Uploaded by Merwyn Baccay


Direct instruction
Guided practice
Independent practice
Group practice
Student-Instructor instruction
Personal assessment
Share virtually what you learned/how you learn
with the instructor and at least one other
member of the class.
Direct instruction
• Remembering:
arrange, define, duplicate, label, list, memorize, n
ame, order, recognize, relate, recall, repeat, repro
duce, state.
• Understanding:
classify, describe, discuss, explain, express, identif
y, indicate, locate, recognize, report, restate, revie
w, select, translate.
• During our discussion think of how personal
bias, culture, religion, time, space, sexual
orientation, gender, socio-economic status, fate
influence your thoughts and ideas.
Source Material Ethics #1
Branches of Philosophy
Instead of being treated as a single, unified
subject, philosophy is typically broken
down into a number of specialties areas or
branches. The following are the branches
that we will focus on:
Branches of Philosophy
This doesn't mean that each branch of philosophy is
entirely autonomous - there is overlap between the
branches. Sometimes deciding which branch of
philosophy a question properly belongs in isn't very
The parts make the whole
Metaphysics: Study of what is real
• In Western philosophy metaphysics has
become the study of the fundamental nature
of all reality - what is it.
• Some only regard metaphysics as the study of
"higher" reality or the "invisible" nature
behind everything, but that isn't actually true.
It is, instead, the study of all of reality, visible
and invisible.
Epistemology: Study of Knowledge
• Epistemology is the study of the nature of
knowledge. Epistemological studies usually
focus upon our means for acquiring
knowledge; thus modern epistemology
generally involves a debate between
rationalism and empiricism, or the question
of whether knowledge can be acquired a
priori or a posteriori.
Epistemology: Study of Knowledge
The terms a priori (“prior to") and a posteriori (“posterior to")
are used in philosophy (metaphysics) to distinguish two types of
• A priori knowledge or justification is independent of
experience (for example 'All bachelors are unmarried'); a
posteriori knowledge or justification is dependent on
experience or empirical evidence (for example 'Some
bachelors are very happy').
• A posteriori justification makes reference to experience; but
the issue concerns how one knows the proposition or claim in
question—what justifies or grounds one's belief in it.
Ways of Knowing
• Empiricism is the doctrine that knowledge is
gained primarily through observation and
• Ethical subjectivism holds that moral facts reduce
to facts about cultural conventions and thus are
knowable by observation of those conventions.
• Moral rationalism, also called ethical
rationalism, is the view according to which moral
truths are knowable “a priori” by reason alone.
Pertinent Questions
Are the ways an individual knows:
• innate or post natal?
• the result of Nature/Nurture
• determined genetically?
• the result of pathways in and construction of
the brain? All kinds of minds
• influenced by???????
Forming Knowledge
• Propositional knowledge is knowledge that some
statements are either true or false.
• Propositional knowledge is derived from a variety of
perspectives, including
philosophy, history, literature, science.
• What is the difference between knowledge and
beliefs? A belief is an internal thought or memory
which exists in one's mind. Most people accept that for
a belief to be knowledge it must be true and justified.
• Is what you know or propose related to your relative
Teleology: Study of Purpose and Ends
• Teleology is the study of any system attempting
to explain a series of events in terms of
ends, goals, or purposes. In the past, teleology
was utilized to identify purpose in the universe
with God's will. The teleological argument for the
existence of God holds that order in the world
could not be accidental and that since there is
design there must be a designer. A more recent
evolutionary view finds purpose in the higher
levels of organic life but holds that it is not
necessarily based in any transcendent being.
Ethics: Study of
Good, Bad, Right, Wrong
• Ethics is the formal study of moral standards
and conduct and is also often called "moral
• It addresses the following questions: What is
good? What is evil? How should I behave and why? How should I balance my needs
against the needs of others? How should I
respond to the command of a deity?
Meta-inquiry is a study of a study. Meta-ethics is then
the study of the discipline of ethics, which is itself an
area of study.
Meta-ethics is concerned with determining the nature
of judgments of moral right or wrong, good and bad. It
is not concerned with finding out which actions or
things are right and wrong, or which states of being are
good and bad, but understanding the nature and
meaning of concepts of right and wrong, good and
bad. Meta-ethics does not ask whether lying is always
wrong. Rather, tries to clarify what it means to say that
lying is right or wrong.
• Meta-ethics talks about the nature of ethics and
moral reasoning.
• Discussions about whether ethics is relative and
whether we always act from self-interest are
examples of meta-ethical discussions.
• Meta-ethics draws the conceptual distinction
between the three branches of ethics, Metaethics, Normative Ethics, and Applied Ethics.
Normative Ethics: What should one do
or be?
Normative ethics addresses such questions as
"What should one do?", thus endorsing some
ethical evaluations and rejecting others.
Normative ethics is interested in determining
the content of our moral behavior.
Normative ethical theories seek to provide
action-guides; procedures for answering the
Practical Question, "What ought to be done?"
