principles - Herrick Chang

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Dec 14, 2012 (4 years and 7 months ago)

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Ethical Frameworks

Engineering 185EW

Winter 2011

Herrick Chang

Slides extracted from Prof.
Weltman’s

Slides

2

Ethical Philosophies


Historical Ethical Theories


Rights Ethics


Duty Ethics


Virtue Ethics


Utilitarianism


Pragmatism


Alternative Ethical Theories







Attempts to systematize, rationalize and prescribe societal and
personal ethical choices.

3

Rights Ethics


Fundamental Concepts


Human rights are basic


Rights are a fundamental human authority


Respect for rights is obligatory


Types of Rights


Liberty Rights:


Related primarily to individuals


Concern non
-
interference and property protection


Welfare Rights


Related primarily to collections of people


Concern for others within a moral community


Rights include benefits under contracts and promises


Examples


Declaration of Independence


Constitution and Bill of Rights


Modern Rights: Privacy, education, safety, health care, etc.






4

Duty Ethics


Fundamental Concepts


Duties are basic


Mirror image of rights
--

for every right, a duty


Emphasis on what we owe to others


Related Issues


Unification principles


Autonomy


Governing one’s own life morally


Universality


Principles apply equally to all people


Respect
--

Other peoples’ desires, needs, efforts


Lists of basic duties (Kant and others)


Examples


The Decalogue


Code of Chivalry


Cadet Honor Code


Professional Codes (Engineering, Medicine & Others)


5

Virtue Ethics


Fundamental Concepts


Essential virtues are desirable as


Attitudes, emotions &
motives


Guides to conduct


Being a virtuous person


Related Issues


Evolution of virtues


Association with societal classes





6

Utilitarianism


Fundamental Concepts


Most good for the most people


Balance of good vs. bad consequences


Maximization of net good


Related Principles


Rule
-
Utilitarianism


Rules determine acts


Act on those rules that produce most good, etc.


Act
-
Utilitarianism


Actions supercede rules


Chose action that produce most good, etc.


Use rules as guidelines and not as absolutes


Examples


Cars: Speed & Convenience vs. Safety & Economy


Air and Water Pollution: Public Health vs. Industrial Costs


Genetic Engineering: Medical Benefits vs. Risks & Morality



7

Pragmatism


Fundamental Concepts


Context


In which facts and values must be balanced



Flexibility


In integrating and harmonizing competing values


Analysis
--

Ethical reasoning vs. fixed rules or ideals


Related Principles


Guidance in methods of analytical thought


Warnings of negative consequences


Case Solutions


Cases are concrete dilemmas


with differing moral/ethical opinions


Emphasizing
principles

often leads to accentuation of differences


Emphasizing
particulars

over
principles

often leads to pragmatic reconciliation of
differences


Didn’t we earlier say the opposite with regard to the Golden Rule?






“A
foolish

consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson