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General Review and,

Moral Reasoning and

Ethical Analysis
Daryl Y. Mendoza
Department of Philosophy

FOR CLASS PURPOSES ONLY; do not distribute nor reproduce without consent
2.Normative Ethics
3.Applied Ethics
“Metaethics is the attempt to understand the
metaphysical, epistemological, semantic, and
psychological, presuppositions and commitments
of moral thought, talk, and practice.”

Geoff Sayre-McCord, Metaethics in

Metaethics deals with the
source and the meaning of
the good

Ethical Relativism Ethical Objectivism

normative claims are not normative claims are

possible. possible.
Normative Ethics

what is the right thing to do?

thinking before acting

rational and reasonable


Permissible Non-Permissible

Obligatory Optional

Neutral Supererogatory

Louis Pojman, Ethics

Normative theories of ethics
Natural Law = an act is moral iff it follows purpose

Utilitarianism = an act is moral iff it produces

the highest possible utility for the greatest extent
Duty/deontological = an act is moral iff it
follows duty

Virtue Ethics = an act is moral iff it the agent

is a virtuous
Doctrine of Double Effect:
Is the act morally permissible if it has two
effects: good and bad?

1. Act Condition
2. Intentionality Condition
3. Means-end Condition
4. Proportionality Condition

All conditions must be met.

Ethical Analysis

Subject Object
Is the agent morally
culpable? Is the agent Is the act moral,
morally responsible for immoral or neutral?
the act?

Yes No

Human Acts Acts of Man

Human Acts
1. Knowledge
2. Freedom
3. Voluntariness 1.Ignorance
Modifiers 3.Habit
5. Violence
Louis Pojman and James
Fieser, Ethics: Discovering
Right and Wrong, p55
• Fact Deliberation: identify the problem, gather the

• Value Deliberation: what is at stake? what are the

values being argued/fought for? What is the

• Duty Deliberation: What ought I/we do?

• Testing Consistency:
1) Identify a problem
(e.g. is it moral for the government to prevent persons who are aged 60
years and above and 21 years below to go outside their homes during the
2) Determine the facts regarding the problem
(e.g. Who are involved? What is the situation about? Where is this
happening? What are the reasons for implementing this rule? When this
happen -Is there timeline? How is this implemented?)
3) Determine the ethical issue
(e.g. public health v. freedom of movement; discrimination: only senior and
minors are prohibited why not everyone?; benefit v. harm; et al.)
Analyze the issue using normative theories of ethics (utilitarianism, duty
ethics, natural law ethics, or virtue ethics)
4) Determine the consistency of your argument by applying the same
reasoning for a normative theory in ethics you are using in number 3 for
other situations.
(That is, if you argue like this, then it must also apply to another situation.)

5) Conclusion (summarize your analysis and findings)

Example cases, see UNESCO
Casebook: Benefit and Harm, pp1-9
What is the problem?
What are the facts?
What are the ethical issues?
What are the ethical
Can we apply this to other
Sure, this or that is good, but
why should I do it?
because we will all die.
our mortality will leads us to
find meaning in life.
This is thoughtfulness.
And to be thoughtful is to
Care for once existence
implies also care for self.

Care for self implies also

care for the others.

Care for others implies care

for the world.
And what is this thoughtfulness and
carefulness if not our attempts to live an
ethical life.

Ethics is after all, in the original

sense, living the good life.
Thank You