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Summative Assignment

Ch. 1-2














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Why be Ethical?

The happy [person] lives well and does well; for we have practically defined happiness as a sort of good life and good action. -Aristotle

The Ethical Experience

Ethical: pertaining to or dealing with morals or the principles of morality; pertaining to right and wrong in conduct.
There are four ethical experiences that are all part of what it means to be human, these four experiences are...
  • The Scream- the experience of personal response.
  • The Beggar- the experience of the other.
  • "I have to..."- the experience of obligation.
  • This is Intolerable! This isn't Fair!- the experience of contrast.

    Key Figures

    Aristotle(384-322 BC):
    -explored the natural world and human experience.
    -human life is shaped to its full extent in the context of the community.
    -believes that happiness is the condition of the good person who succeeds in living and acting well.
    -his primary focus was to discover "the good" in humans.
    -he also believes that in order for a person to be truly happy if "over some period of time, [that person] frequently performs with some success the most perfect of typically human tasks."
    -"To act ethically, therefore, is to engage our capacity to reason as we develop good character."
    -Aristotle believes that humans should avoid exess and be moderate in all things.

    Immanuel Kant (1724-1804):
    -Kant's main focus was to discover how humans come to know things.
    -He asked questions such as "what role does our experience play in our coming to know something?" and "can we know things beyound our immediate experience?"
    -the laws of cause and effect rule over human behaviors.
    -Kant believe that humans make decisions based not only on impulse or laws of nature, but on conscience or based on our own personal principles.
    -"good is the aim of a moral life."
    -happiness is found in a private life rather than Aristotle's theory of happiness found in communities.
    -believed that our morals are based on our own good will and our duty to honour.

    Emmanuel Levinas (1905-1995):
    -believed that everything was stamped with "sameness".
    -ethical philosopher.
    -Searched for the good in things.
    -Believed that unique things were traces of the good, or God.
    -Nothing can be identical to God or the good.
    -The good is infinite.

    You are what you do

    Agent: A person who acts freely and knowingly, who chooses to do or not do something; a person who is accountable for his or her actions or omissions.

    Conceptual framework of action is a series of questions that help us to understand the complexity of a human action. These questions are...
  • Who? the agent
  • What? the action
  • Why? the motive
  • How? with what means?
  • With whom or against whom?
  • Under what circumstances?
  • With what outcome?

    Human Freedom: The human capacity to ch oose and to act. I am free because i have possibilites and capacities to act on these possibilities.

    Naturalism: The belief that everything is shaped completely by physical, biological, psychological, social and environmental processes.

    Determinism: A point of view that holds that human behavior is a product, not of free will, but of a complex array of physical, social, cultural, psychological and historical causes.