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Vocababble: Ethics review and others

iatrophobic = afeared of docs

divine command = do what god tells you, nevermind the fact that the priest isn't god and the bible or other holy book isn't written by god

virtue theory = Aristotle's idea about living "the good life" --- being virtuous at first by force and later out of habit, developing a "high moral character"

deontology = Emmanuel Kant's duty-based theory in which the means or intent is most important, and the outcome doesn't matter as much. A person's will is the driving force in actions, and it is important that the will be in line with one's dutie. autonomy of a person, a right to make your own decisions, need for informed consent and confidentiality. Treat patients equally, fairly, justly. Meet reasonable expectations.

prima facie = when two duties conflict, decide based on what seems obvious. Prima facie is a Latin expression meaning "on its first appearance", or "by first instance". It is used in modern legal English to signify that on first examination, a matter appears to be self-evident from the facts. In common law jurisdictions, prima facie denotes evidence that (unless rebutted) would be sufficient to prove a particular proposition or fact.

conditional = duties vary situationally

teleology = best balance of benefits, consequentialism, from Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. An action is right if it brings the most good to the most people, ie: outcome matters more than intention. People's pleasure and pain are weighted the same in decisions, utilitarian. first do no harm, non-maleficence, primum non nocere. weight of risks vs benefits, side effects.

social contract theory = from Rousseau, it is our nature to compete for limited resources and to manage this competition we have a social contract with each other to work for mutual benefit and peaceful cohabitation, government punishes violators, burdens and benefits are equally shared.

feminist theory = ethics of care, says women have been left out and the men's version doesn't consider love and care sufficiently. the importance of relationships, save your mother first, not the president.


ethical subjectivism = there is no absolute right or wrong, just points of view. personal choice governs, not morality. denies altruism as a driving force in humans.

cultural relativism = we think things are right and wrong based on the culture that we are socialized within, and if we were part of a different culture, we would believe in different values.

cynicism = credited to Karl Marx, community is class-based and inherently unfair, the sociopath is the victim of an abusive family situation and not inherently bad

nihilism = Friedrich Nitzsche believed ethics is a "sickness" and that ethical or moral norms stifle creative genius.

psychological egoism = we do things to make ourselves feel good, even when it appears to be altruistic. Ann Rand, rational egoism, objectivism. self interest rules.

business ethics = corporate personhood, to what extent is a business responsible for its actions? to shareholders, only. caveat emptor = buyer beware, the business has no responsibility to protect you.

the Tavistock Principles = 1999 BMJ, rights, balance, comprehensiveness, cooperation, improvement, safety, openness.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 4th, 2008 03:29 am (UTC)
Some of these are some rather unusual definitions, at least compared to the versions I teach in Elementary Ethics...

Are these your definitions or from class? It's a radical interpretation.
Feb. 4th, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
It's a collection of regurgitation from the notes and certainly not how I would define these terms on my own. But interesting.....
Feb. 4th, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC)
Dang. Can you offer insight? I really like these definitions.
Feb. 4th, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
Anything in particular you're curious about?
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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