3 Minute Introduction to Ethics Video I produced

See transcript below.

Have you ever wondered about the nature of morality? Or what makes some actions right and others wrong? This video series will introduce you to the basic concepts and theories of Ethics.  Our purpose is to investigate the nature of morality as well as to give you some conceptual tools for navigating ethical issues we face in our lives.

For example, are there situations when it’s okay to lie? Or maybe you’ve wondered if genetic engineering is ever morally wrong?  This series will help you answer questions as well as others that are more fundamental questions to morality.

In this video, we’ll look at the kinds of issues that come up in the field of Ethics.  Ethics is divided into four subfields: metaethics, normative ethics, value theory, and applied ethics.

Metaethics examines the metaphysical status of morality, the meaning of moral language, and how we acquire moral knowledge.  Later in this series, we’ll look at whether morality is objective or if it’s all just relative.

Normative Ethics examines what ultimately makes an action right or wrong. It also looks at moral character: what are the virtues that make someone a good person and how to we acquire them?

Value theory investigates the nature of value and tries to identify those things that are most valuable in our lives.  Later, we’ll examine theories that attempt to explain what ultimately makes our lives go well.

Applied ethics examines moral issues that come up in private and public life such as euthanasia, gun control, or distribution of healthcare.

We’ll start by investigating the metaethical issue of whether moral norms are objective or universal, or if they’re valid relative to culture.  In the section on normative ethics, we’ll look at a number moral theories including utilitarianism, Kantian ethics, virtue ethics, and social contract theory.  In the section on value theory, we’ll examine theories of well-being, including hedonism, desire-satisfaction theory, and objective list theories.  Finally, in the section on applied ethics, we’ll look at the morality of issues such as human enhancement, gun control, and euthanasia.

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