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Ethics

These pages contain essays on various topics associated with the subject of ethics.  Ethics is concerned with the subject of value (what is good and why?) and morals (how should we treat others?).  I present four essays here, some with links to pages that contain supporting technical detail.  The latter two are concerned with a rigorous theory of ethics that I have proposed.

  • Naturalism in Ethics – Questions in ethics can be reduced to questions about the natural world.  However, the correspondence that allows this reduction is far from certain, because there is no clear agreement on how to define ethical terms like “good”.  Because of this, the prevailing “post-modern” view of ethics is relativism, the view that there are no moral absolutes.  A simple thought experiment demonstrates that this view is only partially valid.
  • Theoretical Guidelines – Many of the leading historical theories of ethics fall short in at least one fundamental way.  Here are seven criteria that I believe any theory of ethics needs to satisfy in order to be viable.
  • A Theory of Ethics – This is one possible theory of ethics, which satisfies most of the theoretical guidelines from the previous essay.
  • Formal Applications – These are applications of my theory of ethics to two contemporary issues.
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