Are they merely expressing opinions or stating matters of fact? Can we really tell right from wrong? Many people would answer this by stating that what is believed to be right or wrong is essential for any discussion about our behavior. If this is the case then we could never have a meaningful discussion about morality. Ethical statements are not just about observable facts, but are often statements about what we believe should happen and so are not very easy to establish as true or false, as they are expressions of points of view not shared be everyone.
Despite being a theory which seemingly encourages acceptance and moral rationality, subjectivism is deemed as flawed on two predominant levels. Firstly, it assumes an infallibility for the speaker that is not justified. And secondly, subjectivism seemingly renders moral disagreement and therefore advancement impossible. Whilst these two objections may seem solid on a logical level, they pose little threat to subjectivism as an undeniable fact of reality. The first argument, that subjectivism creates infallible moral agents, reads as follows.
In Plato’s The Republic, there exists a struggle between the characters of Socrates and Thrasymachus to find the correct definition of what justice is. Thrasymachus, being a Sophist, expressed his views on justice in a manner of rash sequences whereby Socrates closely followed behind with his own counter-arguments. These counter-arguments effectively exposed weaknesses in Thrasymachus’s argument for justice, and further crippled it entirely. By outlining and explaining Thrasymachus’s views on justice, I will argue two things; first that the weakness in his argument comes from only himself in abandoning his method. Secondly, that justice may be our deep-rooted understanding and ability to identify good from evil.
Virtue ethics is agent-centred ethics rather than act-centred; it asks ‘What sort of person ought I to be?’ rather than ‘How ought I to act?’ The Aristotelian approach shows to give an account of the structure of morality and explained that the point of enrolling in ethics is to become good: ‘For we are enquiring not in order to know what virtue is but in order to become good since otherwise our enquiry would be of no use.’ (Nichomachean Ethics, Book 1, ch. 2) Quite importantly, Aristotle’s distinguishes between things which are good as means (for the sake of something else) and things which are good as ends (for their own sake only), Aristotle seeks for one final and overriding end of human action, one final good – eudaimonia (or final happiness). Philosophers of the 20th century brought about a revival of virtue ethics as many were concerned with the act-centered ethical theories. Virtue ethics is able to do something very different to other ethical theories – rather than focus on the act of a person, virtue ethics will focus on the person itself. The modern development of virtue ethics is often linked back to a paper by G. E. M. Anscombe entitled ‘Modern Moral Philosophy’.
He then leads up to his main objection of this definition by means of stating that even though men and gods love that which they think is noble and good, and hate that which is opposite to those things, not everyone thinks this way about all things (Plato, 7). This being in the nature of things that are considered to be good by a group of people, can be hated by others, and this would also apply to the gods, for not everyone thinks the same. Socrates then uses a good example concerning the gods to better prove his reasons. He states that even though Euthyphro's decision to proceed against his own father may seem agreeable to Zeus, but not to Cronos or Uranus, and that there may be other gods who have these differences of opinions (7). Concerning
INTRODUCTION The ethical decision is challenging and probably blurry for decision-makers. Mostly, it creates a dilemma where fierce antagonism arises from listening to the voice of conscience and the voices of other opinions surrounding. Profoundly, the winner is determined by how willing the person is to pursue the goodness and freely choose to pay attention to the inner voice or mute it. Moral philosophers are contributing in providing an instrument to enable us to heed to the verdict of conscience, by which will be the compass through the decision stages. Kant analogizes the role of the moral philosopher to reveal the ambiguous perception of what it is moral to be clearer and shimmers dazzlingly, supplementary; he emphasised that we do not
In this essay, I seek to critically discuss whether resolutions provide a better explanation of the weakness of the will than the traditional/ Akrasia account or not. I will achieve this by briefly explaining what the traditional account is and also what the resolution account is. Furthermore, I will explain the advantages of Holton’s approach and also give reasons why Holton’s argument succeed which will be accompanied by a rebuttal. The Akrasia traditional approach merely states that a person is weak-willed if they act against their best judgement. If one judges A to be the best course of action, why would one do anything other than A?
Among these were William L. Rowe, a professor of philosophy who counter argued Anselm’s beliefs with the support he took from many critics on the subject. One of these critics happens to be philosopher Immanuel Kant, who offered a rather interesting but strong counter claim to Anselm’s statements. A reoccurring idea in Anselm’s argument is that there is a precise difference in existing in reality and existing in the mind, AKA the understanding. Rowe interprets this idea and explains that Anselm is arguing that if a being only exists in one’s understanding, it is not as great as it could have been had it existed in reality as well. In Kant’s views, he believes Anselm’s mistake was in stating “existence” as a quality as well as a property that one may possess to add to the list of other’s one could conceive
Assess Utilitarianism Utilitarianism is a consequentialist approach to ethics, meaning the consequences of an act are what matters. The utilitarian answer as to what to do in any situation is that we should always act to maximise utility. There are two different interpretations of utilitarianism; the positive being that we ought to do that which brings about the greatest happiness of the greatest number and the negative being that we ought to do that which minimises pain or suffering. Utilitarianism is teleological, or goal orienteered, meaning that the end matters more than the means used to achieve the end. The various forms present two major problems; the problem of justice, and the issue of having to predict the consequences of an action.
He also includes its "fecundity" (will more of the same follow?) and its "purity" (its pleasure won't be followed by pain & vice versa). In considering actions that affect numbers of people, we must also account for its EXTENT. John Stuart Mill adjusted the more hedonistic tendencies in Bentham's philosophy by emphasizing (1) It is not the quantity of pleasure, but the quality of happiness that is central to utilitarianism, (2) the calculus is unreasonable -- qualities cannot be quantified (there is a distinction between 'higher' and 'lower' pleasures), and (3) utilitarianism refers to "the Greatest Happiness Principle" -- it seeks to promote the capability of achieving happiness (higher pleasures) for the most amount of people (this is its "extent"). Act and Rule Utilitarianism We can apply the principle of utility to either PARTICULAR ACTIONS or GENERAL RULES.