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ART10001 week 11

Knowledge and Ethics

Lucy Nicholas

on 24 July 2017

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Transcript of ART10001 week 11

Ethics and critical thinking and reasoning
ART10001 Week 11
Reasons for Critical Thinking
Differences and Similarities
1. Interrogates unspoken premises and values

2. Encourages 'critical reasoning' and 'higher order thinking skills: interpretation and synthesis

University: More than just memorising information!
: abstract rules or commands to be followed e.g.

Christianity: ten commandments

Kantian ethics: categorical imperatives

morality judged on outcome e.g.

Utilitarianism: Greatest Happiness Principle
Ethical Frameworks
Critical Reasoning and Higher Order Thinking Skills
Diff expectations diff discipline essays

Different referencing systems

Format: Headings, title etc.


Basics of analysis, evidence, attribution and structure remain
Competing Theories. No 'truth' = Analysis and a Line of Reasoning
By the end of this lesson you should be able to:
•Understand how morals and values are inherent in the decisions to create and use / apply knowledge

•Understand some of the classic frameworks for moral reasoning and how they can be applied to uses of knowledge

•Understand the different types of thinking required in university level work

•Understand what higher-order thinking entails
'we will find it impossible to prevent ourselves inwardly classifying actions as right or wrong.' (Singer 2001, p.xv)

'Recognizing that we cannot do without standards of right and wrong is one thing; understanding the nature and origin of these standards is another' (Singer 2001, p.xv)

Knowledge is not just found or discovered. It is
in context

Do not take ideas of right or wrong for granted. Be aware of
Moral Foundations of Knowledge
Applied Ethics and Knowledge I: Electroconvulsive Therapy
the therapy is effective for relief of symptoms

"a medical procedure that is solely intended to provide relief to people who have severe depression"

"The scientific and clinical evidence base for the efficacy and safety of ECT is large; more than 9000 citations are catalogued on PubMed. "


"memory loss is an adverse effect of ECT"

Deontological principles applied ECT
It is wrong to harm others.

It is wrong to undermine the autonomy of person
Competing Consequentialist arguments applied to ECT
short term: morally good because it has the consequences of relieving the symptoms of serious depression for the sufferer

long term : morally bad because it can contribute to memory loss in the patient

=subjectivity of measuring suffering.

consequentialism can justify torture.
Ethical Reasoning is like Analytical Reasoning
Applied ethics = the use of theoretical frameworks to make different interpretations of the same phenomenon


line of reasoning

think of your marker looking for flaws in your line of reasoning and your evidence-based reasoning.

More than re-explaining information

bring in the work and ideas of others to the service of your account.

higher order thinking skills of analysing, evaluating and creating.

e.g. analysing one thing in terms of another,
finding relationships between things,
using something as evidence of something else.
Applied Ethics and Knowledge II: The Human Genome Project
this knowledge gives people the potential to know whether a foetus has particular gene mutations, or predispositions to particular diseases or even behavioural problems (Willis 2000, p.330).
A Hypothetical Moral Conundrum....
You're driving a tram in Melbourne and your tram is hurtling down the track at 70km p/hr.

At the end of the track you notice 5 workers working on the track.

You try to stop but your breaks malfunction. You feel desperate because you know for certain that if you hit them they will all die.

You notice a track off to the right is approaching, at the end of it only one worker is working.

Your steering wheel works so you can choose:

stay on the main track, or take the right turn???
Full transcript