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Consequentialist Theories

based on examining the consequence of actions, beliefs, or theories, and judge the rightness or wrongness on the basis of those consequences or results.


Nonconsequentialist theories

based not on consequences, but on whether the actions or beliefs or theories conform to some rule or principle



holds that what is good is what produces the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.


Kantian Ethics

ethics is based on or primarily concerned with ethical rules or principles, which are derived from logic, from reasoning, or from human nature.


Kant's Categorical Imperative

Always act so that you can consistently will that the maxim of your action become a universal law.


Virtue Ethics

Virtue ethics focuses not on ethical rules or consequences, but on the moral status of the person or agent. The purpose of ethics is to develop the individual's moral/ethical character, or virtues.


Moral Sense Theory

Holds that human have a moral sense (analogous to the physical senses) or intuition by which we can and do distinguish between right and wrong.


Natural Law

Holds that humans are beings of nature and have a nature, that this nature can be know, and that ethics can be derived from laws or principles found in that nature.


Contractarian Ethics

Ethics is based on a hypothetical contract among members of society.


Collectivist Ethics

Claims that values and what is good or bad (as well as other things) are socially derived and determined.



Harm principle


Pragmatic ethics

Pragmatism rejects unchanging or transcendent principles and norms, holding instead that principles and views and norms both are and need to be changed in light of actual events or discoveries or situations.


Divine Command Theory

right and wrong, good and evil, just and unjust are determined not by human wish, desire, or reason, or by human institutions, but by the will of a transcendent deity or deities


Ethical Egoism

identifies what is ethically right with the agent's self-interest. Claims that something is ethically right iff it promotes the agent's long-term self-interest.


Three Basic Parts of an Argument in Applied Ethics

1. Factual premise
2. Premise stating an ethical principle or theory
3. A conclusion that brings these two together


Four Ways You can Attack an Argument in Applied Ethics

1. Attack the factual premise.
2. Attack the ethical theory.
3. Argue that the ethical theory or principle does not apply in the case of the factual premise.
4. Point out that there is a formal or informal fallacy in the argument


Three Central Features of Professions

1. An extensive period of training is needed
2. The training to become a professional involves a significant intellectual component
3. The trained ability held by professions provides an important service to society


Three Common Features of Professions

1. Credentialing or licensing
2. Organization of members
3. The profession/professional has a great autonomy in it/his work


Is professional ethics the same as or reducible to ordinary ethics?


1. Professions have special rights and privileges which are needed so they can fulfill their role in providing for our basin human needs. Spiderman principle... with special rights and privileges comes special ethical obligations and duties.


What is autonomy? Why is it important?

Literally meaning "self-law," autonomy is generally understood to refer to the capacity to be one's own person, to live one's life according to reasons and motives that are taken as one's own and not the product of manipulative or distorting external forces. Autonomy is important insofar as it is essential to respecting the free-will and dignity of the individual person.


What is a professional-client relationship for?

A Professional-client relationship is, ultimately, for the satisfaction of fundamental needs (i.e. the needs of the client).


Tasks to be accomplished in a professional-client relationship

1. Analyze the client's need or want
2. Consider alternative responses to the client's need
3. Deciding which of the alternatives to pursue
4. Implementation of the decision
5. Education (of client or professional or both)


Five Different Types of Professional client Relationships

1. Agency
2. Paternalistic
3. Contractual
4. Affinity
5. Fiduciary


Account of fundamental (human) needs and the role of professionals in filling those needs, along with the claim that others have against the professional to fulfill his/her needs.

- The goods which professionals provide meet fundamental needs, which are not just mere desires.
- If I have a fundamental need which I cannot satisfy myself (e.g. healthcare), then I have a legitimate claim against those who can satisfy it (e.g. doctors).
- Insofar as the role of the professional is the satisfaction of fundamental needs, they are obliged to provide to provide their services to particular clients whether they wish to or not.


Can the client become the enemy of the professional? What are some examples?

Clients can, in some cases, become the enemy of the professional. Several examples of this includes patients who won't take care of themselves or who manipulate their doctors, clients who won't behave properly in court, clients who falsify their financial statements.



Anyone who has an interest in the firm because of their direct in the firm because of their direct financial investment in the form of stocks, and thus a special claim on return on their investment.



anyone who benefits from or is harmed by the actions of the organization


What is dual-investor theory? What problem or question is it intended to answer (the narrow view of corporate social responsibility, as propounded by Milton Friedman)? What are Schlossberger’s five main points in his argument.

Dual-investor theory asserts that moral duties are built into the very concept of an organization and that organizations, business or non-business, have a duty of minimum social responsibility.
It is intended to answer of whether or not business organizations have any social duty beyond that of maximizing profit for shareholders.


What are Schlossberger’s five main points in his argument for Dual Investor Theory.

1. Society provides every organization with extensive help without which it cant function
2. Every org. knowingly and deliberately employs that help in pursuing its purpose.
3. Therefore every org. knowingly and deliberately makes use of, for its purpose, benefits provided by society.
4. When one knowingly and deliberately makes use, for a particular purpose, of what another has provided, one has a duty to ensure that one's pursuit of that purpose is not inconsistent with one's benefactors needs, welfare, projects.
5. Therefore, every org. has a strong duty to ensure that its pursuit of purpose is not inconsistent with the needs, welfare, and projects of society.


Schlossberger’s points and list of questions to ask in giving an ethical evaluation of organizations.

1. Does the org. make a good faith effort to serve its beneficiaries?
2. Is the perceived good of the org. truly a good?
3. Does the org. attempt to ensure that its efforts serve what it understands to be the good-in-general?
4. Is the org's understanding of the good-in-general correct?
5. Does the organization succeed in those efforts (to serve the good-in-general)/
6. Do the org's activities violate some other firm precept of morality in an unjust way?