PHILOS 2TT3 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Kantian Ethics, Categorical Imperative, Deontological Ethics

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Published on 4 Oct 2012
School
McMaster University
Department
Philosophy
Course
PHILOS 2TT3
Professor
Midterm Study Notes
Kantian Ethics: focus on action and the reasoning behind them.
- Moral Foundations:
o Rationality the ability to deliberate and act upon valid reasoning
o Autonomy persons have will and moral worth
*Moral worth lies in the kind of act, not the consequences
- Categorical Imperative
o Universal Law:
Formulate Maxim
Formulate as universal law
Imagine a world with this universalized law
Evaluate for contradiction
o Formula of Humanity
Never treat persons as means without individual ends
Moral Relativism:
- No universally valid standards
- Validity dependent upon
o Personal choice (subjectivism)
o Cultural acceptance (conventionalism)
Moral Objectivism:
- Descriptive claim that cultures have different moral norms.
o “it is the case that this is the way it is, NOT that this is the way it should be.”
- Critique:
o No basis for criticism of other cultures no wrong or right between cultures,
ultimately. Therefore:
o No basis for reform
o Difficult to define culture.
Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics:
- Choice of who to be instead of what to do virtue as a disposition.
- Goodness comes from our performance functionality
o Happiness comes about through the rational, virtuous activity of the soul.
- Agent must choose the virtuous action and make it habit.
o Virtue seeks the mean
- Virtues:
o Friendliness
o Generosity
o Bravery
o Mildness
o Truthfulness
Ethical Pluralism: W.D. Ross
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Document Summary

Kantian ethics: focus on action and the reasoning behind them. Moral foundations: rationality the ability to deliberate and act upon valid reasoning, autonomy persons have will and moral worth. *moral worth lies in the kind of act, not the consequences. Imagine a world with this universalized law: formula of humanity. Never treat persons as means without individual ends. Validity dependent upon: personal choice (subjectivism, cultural acceptance (conventionalism) Descriptive claim that cultures have different moral norms: it is the case that this is the way it is, not that this is the way it should be. Critique: no basis for criticism of other cultures no wrong or right between cultures, ultimately. Therefore: no basis for reform, difficult to define culture. Choice of who to be instead of what to do virtue as a disposition. Goodness comes from our performance functionality: happiness comes about through the rational, virtuous activity of the soul.

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