Questions tagged [ethics]

For questions about ethics, a branch of philosophy dealing with morality, justice, virtue, vice, good and evil.

146 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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119 views

Is there a name for the “somebody else will do it anyway” argument and has this argument been seriously analyzed?

Example. John the doctor prescribes large doses of opioids even though he knows this is probably harmful. He reasons, "If I don't do it, my patients will just go to some other doctor who'll do it ...
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1answer
219 views

Why did Nietzsche call Spinoza his 'precursor'?

In a letter Nietzsche made the following comment about Spinoza; "I am utterly amazed, utterly enchanted! I have a precursor, and what a precursor! I hardly knew Spinoza: that I should have turned ...
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650 views

Moral 'ought' and the Principle of Generic Consistency?

Late philosopher Alan Gewirth introduced the Principle of Generic Consistency, or the PGC, which says that moral agents ought to respect the generic rights of freedom and well-being because they are ...
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363 views

How has Foucault Philosophy of Surveillance been critiqued?

One of the horrors of the communist police-states of Eastern Europe was the incredible amount of information that the police force kept on the general population. This was often not gathered just by ...
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1answer
482 views

Is there any author that argues for radical moral pluralism?

Let me first clarify what I mean with "radical" here. While many modern authors, if not all, accept moral pluralism of sorts, all that I know of express either the hope, if not the conviction, that ...
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39 views

How do ethical values shape one's aesthetics?

I have been struggling through an idea for the past several months regarding the order of values and its influence upon art. It started with a quick tour of an online art gallery showcasing Rafael, ...
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110 views

The debate around moral veganism

There is an ongoing debate around morality of food habit. Of this debate I have only heard one side, the side of the moral vegans. Bentham, Singer and others propose veganism based on utilitarian ...
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66 views

How to argue that some inequality is justifiable in order to maximize the well-being of the worst off in Rawls's theory of justice?

In context, I have to describe what we think is a just society by Rawls theory of justice. I want to try and use Scandinavia, for example, the Nordic Model as a representation as a just society. ...
3
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1answer
338 views

Does Gandhi's paraphrase of Augustine's phrase distort its meaning?

His [St. Augustine's] Letter 211 (c. 424) contains the phrase Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum, which translates roughly to “With love for mankind and hatred of sins.” The phrase has become ...
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165 views

Is there a quantitative model of Bentham's Hedonic Calculus?

Jeremy Bentham, in Chapter 4 of his 1781 An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, defines what has become known as the Hedonic Calculus. He states, Pleasures then, and the ...
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1k views

How Kant's second formulation of the categorical imperative interacts with consent

Kant's second formulation (or the "ends in themselves" formulation) says: use humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end, never merely as ...
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87 views

How do the Officer's Oath and the Enlisted Oath interact

I've come across a military question which is so subtle that I think it has to be answered from a philosophical perspective, dealing with the meaning of "duty" and nuanced things like that. In many ...
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160 views

Is there any normative theory within pragmatic ethics?

I've read wikipedia's article on pragmatic ethics and it does not produce any norms. Rather, it is only a template for normative ethical theories, like how deontology is a template and CI is a real ...
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67 views

Does the so-called “Copenhagen interpretation of ethics” have a formal name in moral philosophy?

I was recently introduced to the term Copenhagen interpretation of ethics in an interesting blog post that defined it thusly: The Copenhagen Interpretation of Ethics says that when you observe or ...
2
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3answers
156 views

How to respond to a novice anti-realist about how morality isn't arbitrarily subjective

Often, especially in armchair philosophy, someone usually mentions, "But morality is subjective" (as though it's arbitrarily subjective). I mean arbitrary in the sense of moral nihilism. However, it'...
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83 views

Hapiness in virtue ethics

I have several questions regarding virtue ethics: 1) Let us imagine a person who says something like "money, not virtue makes me happy", and this conclusion is based on one's experience or even ...
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232 views

Which philosophers have contradicted Nietzsche?

