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  • Free will and determinism 
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Analysis of ethical language
Trying to make sense of terms and concepts
Believe concepts like good and bad exist
All ethical statements are the same as non-ethical statements, therefore
can be verified or falsified
E.G. Thomas Moore was executed in 1535 for his beliefs. He was a good
Can test the first one by examining the evidence. But can also test the
second one by examining his behaviour
Criticism-G.E Moore:
Claiming moral statements can be verified or falsified creates the
naturalistic fallacy (the claim that good cannot be defined)
Cannot infer from a description of how the world is to how the world
ought to be
Cannot always say happiness is good (MLK's actions to some were not
Will always be differing opinions, therefore moving from a factual
objective statements to an ethical statement of values doesn't work as it
leaves an open question that cannot be answered
Intuitionism-G.E. Moore
We know what good is by intuition but there is no way to prove this
Cannot use empirical evidence to prove good, like you cannot define
Intuitionism-H.A. Prichard
Everyone knows when we ought to do something
2 types of thinking
1. Reason: looks at the facts of a situation
2. Intuition: decides what to do
Did recognise that people's moral were different, but said this was
because some people had developed their morals better.
When there is a conflict of obligation you must look at the situation and
Impossible to tell if intuition is correct as people come to different
If there is contradiction of emotions how do well tell what is correct

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Ethical statements are not statements that can be proved true or false
E.G. `Euthanasia is wrong' is not a statement about facts, instead opinions
and feelings.
Emotivism-A.J Ayer (boo/hurrah)
Ethical judgements are not statements that can be true or false, just
expressing feelings
Only 2 kinds of meaningful statements:
1. Analytic statements: truth or falsity of a statement can be
determined by understanding the terms: `all bachelors are
unmarried men'
2. Synthetic statements: tested by checking the facts. Statements of
science or history.…read more

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Virtue Ethics
Virtue ethics doesn't focus on actions being right or wrong but on how to
be a good person, it looks at what makes a good person and the qualities
or characteristics that make them good
Distinguishes between things that are good as a means (for the sake of
something else) and as an end (for the end sake only)
Aristotle saw two types of virtues:
1. Intellectual - where they are developed by training and education
such as intelligence
2.…read more

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Used the analogy of a man shopping with a list of ingredients. If the man
ignores the list of ingredients and therefore buys the wrong ones, he is
to blame.
In ethics the persons is shopping in the ethical supermarket with a list
of morals (for Anscombe this was Christian morals) created by a moral
If the person knows that the list of morals is needed to live a
virtuous/ethical life but chooses then they are to blame.…read more

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Michael Slote
Thought virtue ethics was based on common sense and intuitions.
Preferred the word admirable to good to describe an action.
Said virtues are `an inner trait or disposition of the individual'.
Believed virtues should be balanced between those close to us and other
He explained the difference between agent based and agent focused
theories.…read more

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Libertarianism: the idea that human beings are able to
exercise free will when making decisions and are therefore
morally responsible
We have complete free will and morally responsible for our actions
We are free agents able to make completely free choices
Peter Van Inwagen: analogy of choosing which path to travel down a road
David Hume believed in limited free will, nature was in control of human
Alternative view: Thomas Reid
Put forward common sense philosophy: humans have free will, yes they
are…read more

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Some argue humans know what is morally right yet they choose not to
do it
The more good a person does the more destined for hell they are, as
they are doing good for the wrong reasons.…read more

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Synderesis, what he termed right, reason by which a person
acquires knowledge of basic moral principles and understands
that it is important to do good and avoid evil
2.…read more

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The id, unconscious self, basic drives and repressed memories. No
concerns about right and wrong, just concerned with itself
Oedipus complex: desire of a son to sleep with the mother and kill his
Electra complex: desire of a daughter to sleep with her father
Sees this as wrong and connects with relation of the same sex and
represses feelings
Repressed sexual memories as a child, therefore a feeling of guilt, which
is where our conscience comes from.…read more


Sophie Didymus

thanks so much for this, its so helpful !

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