Applying Moral Theories to Case Studies - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Applying Moral Theories to Case Studies

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  1. Ethics Across the Curriculum Applying Moral Theories to Case Studies

  2. Two Approaches to Using Case Studies

  3. Two Approaches to Using Case Studies • Values Clarification • Presenting students cases and asking: “What do you think?”

  4. Two Approaches to Using Case Studies • Values Clarification • Presenting students cases and asking: “What do you think?” • Challenge them to develop a reason why they think that.

  5. Two Approaches to Using Case Studies • Values Clarification • Presenting students cases and asking: “What do you think?” • Challenge them to develop a reason why they think that. • Goal: consistency among their beliefs

  6. Two Approaches to Using Case Studies • Moral Theory Approach

  7. Two Approaches to Using Case Studies • Moral Theory Approach • Presenting students case studies and moral theories.

  8. Two Approaches to Using Case Studies • Moral Theory Approach • Presenting students case studies and moral theories. • Asking them how theory A would lead us to respond and why, and then how theory B would lead us to respond and why.

  9. Two Approaches to Using Case Studies • Moral Theory Approach • Presenting students case studies and moral theories. • Asking them how theory A would lead us to respond and why, and then how theory B would lead us to respond and why. • Goal: a plausible moral worldview (not merely internal consistency)

  10. Duty-based Theories

  11. Duty-based Theories • Humans are intrinsically valuable.

  12. Duty-based Theories • Humans are intrinsically valuable. Why? • Value is either “extrinsic” (ascribed) or “intrinsic” (inherent). • Beings who have (a) the capacity for understanding moral reasons and (b) acting on moral reasons are the only sort of beings for whom moral obligations are relevant, thus they are the source of all extrinsic value in the universe. • Humans meet conditions (a) and (b). • Therefore, humans are intrinsically valuable.

  13. Duty-based Theories • Humans are intrinsically valuable. • Duties are discovered by applying a rational criterion to an action in light of the intrinsic value of humans.

  14. Duty-based Theories • Humans are intrinsically valuable. • Duties are discovered by applying a rational criterion to an action in light of the intrinsic value of humans. • Which rational criterion is relevant depends on the duty-based theorist.

  15. Utilitarianism

  16. Utilitarianism • Happiness is the only morally valuable feature of reality.

  17. Utilitarianism • Happiness is the only morally valuable feature of reality. • The value of each being that can experience pleasure and pain (“sentient” beings, human or animal) is calculated equally.

  18. Utilitarianism • Happiness is the only morally valuable feature of reality. • The value of each being that can experience pleasure and pain (“sentient” beings, human or animal) is calculated equally. • An act is right or wrong insofar as it increases or decreases the overall happiness of the most sentient beings over the longest time.

  19. How does this work? Inclination Intended Result Will Duty Actual Result What makes an act right or wrong?

  20. Duty-based Theories Inclination Intended Result Will Duty Actual Result What makes an act right or wrong?

  21. Utilitarianism Inclination Intended Result Will Duty Actual Result What makes an act right or wrong?

  22. Applying Moral Theories to Case Studies The Trolley Case