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More on Ethical Choice Approaches

Philosophers' Duality

In philosophy-speak, an ethics is called:

Inquiry reveals that these two terms are a typical oscillating duality: i.e. they correspond to distinctive characteristics of odd and even Levels in the THEE hierarchy. The situation is shown in this Matrix Table.

L' Approach Core Obligations Philosophical
I' Rationalist Meeting practical objectives which are self-evidently sensible and worthwhile to the chooser. Teleological
II' Conventionalist Conforming with widely held views on what is valued and proper within the chooser's relevant social group. Deontological
III' Pluralist
(syn. Pragmatist)
Pursuing values that are preferred by the chooser's group, bring some general benefit and are easily applied. Teleological
IV' Individualist Ensuring the chooser's security and interests in the light of the existing power relations. Deontological
V' Communalist Balancing all anticipated consequences in relation to the needs and interests of all concerned, including the chooser. Teleological
VI' Legitimist Setting a rule which is accepted as right by the chooser and all others in the social group. Deontological
VII' Transcendentalist Responding to the chooser's deep inner (and essentially divine) sense of what is right and good. Teleological

THEE Note:Closed The 1992 formulation for pragmatist did not specifically refer to «the chooser's group» as the source of values that «the chooser prefers». Although perhaps not too serious an error in regard to ethical choice, it becomes rather serious once the political implications of the ethical choice approaches are recognized. The error has been corrected in the above matrix-table extracted from the book. When the e-book of «Working with Values» is created, the relevant section will be revised.

The Unfolding Duality

The Ethical Aspiration & Ethical Constraint form the unfolding duality.This operates as a thesis-antithesis leading to a synthesis which is the thesis generating a new antithesis at the next higher level. The system is cyclic: i.e after L7, the next higher level is L1.

To see it, Closedclick here ►

Better viewing: narrow or close left navigation column; use browser zoom if needed.

Using the Approaches

The differences between the approaches show up markedly when we observe them in use. This will be explored when we post Ethics Tree frameworks in the future.

To get a better feel for each approach now, Closed click to study the matrix ►

Originally posted: July 2009; Last updated: 27 Jan 2010

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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