Ethical Realism

April 29, 2011

An Intuitive Argument for Intrinsic Value

Filed under: ethics,metaethics,philosophy — JW Gray @ 10:36 pm
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Intrinsic value is the kind of value something has if it good just for existing. I have already argued that intrinsic values are intuitive and that intuition can be a reliable form of justification—we can decide what we should believe based on our intuitions. I will now discuss my intuitive argument for intrinsic value. First, I will briefly discuss my argument and the justification for it. Second, I will discuss objections to it. Third, I will discuss whether or not it’s rational to believe in intrinsic values. (more…)

April 27, 2011

Three Theories of Justice Part 2

Filed under: ethics,philosophy — JW Gray @ 11:03 pm
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I have discussed three theories of justice: Mill’s Utilitarianism, Rawls’s Justice as Fairness, and Nozick’s libertarianism. If you don’t know what those are, you might want to read “Three Theories of Justice” before reading this. I will now discuss how we can apply these theories of justice in various contexts. I want to help us better understand what distinguishes these theories and how they can be used to make ethical judgments. To do so, I will discuss our rights and give examples of applying each theory of justice in various contexts. (more…)

April 26, 2011

Three Theories of Justice

Filed under: ethics,philosophy — JW Gray @ 8:00 am
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I will discuss three theories of justice: Mill’s Utilitarianism, Rawls’s Justice as Fairness, and Nozick’s libertarianism. Much of my understanding of theories of justice comes from Business Ethics (Third Edition) by Willian H. Shaw. I will expand my discussion of justice by considering objections to each of these theories, but I do not necessarily endorse any of the objections and there could be good counterarguments against them. (more…)

April 20, 2011

Three Types of Intuitive Arguments

Our arguments depend on assumptions. We prefer these assumptions to be intuitive and coherent with our other justified beliefs rather than counterintuitive and incompatible with our other justified beliefs. We might not be able to fully explain how we know “1+1=2” but we find it to be an intuitive belief, and we think it’s absurd (and perhaps incoherent) to deny that it’s true. Intuitive arguments are not only very common in philosophy, but it’s possible that all our justifications are grounded in intuition in one way or another. (more…)

April 10, 2011

Philosophy Should be an Educational Requirement in High School & College Part 2: Objections

Filed under: outreach,philosophy — JW Gray @ 8:00 am
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This is part 2. You might want to see part 1 here if you haven’t already.

I have now encountered several objections to the idea that philosophy should be a requirement in high school, so that will be my focus here. Most of these objections were provided in a philosophy discussion forum on facebook. I will describe the objections, then respond to them below. The first nine of these objections are not serious and I think they are quickly dispelled. The final four objections target my specific ideas about implementing philosophy in high school as part of our English classes. That’s a much more difficult issue and I can’t say for absolute certain that my suggestion is the best one possible. However, I think my suggestion is one of the better options we have, and it’s modest enough to be a realistic goal. (more…)

April 7, 2011

Review of Barbara Toffler’s Final Accounting: Ambition, Greed, and the Fall of Arthur Andersen

Filed under: ethics,philosophy — JW Gray @ 7:12 am
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I decided that I want to know more about ethics in accounting and someone recommended that I read Barbara Toffler’s book, Final Accounting: Ambition, Greed, and the Fall of Arthur Andersen. Toffler worked at Arthur Anderson, a prominent accounting firm, as a consultant and she believes that she witnessed the culture of greed and salesmanship that lead to the Arthur Anderson’s involvement in the greatest scandals of the accounting world, including both Enron and WorldCom. She describes her experiences, she pinpoints cultural influences of corruption, and she suggests how changes in the accounting world can help avoid scandals the future. I will (1) briefly describe auditing scandals, (2) summarize Toffler’s findings, and (3) discuss my own perspective. (more…)

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