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By K. Hillner

The pre-eminent nineteenth century British ethicist, Henry Sidgwick as soon as stated: "All vital moral notions also are mental, other than possibly the elemental antitheses of 'good' and 'bad' and 'wrong', with which psychology, because it treats of what's and never of what must be, isn't really without delay involved" (quoted in T.N. Tice and T.P. Slavens, 1983). Sidgwick's assertion could be interpreted to intend that psychology is proper for ethics or that mental wisdom contributes to the development of a moral truth. This interpretation serves because the simple impetus to this publication, yet Sidgwick's assertion is additionally analyzed intimately to illustrate why a present exposition at the relevance of psychology for moral truth is important and germane.

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Two Types of Moral Judgments A distinction traditionally is made between (1) first order and (2) second order moral judgments. 1. First order moral judgments involve the rightness or wrongness of acts in and of themselves, regardless of who the performer of the act is. The individual committing the act is not the reference point; rather the specific content of the act is the focus. , as a proper object of third-person access and analysis. First order precepts in effect deal with the material permissibility of acts.

The Women's Liberation Movement and "Women's Studies" really are calling our attention to the devastating consequences of sex as an evaluative concept. Sexual discrimination is pervasive. While it no longer is taken for granted in the United States, it still is governmentally and religiously institutionalized in most parts of the world. We probably never will achieve a satisfactory accommodation with the evaluative component of sex for two reasons: (1) sex is the normal channel of biological reproduction and the maintenance of our species; and (2) sex probably is the most powerful and compelling reinforcer we can experience in behavioristic terms.

The internal-external dimension is correlated with the classic free will versus determinism issue: determinism presupposes external causes of behavior, while only internal causation allows behavior to be self-generated. The distinction between nonphysical and physical accounts of conduct corresponds to that between informal, predisciplinary and formal, professional psychological accounts of behavior: the source of behavior must be physical in contemporary monistically oriented academic, experimental psychology.

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