Normative Ethics: What should one do
or be?
• Normative ethics intends to find out which
actions are right and wrong, or which
character traits are good and bad.
• In contrast, meta-ethics is a study of the
nature of ethics. A meta-ethical study would
be concerned with determining the meaning
and objectivity of moral concepts of right and
wrong, or good and bad.
Normative Ethics: Example
• In a philosophical context, the word norm usually means
standard, or rule, or principle, as opposed to what is
"normal by nature" for people to do, that is, what they
actually do.
• Example, the rules of arithmatic are normative in the
philosophical sense, because reasoning can be assessed
against these rules and judged correct or
incorrect, irrespective of whether this usage is the normal
usage. If everyone were to calculate 7+5 as 57, they would
have made a mistake, for they would have misunderstood
the rules (norms) of arithmetic. So even if this mistake were
"normal," a normative appraisal would hold everyone's
actual thinking to the rule which legislates how they ought
to think, and judge it incorrect.
Normative Ethics
• Some tension has been noticed between the two
different emphases of normative ethics:
action, on the one hand, and virtue, on the other.
The former asks which actions are right, whereas
the latter asks which states of character are
morally good.
• The unity of normative ethics can be explored by
understanding that the moral principles of action
and the virtues of character can be known in
relation to each other to some degree.
Normative Ethics
• Normative ethics is normative in that they have either
moral principles as standards of right action or virtues
as standards of good character in terms of which right
action can be known eventually.
• There are four normative theories we will study: 1)
Utilitarianism with the principle of utility as the basic
moral principle (Mill); 2) Kantianism with the
categorical imperatives as the fundamental moral
principle (Kant); 3) Virtue ethics with virtues as its
focus (Aristotle); 4)Divine command ethics with God
as the ground of moral being and/or behavior.
Relative and Absolute Ethics
• Some ethical theories are teleological - what is right or
wrong depends on the end or outcome of an action for utlitarians, pleasure, happiness or 'the greatest
good'; for Aristotle, 'Eudaimonia'. Other theories are
deontological - doing what is right means doing your
duty or following the rules - for Kant, the categorical
imperative; in Natural Law, the secondary precepts. It is
easy to think of teleological theories as relativist and
deontological theories as absolutist, but it it not that
simple. Apart from Kantian Ethics (thoroughly
absolutist and deontological) and Situation Ethics
(clearly relativist and teleological), ethics seems to
involve an uneasy mix.
• Absolutist ethical theories
• Kant and the Categorical Imperative
• Kant says that we should act according to maxims that we would
want to see as universal laws. These laws are absolutist - we can
work them out logically prior to experience; they are not verified
through experience (they are known 'a priori').
• The consequences of our actions are irrelevant to whether they are
right or wrong - evil actions may have unintended good
consequences, and someone might act heroically without any
guarantee that the consequences will be good. No character quality
is absolutely good (good without exception) - for example, it is
possible to act kindly but do the wrong thing. The only good thing is
a good will that does what is logically the right thing to do.
• Natural Law
• Natural Law is often described as deontological because, in
practice, it leads to a set of rules that people have a duty to follow.
These rules are absolutist, because they know of no exception. For
example, using contraception to prevent conception is absolutely
wrong, regardless of consequences such as the spread of
AIDS, unwanted pregnancies etc.
• However, Aquinas' Natural Law Theory says we should try to fulfil
our God-given purpose. This is teleological, as it is interested in our
design or 'end'. The primary precepts - worshipping God, living in an
ordered society, reproducing etc. - are teleological: they are the
ends to which all our actions should aim. The primary precepts are
also absolutist - Aquinas believed we were all made by God with a
shared human purpose.
• Moral relativism
• Situation Ethics
• This must not be confused with cultural relativism. Cultural
relativism is a very weak moral theory that says things are
right and wrong relative to our culture. The theory is easily
• Situation Ethics says that what is right and wrong is relative
to the situation. In other words, if you asked "Is it wrong to
abort a foetus?" I would ask "Under what circumstances?"
Clearly the outcome of my actions is of central importance
here. Rules may be useful, but you may need to ignore the
rules in order to do the right (loving) thing - the thing that is
in the best interests of the people affected.
• Theories that can be either absolutist or relativist
• Utilitarianism
• When Bentham came up with his Hedonic Calculus, he had developed a
theory that allowed you to work out what was right or wrong in any given
situation. Euthanasia might lead to the greatest happiness for one person
and yet lead to greater unhappiness in another situation. What is right or
wrong is relative to the situation, it is whatever has the best
consequences (teleological).
• Mill, and many since, have adapted Bentham's 'act' utlitarianism, claiming
that we need to make laws based on the principle of utility (choose the
laws that lead to the greater good) and then follow those laws. This means
I have a duty to, for example, tell the truth because it generally leads to
greater happiness, even if in this case it will lead to more unhappiness.
This is deontological, because it deals with the duty to follow rules. It can
be seen as absolutist because there are no exceptions to the rules (if you
were allowed to break the rules, this would be act utilitarianism).
