qEEthics - Phil 143 Flashcards

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Define Ethics

- The systematic and reasoned study of morality and its claims
- Goes beyond mere personal opinions or feelings


Define Morality

What we (simply because we are persons) should be like and how we should be


What do we mean when we say that something is normative?

If it establishes or refers to some standard or norm by which other things may be evaluated.


What are two things normative does?

either makes a value claim or prescribes (prohibits) some action


Define Moral Claim and give an example

serve to guide, regulate and asses persons and their behavior. Make assertions about good and bad, right and wrong
ex. being loyal, sympathetic


What is the difference between moral value claim and moral prescriptive claim.

value - persons character traits morally good or bad
prescriptive - what sort of acts are right and wrong


Define descriptive claims and give an example

describe how the world actually is or could be. describes something from a scene.
ex. It is hard to see when you are driving in the rain


Define prudential claims and give an example

normative claims that say what would be in our interest or prudent to do.
ex. You shouldn't associate with shady characters in dark alleys


Define etiquette claims and give an example

normative claims that have to do with what is acceptable social behavior
ex. You ought to say "please" when you ask someone for something


Define legal claims and give an example

normative claims that derive from civil authrity


Define truth claims

Moral claims that make assertions that are either true or false


Define Moral principle and give an example

general moral claims that hold for everyone in the same way
ex. The golden rule


Explain what it means to say that moral claims are universalizing and overriding, and what is an example of this

Moral claims tend to override or take precedence over what is normative of those times.
ex. Martin Luther King going against the norm of segregation, but the moral claim that equality is right overrides the current moral norm.


Identify the ethical theory of emotivism and explain its formulation by David Hume

def- view point of ethics, moral claims but appear to be truth claims they express a persons emotional approval or disapproval
Hume - desire is what motivates actions, reason is what we use to get what we desire, sympathy for other human beings is embedded in our human nature


Do you agree or disagree with the notion that humans always do what they desire, and that they have an inherent sympathy for others.

Humans I believe do always do what they desire and no not all humans have an inherent sympathy for others.


Define values and explain what is meant my the claim that values are overriding.

def - Thing that we consider important and desirable and that we seek and base our choices upon.


define instrumental values and give an example

things that are useful for attaining something else of value
ex. dessert island full of money, what good is the money when there is nothing to spend it on.


define fundamental value and give an example

things that are valuable in themselves, intrinsic worth. (intrinsic = belonging naturally)
ex. family


Which values are intrinsic and derivative?

intrinsic = fundamental
derivative = instramental


what do ethical theories commonly do?

explain all of morality by appealing to one or more fundamental values


What is the difference between ethical theories that appeal to fundamental moral values and ethical theories that appeal to fundamental nonmoral values.

fund -


Define Hendoism

There is just one fundamental good: pleasure (happiness). Striving to keep happy, and avoid pain.


define rationalism

morality derives from the fundamental value of reason. Goal of rationalism, show that moral principles can best be explained in terms of the fundamental values of reason


Define Virtues

Good character traits that persons can have such as honesty and loyalty


What do we mean we say a person is autonomous?

Able to make free choices as a self-determining individual


What are the three conditions for one to be considered autonomous.

1. Independence conditions - free of any external constraints
2. Competency conditions - rationally deliberating about choices
3. Authenticity conditions - capable of discerning, reflecting upon, and personally choosing own goals and values


Explain moral responsibility

being morally accountable to others for ones own choices. If you choose to act one way, one must except the consequences, On the other hand if one is forcing another to do something, the person forcing is the one responsible for the outcomes.


explain moral deference

accepting a persons actions and allowing him to act with out interference


Explain and give an example of moral incompetent.

individuals who condition or state precludes his autonomy on a continuing basis
ex. an adult with Alzheimer who cannot make rational decisions.


Explain and give an example of paternalism

overruling peoples choices and actions for their own good.
ex. gov acting paternally with child services


Define moral agent

a person who not only satisfies the conditions of autonomy but also makes actual moral choices.


Define moral agency

an autonomous person who every time makes a specific moral choice in a specific situation


What are three levels of moral agency? define and give example of each

1. Independent choice: no real deliberation
and not authentic assessment of one's values
ex. What to eat for breakfast
2. Competent Choice: moral agency at a much higher level than at the level of independent choice, competent decisions not made lightly, but involve deliberation.
ex. someone going into business because he hopes to enjoy good earnings
3. Authentic Choice: highest level of moral agency, requires all three autonomous conditions, (1) making ind. choice (2) making competent choice (3) authentically assessing values, highest degree of moral responsibility


what is the difference between value-free and value-guided autonomy?



Jean-Paul sartre's argument for value-free autonomy

- we exist by something but what we are we choose not by on/thing else.
- what you are is what you do.
- sartre is an existentialist
- existence precedes essence. I exist before I am.


What does Sartre mean when he says "existence precedes essence" by context, fundamental project, and envision individual responsibility?

existence essence = I existed before I knew who I was. Your existed, but that was it until you figured stuff out.


What is a moral standard?

consisits of all moral principles and values that determine good or bad right or wrong


define objectivism

maintains that the same moral principles hold universally- every person and every society.


define popular relativism

maintains that the same moral princ. hold just for the members of a particular society. princ. determined by society.


define subjectivism

maintains that moral principles hold just for particular persons. a persons principles are determined by what that person believes to be morally right.


What are Rachel three universal moral values found in every human society

1. care of children
2. prohibition of murder
3. presumption in truth


what is the difference between moral principle and moral judgment

principle: general normative claim that holds for everyone in the same way
judgment: limited moral claim; judgments are specific persons or specific situations


define evaluative principle



define evaluative judgment



define a fundamental moral principle



Identify and explain how the four key criteria are used to asses the adequacy of any ethical theory. P 82

1. Completeness
2. Explanatory power
3. practicability
4. Moral Confirmation