There are 2 branches : 1. Right conduct theory: what makes right acts right? Example—abortion.. “hurting others is wrong”.. “killing people is wrong” 2. Value theory: what sorts of things are intrinsically valuable? 2. The central aim of the Value theory -Intrinsic value: love, happiness ….something valuable for its own sake. -Instrumental(non-intrinsic)
The 2 basic theories of the Value theory: 1. Hedonism- happiness/pleasure is the sole intrinsic value 2. Non-Hedonism- other things besides happiness can have intrinsic value (love, knowledge, virtue, beauty, etc.) 3. The 6 criteria that are most often used to evaluate a moral theory: 1. Logical consistency: the theory shouldn’t say that the same act is both right and wrong. 2. Determinacy: the theory should give clear guidance about what to do in most cases. 3. Livability: the theory shouldn’t be too cumbersome to apply. 4. Publicity: the theory should permit itself to be taught to others. 5. Coherence with other knowledge: the theory should agree with things we know from other disciplines.
6. Coherence with our most basic moral judgments: the theory should agree with our most basic set of morals and from this we can pass “judgement” based on those morals. 4. Ethical Egoism: an act is right only if it is in the actors best interests. Objections to Ethical Egoism: 1. Egoism fails the publicity requirements: you won’t want to teach egoism to others because then they will compete with you.