Questions tagged [ethics]

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

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1answer
310 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

Empiricism and Morality

How would an empiricist develop a moral philosophy without running into the is-ought problem? The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris tries to formulate one but does not effectively resolve the is-ought ...
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What branch(es) of Philosophy considers happiness to be the ultimate purpose of human life?

Is happiness the ultimate purpose of human life? To which philosophical branch belongs this statement? Also the subbranch would be very helpful. Thank you in advance
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406 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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3answers
133 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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4answers
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Why do compatibilists believe that whether we act freely is independent of whether or not determinism is true?

I am mainly looking for information based on Dennett's work, I Could Not Have Done Otherwise- So What? because that is the only thing I am familiar with other than D'Holbach, but other works will do ...
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1answer
47 views

Examples for real-world instances of trolley cases [closed]

Trolley cases are scenarios that play an important role in a specific kind of thought experiment, famously published by Philippa Foot. Here's just one of the many formulations: Consider a pair of ...
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Is absolute moral relativism impossible?

Is my rationale correct here?: If relativism is relative, relativism is a contradiction in itself, because you’re forced to believe what other people think is morally correct, is correct for them, and ...
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3answers
167 views

Is the tyrannicide perpetrated by William Tell morally legitimate?

I have recently been reading Friedrich Schiller's fantastic Drama William Tell, in which he not only relates the folkloric-mythological origin of Switzerland upon its liberation from the yoke of the ...
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59 views

How does one reconcile Nietzsche's view of kindness?

On the one hand, N espouses that people shall almost ignore the needs of other people to achieve one's own greatness. But on the other hand he describes kindness as "Kindness and love, the most ...
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5answers
225 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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1answer
200 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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Choosing a topic/question for a bachelors thesis

Next semester I’ll be writing my bachelor thesis within the subject of Practical philosophy. This will be my first big original essay within philosophy and I know picking a good subject is key. I’ve ...
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83 views

In the philosophy of Josiah Royce, is there a tension between the individual and society?

I'm reading through Josiah Royce's view on the self and this is what I think he believes the tension to be between the individual and society: "The tension between the individual and society is ...
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3answers
113 views

If virtue is determined by the golden rule, doesn't it need to add the clause “unless you absolutely have to”?

Assuming virtue is one thing we'd like to achieve in life. One way to determine whether we live a life with virtue is the golden rule, "Don't do the thing to others, when you don't like it to be ...
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103 views

Would Nietzsche approve of the concept of dictatorship?

My understanding of Nietzsche is still quite rudimentary but something I keep thinking about while reading his texts, is whether he would approve of the concept of dictatorships. N is fine with ...
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4answers
892 views

Is there an answer to false positives/negatives of Kant's categorical imperative?

I recently read some papers on Kant's categorical imperative (McCarty, Kosgaard, Gressis mainly) on how to properly formulate a maxim according to him, and on the multiple problems linked to those ...
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64 views

Humanistic Philosophies and how to achieve it?

Question So I believe in humanism but I often feel while there is a disconnect between the lofty ideals of humanism and how to achieve it. For example, I could have someone practicing an anti-...
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39 views

Do any philosophers discuss the ethics of the possible negative repercussions from doing what is morally good?

Aside from utilitarianism, most ethical systems seem to advocate actions that might hurt somebody or at least inconvenience them. For example, standing up to a bully might hurt them. Making a stand ...
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1answer
92 views

Is there a formal name for the “philosopher's fallacy” or “fallacy of underwhelming exception”?

I'm looking for the name for a particular logical fallacy that I think of variously as the "philosopher's fallacy" or the "annoying middle school kid fallacy", based on the ...
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310 views

How can Kantianism prove the existence of perfect duties?

I heard about Kant's reasoning that lying that you return money or about the leads to contradiction in conception. But how could he even prove that lying under any circumstances leads to ...
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4answers
102 views

Have any philosophers directly challenged the concept of retributive justice?

Retributive justice is roughly the view that people should be rewarded or punished for each of their actions. In other words, some intrinsically significant moral good is said to come about when an ...
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1answer
62 views

Historically, were most philosophers moral realists before the rise of physicalism?

Moral facts seem weird because they don't seem to mesh too well with a purely physicalist ontology (although there is such a thing as ethical naturalism). It somehow seems odd that alongside the facts ...
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Aristotle on forgiveness?

Discussing "complaints" in friendship (Ethics book 8), Aristotle does not mention the role of forgiveness in resolving such complaints (ἐγκλήματα) or quarrels (μέμψεις). Does Aristotle ...
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1answer
65 views

How does Kant argue that all people have moral dignity

How does Kant argue that all people have moral dignity, the ability to conform to a moral law in which all people are ends only. I have not substantially read Kant, but it occurred to me, suddenly / ...
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3answers
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How exactly does ethics relate to what appears to be ethical animal behavior?

