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- Ethics: a general introduction
- An Introduction to Moral Philosophy and Moral Education
- Handbook of the Philosophical Foundations of Business Ethics
The field of ethics or moral philosophy involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior. Philosophers today usually divide ethical theories into three general subject areas: metaethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics. Metaethics investigates where our ethical principles come from, and what they mean.
The words "moral" and "ethics" and cognates are often used interchangeably. However, it is useful to make the following distinction:. A theory is a structured set of statements used to explain or predict a set of facts or concepts. Seen in this light, it becomes clear that we cannot draw a sharp divide between moral theory and applied ethics e. For instance, in order to critically evaluate the moral issue of affirmative action, we must not attempt to evaluate what actions or policies are right or wrong independent of what we take to determine right and wrong conduct.
Ethics: a general introduction
The words "moral" and "ethics" and cognates are often used interchangeably. However, it is useful to make the following distinction:. A theory is a structured set of statements used to explain or predict a set of facts or concepts. Seen in this light, it becomes clear that we cannot draw a sharp divide between moral theory and applied ethics e.
For instance, in order to critically evaluate the moral issue of affirmative action, we must not attempt to evaluate what actions or policies are right or wrong independent of what we take to determine right and wrong conduct.
You will see, as we proceed, that we do not do ethics without at least some moral theory. Most take moral theories to be prescriptive. The descriptive accounts of what people do is left to sociologists and anthropologists. There have been many different proposals. Many claim that there is a necessary connection between morality and religion, such that, without religion in particular, without God or gods there is no morality, i.
Divine Command Theory is widely held to have several serious flaws. Most think that right and wrong are not arbitrary -- that is, some action is wrong, say, for a reason.
Aristotle, and most of the ancient Greeks really had nothing to say about moral duty, i. All action leads to some end. This is pleasure or happiness.
Jeremy Bentham -- the first to formulate Utilitarianism -- did not distinguish between kinds of pleasures. Note: Utilitarians are not a Hedonist. Utilitarians are concerned with everyone's happiness, so it is Altruistic. Modern versions of Utilitarianism have dropped the idea of maximizing pleasure in favour of maximizing the satisfaction of all relevant peoples' preferences and interests.
That there is "the supreme principle of morality". Many think that this way of formulating the Categorical Imperative shows that Kantianism is clearly anti-Utilitarian. Most distinguish between positive and negative rights. Through a thought experiment, Rawls developed a way of getting people to come up with universal principles of justice.
An Introduction to Moral Philosophy and Moral Education
British Broadcasting Corporation Home. Ethics are a system of moral principles and a branch of philosophy which defines what is good for individuals and society. At its simplest, ethics is a system of moral principles. They affect how people make decisions and lead their lives. Ethics is concerned with what is good for individuals and society and is also described as moral philosophy. The term is derived from the Greek word ethos which can mean custom, habit, character or disposition. Our concepts of ethics have been derived from religions, philosophies and cultures.
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Joseph Rickaby, S. J.. The Project Gutenberg EBook of Moral Philosophy, by Joseph Rickaby, S. J. Of the theory that Civil Power is an aggregate formed by subscription of to have solved a problem than to have enjoyed his dinner. Also, he.
Handbook of the Philosophical Foundations of Business Ethics
Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch  of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior ". Ethics seeks to resolve questions of human morality by defining concepts such as good and evil , right and wrong , virtue and vice , justice and crime. As a field of intellectual inquiry, moral philosophy also is related to the fields of moral psychology , descriptive ethics , and value theory. Three major areas of study within ethics recognized today are: . Rushworth Kidder states that "standard definitions of ethics have typically included such phrases as 'the science of the ideal human character' or 'the science of moral duty' ".
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