Review for first midterm exam
What is “ethics”?
Distinction between descriptive claims and normative claims
Why people have a belief vs Whether belief is true
Objectivity in ethics
Distinguished from cultural relativism
Distinguished from subjectivism
Arguments for and against
Why be moral?
Is there opposition between justice and self-interest? Between expedience and morality?
Nietzsche’s “genealogy” of morals – rejection of nihilism and authorship of values
Plato on rational self-interest
Morality and religion
Plato: is it good because God loves it or does God love it because it’s good? A question about whether goodness is intrinsic.
Natural Law: there are objective truths about morality/justice discoverable by human intellect. Manmade laws must conform to natural law to be valid.
Plato and Cicero on virtues
Thomas Aquinas on virtue and knowing the divine
Martin Luther King, Jr. – modern use of natural law theory; civil disobedience
Readings: assigned selections from ch. 1; chapters 3,4,9; Richter handout; Regan handout; Foot handout; King handout
See also: slides