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Department
Management (MGS)
Course Code
MGSC14H3
Professor
Andrew Stark

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Theories of Justice:
Moral theory: pragmatic justification is if you want x to be the case, then set up the
necessary and sufficient conditions to maximize the probability that x will be the
case
Rational self interest argument: adopting the rule (to not kill innocent people) makes
the world a safer place for you and those you love, so you should adopt the rule
Utilitarianism
Frequently referred to as a kind of consequentialist theory
Evaluate what actions they should take or what rules they should follow based upon
the best information/estimate of what consequences will follow from adopting
particular actions/rules.
Founded by the leader of the Philosophical Radicals, Jeremy Bentham and James
Mill in early nineteenth century.
Grounded in the belief that an action was right if and only if such action, on balance
brought more good over bad than any other actions that was possible
Good, not in a self interested way, but as a good for the good of all
2 kinds
act utilitarian (committed to analyzing each particular act or action and determining
its rightness based on maximizing the good over the bad of performing that action
over all other possible actions).
Rule utilitarian (evaluates the consequences of following a rule more generally,
actions are only evaluated to assess their concordance with the general rules that
themselves are evaluated in terms of good consequences over bad. Willing to accept
that individual actions can cause more harm than good, but if following the rule on
balance produces more good, then the individual harm is justified)
Criticisms:
Defining Good - What is good for one person is not necessarily good for another. It
is dependent upon ability, education, intelligence and talents
Harming some for the good of the whole (means to ends justification)
compromising some individuals happiness for the greater balance of happiness for
all (scapegoating)
www.notesolution.com
Paradox of the harms of act and rule utilitarianism if one looks at each particular
act and evaluates it in isolations, then one may never see that the cumulative impact
of these isolated acts is harmful
Problem of impartiality and disinterested benevolence (goodwill) there is a clear
limitation to always assuming that impartiality (neutrality) and disinterest leads to
the greater good
Deontology
An action is moral, independent of its consequences and based solely on purely
rational ethical belief, derived through the reason that is available to all matures,
intelligent, reasoning human beings.
Action that is done from duty gets its moral value, not from the object which it is
intended to secure, but from the maxim by which it is determined
Morality of an action is determined solely by the general principle to which the
action conforms (through the principles formal properties and universality that is
gains legitimacy) KANT
Criticisms:
Universalizability as an implicit appeal to consequences what Kant is doing is
positing a type of rule utilitarianism in which one evaluates the value of a rule based
upon the long term consequences of following the rule
Faith in reason Kants naive faith in pure reason as the unproblematic grounds for
ethics
Counterintuitive aspect ex: lifeboat case (10 ppl in boat that only holds 9, one
person must go overboard and drown or all 10 lives will be lost) deontologist argues
that no human life can be used as a means to an end. But all human lives are ends
in themselves, consequence is that all lives must be lost.
Contractarianism
Aka social contract theory
Developed in 17th and 18th centuries (Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, John Rawls,
Rousseau, Hume)
Make a distinction between the state of nature and the state of society, with the state
of nature being conceived of as pre-political
www.notesolution.com
Emphasis on importance of the rights of the individual in the collectivity that is the
state
Associated with libertarianism, democracy, and republicanism
Individual freedom is neither a necessary nor sufficient o=condition of the social
contract
Rawls identified 2 principles of justice that he believed would be adopted by rational
and mutually self interested persons with similar needs and wants: principle of
EQUALITY OF LIBERTY, principle of DIFFERENCE
Rawls belives that the strengths of his principles rests in the fundamental
assumption of fairness as having primacy in any notion of justice
Criticisms: assumption that rational self interest is the foundation for the contract.
This assumptions diminishes the moral sense of humankind and reduces it to merely
expedient amoral self interest.
Assumption of reason as the foundation for social contract and of the rough equality
of persons in the original position is biased and begins with a skewed definition of
the moral considerability of those in the original position
Feminist ethics
Ethics of care (carol Gilligan) 2 perspectives on morality, justice and rights
perspective, and the care perspective
Woman and men reason differently about moral choices as a conswquence of their
different social roles in society.
Womens roles in reproduction and child and family care
The care perspective is neither biologically determined nor unique to women.
Distributive Justice
How the goods/benefits within a society are to be rewarded or shared
Rawls argues that inequality is justified if it is advantageous to everyone
Principles of distribution:
To each an equal share strict equalitarianism free rider problem
To each according to need equalitarianism, justified on humanitarian grounds
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Theories of Justice: Moral theory: pragmatic justification is if you want x to be the case, then set up the necessary and sufficient conditions to maximize the probability that x will be the case Rational self interest argument: adopting the rule (to not kill innocent people) makes the world a safer place for you and those you love, so you should adopt the rule Utilitarianism Frequently referred to as a kind of consequentialist theory Evaluate what actions they should take or what rules they should follow based upon the best informationestimate of what consequences will follow from adopting particular actionsrules. Founded by the leader of the Philosophical Radicals, Jeremy Bentham and James Mill in early nineteenth century. Grounded in the belief that an action was right if and only if such action, on balance brought more good over bad than any other actions that was possible Good, not in a self interested way, but as a good for the good of all 2 kinds act utilitarian (committed to analyzing each particular act or action and determining its rightness based on maximizing the good over the bad of performing that action over all other possible actions). Rule utilitarian (evaluates the consequences of following a rule more generally, actions are only evaluated to assess their concordance with the general rules that themselves are evaluated in terms of good consequences over bad. Willing to accept that individual actions can cause more harm than good, but if following the rule on balance produces more good, then the individual harm is justified) Criticisms: Defining Good - What is good for one person is not necessarily good for another. It is dependent upon ability, education, intelligence and talents Harming some for the good of the whole (means to ends justification) compromising some individuals happiness for the greater balance of happiness for all (scapegoating) www.notesolution.com
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