Midterm Flashcards Preview

Business Ethics > Midterm > Flashcards

Flashcards in Midterm Deck (105)
Loading flashcards...

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.


Ethics based on Human Rights

A huge problem here is that there are widely differing views of human rights, such as (for perhaps the most salient example) in today’s conflict between Western liberal and Muslim views of human rights, and between (for example) Singaporean and American notions of democracy and democratic rights. Thus there is no universally agreed-upon full content to a theory of human rights, although there is partial agreement. Also, there can be conflict between negative vs. positive rights.


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.


Distinguish between Ethics and Law

While ethics and law can be interrelated (insofar as law reflects ethics or the legality or illegality of something has ethical implications), ethics ultimately transcends law (insofar as one can always ask of a law... is it good, just, ethical).


Descriptive Accounts

describes what a thing is or what people think it is without saying whether it is actually right or wrong, good or bad


Normative Accounts

attempts to say--usually on the basis of some normative ethical theory--- whether something is actually good or bad, right or wrong


Descriptive Relativism

describes the fact that different people, groups, societies, cultures do have different ethical views relative to other people, groups, socieities, cultures.


Normative relativism

is the theory that people ought to accept the ethical views or norms that their culture actually hold and that no universal ethical standards or norms can or do exist beyond the ethical standards or norms that people actually hold.


Five Criteria for a good or adequate normative ethical theory

1. Universality
2. Consistency
3. Culpability
4. Importance
5. Fairness



Ethical judgments and principles should apply to everyone everywhere.



Ethical judgments should not conflict with one another.



ethical judgments usually imply some form of punishment or sanction is justified for offesnse and offenders.



Ethical judgments usually have priority over other kinds of considerations



ethical judgments should be fair, proportional, just.


Three Parts of an Ethical Argument

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


Four ways to Address an ethical argument you don't agree with

1. Attack the factual premise
2. Attack the ethical principle
3. say that the ethical principle is good, but does not apply to this case
4. argue that there is a either a formal or inform fallacy in the logic of the argument


Criteria or Accounts of What Justice has been held to be

1. fairness
2. equality
3. rights... having moral/ethical rights
4. deserts... getting what one deserves


6 Possible Distribution Schemes and Examples

1. To each an equal share - Cake, Super Bowl Rings
2. To each according to individual need - Food stamps
3. To each according to personal effort - Paralympics
4. To each according to social contribution - Nobel prize
5. To each according to merit - grades, promotion, gov. Jobs, hiring
6. Winner take all - elections