Kant, too, proposed a duty-based moral philosophy and was committed to the idea that our moral duty is self-evident. A duty-based moral philosophy is known as a deontological moral philosophy. Deontological ethics are usually contrasted with consequentialist The utilitarians defined the rightness of an action in terms of the happiness it produces as a consequence.
References and Further Reading 1. Metaethics The term "meta" means after or beyond, and, consequently, the notion of metaethics involves a removed, or bird's eye view of the entire project of ethics. We may define metaethics as the study of the origin and meaning Contemporary ethical theory philosophers ethical concepts.
When compared to normative ethics and applied ethics, the field of metaethics is the least precisely defined area of moral philosophy.
It covers issues from moral semantics to moral epistemology. Two issues, though, are prominent: Objectivism and Relativism Metaphysics is the study of the kinds of things that exist in the universe.
Some things in the universe are made of physical stuff, such as rocks; and perhaps other things are nonphysical in nature, such as thoughts, spirits, and gods.
The metaphysical component of metaethics involves discovering specifically whether moral values are eternal truths that exist in a spirit-like realm, or simply human conventions. There are two general directions that discussions of this topic take, one other-worldly and one this-worldly.
Proponents of the other-worldly view typically hold that moral values are objective in the sense that they exist in a spirit-like realm beyond subjective human conventions.
They also hold that they are absolute, or eternal, in that they never change, and also that they are universal insofar as they apply to all rational creatures around the world and throughout time. The most dramatic example of this view is Platowho was inspired by the field of mathematics.
Humans do not invent numbers, and humans cannot alter them. Plato explained the eternal character of mathematics by stating that they are abstract entities that exist in a spirit-like realm.
PHIL Contemporary Ethical theories. Catalog Description. The works of contemporary moral philosophers in the analytic or continental tradition are examine and compared. PHIL Contemporary Ethical theories. PHIL Contemporary Ethical Theories. The Generic Catalog Description. The works of contemporary moral philosophers in the analytic or continental tradition are examine and compared. Ancient Ethical Theory First published Tue Aug 3, ; substantive revision Wed Aug 13, While moral theory does not invent morality, or even reflection on it, it does try to bring systematic thinking to bear on the phenomenon.
He noted that moral values also are absolute truths and thus are also abstract, spirit-like entities. In this sense, for Plato, moral values are spiritual objects. Medieval philosophers commonly grouped all moral principles together under the heading of "eternal law" which were also frequently seen as spirit-like objects.
In either case, though, they exist in a spirit-like realm. A different other-worldly approach to the metaphysical status of morality is divine commands issuing from God's will. Sometimes called voluntarism or divine command theorythis view was inspired by the notion of an all-powerful God who is in control of everything.
God simply wills things, and they become reality. He wills the physical world into existence, he wills human life into existence and, similarly, he wills all moral values into existence. Proponents of this view, such as medieval philosopher William of Ockhambelieve that God wills moral principles, such as "murder is wrong," and these exist in God's mind as commands.
God informs humans of these commands by implanting us with moral intuitions or revealing these commands in scripture. The second and more this-worldly approach to the metaphysical status of morality follows in the skeptical philosophical tradition, such as that articulated by Greek philosopher Sextus Empiricus, and denies the objective status of moral values.
Technically, skeptics did not reject moral values themselves, but only denied that values exist as spirit-like objects, or as divine commands in the mind of God. Moral values, they argued, are strictly human inventions, a position that has since been called moral relativism. There are two distinct forms of moral relativism.
The first is individual relativism, which holds that individual people create their own moral standards.
Friedrich Nietzsche, for example, argued that the superhuman creates his or her morality distinct from and in reaction to the slave-like value system of the masses.
The second is cultural relativism which maintains that morality is grounded in the approval of one's society - and not simply in the preferences of individual people. In addition to espousing skepticism and relativism, this-worldly approaches to the metaphysical status of morality deny the absolute and universal nature of morality and hold instead that moral values in fact change from society to society throughout time and throughout the world.
They frequently attempt to defend their position by citing examples of values that differ dramatically from one culture to another, such as attitudes about polygamy, homosexuality and human sacrifice.
Psychological Issues in Metaethics A second area of metaethics involves the psychological basis of our moral judgments and conduct, particularly understanding what motivates us to be moral.CONTEMPORARY ETHICAL THEORIES AND JURISPRUDENCE George Nakhnikian FOUR TYPES of ethical theory have been the ones most heatedly debated among analytic philosophers since the appearance in of G.
E. Moore's. Jan 09, · Will serve as an accessible introduction to the major topics in contemporary moral theory, while also capturing the imagination of professional philosophers. Series Contemporary Debates in PhilosophyFormat: Hardcover.
Ancient Ethical Theory First published Tue Aug 3, ; substantive revision Wed Aug 13, While moral theory does not invent morality, or even reflection on it, it does try to bring systematic thinking to bear on the phenomenon. CONTEMPORARY ETHICAL THEORIES AND JURISPRUDENCE George Nakhnikian FOUR TYPES of ethical theory have been the ones most heatedly debated among analytic philosophers since the appearance in of G.
E. Moore's. PHIL Contemporary Ethical theories. PHIL Contemporary Ethical Theories. The Generic Catalog Description. The works of contemporary moral philosophers in the analytic or continental tradition are examine and compared.
This reader contains 72 classical and contemporary articles organized around 13 crucial issues in ethical theory: the nature of ethics, ethical relativism, ethical egoism and evolutionary ethics, value, utilitarianism, deontological ethics, virtue ethics, the fact/value problem, moral realism and skepticism, morality and self-interest, ethics /5(13).