January 9, 2014
Introduction to Ethics
Metaphysics -VS- Value Theory
• Metaphysics is about how things are as a matter of fact
• The existence of God
• The nature of personhood
• The mind-body relation
• The nature of time
• Value Theory is normative – it is about how thing should (ought) to be
• Aesthetics (philosophy of art) – the good and bad with respect to beauty and art
• Ethics/Morality – the good and bad with respect to actions and ways of life
• So ethics concerns value but there are different sorts of value
• Different sorts of Goods
• We value most things extrinsically or instrumentally – as a means to some end
• Valued because it brings you things you value intrinsically
• Examples of things valued as a means to an end?
• Money … how?
• Job training – (in contrast to education?)
• Consumer goods
• Access to health care
• Some things we value as ends in themselves
• What if anything do we value as an end in itself?
• Pleasure and the avoidance of pain?