chapter 6 when values clash theoretical approaches n.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Chapter 6 When Values Clash: Theoretical Approaches PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
Chapter 6 When Values Clash: Theoretical Approaches

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 30

Chapter 6 When Values Clash: Theoretical Approaches - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Chapter 6 When Values Clash: Theoretical Approaches. A 21 st Century Ethical Toolbox by Anthony Weston. Utilitarian Strategies. Good vs. Good Good vs. Other Values Values that Don’t “Cash Out”. Good vs. Good. When one good conflicts with another good, what would an utilitarian say?

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

Chapter 6 When Values Clash: Theoretical Approaches

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
chapter 6 when values clash theoretical approaches

Chapter 6 When Values Clash:Theoretical Approaches

A 21st Century Ethical Toolboxby Anthony Weston

utilitarian strategies
Utilitarian Strategies
  • Good vs. Good
  • Good vs. Other Values
  • Values that Don’t “Cash Out”
good vs good
Good vs. Good
  • When one good conflicts with another good, what would an utilitarian say?
    • Choose the one that creates the greatest good for the greatest number
  • We are forced to perform a kind of cost/benefit analysis, usually tied to economic analysis.
  • Solution: Calculate the long-term costs and benefits and choose that which creates the greatest good.
good vs other values
Good vs. Other Values
  • For an utilitarian, all moral reasoning is reduced to consideration of creating the greatest “good” for the greatest number.
  • Ultimately, all of the other values can be understood as goods and considered in cost/benefit analyses.
  • It’s a matter of figuring out how to “cash out” or “translate” these other values; we have find their market value and operate accordingly.
    • Justice (a right) is just because it promotes happiness and utility.
    • Honesty (a virtue) is virtuous because it ultimately leads to happiness.
  • Solution: Translate rights and virtues into goods and proceed with cost/benefit analysis.
values that don t cash out
Values that don’t “Cash Out”
  • Not all values seem to translate into goods.
  • Those that don’t cash-out are not really moral values to utilitarians.
  • E.g. Fairness (a right and virtue)
    • Sometimes fairness gets in the way of utility
    • The kidnapping of Dr. Zhivago by the Bolsheviks is sanctioned by J.S. Mill’s theory…
j s mill
J.S. Mill

“Cases may occur in which some other social duty is so important as to overrule…the general maxims of justice. Thus, to save a life, it may not only be allowable , but a duty, to steal or take by force the necessary food or medicine, or to kidnap and compel to officiate the only qualified medical practitioner…”

Cited in Weston 2001: p. 105

non utilitarian strategies prioritizing values
Non-Utilitarian Strategies: Prioritizing Values
  • Rights vs. Rights
  • Rights vs. Goods
  • Virtues, Goods, and Rights
rights vs rights
Rights vs. Rights
  • When rights conflict, the most basic rights come first.
    • E.g. Two children fighting over a toy. Property ownership trumps desire. Who has a right to the toy? The child who owns it.
    • E.g. My right to life trumps your right to keep and bear arms, or, “You’re rights end where my nose begins.”
    • E.g. Is it fair to informed voters when uninformed voters vote? No, but the right to vote trumps the right to fairness, according to this logic.
rights vs goods
Rights vs. Goods
  • How do we act when rights conflict with social utility?
  • E.g. You are a surgeon and you come upon a plane crash. There are six passengers. One is unharmed, and the five others each have a different internal injury. Without organ transplants the other five will die. Can you kill the healthy one and distribute her organs among the other five?
    • What would a utilitarian say?
rights vs goods continued
Rights vs. Goods (continued)
  • Trust your intuition
    • What’s the little voice say?
    • What does your gut tell you?
  • Appeal to moral reason
    • How would Kant address the surgeon’s situation?
  • Prioritize rights vs. goods
    • Right to life trumps social utility
virtues goods and rights
Virtues, Goods, and Rights
  • What do we do when virtues collide?
  • Again, choose the most basic according to your interests and values.
  • Virtue theorists urge us to always consider virtue because, they say, goods and rights do not always trump virtue. Virtuosity ought always be considered in moral reasoning.
  • All of this is controversial
  • Theories are limited tools
  • Cross-family problems are difficult situations for traditional moral theories
  • Use these tools with care and caution
  • Learn from them in the act of using them to interrogate a problematic situation
  • And, remember to creatively transcend the limitations of theory, if only because you are a human and you can.
chapter 7 when values clash integrative approaches

Chapter 7 When Values Clash:Integrative Approaches

A 21st Century Ethical Toolboxby Anthony Weston

another view of moral conflicts
Another View of Moral Conflicts
  • What is each side right about?
  • What is each theory right about?
john dewey
John Dewey

“Only dogmatism can suppose that serious moral conflict is between something clearly bad and something known to be good…. Most conflicts of importance are conflicts between things which are or have been satisfying, not between good and evil.”

