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Dr. Frankena: Moral Value & Responsibility

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Presentation on theme: "Dr. Frankena: Moral Value & Responsibility"— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr. Frankena: Moral Value & Responsibility
Need a normative theory Normative meaning - standard or guide Morally good or bad things are: persons, groups of persons, traits of character, dispositions, emotions, motives, and intentions Nonmorally good or bad things are: physical objects like cars, paintings, knowledge, freedom, government, and so forth.

2 Historically, morality concerned with:
Cultivation of certain disposition, or traits of character. virtues - not wholly innate: they must all be acquired, at least in part, by teaching and practice or perhaps by grace honesty, kindness, conscientiousness. Morality not rules or principles, but rather the cultivation of such dispositions, i.e.., Plato and Aristotle

3 Leslie Stephen: Morality is Internal
Moral law is truly a rule of character. Ethics of Virtue: Aretaic Judgments Actions are secondary, what is important is the motive or trait. motives, intentions, and actions

4 Hume When we praise any actions, we regard only the motives that produce them. The external performance has no merit..all virtuous actions derive their true merit only from virtuous motives. In other words, what is important is judgments about agents and their motives o

5 Hume: 3 kinds of ethics of duty
Trait Egoism Virtues that are most conducive to one’s own good or welfare Trait Utilitarianism Virtues are those traits that promote the greatest amount of good, or benevolence is the basic or cardinal moral virtue Trait Deontological certain traits are morally good simply as such

6 Difference between obligation and virtue...
Principles of Duty We ought to promote good We ought to treat people equality We ought to tell the truth We ought to be responsible Trait is a disposition, habit, quality, or trait, which an individual either has or seeks to have.

7 Values Principles Obligations Actions

8 What are the moral virtues?
They cannot be derived from one another All other moral virtues can be derived from or shown to be forms of them Plato and Greeks though they were four cardinal virtues: wisdom, courage, temperance, and justice Christianity has seven: faith, hope, love, prudence, fortitude, temperance, and justice - first three theological, last 4 human

9 Cardinal Virtues - Frankena & Schopenhauer
Benevolence Justice All other virtues can be derived from these two.

10 Is morality primarily a following of certain principles or as a cultivation of certain traits.
Difficult to know what traits to encourage if we did not subscribe to principles

11 What then would be the difference between a principle of beneficence and the virtue of benevolence.

12 Kant: That Principles without traits are impotent and traits without principles are blind.

13 An Ethics of Virtue: Point of acquiring these virtues
not further guidance or instruction not to tell us what to do but to ensure that we will do it willingly Must not only move us to do what we do, They must also tell us what to do

14 Moral Ideal Ways of being rather than doing
wanting to be a person of a certain sort wanting to have a certain trait of character Socrates, Jesus the Christ, Martin Luther King, Mohammed Gandhi

15 Dispositions to be Cultivated
Cardinal, First Order Virtues: Benevolence and Justice Corollaries, Truth, honesty, keeping promises, fidelity, which are all acquired and fostered. Second Order Virtues Conscientiousness Intellectual Traits Disposition to find and respect the relevant facts and a disposition to think clearly

16 Values Principles Obligations Actions
Whole Point: ??? Values Principles Obligations Actions

17 Should an action be judged right or wrong because of its results; the principle it exemplifies, or because of the motive, intention, or trait of character is good or bad?

18 What is moral? Reasonable view..
is that one’s actions are morally good if it is at least true that, whatever the actual motives in acting, the sense of duty or desire to do the right is so strong that it keeps one trying to do one’s duty.

19 Moral Responsibility Three Kinds of cases for moral responsibility
1) X is a responsible person, meaning to say something morally favorable about his character. 2) X is and was responsible for a past action 3) X is responsible for Y when Y still is to be done.

20 Case 1: X is responsible In this case, responsible is known to be
trustworthy or dependable with sound judgment. Meaning what morally?

21 Case 2: X is and was responsible for a past action.
Responsible is being the source or cause of something happening

22 Case 3: X is responsible for Y to be done.
Responsible is the condition of being accountable to act without guidance or personal authority

23 Responsibility In Case 1 and 3, we are accountable for actions; we have obligations because of previous commitments...hence is a straight normative judgment of obligation.

24 Responsibility Normative judgment: making a decision based on a norm or standard. In this case, the standard is based on an obligation to a certain principle (to be responsible) from the value: responsibility

25 Related Issues Coercion Freedom and Choice Determinism

26 Liberty - choice between alternatives
Coercion Absence of coercion not only direct by indirect, i.e., modeling, manipulation, that affect alternatives Liberty - choice between alternatives importance of education enlarges the capacity of choice and decisions. Important precondition of existence of freedom.

27 Free Will and Determinism
Free will: you have choices that you can make based on your values. Determinism: every event, including human choices and volitions, is caused by other events and happens as an effect or result of these other events.

28 Determinism The general philosophical thesis which states that for everything that ever happens there are conditions that given them nothing else. ethical determinism logical determinism theological determinism physical determinism psychological determinism

29 Ethical determinism actions are determined by an apparent man can set as the object of his choice something that seems evil or bad to him. opponent:The evident fact of incontinence. A man’s desires or appetites are in conflict with his reason, precisely in the sense that he desires something that is bad for him. Aristotle.

30 Logical Determinism Men’s wills are fettered, that nothing is real in in their power to alter. Fate determines all. No man’s destiny is in any degree up to him. Everything he ever does is something he could never have is idle to speak of free will.

31 Psychological Determinism
Christian Theology, a concept arose that a perfectly good god, omniscient, and omnipotent, the entire world and everything in it, down to the minutest detail, are absolutely dependent for existence and character from Him. Divine Power and Predestination.

32 Physical Determinism Events are determined by eternal and immutable laws of nature. A move away from people making decisions, or god writing out the decisions to the decisions are really not decisions at all.

33 Psychological Determinism
All voluntary human action is caused by the alternate operation of motives, desires, and aversions...which are varieties of physical forces. The immediate cause of a voluntary motion is an act of will, but it is never free, it is psychological training. Hobbsian thought

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