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Different approaches to ethics
(descriptive, normative, metaethics,
moral theorizing, decision making).
The nature of ethical dilemma (two or
more values in conflict).
The relationships among a dilemma,
our values, and context or situation.
The use of the ethical dilemma to
reveal our assumptions, our values,
and our questions.
The qualities of sound moral reasoning (how we
can make good judgments).
The relationship between facts and values (i.e.
the “is-ought” and “can-should” problem).
Three ethical frameworks or systems: virtue
ethics, utilitarianism, and deontology (or
What is the basis for making an ethical decision?
• We encounter a dead
body. How do we react
to this fact?
• What is the “gut
reaction” to which our
book refers?
• We encounter an
assault in which
someone is being killed
by someone else. How
do we react this fact?
• What questions do we
want answers to in
What happened or is
How should things be? What
ought to happen?
What responses are possible?
What can I/we/they do?
What response should I/we/they
choose? What should I/we/they
What do I know?
What is significant about what
I/we/they know?
Moral reasoning.
A set of principles or a
framework that guides the
application of value to
knowledge and directs
thought toward action.
How does one discover or
create that set of
principles or that
Everyone desires a “good life.”
The world has limited resources.
Individuals fight for their own interests
against the interests of others.
Individual conceptions of “good life”
and interests are determined by race,
sex, country of origin, economic status,
intelligence, etc.
Define a society from a
position of ignorance—
that is, without
knowledge of individual
abilities, economic
status, race, sex, social
position, etc.
Based on what “is,” what
“ought” to be?
Is that “just” your opinion?
From behind the veil,
what “is”? In other
words, what do you
What kind of
person should I/we/they be?
What is the “good” of
humans and how do we
manifest this in action?
What action
will result in an increase in
happiness/pleasure and/or
What’s the consequence of
an action?
To what principle must my
actions adhere, regardless
of the outcome? What is
my duty?