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Frameworks for Ethics

As delineated in THE ETHICS TOOLKIT: A COMPENDIUM OF ETHICAL CONCEPTS AND METHODS by Julian Baggini and Peter S. Fosl
by

Maria Boza

on 26 February 2015

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Transcript of Frameworks for Ethics

Frameworks for Ethics
Consequentialism
"Moral principles are binding because we agree to them, or at least they are the sorts of things to which it would be rational or reasonable to agree."

This agreement "benefits us individually and collectively."
Contractarianism
"Oppressive and manipulating forces are to be found not only in the laws and policies of states or great commercial institutions," they can be found in mass culture as well.

"Mass culture is an impediment to resistance."
Culture critique
"Morality is concerned with duties and principles that require moral agents to behave in specific ways regardless of the consequences."

"Duty rooted in principle must be the sole source of human action."
Deontological ethics
"Only those norms can claim to be valid that meet (or could meet) with the approval of all affected in their capacity as participants in a practical discourse." --Jurgen Habermas
Discourse ethics
Egoism
Hedonism
"The groundwork of human ethics is the result of natural selection. Evolution has selected for ethical traits because they serve as an effective means of perpetuating our genetic lines."
Naturalism
Particularism
Perfectionism
Pragmatism
Rationalism
"A moral relativist is anyone who rejects the view that moral rules and principles are absolute and universal, applying to all persons, in all persons, in all places, and at all times.... Moral relativists need not think that everything is relative, only that normative rules and principles are."
Relativism
Subjectivism
Virtue ethics
Please note:

In the book and in this prezi, the frameworks are in alphabetical order, not by order of merit.

These are only the frameworks presented by Baggini and Fosl (2007). There are other ways of looking at and labeling frameworks.
"It's always ethical to act in one's own interests."
"It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and honorably and justly, and it is impossible to live wisely and honorably and justly without living pleasantly." --Epicurus
Utilitarian (Bentham and Mill) version: "Actions are right insofar as they promote the greatest happiness of the greatest number and wrong insofar as they diminish it."
"Moral particularists argue against the centrality of general principles of morality.... Moderate particularists...argue that at best one can make use of some principles as general rules of thumb, though they should never provide the last word against which the morality of particular actions are judged."
"For moral perfection theorists, the very meaning of what is morally 'good' is whatever helps us to realize a more perfect nature."
Are these perfect examples?
"Morality is something dynamic and inextricably bound up with actual, concrete social practices, discourses, and problems."
"For rational thinkers...not only does reason apprehend moral truth. It also disciplines, orders, and habituates feeling and structures character."
Subjectivists claim that "moral judgments are, most basically, about our affective [emotional] attitudes toward actions, not about dispassionate reason and logical argument."
David
Hume
Can you see the opposition between rationalism and subjectivism?
Darwin
"Right actions are defined according to the virtue of those who perform the actions, not the other way around."
"When raised properly, humans not only realize strong, healthy bodies, they develop certain traits of character."
Character:
"Emotional traits and dispositions."
Some of these dispositions are toward moral virtue (or away from it).
Three
principal
ways of thinking about ethics:
Consequentialist theory
Deontological theory
Virtue ethics
(Baggini & Fosl, 2007, p. 94)
3
3. Use Diverse Ethical Frameworks to Analyze Controversies:
GE A2, A3 Level 2 Learning Outcomes:
Students demonstrate the ability to effectively apply diverse ethical frameworks to analyses of multiple perspectives on significant controversies.
As presented in
The Ethics Toolkit
by Baggini and Fosl (2007)

Aristotle
liked virtue.
The sense of right and wrong is hard-wired into human beings. We are born with a moral intuition.
Utilitarianism
and
egoism
can be looked at as two forms of consequentialism.
Immanuel Kant
Most ethical frameworks attempt to answer the question:
What should I do?
Virtue ethics asks us instead to focus on the question:
How should I be?
A
right
is a justified claim.
Another way of analyzing ethical situations is through an appeal to rights.
Rights
Rights can be classified as either positive or negative.
A negative right allows us to act without interference. It implies what
may not be done
to us.
A positive right makes a claim upon the government or another entity to actively
do
something for us.
The source of rights (natural, divine, social) is debated.
Contractarians argue that only human beings have rights because only human beings can enter into contracts. They see our rights as arising from social contracts.
Can this puppy possibly have no rights?
deontological
from
Gk.
deont
= that which is obligatory
and
Gk.
logic
= the study of
"The wrongness of actions is determined entirely by the consequences."
Particularism is a form of
relativism
2. Identify and Understand Ethical Dimensions of Controversies
Students demonstrate the ability to recognize, understand, and effectively explain the ethical dimensions of significant controversies.
Prezi by Maria Boza
Any discussion of deontological ethics would be incomplete without mentioning Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative.
The Categorical Imperative
There are two parts to the categorical imperative:
"Act only on that maxim or rule that you could will as universal law."
"Never treat others as mere means to ends but as ends in themselves."
Utilitarianism
Utilitarianism is a very important form of consequentialism
There are various forms:
hedonic (or hedonistic) classical
welfare
preference
rule
John Stuart Mill
Hedonic (or Hedonistic) Classical Utilitarianism
"Actions are right insofar as they promote the greatest happiness of the greatest number and wrong insofar as they diminish it."
Jeremy Bentham
A virtuous person will have sound
values
Full transcript