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the selfless care for others’ well-being.
the philosophical position that argues that morality is subjective, not objective.
the ancient Greek word for virtue. It can also be translated as “excellence.”
the goal of Epicurus’s hedonism: tranquility, or freedom from mental, emotional, and physical pain.
Categorical imperative
Kant’s concept of moral reasoning and action. “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law” (Kant [1785] 1998, 31). This means you know an action is moral if can be universal for everyone.
the philosophical position that values are cognitive and express statements about properties of things or states of events.
the ability to care or share in others’ suffering.
an individual’s inner sense of right and wrong.
Descriptive claims
statements that describe matters of fact or how the world is.
Divine command theory
the philosophical position that uses God as the principle for morality. What is good is determined by God’s commands.
a branch of non-cognitivism that argues that value judgments only express emotion.
the ability to share others’ feelings.
Ethical naturalism
the philosophical position that argues that moral values are based on natural facts about the world, not individuals’ subjective feelings or beliefs.
the ancient Greek term for “happiness” or “human flourishing.” It literally means “good” (eu) “spirit” (daimon).
Euthyphro problem
a challenge to theistic ethical systems. It asks whether something is good because God commands it or if God commands it because it is good.
Evaluative claims
statements that express a judgment about something’s value or how the world ought to be.
Everyday aesthetics
an approach to aesthetic theory that focuses on aesthetically meaningful experiences in people’s ordinary day-to-day lives.
Experience machine
a thought experiment in which the possibility is raised that a person might lead a pleasurable life by being plugged into a machine stimulating pleasurable experiences in their brain.
Extrinsic value
the quality of being valued for the sake of something else.
Fact-value distinction
the distinction between what is the case (facts) and what people think ought to be the case (values) based on beliefs about what is good, beautiful, important, etc.
beliefs that are not or cannot be proven.
an error in logical reasoning—for example, jumping to a conclusion without proper evidence.
Feminist care ethics
an ethical theory that proposes that morality is based on caring for others and that caring for others arises out of women’s experiences as caregivers.
a principle, concept, or assumption on which a philosophical position is founded.
the issue of foundations, the philosophical inquiry into the basis for an idea or system of ideas.
a philosophical approach to moral theory based on the idea that pleasure dictates what is good and pain dictates what is bad.
reason for being; what makes life meaningful in an intuitive way.
when there is no standard of evaluation between two or more goods or values.
Intentional fallacy
the faulty argument that the intention of the artist determines the meaning of the work of art.
Intrinsic value
the quality of being valued for its own sake.
cognition that seems completely self-evident and impossible to deny.
Is-ought problem
problem that asserts the challenge of moving from statements of fact (something is) to statements of value (something ought to be).
Kingdom of ends
Kant’s hypothetical, ideal society in which every individual is treated as an end and no one is treated as a means to an end. It is an idea that can be used to judge the morality of an action.
branch of philosophy that focuses on moral reasoning and foundational questions that explore the assumptions related to moral beliefs and practice.
theory that argues that there is only one fundamental intrinsic value that forms the foundation for all other values.
Moral realism
the philosophical position that morality is objective, not subjective.
Moral relativism
the philosophical position that there are multiple moral frameworks that are equally valid because values are relative to individuals, communities, and cultures.
Moral skepticism
the philosophical position that morality is not objective.
Natural law theory
an ethical position that asserts that morals are objective and derived from nature.
Naturalistic fallacy
an error in reasoning that assumes one can derive values (what people ought to do) from facts about the world (what is the case).
the philosophical position that values are not cognitive because they do not necessarily make statements about properties of things or states of events and have more to do with a psychological state of mind.
Ontology of value
the study of the being of values.
Open-question argument
G. E. Moore’s argument against the naturalistic fallacy, which he sees as trying to derive non-natural properties from natural properties. For Moore, arguing that something is “good” (a non-natural property) based on natural properties is circular and leaves an open question.
an approach to ethics that bases morality on the highest attainable good for an individual, human nature, or society.
theory that argues that there are multiple fundamental intrinsic values rather than one.
the philosophical position that asserts that ethical values have some basis in reality and that reasoning about ethical matters requires an objective framework or foundation.
a methodical way of thinking that uses evidence and logic to draw conclusions, or the capacity to think this way.
a philosophical position that defines well-being as satisfying desires.
the purpose, end, or goal of something.
an ethical theory that bases morality on maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain.
Value theory
the philosophical investigation of values. In its narrow sense, it refers to metaethical concerns. In its broader sense, it addresses a variety of values (ethical, social, political, religious, aesthetic, etc.)
beliefs and evaluations about morality, politics, aesthetics, and social issues. They often express a judgment about what people think ought to be the case.
Virtue ethics
a philosophical approach to ethics based on the examination of different virtues.
Well being
concept referring to what is good for a person, not simply what is good in an abstract sense.
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