Ethical Theories


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Ethical Theories by Mind Map: Ethical Theories

1. Ethical theories

1.1. Theory: set of related ideas that explains something.

1.2. Ethical theory: theory that explains how people ought to live.

1.2.1. Ought: indicates correctnes or duty, often when criticizing the actions of another

1.2.2. Aristotle (IV B.C.), Immanuel Kant (XVIII A.C), Jeremy Bentham (XVIII A.C), John Stuart Mill (XIX A.C).

1.2.3. Wide range of moral concepts; beliefs people should have, acts towards others, how to make ethical decisions, what or who has moral value.

1.2.4. How to live, moral rules, principles, standards, guidelines, beliefs, values.

1.3. Morality: set of rules, principles, standards, guidelines, beliefs or values to live with.

1.3.1. Composed of MORAL RULES, which incliude rules, principles, standards, guidelines, beliefs, commitments and values

1.3.2. SECULAR MORALITIES: those who are based on reason.

1.3.3. Important aspects Can be supported by reasoning or arguments They support, endorse or justify certain actions and condemn or reject others Prescripive nature of moralities

1.4. Theoretical ethics: study of ethical theories and their concepts, principles and procedures.

1.4.1. Applied ethics: application of moral concepts, rules and procedures to specific cases or general solutions.

1.4.2. Moral rules and procedures developed can be applied to ethical problems to generate solutions.

2. Ethical relativism

2.1. View about how people ought to live

2.1.1. Positive claim: how to live If members of a society want to be ethical, they ought to follow they society's morality

2.1.2. Negative claim: not how to live There is no universal set of moral rules

2.2. The only legitimate moralities are those of actual societies.

2.2.1. The majority of citizens of a society agree about a moral belief

2.2.2. Moral tradition expressed in political documents, literature, etc.

2.2.3. Morality expressed by government officials

2.3. Particular parents teachings consistent with beliefs expressed by the majority of citizens & moral tradition & government = children learning the legitimante social morality

3. Utilitarism

3.1. Happiness

3.1.1. Pleasure: the experience of agreeable physical sensations

3.1.2. Joy: pleasant emotions

3.1.3. Contentment: satisfaction of preferences

3.2. Everyones wants to be happy and not to be unhappy; so ethical actions should take everyones happiness and unhapiness into account

3.2.1. If an action produces more happiness than unhappiness for the morally significant beings affected by it, it's a good action

3.3. Jeremy Bentham thought that an object that possessed the property of utility produced happiness

3.3.1. Human beings desire pleasure and avoid pain

3.3.2. Quantitative aspects of happiness and unhappiness are what's morally important, independent of the action that produces it

4. Immanuel Kant's ethical theory

4.1. There is an unconditional moral good related to rationality, the moral law and moral duty

4.1.1. Moral agents have to obey moral law

4.2. Only a good will can be taken as good without qualification

4.2.1. Will (by Kant): is conceived as a power of determining oneself to action in accordance with the idea of certain laws

4.2.2. Morally good actions are done because it's the person's duty to do it

4.3. Moral law: system or set of particular moral laws

4.3.1. In particular: rule, regulation or principle that informs people about what they ought to do or how they ought to live

4.4. Categorical Imperative states a person's moral duty in an unconditional and universal way; is acting based upon respect for our moral duty

4.4.1. This lets us understand unconditionally good persons and actions

5. Aristotle's ethical theory

5.1. Teleological ethics: approach to morality where good and bad are determined in relation to an end, goal, objectice, purpose or function

5.2. Human actions are always directed toward some end

5.3. An action is morally good as it gets closer to the objective it wants to accomplish

5.3.1. This concept is a problem on its own, because if everyone thought like this, the Holocaust would have been morally good