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Questions tagged [ethics]

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

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Quantifying Ethics

It seems like a relation like '<' exists in morality, as most ethical systems view moral actions as more evil/good than other actions. Has any philosopher tried to quantify this, e.g. how much ...
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324 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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Hume's argument for the subjectivity of morality

I am trying to analyze the following argument by Hume in his Treatise of Human Nature: But can there be any difficulty in proving, that vice and virtue are not matters of fact, whose existence we ...
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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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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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127 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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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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79 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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133 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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83 views

Does an informal logical fallacy require deception?

Bo Bennett's criteria distinguishing a logical fallacy from a pseudo-logical fallacy has three parts. The third part is: It must be deceptive in that it often fools the average adult. ...
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42 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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68 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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148 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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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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80 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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95 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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305 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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Does morality care about its history?

In a recent debate we came to blows about whether or not it was immoral to eat meat. (I’m vegan so I’m surrounded by people who say it is). But I made the case that eating meat isn’t immoral. The act ...
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Organ Donation Obligation

Mike has a genetic kidney disease, which caused his kidney to fail at the age of 7. Mike has a biological child named John, who Mike knew would have a 100% chance of getting the disease. Now John is 7 ...
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58 views

Is this short summary of phenomenology accurate?

"Classical, pure phenomenology aims to comprehend “those structures of experience and understanding that permit different types of beings to show themselves as what they are.” It does this by ...
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52 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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27 views

Request for references: Moral values as the result of minimizing friction

Is there a name for a position on the origins of morality that is compatible with the following: "Good" and "bad" are not intrinsic properties of actions. The purpose making a moral judgment is to ...
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42 views

Nietzsche's departure from Schopenhauer

I'm attempting to understand the will to power by first presenting Nietzsche's first mentor, Schopenhauer, and his notion of the will to survival/life. In very simple terms, I believe S believed that ...
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What is Ethics of care ? Why does it encourage relationships and dependency over autonomy?

I'm not sure I fully grasp what ethics of care is, to me it seems the idea that your moral development is dependent on how much you help those around you.
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Making Moral Judgement: Thick Concepts versus Normative Concepts

In G. E. Anscombe's article "Modern Moral Philosophy", she thinks that it is meaningless to make moral judgements such as something is right, wrong, permissible and impermissible. Secondly, she thinks ...
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Is there a hybrid between non-cognitivism and cognitivism?

Non-Cognitivism is the view that ethical sentences cannot be true or false (that they do not form propositions) and Cognitivism that it can. I hold to the notion that ethical sentences such as "...
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What does 'semantic blindness' mean here?

A public talk to be given by Philosopher Michael Patrick Lynch at Oxford is to address: Fake news spread online is a clear danger to democratic politics. One aspect of that danger is obvious: it ...
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What were the changes to philosophy after the second world war?

I just want to know, like existentialism, what were the other theories in philosophy that changed due to the second world war and what new philosophical theories emerged due to the second world war.
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37 views

'No better than they ought to be'?

What moral judgement is involved in the claim, less common than it once was but still heard, that 'S/he is no better than s/he ought to be' ? This is a conceptual question, not one about English usage....
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38 views

Difference between weak Axiology, strong Axiology, weak Deontology, and strong Deontology

Axiology is the philosophical study of value. However, I don't see what strong Axiology and weak Axiology mean. The same thing with strong Deontology and weak Deontology. I can't seem to find the ...
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50 views

Introductory Text to Ethics

I'm looking for an introductory text into philosophical inquiry of ethics. I need this text to be exceedingly accessible (i.e. high school or undergraduate level) but still sufficiently ...
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115 views

Specific arguments for moral realism

I'm having great difficulty so far getting specific arguments for this position. Thus far what I've found are arguments that every other position is flawed and thus false. I'm looking for some that ...
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101 views

Warren's distinction between moral humanity and genetic humanity

Explain Warren's distinction between moral humanity and genetic humanity. What, according to Warren, are the 5 criteria for being considered of being a moral person. And why does she maintain that the ...
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83 views

A 'Different' Theory of Ethics

Is there a specific term for the theory of ethics which evaluates an action by comparing it to alternatives? I am aware of Deontological and Consequentialist theories, but if I understand correctly, ...
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53 views

Consciousness/soul outside the range of human capabilities of intellect? McGinn/Searle

I personally extremely enjoyed the answer that Colin McGinn gave on understanding consciousness. Previously, I was actually afflicted by the question because the world seemed to divide itself in half ...
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54 views

What is a value of guilt?

Ayn Rand portraits Guilt as the largest currency exchanged worldwide. In terms of accounting, and exchanges, daily between individuals; this is a very seemingly realistic observation. Is there ...
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281 views

Is This System of Utility A Significant Improvement For Utilitarianism?

I'll post it here: NOTE: This post contains LaTeX; it is recommended that you install “TeX the World” (for chromium users), “TeX All the Things” or other TeX/LaTeX extensions to view the post ...
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I trust people, why should it change?

I trust people. For the small things in life, it helps me, definitely, but when it comes to larger things it is an issue. For instance I recently started to search if I could buy a house. I am not ...
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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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Understanding the act of banning

(I'm new to Philosophy Stack Exchange so let me know if I'm not wording things properly, if I have to improve my question, etc.) I want to understand why humans always find a way to "ban" each other ...
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121 views

What does Kant's universalisable principle have to say on arbitrary rules?

Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law How does that leave arbitrary rules, and conformity? If everyone disobeyed, for any ...
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58 views

Do any moral philosophers discuss 'validation'?

Do philosphers of ethics talk about validation? The idea that my life or projects or person have some intrinsic value, specifically not just those that are innate to persons? Maybe my tags seem a ...
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75 views

Has there been any progress in (philosophy of) ethics?

Relative to sciences, measuring (or defining) progress in philosophy seems more complilcated. I also presume that more so than in sciences, what pushes a particular philosophical view/approach out of ...
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64 views

On Rousseau's consent and legitimacy

Right now I'm reading Rousseau's Second Discourse and Discourse on Political Economy. Rousseau describes the founding of civil society in the Second Discourse as a step that everyone agrees to, and ...
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94 views

“To what extent would society break down without a moral code?”

Okay so I'm new here and I hope that this will abide by the rules and everything that the site dictates about questions. The title of the page is a question I formulated for a school assignment. I ...
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267 views

Why did Hume opine that 'Truth is disputable; not taste'?

Source: p , Introducing Philosophy for Canadians: A Text with Integrated Readings (2011 1 ed). Primary Source: Paragraph 5, Section 1, An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (1751) by David ...
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48 views

Could we take the fully rational and fully informed idealized agent that Peter Railton talks about as God, to give a theistic metaethics?

Recently, I finished Alexander Miller's book "An Introduction to Contemporary Metaethics." After reading about Peter Railton's reductionism, I wondered if it would be possible to take the agent which ...
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From a Kantian perspective, could any aspect of this situation be considered moral?

The situation: Let's say two teams are competing in a research competition. The rules require the teams to have members that have never competed in this competition in the past. The director of Team A ...
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How does Badiou summarise Levinas' approach to ethics?

In Badiou’s opening paragraphs he offers an account of Lévinas’s concern with philosophy and its hostility to an ethical relation to the Other. In Badiou’s characterisation of Lévinas, why is it ...
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Bibliography on Ethics in Science

Can you please recommend basic bibliography for an introduction to ethics in science ? In particular, if it is clear that there is a project that looks interesting, but clearly it might be used for ...