Direct instruction Guided practice Independent practice Group practice Student-Instructor instruction Personal assessment Share virtually what you learned/how you learn with the instructor and at least one other member of the class.
Direct instruction Remembering: arrange, define, duplicate, label, list, memorize, name, order, recognize, relate, recall, repeat, reproduce, state. Understanding: classify, describe, discuss, explain, express, identify, indicate, locate, recognize, report, restate, review, select, translate. During our discussion think of how personal bias, culture, religion, time, space, sexual orientation, gender, socio-economic status, fate influence your thoughts and ideas.
Source Material Ethics #1 www.buzzle.com/articles/branches-of-philosophy.html
Branches of Philosophy Instead of being treated as a single, unified subject, philosophy is typically broken down into a number of specialties areas or branches. The following are the branches that we will focus on: Metaphysics Epistemology Teleology Ethics Logic
Branches of Philosophy This doesn't mean that each branch of philosophy is entirely autonomous - there is overlap between the branches. Sometimes deciding which branch of philosophy a question properly belongs in isn't very clear. The parts make the whole
Metaphysics: Study of what is real In Western philosophy metaphysics has become the study of the fundamental nature of all reality - what is it. Some only regard metaphysics as the study of "higher" reality or the "invisible" nature behind everything, but that isn't actually true. It is, instead, the study of all of reality, visible and invisible.
Epistemology: Study of Knowledge Epistemology is the study of the nature of knowledge. Epistemological studies usually focus upon our means for acquiring knowledge; thus modern epistemology generally involves a debate between rationalism and empiricism, or the question of whether knowledge can be acquired a priori or a posteriori.
Epistemology: Study of Knowledge The terms a priori(“prior to") and a posteriori(“posterior to") are used in philosophy (metaphysics) to distinguish two types of knowledge. A priori knowledge or justification is independent of experience (for example 'All bachelors are unmarried'); a posteriori knowledge or justification is dependent on experience or empirical evidence (for example 'Some bachelors are very happy'). A posteriori justification makes reference to experience; but the issue concerns how one knows the proposition or claim in question—what justifies or grounds one's belief in it.
Empiricism is the doctrine that knowledge is gained primarily through observation and experience.
Ethical subjectivism holds that moral facts reduce to facts about cultural conventions and thus are knowable by observation of those conventions.
Moral rationalism, also called ethical rationalism, is the view according to which moral truths are knowable “a priori” by reason alone.
Pertinent Questions Are the ways an individual knows: innate or post natal? the result of Nature/Nurture determined genetically? the result of pathways in and construction of the brain? All kinds of minds influenced by???????
Forming Knowledge Propositional knowledgeis knowledge that some statements are either true or false. Propositional knowledgeis derived from a variety of perspectives, including philosophy, history, literature, science. What is the difference between knowledge and beliefs? A belief is an internal thought or memory which exists in one's mind. Most people accept that for a belief to be knowledge it must be true and justified. Is what you know or propose related to your relative experiences?
Teleology: Study of Purpose and Ends Teleology is the study of any system attempting to explain a series of events in terms of ends, goals, or purposes. In the past, teleology was utilized to identify purpose in the universe with God's will. The teleological argument for the existence of God holds that order in the world could not be accidental and that since there is design there must be a designer. A more recent evolutionary view finds purpose in the higher levels of organic life but holds that it is not necessarily based in any transcendent being.
Ethics: Study of Good, Bad, Right, Wrong Ethics is the formal study of moral standards and conduct and is also often called "moral philosophy." It addresses the following questions: What is good? What is evil? How should I behave - and why? How should I balance my needs against the needs of others? How should I respond to the command of a deity?
Meta-ethics Meta-inquiry is a study of a study. Meta-ethics is then the study of the discipline of ethics, which is itself an area of study. Meta-ethics is concerned with determining the nature of judgments of moral right or wrong, good and bad. It is not concerned with finding out which actions or things are right and wrong, or which states of being are good and bad, butunderstanding the nature and meaning of concepts of right and wrong, good and bad. Meta-ethics does not ask whether lying is always wrong. Rather, tries to clarify what it means to say that lying is right or wrong.
Meta-ethics Meta-ethics talks about the nature of ethics and moral reasoning. Discussions about whether ethics is relative and whether we always act from self-interest are examples of meta-ethical discussions. Meta-ethics draws the conceptual distinction between the three branches of ethics, Meta-ethics, Normative Ethics, and Applied Ethics.
Normative Ethics: What should one do or be? Normative ethics addresses such questions as "What should one do?", thus endorsing some ethical evaluations and rejecting others. Normative ethics is interested in determining the content of our moral behavior. Normative ethical theories seek to provide action-guides; procedures for answering the Practical Question, "What ought to be done?"
