Midterm worth 45%,
Take-home Final worth 55%
Don't have to buy the book. Attend lectures and it's hard not to do well.
Why do we care about ethics?
Generally, good ethics lead to good business.
Madoff - Ponzi scheme (Pyramid Scam) "147 years sentence"
- middle class
- wanted to go to upperclass
- considered working legitimately vs. going with a scam.
- saved up $60k initial sum
- went to a couple of "suckers", billy and sally who each have $100k to start with.
- (S&P 500 is about 6.5% over the past 100 years)
- on Jan 1st, invest 100k from billy and sally.
- on Dec 31st, pays out 30k each to billy and sally.
- On the next year, Madoff asks each of billy and sally to get 2 more friends
- On the next year, Madoff has 600K from 6 ppl, and only has to pay out 30k x6
- His son turned him in.
What does it mean to behave ethically?
- To gain insight from the 5 theories: (all have strengths, but all have flaws)
4. Rights based
We shall use a plural of these above, because:
1. Wisdom of multiple advisors
2. Wisdom of NOT going with your gut (instincts/intuition are usually from your earliest
upbringing - parental, religious, etc - conditioned to simply be most comfortable)
3. Minimize chance of getting in trouble 4. “Chain vs. Table”
Chain approach: start with some premise and slowly build, one chainlink at a time, to
some conclusion. However, this is a bad argumentative strategy because it's only as
strong as its weakest link. Putting all your eggs in one basket is not a good strategy.
Table approach: surface of the table is the conclusion, and the table's legs are the
Virtue Ethics Summary:
- Key concept is virtue defined as an "excellence of character." This tradition is all about the
development of good character over time; moral problems are character defects.
- Founding figure: ARISTOTLE (384-322 BC)
- His ethical vision: In life, we must pursue eudaimonia (i.e. our fullest development)
- "Eudaimonia" - "happiness, flourishing, human excellence"
- This is:
- Pleasure +
- Internal Goods +
- the virtues
- External Goods
- good society & parents (Aristotle said that if you were not bore into a
good family, your emotional growth would be stunted. He did not believe in
redemption. He believed that if a bad upbringing would not allow any further
- financial security
- health & safety
- friends & relationships
*Solve Moral Dilemmas by Consulting a Moral Expert
- is not natural, or automatic
- must be developed over time, with conscious & deliberate effort (like exercising a muscle)
- must become a reliable, stable part of your character
- benefits self & others
- "traits we praise in others & strive to develop in ourselves"
- are usually in a mean between extremes (e.g. courage)
- 4 cardinal virtues: courage, moderation, prudence, justice.
1. Excellent verified account of general human happiness
2. Actions comes out of character. 3. Attention to moral development, & the need for continued moral "practice"
4. Stress on social & relationship context needed for (moral) thriving not just individuals making
choices in a vacuum,
5. (Inspiringly Optimistic & Hopeful)
1. "Inspiring", or Naive, re: "perfectibility"
2. Illiberal, Oppressive Overtones re: character judgement & social context
3. Elitism & Issue of "moral Experts"
4. Too Selfish to be a Moral Code?
5. Vagueness of Virtues + Cultural Relativity (e.g. of courage)
6. Are Virtues Enough?
Duty-Based Ethics Summary “Deontology”:
- Key concept is duty / obligation / responsibility. Key differences from virtue ethics:
1) deontology separates prudence & morality, whereas virtue ethics blended them;
2) deontology focuses on judging actions; virtue ethics conce