These days I'm becoming tired of the recurrent introduction of Friedrich Nietzsche as the epitome of the philosophical genius, the revolutionary whose ideas have never been as relevant as now and the ...
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1answer
258 views

What were the moral and aesthetic ideas that Camus was interested in?

I have read most of the books by Albert Camus thoroughly. I know that Camus' theory is absurdity but I want to know his take on morality. I mean, what were the moral and aesthetic ideas that Camus was ...
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3answers
113 views

Do percentages of negative things in a given sample matter more or less than the quantity of negative things?

Do percentages of negative things in a given sample matter more or less than the quantity of negative things? And is there a name for this concept? Is it some sort of fallacy to appeal to percentages? ...
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42 views

Why do some actions contain normative implications and some do not

Off the bat, my specific question is actually if someone can point me to the philosophic domain of inquiry which deals with the above question. In context, I am doing a paper on Rawls. Joseph Raz ...
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68 views

Is there a term for prioritisation of values in ethics?

By prioritisation of ethics, I mean examples such as someone in WW2 lying to the authorities that they didn't hide Jews in their basement, therefore indicating that they value preserving lives more ...
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28 views

What are the justification for Kants moral philosophy?

I have trouble understanding the justification Kant gives for his moral philosphy. My main problem is: Why is practical reason the way humans can figure out the morality of an action? Why is it ...
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95 views

Ethics of downloading copyrighted printed material

At first blush it's "theft of services" (among other things), as already pointed out by @MichaelDorfman's answer to Is unauthorized downloading of music stealing? Below's my maybe (or maybe not) more ...
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167 views

How do compatibilists understand “responsible”?

In Scott Christensen's book "What about free will?" on page 119 is "Pharaoh is held responsible for his actions". The reason given for God attributing culpability is "You are exalting yourself...". ...
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61 views

Which current moral philosophers take similar positions to those taken by Anscombe on moral obligation?

I would like to read current moral philosophers who take similar positions on moral obligation as those taken by G. E. M. Anscombe in Modern Moral Philosophy. Her view, as I understand it, is that ...
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59 views

Did Heidegger talk about malice at all?

Did Heidegger talk about malice at all? I agree and find interesting if not useful most of Nietzsche's aphorisms but felt that his analysis of malice was just weak, and obviously so. However, I liked ...
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175 views

How would ethics or moral science be different if (human) life were eternal?

I admit that my question is quite useless in terms of practical philosophy or ethics, but I came to wonder how ethics will be changed if the life of human beings or further, the life of every ...
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83 views

What did Schopenhauer mean by 'slipping a tip to a head-waiter when pretending to be above such things'?

I bolded and italicised this simile below. Source: p. 46 Middle. Ethics: A Beginner's Guide (2015) by Peter Cave. Slipping a tip: Kant thought moral duty must be carried out for its own sake; ...
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167 views

Does the idea of psychological egoism about only dignity make sense?

I understand that psychological egoism is the idea that everyone will always act in their own interest. I gather that human dignity is the cornerstone of Kantian ethics. I am kinda seriously leaning ...
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50 views

Within a duty based framework, are apologies contingent on the harmed party's acknowledgement of or contrition for wrongdoing?

During the debate on whether Obama should apologise for the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as some people making trolley problem style comments about how many would have been ...
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83 views

Does Every Logic Have the Potential for Violent Measurement?

Measurement, in the broad sense, involves useful abstractions and logical applicability that allow us to survey environmental data with extreme precision and prediction. The tools or instruments used ...
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115 views

Nozick-like argument for property rights?

So, upon reading Nozick again I ran into something I haven't seen any libertarians argue vis a vis justifications of property rights (I don't think Nozick wouldn't promote this as an argument since ...
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365 views

What role can guilt play in Bentham's utilitarianism?