Normative Ethics: What should one do or be? Normative ethics intends to find out which actions are right and wrong, or which character traits are good and bad. In contrast, meta-ethics is a study of the nature of ethics. A meta-ethical study would be concerned with determining the meaning and objectivity of moral concepts of right and wrong, or good and bad.
Normative Ethics: Example In a philosophical context, the word norm usually means standard, or rule, or principle, as opposed to what is "normal by nature" for people to do, that is, what they actually do. Example, the rules of arithmaticare normative in the philosophical sense, because reasoning can be assessed against these rules and judged correct or incorrect, irrespective of whether this usage is the normal usage. If everyone were to calculate 7+5 as 57, they would have made a mistake, for they would have misunderstood the rules (norms) of arithmetic. So even if this mistake were "normal," a normative appraisal would hold everyone's actual thinking to the rule which legislates how they ought to think, and judge it incorrect.
Normative Ethics Some tension has been noticed between the two different emphases of normative ethics: action, on the one hand, and virtue, on the other. The former asks which actions are right, whereas the latter asks which states of character are morally good. The unity of normative ethics can be explored by understanding that the moral principles of action and the virtues of character can be known in relation to each other to some degree.
Normative Ethics Normative ethics is normative in that they have either moral principles as standards of right action or virtues as standards of good character in terms of which right action can be known eventually. There are four normative theories we will study: 1) Utilitarianism with the principle of utility as the basic moral principle (Mill); 2) Kantianism with the categorical imperatives as the fundamental moral principle (Kant); 3) Virtue ethics with virtues as its focus (Aristotle); 4)Divine command ethics with God as the ground of moral being and/or behavior.
Relative and Absolute Ethics Some ethical theories are teleological - what is right or wrong depends on the end or outcome of an action - for utlitarians, pleasure, happiness or 'the greatest good'; for Aristotle, 'Eudaimonia'. Other theories are deontological - doing what is right means doing your duty or following the rules - for Kant, the categorical imperative; in Natural Law, the secondary precepts. It is easy to think of teleological theories as relativist and deontological theories as absolutist, but it it not that simple. Apart from Kantian Ethics (thoroughly absolutist and deontological) and Situation Ethics (clearly relativist and teleological), ethics seems to involve an uneasy mix.
Absolutist ethical theories Kant and the Categorical Imperative Kant says that we should act according to maxims that we would want to see as universal laws. These laws are absolutist - we can work them out logically prior to experience; they are not verified through experience (they are known 'a priori'). The consequences of our actions are irrelevant to whether they are right or wrong - evil actions may have unintended good consequences, and someone might act heroically without any guarantee that the consequences will be good. No character quality is absolutely good (good without exception) - for example, it is possible to act kindly but do the wrong thing. The only good thing is a good will that does what is logically the right thing to do.
Natural Law Natural Law is often described as deontological because, in practice, it leads to a set of rules that people have a duty to follow. These rules are absolutist, because they know of no exception. For example, using contraception to prevent conception is absolutely wrong, regardless of consequences such as the spread of AIDS, unwanted pregnancies etc. However, Aquinas' Natural Law Theory says we should try to fulfil our God-given purpose. This is teleological, as it is interested in our design or 'end'. The primary precepts - worshipping God, living in an ordered society, reproducing etc. - are teleological: they are the ends to which all our actions should aim. The primary precepts are also absolutist - Aquinas believed we were all made by God with a shared human purpose.
Moral relativism Situation Ethics This must not be confused with cultural relativism. Cultural relativism is a very weak moral theory that says things are right and wrong relative to our culture. The theory is easily refuted. Situation Ethics says that what is right and wrong is relative to the situation. In other words, if you asked "Is it wrong to abort a foetus?" I would ask "Under what circumstances?" Clearly the outcome of my actions is of central importance here. Rules may be useful, but you may need to ignore the rules in order to do the right (loving) thing - the thing that is in the best interests of the people affected.
Theories that can be either absolutist or relativist Utilitarianism When Bentham came up with his Hedonic Calculus, he had developed a theory that allowed you to work out what was right or wrong in any given situation. Euthanasia might lead to the greatest happiness for one person and yet lead to greater unhappiness in another situation. What is right or wrong is relative to the situation, it is whatever has the best consequences (teleological). Mill, and many since, have adapted Bentham's 'act' utlitarianism, claiming that we need to make laws based on the principle of utility (choose the laws that lead to the greater good) and then follow those laws. This means I have a duty to, for example, tell the truth because it generally leads to greater happiness, even if in this case it will lead to more unhappiness. This is deontological, because it deals with the duty to follow rules. It can be seen as absolutist because there are no exceptions to the rules (if you were allowed to break the rules, this would be act utilitarianism).
