Moral philosophy referat

What are values? Values are the field of ethics, also called moral philosophy, which involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior. Philosophers today usually divide ethical theories into three general subject areas: metaethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics. Metaethics investigates where our ethical principles come from, and what they mean. Are they merely social inventions? Do they involve more than expressions of our individual emotions? Metaethical answers to these questions focus on the issues of universal truths, the will of God, the role of reason in ethical judgments, and the meaning of ethical terms themselves. Normative ethics takes on a more practical task, which is to arrive at moral standards that regulate right and wrong conduct. This may involve articulating the good habits that we should acquire, the duties that we should follow, or the consequences of our behavior on others. Finally, applied ethics involves examining specific controversial issues, such as abortion, infanticide, animal rights, environmental concerns, homosexuality, capital punishment, or nuclear war. By using the conceptual tools of metaethics and normative ethics, discussions in applied ethics try to resolve these controversial issues. The lines of distinction between metaethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics are often blurry. For example, the issue of abortion is an applied ethical topic since it involves a specific type of controversial behavior. But it also depends on more general normative principles, such as the right of self-rule and the right to life, which are litmus tests for determining the morality of that procedure. The issue also rests on metaethical issues such as, 'where do rights come from?" and what kind of "beings have rights?" Aristotle conceives of ethical theory as a field distinct from the theoretical sciences. The principal idea with which Aristotle begins is that there are differences of opinion about what is best for human beings, and that to profit from ethical inquiry we must resolve this disagreement. He insists that ethics is not a theoretical discipline: we are asking what the good for human beings is not simply because we want to have knowledge, but because we will be better able to achieve our good if we develop a fuller understanding of what it is to flourish. In raising this question, what is the good?
Ethics in ancient times signified moral philosophy (philosophia moral is) generally, which was also called the doctrine of duties. Subsequently it was found advisable to confine this name to a part of moral philosophy, namely, to the doctrine of duties which are not subject to external laws (for which in German the name Tugendlehre was found suitable). Thus the system of general deontology is divided into that of jurisprudence (jurisprudentia), which is capable of external laws, and of ethics, which is not thus capable, and we may let this division stand.
Aristotle is not looking for a list of items that are good. He assumes that such a list can be compiled rather easily; most would agree, for example, that it is good to have friends, to experience pleasure, to be healthy, to be honored, and to have such virtues as courage at least to some degree. The difficult and controversial question arises when we ask whether certain of these goods are more desirable than others. Aristotle's search for the good is a search for the highest good, and he assumes that the highest good, whatever it turns out to be, has three characteristics: it is desirable for itself, it is not desirable for the sake of some other good, and all other goods are desirable for its sake.                                                                                     Aristotle argued that virtues are good habits that we acquire, which regulate our emotions. For example, in response to my natural feelings of fear, I should develop the virtue of courage which allows me to be firm when facing danger. Analyzing 11 specific virtues, Aristotle argued that most virtues fall at a mean between more extreme character traits. With courage, for example, if I do not have enough courage, I develop the disposition of cowardice, which is a vice. If I have too much courage I develop the disposition of rashness which is also a vice. According to Aristotle, it is not an easy task to find the perfect mean between extreme character traits. In fact, we need assistance from our reason to do this. But he rejects Plato's idea that training in the sciences and metaphysics are a necessary prerequisite for a full understanding of our good. What we need, in order to live well, is a proper appreciation of the way in which such goods as friendship, pleasure, virtue, honor and wealth fit together as a whole. In order to apply that general understanding to particular cases, we must acquire, through proper upbringing and habits, the ability to see, on each occasion, which course of action is best supported by reasons.

Epicurus, one of the major philosophers in the Hellenistic period, developed an unsparingly materialistic metaphysics, empiricist epistemology, and hedonistic ethics. Epicurus' ethics is a form of egoistic hedonism. He says that the only thing that is intrinsically valuable is one's own pleasure; anything else that has value is valuable merely as a means to securing pleasure for oneself. However, Epicurus has a sophisticated and idiosyncratic view of the nature of pleasure, which leads him to recommend a virtuous, moderately ascetic life as the best means to securing pleasure. For Epicurus, pleasure is tied closely to satisfying one's desires. He distinguishes between two different types of pleasure: moving pleasures and static pleasures. Moving pleasures occur when one is in the process of satisfying a desire: eating a hamburger when one is hungry. These pleasures involve an active titillation of the senses, and these feelings are what most people call pleasure. However, Epicurus says that after one's desires have been satisfied, the state of satiety, of no longer being in need or want, is itself pleasurable. Epicurus calls this a static pleasure, and says that these static pleasures are the best pleasures. Because of the close connection of pleasure with desire-satisfaction, Epicurus devotes a considerable part of his ethics to analyzing different kinds of desires. If pleasure results from getting what you want and pain from not getting what you want, then there are two strategies you can pursue with respect to any given desire: you can either strive to fulfill the desire, or you can try to eliminate the desire. For the most part Epicurus advocates the second strategy, that of paring your desires down to a minimum core, which are then easily satisfied.