Cited in Weston 2001: p. 118

what is each side right about
What is each side right about?
  • In nearly every serious moral issue, all sides are usually right about something; they each make good points.
  • E.g. Abortion
    • What is each side right about?
    • What kind of conflict is this? Good vs. good, virtue vs. right, etc.?
    • How did the last chapter suggest we might cope with this issue?
what is each side right about continued
What is each side right about? (continued)
  • Suppose we start by asking, “What are the strengths of their argument?”
  • Conversely, and this is difficult, we ought to ask ourselves, “What are the weaknesses of my point of view?”
  • Critical inquiry requires this of us...
    • Self-reflexivity
    • Fallibility
example affirmative action
Example: Affirmative Action
  • What is each side right about?
    • Pro-Affirmative Action
      • Racism and Sexism are wrong.
      • Justice, equality, and fairness requires a “leveling of the playing field” to help us overcome present circumstances which have unfairly limited the possibilities of affected groups of people.
      • We ought to work toward “righting” some of these wrongs.
    • Anti-Affirmative Action
      • If discrimination is wrong, it is wrong in any form. Affirmative action discriminates against white men.
      • It is wrong to correct one injustice with another.
what is each theory right about
What is each theory right about?
  • Similarly, when looking for the right moral tools to use to grapple with our problems, we shouldn’t just ask, which theory is right. We should ask, what is each theory right about?
  • E.g. Assisted Suicide
    • Utilitarians are right to consider pain relief good;
    • Deontologists are right to believe that autonomous, rational, humans with free will have the right to make their own decisions;
    • And, they’re right to value human life as a good, even a life of suffering;
    • Virtue ethicists are right to value compassion and courage as laudable character traits;
    • Care ethicists are right to value compassionate action to relieve and minimize suffering, and to consider also those loved ones affected by the decision to end a life
the result complexification
The result: Complexification
  • This kind of inquiry doesn’t make moral reasoning easier, but it illuminates the terrain in ways that help us come to terms with our moral reasoning processes.
  • It compels us to look at the situation from different perspectives.
  • It changes a moral problem from a simple fight between two polar opposites to a genuine challenge among many competing notions of goodness, righteousness, and virtue.
  • So, have we simply made the decision more complicated and harder to cope with? Not necessarily.
  • We’ve exercised due care and consideration on the road to thoughtful moral deliberation.
  • Now, at least, we can demonstrate our thought processes and justify our moral decision to even our most adamant detractors.
integrative methods
Integrative Methods
  • Strategies
  • Case in Point: Affirmative Action
we ve only made things more difficult haven t we
We’ve only made things more difficult, haven’t we?
  • What do we do if everybody is right about something?
  • Haven’t we only paralyzed ourselves and made it more difficult to act?
  • Not necessarily, provided we bring all that we have as humans to bear on the situation.
  • In fact, there are many proven ways to negotiate these complex moral landscapes.
  • Let’s examine a few of the strategies Anthony Weston suggests we consider…
  • To integrate values, we need find ways to identify and honor all worthwhile contending points of view—a tall order.
  • We are not looking to find a winner among the contenders; we are seeking multiple winners.
  • Three (3) Helpful Strategies:
    • Split the difference between opposites
    • Search for compatibility among different values
    • Begin to work from common values all sides hold
split the difference a real world example
Split the Difference: A Real-world Example
  • I come home from a long day of work and want quiet
  • My daughter comes home from a long day of school and wants to play her music—loud.
    • How about half of the time quiet, and then half of the time with music…
    • Or, I work in a quiet room on one side of the house and she plays her music on the other side…
    • Or, she wears headphones for her music…
    • Or, I wear noise-reducing headphones…
find compatibilities among different values
Find Compatibilities among different values
  • Vacation time is coming: I want to go to the mountains, and my wife wants to go to the beach. I want to hike and she wants to swim and sunbathe.
  • Are these really incompatible?
    • In Oregon the mountains are right next to the beach, maybe we can vacation in some place where we can do both?
    • There’s a nice beach in one of the lakes in the Pintlers—why not go there?
    • Or, why not find some nice day hikes near the ocean, why not hike into a secluded beach?
work from common values
Work from Common Values
  • The vacation, continued…
  • We both have some common values here
    • Each wants to spend time together
    • Each wants to spend time outside, in nature
    • Each wants to spend time doing something active
    • Why not begin the negotiation there?
case in point affirmative action
Case in Point: Affirmative Action
  • Split the Difference
    • Allow some preferential treatment, in college admission, for example, and eliminate affirmative action in hiring practices in the private sector.
  • Common Values
    • Both value justice, fairness, and equal opportunity: colorblindness
    • Blind auditions, for example
    • Or, combination of merit and affirmative action incentives so that nobody deserving goes unrewarded
  • Choose one of the following contemporary public moral issues
    • Abortion
    • Gun-control
    • Legalization of marijuana
    • Physician assisted suicide
    • Racial profiling in airport screening
    • Storing toxic waste on Indian reservations
homework continued
Homework (continued)
  • Map the moral debate
    • Draw maps that depict rights vs. rights, goods vs. goods, and virtues vs. virtues.
    • What cross-family debates can you see? Map them.
homework continued1
Homework (continued)
  • Using the notes in this presentation, suggest 3-5 different ways to cope with these problems. Apply the methods you suggest.
  • Bring your work to class on Monday and be prepared to discuss your problem and your suggested resolutions.
  • Turn-in your work (3-5 pages) double-spaced, include visual representations of your moral problem maps.
  • 50 points