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Copyright Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies 2008 Ethics in Business and Medicine From Ape Ethics to Human Ethics James J. Hughes Ph.D. Executive.

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Presentation on theme: "Copyright Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies 2008 Ethics in Business and Medicine From Ape Ethics to Human Ethics James J. Hughes Ph.D. Executive."— Presentation transcript:

1 Copyright Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies 2008 Ethics in Business and Medicine From Ape Ethics to Human Ethics James J. Hughes Ph.D. Executive Director, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies Public Policy Studies, Trinity College, Hartford CT

2 What are Ethics? Ideas of right and wrong, and “the good life” Moral intuitions inherited from simian life Shaped and filtered by modern religious and political ideas Copyright Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies 2008

3 Five Moral Intuitions Harm/care Fairness/reciprocity Ingroup loyalty Respect for authority Purity/sanctity Jonathan Haidt

4 Dangerous Trolleys Trolley 1: Five kids, one man, one switch to push Trolley 2: Five kids, one (fat) man, one hard push Copyright Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies 2008

5 Cleanliness and Morality Moral censure and disgust are the same area of the brain Washing one’s hands or even thinking about “clean” words reduces the severity of moral judgments Baptism Copyright Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies 2008

6 Ape and Human Ethics Copyright Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies 2008

7 Ethics vs. Self/Group Interest Ethics are functional for groups, not individuals Ethics subordinate self-interest to collective interest “Enlightened self-interest” & egoisms Shame vs. guilt Copyright Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies 2008

8 Naturalistic Fallacy The IS doesn’t tell us what SHOULD be We each need to decide what ethics make the most sense for us But science can illuminate why we feel that way Copyright Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies 2008 You cannot go against nature Because when you do Go against nature It's part of nature too

9 Copyright Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies 2008 The Enlightenment

10 Copyright Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies 2008 Principles of the Enlightenment 1. Autonomy of reason from faith and authority 2. Human perfectibility and social progress 3. Empirical optimism: sapere aude! (Dare to know) 4. Legitimacy of government based on free association 5. Tolerance of diversity, freedom of thought 6. Ethical universalism – beyond nationalism, racism, sexism

11 Enlightened vs. Pre-Enlightened Copyright Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies 2008 Enlightened Harm/care Fairness/reciprocity Pre-Enlightenment Ingroup loyalty Respect for authority Purity/sanctity

12 Professionalism vs. Capitalism Professions develop codes of ethics to rationalize their unequal power and special privileges Hippocratic oath Capitalism is based on profit-making Business ethics? Copyright Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies 2008

13 Physician Ethics Copyright Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies 2008

14 Autonomy, Respect for Diversity New Virtues Respect for diversity & self-determination of others is a new, Enlightenment virtue Liberte, fraternite, egalite Georgetown mantra: autonomy, beneficence, justice Copyright Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies 2008

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16 Ethics in Business Copyright Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies 2008

17 Business Ethics? Society holds doctors to a higher standard than businessmen Neither have special ethics, only regular ethics Capitalism, modernity and rationalism undermine all ethical codes Ethics slowly encoded into law and regulation Copyright Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies 2008

18 Stages of Moral Development Lawrence Kohlberg Developmental Correlated with higher education and exposure to Enlightenment thought Conquering animal nature with reason Copyright Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies 2008

19 Human Enhancement? Curing disabilities Optimum health Longer lives Intelligence Emotional control Spiritual goals Aesthetic expression Ensuring the best lives for our kids

20 2008Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies Positive Psychology Six Virtues/Character Wisdom and Knowledge Courage Humanity Justice Temperance Transcendence Martin Seligman Ph.D. Jon Haidt Ph.D. S + C + V = Happiness Happiness Health

21 2008Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies Personality Factors Character Virtues Potential Enhancers Agreeableness Humanity, CompassionOxytocin, Endorphins (PMS), Dilantin (aggression) Conscientiousness Temperance & Self-discipline ADD stimulants, testosterone, vasopressin, norepinephrine Neuroticism Equanimity, Transcendence SSRIs, cognitive behavioral therapy Extraversion Courage, DiligenceModafanil, testosterone, coffee Openness to experience Wisdom & Knowledge Transcendence Methylphenidate, meditation, psychedelics, MDMA Future Moral Enhancement?

22 Testosterone and Markets Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies


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