of Value to Morality Values are rooted in cultural constructs (in whole forms of life) and are the foundation for moral principles upon which moral reasoning is based. Pojman p 96

  31. Views of happiness

  32. Plan-of-life • an integrated whole • freely chosen by the person • possible to realize Pojman p 97

  33. The happy life

  34. Standard of happy life exclude being severely retarded, a slave, a drug addict include being a deeply fulfilled, autonomous, healthy person Pojman p 100

  35. Happiness is a life in which exist free action (including meaningful work), loving relations, and moral character, and in which the individual is not plagued by guilt and anxiety but is blessed with peace and satisfaction.Pojman p 100

  36. Traditional morality

  37. Utilitarianism “The Greatest happiness for the greatest number” Pojman p 107

  38. Punishment

  39. Hedonic calculus make quantitative measurements and apply the principle impartially Pojman p 110

  40. Criteria of pleasure and pain • intensity • duration • certainty • nearness • fruitfulness • purity • extentPojman p 110

  41. Moral experts Those who have had wide experience of the lower and higher pleasures almost all give a decided preference to the higher type. Pojman p 111

  42. Act-Utilitarianism An act is right if and only if it results in as much good as any available alternative. Pojman p 112

  43. Rule-Utilitarianism An act is right if and only if it is required by a rule that is itself a member of a set of rules whose acceptance would lead to greater utility for society than any available alternative. Pojman p 113

  44. Negative responsibility we are responsible not only for the consequences of our actions (doing), but also for the consequences of our non-actions (allowing) Pojman p 114

  45. 3 kinds of consequences

  46. The strengths and weaknesses of utilitarianism strengths: • an absolute system with a single priciplewith a potential answer for every situation; • morality has the substance:promoting human flourishing. weaknesses: • there are two superlatives in one principle - either the greatest pleasure or to the greatest number; • the problem of knowing the comparative future consequences of actions.Pojman p 115-117

  47. External objections to utilitarianism 1. no rest 2. absurd implications 3. violates integrity 4. neglects justice 5. contradicts notion of publicity Pojman p 118-120

  48. Man and morality Is morality made for man, or is man made for morality? Pojman p 124

  49. Deontological systems act- norm- deontologism deontologism intuitionism decisionism (illumination)(existentsialism) norm- norm- intuitionism rationalism Pojman p 131-133

  50. Weaknesses of act-deontologism 1. There is no way for any arguments with an intuitionist. 2. Rules are necessary also to moral reasoning. 3. Because different situations share common features, it is inconsistent to prescribe different moral actions.Pojman p 131-132