Power Point- Philosophical Concept

The Nature of Morality

Where does our sense of right and wrong come from? Most people think it is a gift from God. A smaller number think that we figure the rules out for ourselves, using our capacity to reason and choosing a philosophical system to live by.

Moral naturalists, on the other hand, believe that we have moral sentiments that have emerged from a long history of relationships. To learn about morality, you don’t rely upon revelation or metaphysics; you observe people as they live.

The Nature of Morality



African Cultural Values

African Cultural Values include:

(i) Sense of community life;

(ii) Sense of good human


(iii) Sense of the sacredness of life;

(iv) Sense of hospitality;

(v) Sense of the sacred

and of religion;

(vi) Sense of time;

(vii) Sense of respect for authority and the elders;


Sense of language and proverbs:

African Cultural Values




Moral and Nonmoral Values


The moral perspective in which one knows the good, proper, and right. The moral perspective is played out through one’s motives, intentions, and actions as they impinge on or affect other human beings.

non-moral value

The perspective taken toward an issue in which good and bad are determined based on non moral issues. The question is based on intrinsic or extrinsic values. For example, Jane has a good car.

Moral and Nonmoral Values



Moral Relativism

Moral relativism is the view that what determines the truth or falsity of moral beliefs is just what is endorsed by the prevailing culture. According to moral relativism, moral truths are made by the dominant view in a society, not merely propagated by the dominant culture.

Moral Relativism




Consequentialist Ethics and Egoism

Ethical egoism claims that it is necessary and sufficient for an action to be morally right that it maximize one’s self-interest.



Against Ethical Egoism & The Invisible Hand

Act Utilitarianism

act utilitarianism

Also called ‘extreme’ or direct utilitarianism.

Original, and ‘official’ form of utilitarianism which says that our duty on any occasion is to act in the way which will produce actual overall consequences better than (or at least as good as) those that any other act open to us would produce.

Difficulties in predicting consequences, including difficulties in principle where self-prediction is concerned, mean that as a practical prescription utilitarianism can only tell us to aim for the best probable outcome, and act utilitarianism has often been superseded by rule utilitarianism.

Source: J J C Smart, ‘Extreme and Restricted Utilitarianism’, Theories of Ethics, P Foot, ed. (1967); defends the former

Act Utilitarianism

What Is Utilitarianism?

Utilitarianism is a moral theory developed and refined in the modern world by Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) and John Stuart Mill (1806-1873). It can be defined as follows:

An action or moral rule is right if and only if it maximizes the amount of nonmoral good produced in the consequences that result from doing that act or following that rule compared with other acts or rules open to the agent.

Act Utilitarianism

Everyone should choose the action which will bring the greatest good for all concerned; choose whatever available action which would have the best consequences.

The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number

Act Utilitarianism



Rule Utilitarianism

Version of utilitarianism which says (in its main formulation) that our duty is not to aim for that act which will produce in fact the best overall consequences (because of the impossibility or impracticability of predicting these) but to follow that rule which would have the best consequences if generally followed.

Rule Utilitarianism




Virtue Ethics

Virtue is the disposition to do the right thing for the right reason.

Virtue Ethics

Virtue ethics is an approach that deemphasizes rules, consequences and particular acts and places the focus on the character of the person who is acting. The issue is not primarily whether an intention is right, though that is important; nor is it primarily whether one is following the correct rule; nor is it primarily whether the consequences of action are good, though these factors are not irrelevant.

What is primary is whether the person acting is expressing good character (moral virtues) or not.

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