Virtue Ethics Aristotle came up with a list of virtues that we need to acquire, through education and habitually, in order to have a 'Eudaimon' or happy life. Some modern virtue ethicists, such as Martha Nussbaum, describe Aristotle's theory as absolutist. It is teleological, because it is about the ends or purposes of our actions. However, Aristotle is saying (according to Nussbaum) that certain ends or goals are absolute - it is always good to be honest, kind, courageous etc. Other modern virtue ethicists say that values change, and different societies hold up different virtues as desirable. What is virtuous, according to MacIntyre, is relative to the context - relative to culture, varying throughout history. Virtue ethics is teleological, focussing on the ends or purposes of our actions. These ends or purposes vary from one society to another throughout time.
Relative Absolutes Are the Absolutes you accept and/or follow relative to your time, space, culture, religion, socio-economics, gender, sexual orientation, fate? Has your definition/awareness of absolutes, what is right and wrong, good and bad, nature, etc. changed as you get new global understanding or knowledge.
Applied Ethics: How does one apply ethical principles?: Applied Ethics attempts to deal with specific realms of human action and to craft criteria for discussing issues that might arise. The contemporary field of Applied Ethics arouse in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Today, it is a thriving part of the field of ethics.
Application 21st Century An emerging typology (the characteristics or traits they have in common) for applied ethics uses various domains to help improve organizations and social issues at the national and global level: Technological ethics, emails, hacking, ownership, right to privacy Decision ethics, or ethical theories and ethical decision processes Professional ethics, or ethics to improve professionalism
Application 21st Century Clinical ethics, or ethics to improve our basic health needs Business ethics, or individual based morals to improve ethics in an organization Organizational ethics, or ethics among organizations Social ethics, or ethics among nations and as one global unit
Logic: study of methods of reasoning and argumentation, both proper and improper. Logic is the analyzes of primary premises and the subsequent premises (propositions) that have led to and support a conclusion. What are your beliefs? How did you develop your propositions? Why have you concluded that they are true?
Guided instruction Metaphysics: My dog is my best friend. What is the nature of dog and friend? Epistemology: My dog is always happy to see me, kisses me, and has unconditional positive regard for me. How do I know the nature of dog, happy, kisses, unconditional positive regard?
Guided Instruction Teleology: The purpose of a dog and friend are non-differentiated. Is it an organic cause and effect relationship or is it a learned relationship? What is the purpose of a dog? What is the purpose of a friend?
Guided Instruction Ethics: My dog is good and right and friends are good and right. Is the use of good and right equivalent when speaking of a dog and friends? Is there a natural dog good and right and a domesticated dog good and right? Is there a natural friend good and right and a domesticated friend good and right?
Guided Instruction Logic: syllogism A friend is good and right. (major premise) My dog is good and right. (minor premise) My dog is a friend. (conclusion) Why does someone believe in the content of the major and minor premises ?
Guided Instruction Is the logical method correct? Are the premises leading to the conclusion true? Is the perception (epistemology) of nature and purpose (teleology) of dog and friend what they ought to be based on the nature (metaphysics) of a dog and friend?
Guided Instruction Metaphysics: God is good What is the nature of good? What is the nature of God? Epistemology: I have a strong God belief like my family and the religious schools I attended taught me. Why do I believe in the God I do? Why do I believe in the God commandment I do? How do I know they are true?
Guided Instruction Teleology: The Human purpose is to follow the teachings of God, love Him, and earn heaven. Do humans have a purpose? Does God have a purpose? Is God’s purpose the human purpose? Is heaven and/or love of God the purpose for following God’s command?
Guided Instruction Ethics: God is good and right, God’s commandments are good and right, and His command should be obligatory to follow. Is God good and right? Is God’s commandments good and right? Is His commandment obligatory? Is love of God the reason for following the commands or is it the end result, heaven?
Guided Instruction Logic: Syllogism God is the Ultimate Good and Right. The Ultimate Good and Right is to be obeyed. God is to be obeyed. Is the form and content of the above syllogism true and valid?
Individual Instruction Take the next 8 minutes to review what we covered during the class time
Group Instruction Take the next 12 minutes to discuss with members of the group what you have learned and what you need to know. Make a list of areas that are not clear to you to share in the Student-Instructor learning process
Student-Instructor Process Students and instructor share areas that need clarity.
Personal Assessment Write in your journal an explanation of your understanding of the subject that we have studied tonight. The journal entry should be extensive and show depth and breadth of learning. Your journal writing will be of great value when writing your final paper. Email your journal to the instructor and at least one other classroom member for interaction