The principles that guide human behavior. Study of norms and values.
Three definitions of ethics:
General pattern or way of life, set of rules of conduct or moral code, and inquiry about ways of life and rules of conduct.
Four characteristics of morality and moral codes:
beliefs about the nature of man, beliefs about ideals, rules laying down what ought to be done and not done, motives that incline us to choose the right or wrong course.
Constraints that influence whether or not a decision maker does the right thing
Organizational constraints and personal characteristics.
Reward system, organizational culture, and tone at the top.
Archie Carroll's goals/responsibilities for businesses
2. Follow applicable laws (base level of behavior)
3. Ethical responsibility
4. Social responsibility
Explanations for why individuals should be ethicals
Religion, relationships with others, and perception of others.
Self-interest versus selfishness
Self-interest is an interest concerning the self, not interest in the self.
Self-interest motivates people to form peaceful civil societies. Peace means accepting rules that limit individual freedom. Enlightened self-interest.
self-interest leads to economic cooperation. Free market and division of labor.
Buyers and sellers are free to enter and exit the market place. Invisible hand results in a Pareto-optimum position, impossible to improve anyone's condition without worsening someone else's. Self-interest moves the marketplace.
John Locke, Jeremy Bentham, James Mill, John Stuart Mill
Theological theories study what?
Ethical behavior in terms of the results or consequences of ethical decisions.
Ethicality is assessed on the basis of non-ethical consequences, ethical decisions should be oriented towards increasing happiness or pain of the decision maker, the ethical decision maker must be impartial. Pleasure and pain are measured at the level of society.
Goal of life is secure and lasting pleasure, pain is only accepted if it leads to greater pleasure.
Act Utilitarianism or Consequentialism
An action is ethically good or correct if it will probably produce a greater balance of good over evil.
Follow the rule that tends to produce the greatest amount of pleasure over pain for the greatest number of people.
Means & Ends
Means & Ends
Political not ethical theory. Assumes means and ends are ethically equivalent and there is only one means to achieving that end.
Weaknesses of Utilitarianism
Presupposes that happiness and pain can be measured, distribution and intensity of happiness, scope, minority rights may be violated. Ignores motivation and focuses only on consequences.
Evaluates the ethicality of behavior based on the motivation of the decision-maker. Only when you act out of a sense of duty that you are acting ethically.
The only unqualified good is a good will, the will to follow what reason dictates regardless of the consequences to oneself.
Kant's Two Laws
Categorical Imperative and Practical Imperative
Only act in a manner such that you would be prepared to have anyone else who is in a similar situation act in a similar way.
Everyone must be treated equally under the moral law.
Everyone is entitled to pursue their own personal goals as long as they do not violate the practical imperative. Treat people as ends not means to an end.
No clear guidelines for deciding right and wrong. Consequences are irrelevant, only the intention of the decision maker matters.
The need for justice occurs because: people are not always beneficent and there are scarce resources.
Meaning of justice
To render or allocate benefits and burdens based on rational reasons.
How justice is administered.
Allocation of justice
Equals should be treated equally and unequals unequally.
Three criteria for determining just distribution:
Need, arithmetic (cake), equality, and merit
Weakness of distributive justice
Allocation may not be fair
Theory of justice and fairness.
Theory of Justice and Fairness
No one can ever get all the things one wants. Need for everyone to cooperate.
Social and economic inequalities should be of benefit to the least advantaged members of society. Natural endowments are undeserved.
Fair equality of opportunity
Access to inequalities should be open to all
Inspired by Aristotle. Focuses on moral character of the decision maker and not the consequences or motivation.
Goal in life is happiness. Happiness as in activity of the soul.
Advantage of virtue ethics
Takes a broader view recognizing that the decision maker has a variety of character traits.
Weaknesses of Virtue Ethics.
Unable to compile an exhaustive list of virtues. Virtues may be situation specific. Many virtues may be contradictory.
Apple iPhone - Utilitarianism
Apple iPhone - Deontology
Offer a rebate. Could set a precedent.
Apple iPhone - Justice and Fairness
If single time customer then do nothing. If want repeat customers offer rebate.