An introduction to the ethics or moral philosophy

Virtue Ethics

Throughout his moral works, Kant returns time and again to the question of the method moral philosophy should employ when pursuing these aims. Furthermore, certain populations of people may be more vulnerable to risky research than others. Perhaps in the world in which this can occur, it would be considered morally wrong by such inhabitants of that world to kill such peopleseed fetuses.

Applied Ethics

For instance, I cannot engage in the normal pursuits that make up my own happiness, such as playing piano, writing philosophy or eating delicious meals, unless I have developed some talents myself, and, moreover, someone else has made pianos and written music, taught me writing, harvested foods and developed traditions of their preparation.

Criticisms[ edit ] Because utilitarianism is not a single theory but a cluster of related theories that have been developed over two hundred years, criticisms can be made for different reasons and have different targets.

Moral Realism or Moral Objectivism holds that there are objective moral values, so that evaluative statements are essentially factual claims, which are either true or false, and that their truth or falsity are independent of our beliefs, feelings or other attitudes towards the things being evaluated.

Basic moral requirements retain their reason-giving force under any circumstance, they have universal validity. As such, we can see that there may be a financial motivation on the part of some journalists to consider it to be a profession. This may actually require active intervention to prevent harm from being doneor may only require passive avoidance of bad outcomes.

Many of us are comfortable with judging her actions as morally right or wrong, and also holding onto the idea that she is a moral agent, eligible for moral evaluation.

These appear to be metaphysical questions. It alters the quality of our consciousness. Universal Egoism holds that everyone should act in ways that are in their own interest. Whether this is all there is to it depends on whether there are any irresolvable dilemmas.

It is responsible for formulating and, if necessary, reformulating the general moral rules. So, the will operates according to a universal law, though not one authored by nature, but one of which I am the origin or author.

He thought "it is not only impossible but very dangerous to attempt to maximize the pleasure or the happiness of the people, since such an attempt must lead to totalitarianism. Fundamental issues in moral philosophy must also be settled a priori because of the nature of moral requirements themselves, or so Kant thought.

As a moral teacher, Diogenes emphasized detachment from many of those things conventionally considered "good". Those who care about things with value, especially intrinsic value, should be rather concerned about this possibility Here, consult: The second reason one might side with Carr's deception thesis is based on a meta-theoretical position.

For a will to be free is thus for it to be physically and psychologically unforced in its operation. Were the offence considered only under this point of view, it would not be easy to assign any good reasons to justify the rigour of the laws.

Notice that this objection to the soul theory of moral standing does not deny the existence of souls. Then consider Rachels' example as challenging the moral power of the distinction between killing and letting die: Hopefully, it can be seen that this is an important issue, and that room for argumentative maneuver is possible.

Minimally, we should be sensitive to the fact that Thomson is saying something important, even if false, about the nature of moral rights. Russell Hardin rejects such arguments. Here is one way of seeing how this might work: Then, if one stayed away from consequentialist theories, they would have either a deontological or virtue-based theory to approach this issue.

As such, it is hard to understand how a community can be morally wronged, like a person can be wronged. It's a question of value, and the role of human beings in helping or destroying things of perhaps value, independent of the status of human beings having value.

In this section, we will explore them. Many of the excellences of persons of which we are most confident are virtues such as love, wisdom, justice, patience, and generosity.

Let us be concrete with an unfortunately hypothetical example. Each of the principles might be justified by utilitarian, Kantian, or virtue theories. Third, in viewing virtue as a trait grounded in moral principles, and vice as principled transgression of moral law, Kant thought of himself as thoroughly rejecting what he took to be the Aristotelian view that virtue is a mean between two vices.

Introduction to Ethics

A comprehensive yet concise introduction to central topics, debates, and techniques of moral philosophy in the analytic tradition, this volume combines a thematic, issue-oriented format with rigorous standards of clarity and precision.

Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. The field of ethics, along with aesthetics, concern matters of value, and thus comprise the branch of philosophy called axiology.

Ethics seeks to resolve questions of human morality by defining concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong. Indeed, one of the strengths of this text - the three parts of which cover normative ethics, practical ethics and metaethics - is its frequent use of examples to wash down the large doses of jargon.

One of its weaknesses, however, is its chatty style, which occasionally misleads and introduces errors. This work consists of two chapters from the book The Meaning of Love, by Richard Garlikov, which serve as a self-contained introduction to the subject of ethics.


This introduction should be helpful to anyone who is taking an introductory level college course in ethics or anyone who would like to learn about moral philosophy on his or her own. The Great Ideas Program. Contents.

Volume. A General Introduction to the Great Books and to a Liberal Education; The Development of Political Theory and Government. Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that states that the best action is the one that maximizes utility.

"Utility" is defined in various ways, usually in terms of the well-being of sentient entities. Jeremy Bentham, the founder of utilitarianism, described utility as the sum of all pleasure that results from an action, minus the suffering of anyone involved in the action.

An introduction to the ethics or moral philosophy
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