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study guide

11 Pages
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Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHL 302
Professor
Glen Hoffmann

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October 9, 2009
NURSING ETHICS – LECTURE 4
I – Ethical Theories
We have begun the course with an examination of ethical theories.
An ethical theory provides us with norms, principles, or standards to
govern the moral propriety of actions.
We can then apply these theories to specific concepts and issues that
arise in health-care ethics.
1
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The first ethical theory we focused on was utilitarianism.
Utilitarianism: actions that maximize utility (bring about the most
utility for the most amount of people) and minimize disutility are
morally justified.
We then looked at another important ethical theory: deontology (or
Kantian ethics).
-Deontology: actions are morally justified that are performed
out of a sense of duty.
-Actions that accord with universalizable maxims, e.g.,never
lie, are morally justifiable.
This week we will take a brief look at another moral theory: virtue
ethics.
2
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II – Virtue Ethics
Virtue ethics is the third main moral theory, although it is not nearly
as well-received as the other two.
It was a theory introduced by Aristotle (384-322 BC).
Virtue ethics is a theory that is a bit of an anomaly.
It does not focus on actions in moral assessment.
Virtue ethics is neither consequentialist nor duty-based in orientation.
The virtue ethicist does not think we can morally evaluate actions in
and of themselves, as per deontology, or in terms of their
consequences, as per utilitarianism.
3
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1 October 9, 2009 NURSING ETHICS LECTURE 4 I Ethical Theories We have begun the course with an examination of ethical theories. An ethical theory provides us with norms, principles, or standards to govern the moral propriety of actions. We can then apply these theories to specific concepts and issues that arise in health-care ethics. www.notesolution.com 2 The first ethical theory we focused on was utilitarianism. Utilitarianism: actions that maximize utility (bring about the most utility for the most amount of people) and minimize disutility are morally justified. We then looked at another important ethical theory: deontology (or Kantian ethics). -Deontology: actions are morally justified that are performed out of a sense of duty. -Actions that accord with universalizable maxims, e.g., never lie, are morally justifiable. This week we will take a brief look at another moral theory: virtue ethics. www.notesolution.com
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