Ch 1 Basics And Background


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Ch 1 Basics And Background

  1. 1. Basics and Background Introduction to Moral Theorizing
  2. 2. Moral Issues and Dilemmas <ul><li>Moral issues are those that raise normative questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Welfare </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Character (type of person we should strive to become) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Normative = questions of value </li></ul><ul><li>Moral dilemmas = conflicts of values </li></ul>
  3. 3. Moral Philosophy <ul><li>Meta-ethics – attempts to determine what makes moral claims true/false. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How are moral claims justified? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are we doing when we share moral judgments? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the status of a moral claim? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not involve making moral judgments. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Moral Philosophy (continued) <ul><li>Normative Ethics – The study of the concepts involved in practical reasoning: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Theories of good/evil </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Theories of moral obligations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Theories of which types of actions are morally permissible. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Does make moral judgments. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Moral Philosophy (continued) <ul><li>Practical Ethics (Applied Ethics) – The subject that applies ethics to actual practical problems. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attempts to resolve specific moral issues. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examines concrete cases. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Reflective Equilibrium <ul><li>Provides an account of what we are doing when we engage in moral deliberation. </li></ul><ul><li>Two major activities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Getting clear on our intuitions/considered judgments. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Determining principles to explain why actions are right/wrong. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Initial Situation Yields Principle. Principles Compared with Considered Judgments. Principles Match Judgment ? Done Considered Judgments Shared Conditions of the Initial Situation. Revise Judge. ? Figure 1. Method of R. E.
  8. 8. What Morality is Not <ul><li>Conventional Morality vs. Reflective Morality – Reflective morality does not grant to any set of moral principles a privileged status. </li></ul><ul><li>Morality vs. Law – it does not follow from the fact that something has been instantiated in the law, that it is morally correct. </li></ul><ul><li>Morality vs. Prudence – we cannot reduce morality to self-interest (or in its more refined version, rational self interest). </li></ul><ul><li>Morality vs. Economics – morality is not always cost effective. </li></ul><ul><li>Morality vs. Religion – Morality makes its final appeal to reason and not to faith. </li></ul><ul><li>Morality vs. Authority – the fact that an authority commands an action does not entail that the action is morally appropriate. </li></ul><ul><li>Morality vs. Opinion/Bias/Taste – For the most part, opinions, tastes, and biases are morally neutral. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Structure of a Moral Argument <ul><li>Major premise – General moral principle </li></ul><ul><li>Minor premise – Factual claim </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion – Derivative moral judgment </li></ul><ul><li>Example (p.15): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. That which is unnatural is immoral. (GMP) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Homosexual behavior is unnatural. (FC) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Therefore, homosexual behavior is immoral (DMJ) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Evaluating Moral Judgments <ul><li>Conceptual Confusions/Ambiguities in the General Moral Principle. </li></ul><ul><li>Problems with the factual link. </li></ul><ul><li>1. Taking a normative judgment to be a factual judgment. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Factual claim may in fact be false. </li></ul><ul><li>Unacceptable Implication of the GMP </li></ul><ul><li>Consistency Problems </li></ul>
  11. 11. Two Types of Moral Principles <ul><li>Teleological Principles – principles that look at the consequences of actions to determine their moral permissibility or impermissibility. </li></ul><ul><li>Deontological Principles – principles that focus on an agent’s duties. (Duty-based ethic) </li></ul>