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Four broad approaches to ethics:. 1 - teleological / consequentialist ethics 2 - deontological / duty ethics 3 - virtue ethics 4 - dialogical ethics. Underlying considerations:. ontological and epistemological assumptions foundationalism / universalism

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Four broad approaches to ethics:


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    1. Four broad approaches to ethics: 1 - teleological / consequentialist ethics 2 - deontological / duty ethics 3 - virtue ethics 4 - dialogical ethics Underlying considerations: ontological and epistemological assumptions foundationalism / universalism social constructionism / relativism

    2. 1 - teleological teleological ethics from the Greek “telos” – goal, end, purpose the view that ethical judgments should be made through consideration of the goals, ends, or purpose of an action

    3. 1 - teleological consequentialist ethics the view that ethical judgments should be made through a cost/benefit calculation regarding the net outcomes of a given action

    4. 1 - teleological utilitarian ethics a sub-category of consequentialism in which the outcomes are conceived primarily in terms of pleasure/happiness versus pain/suffering note: one person’s “pain” can be another’s “pleasure”

    5. 1 - teleological situational (or contextual) ethics the view that the rightness or wrongness of actions depends on the particular situations or contexts in which those actions occur because the same action in different situations can result in different consequences

    6. 1 - teleological standpoint ethics the view that you should consider the rightness or wrongness of an action from the standpoint of those who are the most vulnerable to the negative consequences of that action an extension of the “depersonalized veil of ignorance”

    7. 1 - teleological ethical egoism the view that we should act in our own self-interest and this will lead to ethical action as the invisible hand of the moral market ensures the greatest maximum benefit society is best served by survival of the fittest altruism and charity are moral hazards

    8. 1 - teleological lifeboat ethics given scarce resources, not all people can survive or be happy so the weak should be abandoned to safeguard the interests of the rest related to ethical egoism society is best served by survival of the fittest

    9. 2 - deontological deontological ethics from the Greek “deon” – obligation or duty the view that ethical judgments should be made through consideration of intrinsic moral duties

    10. 2 - deontological dutyethics the view that the rightness or wrongness of actions depends on the actor’s adherence to inherent ethical duties or obligations moral absolutism is a sub-category of duty ethics which asserts that actions can be inherently ethical or unethical regardless of the consequences that flow from them

    11. 2 - deontological categorical imperative • “act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law” • “act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end and never merely as a means to an end”

    12. 3 – virtue ethics virtueethics the view that ethical actions flow from the prior cultivation of a virtuous character, rather than formulaic application of principles or the calculation of consequences places the emphasis on “being” as much as “doing” can be deontological or teleological

    13. 3 – virtue ethics exemplar ethics the view that exemplars of virtuous character help us understand what would be the right thing to do in any given situation what would _______________ do? a sub-category of virtue ethics

    14. 4 – dialogical ethics dialogical ethics the view that dialogue, or collaborative inquiry, among diverse experiences, perspectives, and interpretive frameworks can lead to greater ethical insight regarding complex and multifaceted issues

    15. Four broad approaches to ethics: 1 - teleological / consequentialist ethics 2 - deontological / duty ethics 3 - virtue ethics 4 - dialogical ethics Underlying considerations: ontological and epistemological assumptions: foundationalism / universalism social constructionism / relativism

    16. ontological assumptions assumptions about the underlying foundations of reality assumptions about what is or is not epistemological assumptions assumptions about what we can know about reality assumptions about how we can know, with any confidence, what is or is not

    17. foundationalism the ontological view that a system of ethics can rest on some solid, universal foundation that is inherent in the nature of reality may be rooted in a material or spiritual worldview even if foundational ethical truths exist, we may or may not be able to discover or “know” such truths with confidence or certitude (an epistemological problem)

    18. epistemic foundationalism the epistemological view that a system of ethics can rest on some solid, universal foundation that is inherent in the nature of reality, and that through some method we can know, with confidence, what that foundational system of ethics is we can make universally valid truth claims about ethics, if we investigate ethical truths in some valid way may be rooted in a material or spiritual worldview

    19. relativism the view that there are no foundations underlying moral or ethical judgments universal truth claims are impossible because no moral truths exist (moral nihilism)

    20. subjective relativism the view that moral and ethical judgments are nothing more than personal opinion (or individual preferences) cultural relativism the view that moral and ethical judgments are nothing more than cultural expressions (or social constructs)

    21. social contract ethics the culturally relativistic view that ethical systems are nothing more than social contracts or social covenants that we enter into, through enlightened self-interest, in order to minimize the potential for personal harm, pain, and suffering these social contracts can be explicit or implicit

    22. natural law theory the foundationalist view that right or wrong is determined by universal laws that can be found by studying human nature ethical codes derive from reason / science

    23. divine law theories the foundionalist view that something is right or wrong as a result of a Divine will ethical codes derive from revelation / religion

    24. ethical ideals a foundationalist concept implying that what “ought” to be can be distinguished from what currently “is” and that the gap between ideals and current reality provides direction and purpose to human action

    25. ethical commitments some people argue that commitment to ethical ideals is important even if we can never completely attain them because striving yields positive outcomes some people argue that commitment to ethical ideals is important even if we can never prove their foundations because the only way to gain a reasonable degree of confidence in their foundations is to examine the outcomes such ethical commitment yields over time