Moral philosophers, such as Kant, Hume, and Mill, derive moral principles in various ways. Kant consults the requirements of a consistent reason to determine the right principles that ought to govern human action. Hume appeals to a moral sense that seems to recognize and capture what we determine is the right decision and action. Mill considers the human experience to determine what all humans (and some animals) desire-happiness; he concludes, therefore, that actions causing the greatest possible amount of happiness are right actions. Each moral philosopher considers their ethical theory to be morally superior to alternative ethical theories. I shall use the term 'ethical monism' to refer to the view that there is one right way to judge the morality of human actions. Ethical monism is the claim that a specific ethical theory is the 'one right way' for deciding moral correctness. The certainty held by moral philosophers can be striking. Consider Kant: 'The supreme principle of the science of morals is this: 'Act according to a maxim which can likewise be valid as a universal law.'

Values are the most important things in your life. Based on what you value, you are going to choose and you are going to direct your life. To understand what you value means that you understand the decisions you make in your life. some bad, some good.

One of the most powerful value is emotional intelligence. There is no arguing that classical IQ, as measured by most intelligence tests, is important in our personal, academic, and professional success. However, emotional intelligence matters as much as the classical IQ. One could almost say that emotional intelligence is a prerequisite for the proper development and actualization of our other intellectual abilities. Simply put, we need to learn to recognize and label our feelings and needs, reconcile them with our long-term goals and with the needs and feelings of other people involved. And we need to cultivate the ability to identify ways of meeting our goals and needs and to soothe our own feelings. My emotional intelligence is in the average range. Essentially, I am able to recognize and deal with my own emotions and those of others in a reasonably effective manner. This is likely evident in my ability to relate to others, express your needs, and maintain a satisfactory level of emotional health. By learning and practicing new skills and more effective ways of dealing with people, you could increase your emotional intelligence.

Another important value is the teen personality. Usually in the teen yeas you determine what you are going to do with your life by the decision that you make, the friends you choose, and the life you choose to live. There are two kinds of teen personalities: type A, and type B. Type A behavior is characterized by an intense and sustained drive to achieve goals and an eagerness to compete. Personalities categorized as Type A tend to have a persistent desire for external recognition and advancement. They are involved in various functions that bring about time restrictions. Such personalities have a tendency to speed up mental and physical tasks with extraordinary mental and physical alertness. These characteristics make for super-achievers and high-powered people. Type B behavior is usually defined as the absence of Type A behavior. Type B personalities are relaxed and have a laid-back attitude and posture. They are friendly, accepting, patient, at ease, and generally content. They are at peace with themselves and others. They show a general sense of harmony with people, events, and life circumstances. They tend to be trusting. They focus on the positive aspects of things, people and events. Type B folks are self-encouraging, have inner motivation, are stable and have a pleasant mood. They are interested in others and accept trivial mistakes. They have an accepting attitude about trivial mistakes and a problem-solving attitude about major mistakes. They are flexible and good team members. The Type B person is able to lead and be led. I think that my best personality is the type B personality. My attitude to life is very relaxed and hedonistic. The hostile, aggressive and competitive is rarely part of my surfaces. I am easy and fun to be around. The down side is that I take everything so easy that I might miss on important opportunities. I make sure that I am just being cool and relaxed, and it's not getting to the point that I simply don't care much about anything. I am trying to put some structure into my life to get more organized, and I am paying more attention to what I am doing.

Everyone experiences anger at sometime or another - there's just no way to avoid it! Being angry in certain situations is not only completely natural but also necessary. It is our instinctive fight-or-flight reaction kicking in, our internal signal that we're in danger somehow - whether it's our pride, heart or physical well-being on the line. Anger can help us recognize fear, frustration or threat and sends our body a clear message to take action and deal with these issues. Anger is actually a product of the perceptions of an event, not the event itself. For example, if you feel that someone's comment was meant to criticize you, you will react to that perception. In reality, however, the event (the comment) may not have been intended to hurt you. My overall anger level is normal. I get angry in certain situations but don't blow up at every possible occasion. I have found a balance between accepting the occasional flash of temper and not letting yourself get worked up over nothing. I realize that sometimes it's just not worth the headache, and that the feeling will pass if I don't focus on it. This is a healthy, normal approach - suppressing anger can be precarious, but so can letting myself get swept away by the powerful emotion.

You don't have to be a philosopher to talk about values. You have to know and to understand that values are the most important things in your life and to understand yourself you need to understand you values. Values are also important in the decisions that you make in your life.

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