If Bentham posited a sense of 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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4answers
183 views

Do I have to do something rather than nothing?

Disclaimer: I'm a newbie in Philosophy, and this question is most probably answered somewhere (on this site or not), but I've been looking for a while now and it's a little difficult to steer myself ...
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5answers
182 views

Why do some deontological ethical frameworks seem to reduce to consequentialism?

I may have a defunct understanding of deontological ethics, but for some reason it seems to me that deontological ethics ultimately reduce to consequentialist theories. Take, for instance, Kant's ...
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3answers
124 views

Is the foundation of morality subjectively survival and happiness, and why or why not?

Many rational minds have come to attribute the foundation of morality to humankind's survival and happiness. I have been discussing with friends about why that 'humankind survival and happiness' must ...
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2answers
58 views

Is there an ethical difference between taking away and withholding?

Has anyone in contemporary ethics discussed whether or not there is a difference between (1) taking something away (e.g., stealing $100) or withholding something (e.g., refusing to pay $100 of taxes)?
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61 views

Identifying a principle that connects actions with responsibilities

Consider the following statement: If x has decided to make an action A that caused B and x was aware that A could (with sufficiently high probability) cause B (when (s)he did A), then x is morally ...
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56 views

On capturing the concept of eudaimonia empirically

In recent years, the social sciences have gained traction at painting an empirical picture of ethical concepts that before (albeit not forever) had been treated a-priori. I think of competing theories ...
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57 views

Is there any professional treatment of Chappelle's remarks on abortion and abandonment?

In his Sticks & Stones Netflix special, Dave Chappelle has an interest argument regarding abortion and child abandonment. You can find a link to he bit and a transcription below. Chappelle argues ...
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47 views

Does Hume's Is-Ought Thesis imply moral nihilism?

Assuming you are an atheist, cognitivist, and a moral objectivist, does Hume's Is-Ought Thesis imply you must be a moral nihilist (or perhaps more weakly, at least a moral skepticist)? Put another ...
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23 views

Why say that H. A. Prichard's argument is not “formidable”?

In the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on H. A. Prichard, the author addresses Prichard's belief that obligations are predicates (properties) of agents, instead of actions: Prichard’s ...
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67 views

What are the main differences and similarities between Rousseau and Kant's moral philosophy?

Main differences and similarities between Rousseau and Kant, especially in the subjects of justice, morality and also how Rousseau influenced Kant.
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Does the principle of double-effect apply to supererogatory acts?

Does the principle of double-effect apply to supererogatory acts, or only to acts one is obliged to perform?
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24 views

Was the goal of Spinoza's Ethics a state of mind with intrinsic value but no existence at all?

The Untruth of Reality: The Unacknowledged Realism of Modern Philosophy By Jure Simoniti, p148 I've not read the book, or all of the Ethics. I wanted to know whether Spinoza means that there is ...
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38 views

Harm Principle and the eventual harm of creating needs

A necessity or a need is a necessary condition for something else. A need in Economics and particularly a consumer need is something needed to be consumed, a necessary condition for achieving higher ...
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39 views

Is Bernard William's argument for equality a teleological argument?

Bernard Williams wrote in his essay “The Idea of Equality”: Leaving aside preventive medicine, the proper ground of distribution of medical care is ill health: this is a necessary truth. Now in ...
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50 views

An attempt at reconstructing the reasoning behind Kant's universalization principle

Please let me know whether you detect objectionable points in my attempt at reconstructing Kant's universalization principle. Reference : Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. https://en....
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65 views

Value of the exact same simulation

Imagine that you are able to run simulations of people, and decide to run twice the same simulation, who run in exactly the same way, and in this simulations something bad happens to the person being ...
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40 views

Why does Benatar say suffering outweighs joy?

I looked up Benatar's Asymmetry and he says that suffering outweighs joy because in his words: the existent feel suffering: bad the existent feel joy: good the nonexistent don't feel ...