• Virtue Ethics
• Aristotle came up with a list of virtues that we need to
acquire, through education and habitually, in order to have a
'Eudaimon' or happy life.
• Some modern virtue ethicists, such as Martha Nussbaum, describe
Aristotle's theory as absolutist. It is teleological, because it is about
the ends or purposes of our actions. However, Aristotle is saying
(according to Nussbaum) that certain ends or goals are absolute - it
is always good to be honest, kind, courageous etc.
• Other modern virtue ethicists say that values change, and different
societies hold up different virtues as desirable. What is
virtuous, according to MacIntyre, is relative to the context - relative
to culture, varying throughout history. Virtue ethics is
teleological, focussing on the ends or purposes of our actions.
These ends or purposes vary from one society to another
throughout time.
Relative Absolutes
• Are the Absolutes you accept and/or follow
relative to your
time, space, culture, religion, socioeconomics, gender, sexual orientation, fate?
• Has your definition/awareness of
absolutes, what is right and wrong, good and
bad, nature, etc. changed as you get new
global understanding or knowledge.
Applied Ethics: How does one
apply ethical principles?
: to deal with
• Applied Ethics attempts
specific realms of human action and to
craft criteria for discussing issues that
might arise.
• The contemporary field of Applied Ethics
arouse in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Today, it is a thriving part of the field of
Application 21st Century
• An emerging typology (the characteristics or traits
they have in common) for applied ethics uses
various domains to help improve organizations and
social issues at the national and global level:
• Technological
ethics, emails, hacking, ownership, right to privacy
• Decision ethics, or ethical theories and ethical
decision processes
• Professional ethics, or ethics to improve
Application 21st Century
• Clinical ethics, or ethics to improve our basic health
• Business ethics, or individual based morals to
improve ethics in an organization
• Organizational ethics, or ethics among organizations
• Social ethics, or ethics among nations and as one
global unit
Logic: study of methods of reasoning
and argumentation, both proper and
• Logic is the analyzes of primary premises and the
subsequent premises (propositions) that have led to
and support a conclusion.
• What are your beliefs?
• How did you develop your propositions?
• Why have you concluded that they are true?
Guided instruction
• Metaphysics: My dog is my best friend.
What is the nature of dog and friend?
• Epistemology: My dog is always happy to see
me, kisses me, and has unconditional positive
regard for me.
How do I know the nature of
dog, happy, kisses, unconditional positive
Guided Instruction
• Teleology: The purpose of a dog and friend
are non-differentiated.
Is it an organic cause and effect relationship or is
it a learned relationship? What is the purpose
of a dog? What is the purpose of a friend?
Guided Instruction
• Ethics: My dog is good and right and friends are
good and right.
Is the use of good and right equivalent when speaking
of a dog and friends?
Is there a natural dog good and right and a
domesticated dog good and right?
Is there a natural friend good and right and a
domesticated friend good and right?
Guided Instruction
• Logic: syllogism
A friend is good and right. (major premise)
My dog is good and right. (minor premise)
My dog is a friend. (conclusion)
Why does someone believe in the content of the
major and minor premises ?
Guided Instruction
Is the logical method correct?
Are the premises leading to the conclusion
Is the perception (epistemology) of nature and
purpose (teleology) of dog and friend what they
ought to be based on the nature (metaphysics)
of a dog and friend?
Guided Instruction
• Metaphysics: God is good
What is the nature of good?
What is the nature of God?
• Epistemology: I have a strong God belief like my
family and the religious schools I attended taught
Why do I believe in the God I do?
Why do I believe in the God commandment I do?
How do I know they are true?
Guided Instruction
• Teleology: The Human purpose is to follow the
teachings of God, love Him, and earn heaven.
Do humans have a purpose?
Does God have a purpose?
Is God’s purpose the human purpose?
Is heaven and/or love of God the purpose for
following God’s command?
Guided Instruction
• Ethics: God is good and right, God’s commandments
are good and right, and His command should be
obligatory to follow.
Is God good and right?
Is God’s commandments good and right?
Is His commandment obligatory?
Is love of God the reason for following the commands
or is it the end result, heaven?
Guided Instruction
• Logic: Syllogism
God is the Ultimate Good and Right.
The Ultimate Good and Right is to be obeyed.
God is to be obeyed.
Is the form and content of the above syllogism
true and valid?
Individual Instruction
Take the next 8 minutes to review what we
covered during the class time
Group Instruction
• Take the next 12 minutes to discuss with
members of the group what you have learned
and what you need to know.
• Make a list of areas that are not clear to you
to share in the Student-Instructor learning
Student-Instructor Process
• Students and instructor share areas that need
Personal Assessment
• Write in your journal an explanation of your
understanding of the subject that we have
studied tonight.
• The journal entry should be extensive and show
depth and breadth of learning.
• Your journal writing will be of great value when
writing your final paper.
• Email your journal to the instructor and at least
one other classroom member for interaction