Meta Ethics

Meta Ethics

Dialogue Education Update 4 THIS CD HAS BEEN PRODUCED FOR TEACHERS TO USE IN THE CLASSROOM. IT IS A CONDITION OF THE USE OF THIS CD THAT IT BE USED ONLY BY THE PEOPLE FROM SCHOOLS THAT HAVE PURCHASED THE CDROM FROM DIALOGUE EDUCATION. (THIS DOES NOT PROHIBIT ITS USE ON A SCHOOLS INTRANET). 1

Page 3 Kahoot Page 4 - Fling the Teacher -Ethical Theory Page 5 - Video Presentation An Introduction to Ethics Page 6 - Normative Ethics Pages 7 to 10 - Introductory information about Theoretical Ethics Pages 11 to 16 - Consequentialist Approaches Pages 17 to 24 - Deontological Approaches Page 25 - Internalism vs externalism Pages 26 to 28 - Moral Relativism

Page 29 - Moral Nihilism Page 30 - Enough Rope Interview with Australian Philosopher Julian Savulescu Page 32 Grade or No Grade Game Utilitarianism (See online resources for more Games) Page 34 - Bibiography 2 3

Click on the image above for a game of Fling the Teacher. Try playing the game with your students at the start and the end of the unit. Make sure you have started the slide show and are connected to the internet. 4

Click on the image to the left. You will need to be connected to the internet to view this presentation. Enlarge to full screen

5 Normative ethics is the branch of philosophical ethics that investigates the set of questions that arise when we think about the question how ought one act morally speaking? 6

Broadly speaking, normative ethics can be divided into the subdisciplines of moral theory and applied ethics. 7

Classical theories in this vein include utilitarianism, Kantianism, and some forms of contractarianism. 8 In the 20th century, moral theories have become more

complex and are no longer concerned solely with rightness and wrongness, but are interested in many different kinds of moral status. 9 In the middle of the 20th century there was a long hiatus in the development of normative ethics during which philosophers

largely turned away from normative questions towards meta-ethics. 10 In 1971, John Rawls bucked the trend against normative theory in publishing A Theory of Justice.

11 There are two main divisions in ethical theory. They are Consequentialism and Deontological approaches to ethics. 12 JOHN STUART MILL

13 Consequentialism (Teleology) argues that the morality of an action is contingent on the action's outcome or result. 14

Utilitarianism, which holds that an action is right if it leads to the most value for the greatest number of people (Maximizes value for all people). 15

Egoism, the belief that the moral person is the self-interested person, holds that an action is right if it maximizes good for the self. 16

Situation Ethics, which holds that the correct action to take is the one which creates the most loving result, and that love should always be our goal. 17 IMMANUEL KANT

18 Deontology argues that decisions should be made considering the factors of one's duties and other's rights. 19

Immanuel Kant's Categorical Imperative, which roots morality in humanity's rational capacity and asserts certain inviolable moral laws. 20 The Contractarianism of John Rawls or Thomas Hobbes, which holds that the

moral acts are those that we would all agree to if we were unbiased. 21 Natural rights (law) theories, such that of Thomas Aquinas or John Locke, which hold that human beings have absolute, natural rights.

22 Virtue ethics, which was advocated by Aristotle, focuses on the inherent character of a person rather than on the specific actions he or she performs.

23 Divine Command Theory Ethical issues can by decided by reference to a sacred book, person or teaching. 24 Problems Are the moral facts fixed

for all times e.g. polygamy was moral in the 5th Century BC but not in the first century AD. 25 Internalism vs externalism Internalism An internal reason is, roughly, something that one has in light of one's own "subjective motivational

set"---one's own commitments, desires (or wants), goals, etc. Externalism On the other hand, an external reason is something that one has independent of one's subjective motivational set. 26

Moral relativism holds that for a thing to be morally right is for it to be approved of by society. 27

What about the moral issue of whether woman should or should not be allowed to wear the veil or burka? e.g In French secondary schools A moral relativist would say that a moral decision is relative to the culture. 28 Relativism explains the value of tolerance in

our society. Logical problems How do you carve up cultures? There are lots of cultural identities within a culture. Pluralistic societies contain many cultures. How do you make sense of moral progress? e.g. abolition of slavery, womens rights. Is relativism an absolute? 29

Moral nihilism, also known as ethical nihilism, is the ethical theory that nothing is morally preferable to anything else. 30

Australian Professor Julian Savulescu who is the Chair of Practical Ethics at the Faculty of Philosophy in Oxford He favours the use of legalizing drug use in sport, thinks cloning is cool and says that if the technology were available

then yes we should genetically modify our children. Click here for an interview with him 31 32 Click on the image to the left for the game

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Cline, Austin "Analytic Ethics (Metaethics)," URL = http://atheism.about.com/library/FAQs/phil/blfaq_phileth_anal.htm." Garner, Richard T.; Bernard Rosen (1967). Moral Philosophy: A Systematic Introduction to Normative Ethics and Meta-ethics. New York: Macmillan. pp. 215. LOC card number 67-18887. Jackson, Frank "Critical Notice" Australasian Journal of Philosophy Vol. 70, No. 4; December 1992 (pp. 475-488).

Hurley, S.L. (1989). Natural Reasons: Personality and Polity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hurley, S.L. (1985). "Objectivity and Disagreement." in Morality and Objectivity, Ted Honderich (ed.). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, pp. 5497. ^ Couture, Jocelyne and Kai Nielsen (1995). "Introduction: The Ages of Metaethics," in On the Relevance of Metaethics: New Essays in Metaethics, Jocelyne Couture and Kai Nielsen (eds.). Calgary: University of Calgary Press, pp. 1-30. ^ Gibbard, Allan (1993). "Reply to Railton," in Naturalism and Normativity, Enrique Villanueva (ed.). Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, pp. 52-59. Wikipedia-Normative Ethics- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normative_ethics

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