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Ethics and Politics of Justice
Geoff Ward
Class Notes
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This 3 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 6 views.


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Date Created: 05/15/16
C163 Week 3 Lecture 5 Utility and Deontology: Key Normative Theories THE QUEEN V. DUDLEY & STEPHENS  What should the crew have done?  Why was the killing “just” or unjust, how so?  Is “necessity” a viable defense for murder, ethically, how about legally?  What would make this a just solution? What did the court decide?  Necessity is not a moral or legal defense for murder  “To preserve one’s life is generally speaking a duty, but it may be the plainest and the highest duty to sacrifice it  War is full of instances in which it is a man’s duty to live, but to die. The duty, in case of shipwreck, of a captain to his crew, of the crew to the passengers, of soldiers to women and children  These duties impose on men the moral Life Examined – Or not! Problems of Ethical Egocentrism & Fading  Recognizing ethical dilemmas and responding to them  Not because we are indifferent or bad people but we do not care about others Not simply bad people…. Impediments to Ethics Choices & Behaviors  There are several quite common, often subtle forms of unethical decision making and behavior that undermine organizational/societal well-being:  Implicit prejudice  In-group favoritism  Over-claiming credit  There are several subtle mechanism of ethical disengagement  Egocentric ethics  Ethical fading Egocentric Ethics  Process of self deception  People are automatically inclined t inerprepty their own actions egocentrically  Deceiving ourselves at subconscious level to automatically perceive our actions as good or bad  People are automatically inclined to interpret their own actions egocentrically  Brain making connection between choices are morality  Moral judgments about fairness/unfairness are based upon these automatic evaluative responses  Automatic egocentrism – produced by automatic unconscious psychological mechanism –occurs because personal experience is more efficient than inference, people automatically interpret objects/events egocentrically, rather than reflect  Positive automatic evaluation – the perception that an ethical event is moral  Negative automatic evaluation – the perception that an ethical event is immoral  Conscious reasoning is shaped by unconscious behaviors and judgments – it occurs after impression have already been made Problems of Ethical Fading  A related mechanism of retreating from moral reflection is described as “Ethical fading”  Ethical fading – the process by which the moral colors of an ethical decision fade into bleached hues that are void of moral implication. Self deception is at the root of this  Enables of self-deception:  Language euphemism – disguised stories we tell ourselves about unethical actions  Slippery slope of decision making – self reproof is diminished through repeated exposures and induction mechanism (if past practices were considered ethical then similar, current practices are as well), without additional reflection  Errors in perceptual causation – inaccurate assignment of blame  Constraints induced by representations of the self-no real understanding of an objective truth  Ethical decisions involve a trade-off between self-interest and moral principles. We aren’t very good at choosing the later. Normative Ethics Three Frameworks  Consequentialism: doctrine that the morality of an action is to be judged solely by its consequences  Deontology: the study of moral obligation; ethical theory concerned with duties Consequentialism Three Ways  Ethical egoism  Contractualism  Utilitarianism Social Contract Theory  Claims that what matters are morally self-interests, however, we have a stake in collective good  The social contract provides a basis for moral consciousness and action (ex: consideration of others), because of its utility  Explain the supposed utility of contractualism Utilitarianism Righteous Consequences of Rights Acts Consequentialist Claims  Consequentialist 1. Their thesis about what makes acts morally wrong 2. Their thesis about the procedure agents should use to make their moral decisions 3. Their thesis about the conditions under which moral sanctions such as blame, guilt, and praise area appropriate Determining Right Action  Consequentialist suggest “Right” action can be identified by:  Act consequentialism: asking ourselves, in relation to each act, whether or not it promotes the greatest good  Rule consequentialism: Keeping to certain rules may produce better consequences than trying to determine what consequences follow from every individual action Problems with Utilitarianism  The problem of prediction: can we really know the consequences of our actions? Is it reasonable to entrust “intended” consequences (cs. Real and expected consequences)?  Only Happiness? Are there not aspects of morality (ex: values) we should seek to maximize, such as truth, dignity, and fairness  Only Consequence? What about the means to these ends – questions of justice, for example?  What amount of minority pain for majority gain?0o


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