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Ethics and Politics of Justice
Geoff Ward
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by drinksomedrpepper on Sunday May 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Crm/Law C163 at University of California - Irvine taught by Geoff Ward in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views.


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Date Created: 05/15/16
C163 – Ethics & Poltiics of Justice Week 1 Lecture 2 Ch 1 – Introduction to Ethics Week 1 overview: Morality and Ethics Domains of Ethical Inquiry Criminal Justice as Ethical Dilemma Moral sensitivity; moral awareness; ethics  Morality  Issues of right vs. wrong  Our interest and concerns  Want to be treated fairly and have justice Foundational Ideas (a primer on ethics) Defining Morality and Ethics  Morality  Peoples beliefs about right and wrong, good and bad, and the choices they make and actions they take, given these beliefs, Moral values reflect these beliefs  Concept we use to describe feelings and values we hold regarding what is right wrong bad, etc.  More about belief systems and what people actually believe and value  Ethics  Field of inquiry  Both issue of what is right vs. wrong  More philosophical inquiry of what should be considered good and bad or right and wrong  How we live in a society Ethics = a kind of inquiry & ambition  Social and behavioral sciences = Descriptive inquiry; Describe nature of things as they exist  Philosophy = prescriptive inquiry; exploring who we ought to be or how our society should be organized; decisions we ought to make; how we ought to live  Sociologist would study moral development as children; how do they develop moral sensibilities (descriptive inquiry) Realms of “Justice” where Ethics Emerge Well  Where is ethics relative to justice? Everywhere  Ethical issues of right and wrong are relevant and present everywhere  Social justice: How should a society be organized? In a way we would consider just or consider all the ideas and realms of all society members? Are law and its enforcement inherently just? Or only as just as the society they aim to maintain?  Rule of thumb = courts allow men to beat women provided the object they use is smaller and thinner than the circumference of the thumb  Law is not a reliable source for moral reasoning, character, and action (Ex: Rape laws; define punishment of rape differently depending on the race of the victim) because unethical is not the same as legal  Is there more we can change in the law? Yes  Law breaking and law making: (relative to ethics) should we make a certain law? What should be legal and illegal? What values should law reflect? Should one always obey laws? (All ethical questions) Should we always obey laws? IS it okay to steal food on the basis of hunger? Should they break the law if they are poor and cannot provide basic needs for themselves?  Social control practice: how should school misconduct be defined in the drafts and handbook? How should crime be punished? How should workplace work place respond to misconduct?  Different kind of punishments received (EX: reduced salary; warning)  Civil and criminal law relevant to type of punishment given Moral Values  Values refer to those things we hold to be important  In relation to both character traits and states of affair  Important for there to be respect for all persons; honesty  Arguments against dishonesty vs. honesty (some people think it is right and others think it is okay)  Regard respect and honesty as necessary to morality  Truth in advertisement  Enforcement of existing policies  Expect integrity in both state of affairs and character traits  Normatively embraced values will contribute to a good life  Good life refers to good in a moral sense and life worth living  Condition of righteousness  Contribute to a just society by institutionalizing integrity, we will therefore live a just and good life  Is idea of a good life understood this way in our society?  Prescriptive inquiry – reflective idea of how we ought to be Weighing Moral values  Two general categories  Instrumental: things we value for their utility; means to another end  Intrinsic: things we find inherently valuable; ends in themselves  Example: relationship with a person (is a relationship a means to a status or entertainment vs. valuable human)  Should weigh intrinsic more than instrumental due to greater good Ethical Inquiry: Reasons & Realms Thoughts on the Practical Values of Ethics?  Interest to engage ethically  Notion that ethics is not abstract but rather has great practical values  By living an examined life we are able to be more aware of ethical dilemmas and issues presented to us and act with more certainty to ethical issues  Provides rules, ideas, aspirations to guide us through  What would my friends do? Or personal interest in situation?  WE should try to be discipline beyond reasoning of emotion and instinct and personal interest  Ethics encourages living an examined life  Ethics provides a system of rules and principles  Ethics challenges us to consider the implication of our choices for others (think harder; see things we might not want to see or are inclined to see such as actual interest of mother in unit) Realms of Ethical Inquiry  Meta Ethics: concerned with basic questions of our existence; existential questions; do we have anything we can call free will? Questions about origins of moral principles and the nature of choice. Argument that we have no ability to think beyond our self-interest; capable of making choices that are respectful of others  Normative Ethics: concerned with establishing principles of morality; character and action based;; relate to who we normatively ought to be; what we should normatively do related to morality  Applied Ethics: Ethical standards of legal profession; ethical conduct of research; obligation of research conductor to engage ethically with colleagues; deals with practical questions; example is cheating Morality as Sensitivity & Sensibility  Should we realize that morality is a question of action related to sensitivity and sensibility  Moral clarity: how much ambiguity (maybe or maybe not; depending on the situation) and certainty regarding whether something is right or wrong  Moral awareness: the degree to which an individual recognizes that a situation contains moral content  Moral attentiveness: extent to which an individual perceives and considers morality and moral elements in his or her experience Ethics & Politics of Criminal Justice (politicized Moral Enterprises of Crime Control)  Issues of ethics and politics  Power and dynamics involved in crime control  Who do we put on the other side of the cell and for what reasons? Ethics and Politics of Criminal Justice  Criminal social control is a politicized moral enterprise  Evident in public support of crime control  Punishment as penitence  How do we morally justify the condition of crime control  Challenge in relation to criminal control and practice  Racialized treatment of different race in prison; beat certain prisoners  Policing  Punishment should work by providing deterrence, incapacitation, rehab, restorative justice  Ethics is manifested in social movements around crime/justice where they challenge societal norms, values, or structures as unjust or inhumane  Examples of ways that ideas and practices or criminal justice are present ethical dillemans to call on us to engange in moral reasoning and action


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