What is applied ethics? Ethics is moral philosophy embracing four main interests: Clarification of moral ideas and issues Critical assessment of moral claims by testing their truth, justification and adequacy Development of a comprehensive perspective on moral on moral ideas Moral guidance through principles or practical judge
Main Branches of Ethics Philosophical ethics has two central branches General ethics deal with abstract theoretical models Practical, or applied ethics focus on the practical application and concerns of moral issues
Aim of Applied Ethics Clarify moral ideas Organize moral ideas Refine moral ideas, if needed Why? To enrich moral experience Guide moral judgment
Other Meanings of Word “Ethics” Study of moral values in both a normative and scientific manner Synonym for morality Beliefs of individual or group That which is morally desirable
Two Theoretical Categories Consequential Ethical egoism If an act is good for you, it is ethical Ethical altruism If an act is good for everyone but you it is ethical Utilitarianism If an act is good for all effected it is ethical Non-Consequential Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Imperative Act done with the intent to do the right thing and based upon Respect for others Can be maxim universally applied to all people Autonomous-you are not forced to commit the act Divine Commandment Ethics
All Ethical Models Have Problems It is impossible to act in a selfish way all the time Acting in everyone else’s interest undermines self-esteem and self worth An act may be good for the majority, but not all Kant’s Categorical Imperative leaves no room for exceptions Divine Commandments…a command because it is ethical? Or ethical because it is commanded?
Immanuel Kant “Dare to Know”
How do we use ethics? We can look at issues through all the models But our decision making process on what is ethical or not actually utilizes more than one model