Questions tagged [ethics]

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

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81 views

How is Kantian's Universality Formulation identical to his Humanity Formulation (Principle of Ends)?

Kant states that the humanity formulation was substantively identical with his first formulation of the categorical imperative (universal law of nature), but I do not see how he came to that ...
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252 views

Can / Should Philosophy be made more 'accessible'?

Metallica and Philosophy: A Crash Course in Brain Surgery edited by William Irwin "...metal up your ass!" - I kid you not, that's a quote from a purportedly serious philosophical work (ref. above)....
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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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286 views

do virtue ethics, deontology, and consequentialism all just assume their sets of preferences?

The way I understand it, there are three main branches of ethics: Virtue Ethics: have a list of virtues to cultivate Deontology: obey a list of moral rules Consequentialism: the consequences of an ...
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1answer
57 views

How does Hume's conception of impressions and ideas lead him to argue that causality can only be probabilistic?

I am trying to understand this concept and it just isn't clicking. Any help would be appreciated!
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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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800 views

Is 'veganism' a settled issue in Philosophy and Ethics?

I have been having discussions with some rather enthusiastic vegans who have a degree in philosophy, and they have been trying to convince me that it is a settled issue in ethics and philosophy that ...
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2answers
161 views

Is the question of moral responsibility a valid one against determinism?

One of the questions I feel is most commonly asked about determinism is "how can people be responsible for their actions if they were following a determined fate? is it right to punish people for bad ...
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204 views

Why do humans make infants? [closed]

Considering that humans are the most intelligent species on earth, why do humans make infants? I cannot understand the reason why humans make infants, when humans can't predict whether the ...
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2answers
226 views

Do descendants bear moral responsibility for the actions of their ancestors?

Consider the following two scenarios, a specific one, and a more general one: Specific Scenario A long time ago, a robber, Rob, stole a large sum of money from a bank, and "got away" with it. Rob ...
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69 views

From ethical actions to ethical goals, from the Commandments/Beatitudes to the New Jerusalem? [closed]

Artificial intelligence (AI) systems (autonomous vehicles, autonomous decision support systems, autonomous humanoid robots etc.) are required to make ethical decisions and it is strong feature of the ...
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3answers
146 views

Logical fallacy — discrediting someone because they do something you agree with [closed]

A friend posted this tweet: The point of the person's tweet seems to be, "Since Trump is thinking the same way that Kaepernick is thinking, and Kaepernick is right, then Trump is wrong." Honestly, ...
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63 views

Is there a better word than “equity” to describe fairness, equal rights and inclusive positive behaviour towards other people?

Disclaimer, this is NOT a question about whether or not equality, equity or equal rights are good or bad, applicable to humans in general or anything the like. The only intent of this question is to ...
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281 views

Does antinatalism carry the seeds of its own destruction?

Antinatalists claim that it is immoral to procreate. For instance: David Benatar argues there is an asymmetry between pleasure and pain, which means it would be better for humans not to have ...
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106 views

Question about Chidi from The Good Place…SPOILER

Spoilers for The Good Place under the spoiler tag below: I recently brought this up in an answer about fatalism, describing how free will would entail that we can predict the consequences of every ...
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Prichard’s Arguments Why Moral Duty is Irreducible

These questions regard Prichard’s 1912 paper “Does Moral Philosophy Rest on a Mistake?” Prichard says the question has arisen in philosophy: “Why ought I do what I ought to do?” Two types of ...
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360 views

What's important about Cognitivism and Non-cognitivism? [closed]

I would like to know what's important about Cognitivism and Non-cognitivism in ethics. Why does it matter that Cognitivists claim to know, or at least that it is possible to know, that certain moral ...
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225 views

If hard determinism is true, why should we try to better ourselves?

If hard determinism is true, then it was never really my choice to be the person I am at this exact moment. There’s also only one path from this point forward, so if I’m going to eventually be a good ...
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How is the mortgage crisis of 2008–2010 an example of Cognitivism?

I would like to know how the mortgage crisis of 2008–2010 is an example of Cognitivism. In this document <https://www.globaledulink.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/business-ethics.compressed.pdf>,...
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117 views

What will future generations condemn us for? [closed]

I can think of the following: Human-created mass extinctions Industrial meat production Institutionalisation and isolation of the elderly Environment destruction What are other contemporary ...
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176 views

Does normative ethics apply to moral anti-realism?

Normative Ethics is often described as prescriptive. Do the questions posed by these ethical theories apply in moral anti-realist frameworks?
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104 views

How should I live when there are so many moral philosophies?

My problem is that I don't know if the things I do are moral or not. And I think this situation was somewhat caused by reading philosophy. I grew up in a religious, traditional and sex-negative ...
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90 views

Can there be different levels of evil to a thought?

With reference to the subject matter treated in these questions: Can the act of having certain thoughts be unethical? Evil thoughts without actions? EDIT: The below "thoughts" can be ...
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2answers
254 views

What are arguments against the option of immortality?

I have discussed on various occasions the possibility of human immortality with people. Most of the time people thought it would be a bad idea without giving specific reasons but relying on their ...
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169 views

Can the phrase 'pain is unpleasant' be classified as a fundamental truth of life on earth?

