Ethics is a branch of philosophy dealing with questions of morality, including justice, virtue and vice, and good and evil

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Integral Calculus and Utilitarianism

I came across this image relating calculus to happiness. It's obviously not meant to be particularly serious, but I was nevertheless inclined to give it some thought. The integral concept in ...
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Is it ethical to consume pirated content for understanding references rather than direct enjoyment?

E.g. a guy watching torrented Fifty Shades of Gray to understand what are the people on the internet fussed/excited about.
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Books to self-study Immanuel Kant

I am impressed by Kant's moral or nominative laws- hypothetical imperative and categorical imperative as well as the three versions of the categorical imperative. I want to grasp whatever Kant ...
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Is it wise to kill an insect just because it is bothering you [closed]

Is it wise to kill an insect just because it is wandering around your apartment or just because it is bothering you. I've seen peoples killing small insects just because it is ...
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Consolation rather than justification

It seems that philosophy is usually involved in justifying claims. Does it profer any consolation? Have any philosophers written on the idea of "consolation" or indeed tried to console us?
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Is a Noble Lie Possible? [closed]

Plato describes a noble lie in Republic as a falsehood which should be perpetuated for a greater good. I am thinking of a marksman that leads his moving target such that his shot is accurate. The ...
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How do utilitarians avoid ethical totalitarianism?

Utilitarianism, when dealing with the question of what is the best course of action for a whole group (community, country, society as whole, etc...), states that the maximum benefit for the maximum ...
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Aristotle's thought on souls in Nicomachean Ethics

I have read such a passage in Nicomachean Ethics : Such a life would be too high for man; for it is not in so far as he is man that he will live so, but in so far as something divine is present in ...
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What do smaller honours mean in Aristotle's Nicomachean ethics?

In Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics BK IV. Chapter 4, he describes the virtue of smaller honours. He notes that the person can be either ambitious for smaller honours or balanced for them. I am curious ...
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Voices Regarding The Ethics of Advancing The Idea of Love [closed]

Intimate relationships are known to lead to murder. All homicide investigators immediately seek information on the deceased persons lovers. Those lovers are then the initial suspects. This is what ...
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What could be the rationale for altruism, besides egoism? [duplicate]

X is man who devotes his entire life to helping others. However, he lives a miserable life, and he hates it. X is not empathetic: he doesn't suffer because of other's suffering. Moreover, he is ...
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A form of appealing to nature?

I'm wondering if you could say that this is a from of the Natural fallacy: Example 1: Evolution has made us omnivorous, therefore eating meat is correct. Example 2: Animals eat animals, I'm an ...
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Do we have a right to die? [closed]

From the starting assumption that we have certain legal and human rights (as discussed here and here), such as the right to life, then does it follow that we also have a corresponding right to die? ...
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What role can guilt play in Act Utilitarianism?

If Bentham did posit guilt as pain that most would feel when doing wrong by others, then surely Utilitarianism would be unnecessary due to Bentham's own work on the motivation of Human Beings. ...
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What is the difference between emotivism and quasi-realism

I'm not sure what the difference between Emotivism and Quasi-realism are. According to Wikipedia, Emotivism is '...a meta-ethical view that claims that ethical sentences do not express propositions ...
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79 views

Do we have to value possibilities just because they are possible?

I want to specify my question to theism (it should apply to all ideas) as an example. Some people believe in theism. The sole reason why they believe is because someone else believes it too and ...
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Does knowing the consequences of an action change the ethics of doing it?

So the most common example of this question relates to hunting and eating meat. Many people eat meat, hunter or not. People who do not hunt understand on a basic level that meat comes from a ...
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“No morality, only that which actually happens”

Is there a name in the philosophical literature to the belief I hold, namely that moral statements, even if true, are useless, since just because something is good doesn't mean it will happen? And ...
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If we all came from Adam and Eve [closed]

How many descendants are required before sexual relations is no longer incest ? This is an ethical question, and is based on most societal systems rejecting incest, however if you follow the logic, ...
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Capital punishment and morality

I'm surprised this never came up. For me, capital punishment may or may not have its place, but if it does then it acts to absolve the punished individual of their guilt. Sometimes this is preferable ...
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Why does philosophy exist?

If Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind and language. As defined by Wikipedia. Then if ...
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Men Incarcerated 10x More Than Women in USA [closed]

What does this mean? Does anyone know of any studies on this phenomenon? Are we to believe that men are 10x more immoral and/or misbehaving than women? Or, are men held to a different standard? ...
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Is it defensible to offend a group of people when they cling to horrendous ideas?

Several organized or semi-organized groups of people in the world have really horrendous ideas, and react disproportionally strongly to any critique. I think most readers can agree with that ...
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Are Nietzsche's “higher men” men of principle

Are Nietzsche's "higher men" men of principle - in their value judgments? Or do their principles extend only to meta-ethical claims, such as the will to power, the existence of higher and lower ...
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Should one prioritize other's life over his own?

Let's consider the following situation: You are a teacher in a school. A serious fire breaks out in your classroom during your class. All of the students are able to get out except for your ...
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Should philosophy focus more on 'ought' questions?

