Theory of Knowledge: Ethics Lecture Notes

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Topics: Ethics, Morality
TOK Lecture – Ethics
Value, NORMATIVITY AND ETHICS
Value
e.g.
“I prefer vanilla ice cream over chocolate ice cream”
Value judgment becomes a normative judgment when it starts being expressed as an ought
Normative
e.g. “You ought to prefer vanilla over chocolate” – normative judgment
A normative judgment is one that affirms how things should or ought to be. It is a value judgment about values others should have and abide by.
Types
* Cultural norms Nobody should put their feet up on chairs/tables * Norms of etiquette Don’t use dessert fork during * Businesses work related “don’t’ be a slacker” “be punctual”
Ethics
* Moral norms/judgments are but one type of norm/normative judgment * Moral norm “one should not torture young children solely to see them writhe in pain” * Vs. * Thai cultural norms nobody should put their feet up on chairs/tables * Moral norms are norms that apply to everyone
Value – judgments about valueNormative – about values that others should have Ethics – judgments about values that everyone should have (universal value) Value | Normative | Moral | Ice-cream flavor | Ice-cream flavor | Etiquette | Etiquette | Prohibitions on torture | Cultural practices | Blondes/brunettes | Blondes/brunettes | Cultural practices | | | Sexual orientation | Mobile phone OS allegiances | | Sexual orientation | | | Prohibitions on torture |

3 BRANCHES OF ETHICS
Normative Ethics * What decides what’s the right thing to do * Concerns itself which moral theory to endorse, wherein these theories help dictate what is the right thing to do * The big three: Virtue, consequentialism, Deontology * What determines our ‘moral oughts’
Applied Ethics * What’s the right thing to do with respect to specific cases? * Concerns itself with determining which course of action is morally right or wrong in controversial issues * E.g. abortion, euthanasia, killing vs.

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