This may sound like a silly question but how can you quantify events that are indefinite in nature? Statistically speaking ALMOST ALL creatures perceive pain negatively but how can we call it ...
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Why are legal and moral responsibilities said to be different?

It seems in most cases which laws are adopted depends on what ethical views legislators hold. There might be counterexamples when a lawmaker does not adopt laws reflecting own moral views. But I do ...
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115 views

Do philosophers think ethics can't be based on our wishes? [closed]

Some presuppositions: Premise 1. "Wrong" means the reasoning used in an argument was flawed. Another notion of "wrong" is wrong method. Misknowledge how. Definition 2. Wishes are not produced by ...
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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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Hume: excavating the is/ ought gap

Why does Hume believe that ought brings a new relation? If means-end reasoning, where we can say that one is ought to do X in order to get Y, does not bring a new relation, then in order to tell that ...
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4answers
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Does calling myself immoral free me from any moral responsibility?

In our usual day to day tasks we think of ourselves as good and then we try to act in such ways as to reinforce this belief. We try to justify our behaviours with the best possible reasons even if our ...
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4answers
260 views

'What to do?' versus 'Who to be?' and the focus of moral philosophy

In Normative Ethics, Shelly Kagan writes: I have suggested that the central question of moral philosophy as a whole, and of normative ethics in particular, is how one should live. I take this ...
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Really original ideas in philosophy papers?

Plagiarism is wrong, no question. Searching the internet before writing a paper might help, but philosophy is done not only in English. There are philosophy publications of all sorts in other ...
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114 views

Classifying Arrogance

Are you aware of any philosophers who have attempted a classification of arrogance? For example, I envision arrogance as a comparison with 1) a subject, or 2) other people. An example of #1 is a ...
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Hume and the notion of causation

Hume argues that what most people associate as "cause" could be the constant conjunction of events. There is no way to prove a necessary connection between A and B. However, my question has to do ...
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64 views

What is fair in this example and why? [closed]

Imagine you're asked to decide the pay of partners that start a business. They each give you a vote of how much they should make. If they agree with each other the answer is obvious - give them what ...
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171 views

Philosophical approaches for a response to rape

I wasn't sure whether to post this here, or on law, or on politics. But I eventually landed here since this SE seemed like the most middle of the road option. My question concerns rape and how we ...
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What are the most reliable analyses of Stirner's intellectual context? [closed]

Difficult to underestimate the influence of e.g. Nietzsche, but has anyone done the same with Stirner?
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6answers
646 views

Moral skepticism and “walking the talk”

It would seem that a substantial minority of philosophers agree with the moral anti-realist position that we have a problem going from "is" to "ought"--that there is no objective correlate of the ...
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86 views

Ethics vs manipulation: Is it ethical to manipulate and is ethics a form of manipulation?

Are there ethical frameworks in which manipulation is acceptable? Knowing that we are being raised and conditioned to accept an ethical framework since early childhood is it fair to say that all ...
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1answer
170 views

How does Aristotle analyse justice in Nicomachean Ethics, V?

Aristotle draws a distinction between general and particular justice at the start of Nicomachean Ethics, V. Can anyone explain this distinction to me? General justice seems like merely all-round moral ...
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4answers
325 views

Why is Utilitarianism called an unfalsifiable ethic?

Is it true that Utilitarianism is not falsifiable in principle? What would be an example of falsifiable ethics?
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372 views

Can utilitarianism make anything moral if someone profits enough from it?

Ever since I first heard about utilitarian system of ethics, there is one thing that has been on my mind. Since utilitarianism is about creating the greater amount of total good (and, the smaller ...
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96 views

**Choose Choice**

Choose choice, means: When all other things are equal, then the preferred choice would be the one that allows for the greatest number of subsequent choices. Has any philosopher proposed this or ...
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4answers
289 views

What good is it to ground morality?

What good is it to ground morality? It's a somewhat bad question. Philosophers like proving things. But, specifically, does it make me more moral if I can ground my moral values? What generated the ...
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8answers
379 views

Regardless of whether God exists, should humans separate their ethical views and moral behavior from religion? [closed]

I do not intend to argue that God does not exist and humans should use logical thinking to determine ethical behavior. I would argue that it does not matter if God exists because humans should ...
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133 views

Categorical imperative defeating division of labor?

Suppose the following maxim. Goal: satisfy basic needs: food, water, sleep, etc. Method: having a specialization, getting money for work, spend money to satisfy basic needs. Conditions: capitalism, ...
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3answers
107 views

Can my attitude kill you? Part 2

This question follows on (sort off): Can my attitude kill you? Taking attitude to mean: The unique medley of ideas that makes the person. Suppose I'm a doubly depressed neurotic pessimist. Who can ...
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1answer
94 views

Reversal of moral orientation?

Morality gives a certain structure to society. It puts everyone, or at least the majority of people, on the same page concerning how to treat others. Those that do not fit within this code of how to ...
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3answers
172 views

Can my attitude kill you?

Would it be morally reprehensible to tell a truth to someone if I know or suspect that it may cause them harm or discomfort? Of course there are trivial instances like telling a dying man he is going ...
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argument for causing species extinction is a moral wrong

While I think causing species extinction is a moral wrong, it is difficult for me to come up with a positive justification for this intuition. The most direct approach is perhaps through biodiversity. ...