I'll preface the question with the fact that I don't mean to sound accusatory. I'm not widely studied in philosophy so for all I know this could be an area where philosophy is already having a ...
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Is cognitivism compatible with moral anti-realism?

According to my professor, Sharon Street is both a cognitivist and a moral anti-realist. I can't seem to reconcile with that. How can you form a propositional statement about something that doesn't ...
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How do people justify and empathize towards negative actions?

I am writing a book. However, I'm having trouble creating an antagonist that seems logical, or in other words, one that people can empathize towards. I was going to ask this on writers stackexchange, ...
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What does it mean for Kant for someone to lie?

Would Kant identify the act of lying with the intention to delude or with the act of speaking untruth, when their conjunction is not given? It is possible to try to deceive someone but nonetheless ...
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Is there a name for this meta-moral philosophy?

Is there a name for the idea that the best moral philosophy is the simplest one that matches universal moral intuitions (not killing people without a good reason etc), and that moral questions which ...
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Modern Sophists?

I was wondering if in professional philosophy there are modern sophists. That is, people who have no qualms publishing on both sides of an issue, perhaps not being able to themselves come to ...
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Innovative Justifications for Utilitarianism [closed]

I've thought about this question for a while. Aside from the most common justifications for utilitarianism, or the greatest benefit for the maximum amount of people, what are new, more innovative ...
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Are some “right actions” not productive of the greatest happiness for the greatest number?

The question refers to utilitarianism and I received it during my ethics class. I need to critically evaluate this by referring to 3 global examples. I don't really know what example I could give ...
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Can there be ugliness in the world of a Mathematical God? [closed]

Let us assume that Mathematics is infinite, represents the multiverse and beyond, and is the deterministic cause of everything we know to exist (the Big Bang and our universe, the formation of the ...
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The birth of Buddha [closed]

Today my teacher said this during the classroom: Siddhartha Gautam, the earlier form of Buddha, was actually born in Nepal, but since Siddhartha Gautam meditated and found enlightenment to become ...
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Is Sacrifice a Hypocritical Self-Brainwashing Concept? [closed]

Parents of a doctor have been known to declare that they sacrificed a lot to put their child through school to become a doctor. They cite sacrifices such as not taking vacations, not buying alcohol, ...
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Does one have a 'right' to believe in anything?

Since presumably 'rights' are social(-legal) constructs, if someone believed something blatantly anti-social, such as 'good is evil', would this violate anything conceptually in the social ...
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How do modern moralities obscure connections between identity and the good?

Charles Taylor writes in the preface of Sources of the Self (p. x, Harvard University Press 1989), emphasis mine: But because my entire way of proceeding involves mapping connections between ...
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Is it immoral to pay taxes?

Assume your government participates in immoral wars that are unjust according to your personal beliefs and religious doctrine (for example Christian just war theory), is giving support to the ...
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Why is Nietzsche considered a philosopher - but not Whitman?

Reading Whitmans epic - The Leaves of Grass recently; I was so struck by his language and it's similarity to Nietzsches that I suspected that he had been influenced or read him. For example: I ...
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Where do I find the impartial spectator?

Rawls mentions, in A Theory of Justice that Classical Utilitarianism leant on the conception of the disinterested, yet sympathetic man: The most natural way of arriving at Utilitarianism is by ...
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What is the difference between ethics and morals?

I am currently writing an essay on artificial moral agents, and I need to explain the difference between ethics and morals. However, I am finding it really hard to find a good book or research paper ...
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Laws are made for humans, but does everyone classify as a human? [closed]

By law, even the worst criminals may be pardoned on grounds of mercy etc. But if an animal attacks or even kills a human, it can be put down. My question is: Shouldn't there be 'rules' to determine ...
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Did Socrates Help or Hurt Athens by Submitting to Execution? [closed]

My question is in the title. My thoughts are that Crito seems on its face to indicate that Socrates did not want to escape execution because exile would spell his ruin, breaking his voluntary social ...
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Rawls and the Categorical Imperative

Rawls A Theory of Justice according to Wikipedia, and by his own admission is 'strongly Kantian'. A foundational point or axiom is his 'Veil of Ignorance' - the original position. How can this ...
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Claim that we shouldn't give homeless people money because they will “spend it on drugs/alcohol”?

Every time that I run into a homeless person, which is frequently, I give them whatever change or spare bills (almost always $1 but occasionally, $5 or $10) that I have on me because I believe that a ...
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What are real life examples that can be applied to formalism?

Immanuel Kant states: “So act as to treat humanity, whether in your own person or in another, always as an end, and never as only a means.” He also regards that actions have moral worth if the ...
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How does J.S. Mill's liberty principle encourage paternalistic intervention?

How does J.S. Mill's liberty principle encourage paternalistic intervention? Mill's liberty principle states that : “the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over a member of ...
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Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil [closed]

Why is the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil forbidden by G-d in Genesis?
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Concerning the integrity of some logical syllogisms on moral subjectivism and ice-cream

I understand moral subjectivism to be the meta-ethical idea that all moral statements are merely expressions of the individual and thus that there are no moral statements that are implicitly ...