After listening to Dr. Jordan Peterson's lectures on Psychology of Personality, I found the notion that animal behaviors follow an ethic fascinating. He stipulates that rats will play fight and if the ...
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Moral responsibility without free will

Are there any theories of moral responsibility that don't require free will? Sam Harris rejects the notion of free will and attempts to construct some form of moral calculus, but "The Moral Landscape"...
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1answer
63 views

The purpose of law-making: Aristotle and his theory of virtues

In Aristotle's best known work The Nicomachean Ethics, he elaborated on the theory of virtues (moral virtues and intellectual virtues). Here moral virtues are qualities like generosity, courage, ...
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2answers
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Is libertarian free will a necessary condition for moral responsibility? [duplicate]

Does it make sense to hold a rock morally responsible for falling downhill due to the law of gravity and crushing somebody's head? Likewise, does it make sense to hold humans morally responsible for ...
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1answer
82 views

Is it ethically OK to read letters of a dead person, that were not addressed to you?

I hope, this stackexchange site, is the right one for this topic, because I have more of a morality/ethics question than plain philosophy. I've been researching my family history for quite some time ...
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1answer
59 views

What does Spinoza mean in propositions 11,12 and 13 in part 2 of the ethics?

In the propositions prior to these Spinoza was discussing the way the human soul was 'constituted' by another finite idea of an existing thing, and also about how the human soul was again 'constituted'...
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Can a carrier of contradicting thoughts be called hypocrite?

Can a carrier of contradicting thoughts be called hypocrite? We know when people do/pretend something which he does not believe/poses, we call them hypocrite. Now what will happen if someone does not ...
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55 views

Wittgenstein. The sense of the world must lie outside the world

I would be grateful if someone could recommend a book, or an article that really tries to get to the bottom of the above statement. Again "The sense of the world must lie outside the world".
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How can we differentiate between change and progress in the field of ethics?

I'm studying a branch of epistemology(theory of knowledge) and am currently working on a project concerned with the change and progress in knowledge. The topic I want to specialise in is ethics. How ...
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1answer
59 views

For Kant, are we obligated to treat people who have no ability to reason or to give decisions or consents as always an end and not merely as means?

For Kant, are we obligated to treat people who have no ability to reason or to give decisions or consents (concerning with mental insanity) as always an end and not merely as means? If we are, why is ...
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10answers
108k views

What did Nietzsche mean by monsters and the abyss?

What do you think Nietzsche meant by "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you." (...
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1answer
46 views

For Mill, is all speech ethical so long as it doesnt conflict with the harm principle?

I understand that Mill was a big advocate of freedom of speech and expression. Im just wondering whether he just saw that as state policy or if he thought that on an individual level all speech is ...
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6answers
784 views

Is there an empirical system of ethics?

Most (universal) ethical systems which I have encountered come up with some kind of a priori rule (e.g. "maximize happiness and minimize pain", or the categorical imperative) and then apply that rule ...
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5answers
113 views

Where is the limit between moral relativism and absence of morality?

I am able to understand that there is a irreconcilable difference between considering morality as an absolute and considering it being relative to individuals and groups. However, if I take the point ...
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4answers
238 views

Which philosophy claims that our moral decisions should be based upon a universal algorithm?

Recently, I advocated here the idea that moral rules need to be universal in order to be coherent - we should be able to formalize our principles into a decision tree - a moral algorithm. The idea ...
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1answer
259 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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1answer
125 views

Under utilitarianism, does drug dealing become moral if you're good enough at it?

A simple utilitarian argument against drug dealing is that while the user may experience a great deal of pleasure, their family and friends are hurt more. But does this argument hold once a critical ...
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Is my understanding of Ethics in Existentialism correct? I'm trying to get over how Sartre and de Beauvoir tackle the problem of anarchy

Please check my reasoning! Existentialism says that man is what he wills himself to be, and needs to decide his own morality. There is no overarching maxim that can a priori guide his moral judgements,...
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133 views

Are there ethicists who defend the conclusion that “harm” be defined by the individual being harmed?

From WP: Some legal scholars... have argued that the traditional issues of free speech -- that "the main threat to free speech" is the censorship of "suppressive states", and that ...
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165 views

What is the Difference Between Mercy and Pity?

I am currently reading about euthanasia and encountered the argument that mercy is a morally different category from pity. It is written there, that mercy implies a "re-establishment of equality&...
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Source for Nietzsche's question, "Which came first? Art or ethics?”

Memory suggests that Nietzsche's answer was ethics. Does anyone have a reference to the Nietzsche’s work where this question was posed?
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87 views

How does Consequentialism handle uncertainty?

E.g. Suppose you are a Consequentialist faced with a variation of the trolley car problem. Your options are to save five people with a 20% likelihood or one person with a 100% likelihood. Which option,...
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92 views

Is it always wrong to allow harm to come to someone? [duplicate]

Is our moral obligation to not do harm, as opposed to preventing harm form occurring to someone else? Am I in the wrong for not donating money?
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Who said that we all kind but not to everybody?

I saw it somewhere, can't find it now, but it was said that Brand Pitt said that. But I'm pretty sceptical about this, because on the Internet I saw information that Brad Pitt presumably said Budha's ...
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225 views

Specific example of Sam Harris' opinion on morality

I listened to some audios also read some blogs about position of sam harris that science can guide moral behavior. I get the idea roughly. However, I would appreciate if someone can give a specific ...

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