Ch 2: Ethical Theories in Bioethics

About This Chapter

Use these video and text lesson to learn about the ethical theories that are used in bioethics. You'll have the chance to assess how much you have learned from each lesson with brief quizzes and a chapter exam.

Ethical Theories in Bioethics - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

In this chapter, you'll learn about the specific ethical theories that you will find in bioethics. Instructors focus on the specific details of each of these ethical theories in a way that's easy to understand, with plenty of realistic examples. Video lessons feature an interactive timeline you can use to skip directly to the topics you want to investigate or review. This chapter is designed to teach you about topics including:

  • The basics of utilitarian ethics
  • Obligations vs. prima facie
  • Patterns of distributive justice
  • How virtue ethics is applied

VideoObjective
Utilitarian Ethics: Epicurus, Bentham & Mill Evaluate the basics of utilitarian ethics and the main contributors.
Immanuel Kant's Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals Analyze specific information such as deontology and categorical imperative.
Comparing Obligations & Prima Facie Distinguish the difference between obligations and prima facie duties.
Thomas Hobbes' The Descriptive Natural Law Explain the rise of the natural law.
John Rawls' 'A Theory of Justice' Evaluate Rawls' views on social justice.
Distributive Justice Patterns Analyze specific concepts such as equality, merit and effort.
Virtue Ethics: Principles, Application & Examples Summarize the principles behind virtue ethics and how it contributes to ethical decision making.
Ethics of Care Theory: Carol Gilligan & Nel Noddings Analyze the views and thoughts from Gilligan and Noddings.

8 Lessons in Chapter 2: Ethical Theories in Bioethics
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Utilitarian Ethics: Epicurus, Bentham & Mill

1. Utilitarian Ethics: Epicurus, Bentham & Mill

In this lesson, learn the key ideas of utilitarianism. We'll look at three thinkers who saw the benefits of pursuing pleasure while still considering the needs and rights of others.

Immanuel Kant's Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals

2. Immanuel Kant's Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals

In this lesson, you'll think about the different reasons why you use the word 'should.' We'll look at how Immanuel Kant understood these imperatives and what he had to say about doing the right thing.

Comparing Obligations & Prima Facie

3. Comparing Obligations & Prima Facie

Every moral code comes with certain moral obligations. But what do you do if two obligations contradict each other? Explore the ideas of moral duties and prima facie, and test your understanding with a brief quiz.

Thomas Hobbes' The Descriptive Natural Law

4. Thomas Hobbes' The Descriptive Natural Law

In this lesson, you'll consider whether there is a universal moral code that applies to all human beings, throughout time. You'll learn about natural law and how this concept varied between different thinkers.

John Rawls' 'A Theory of Justice'

5. John Rawls' 'A Theory of Justice'

Does your position in society affect how you think about justice? This lesson looks at a thought experiment proposed by John Rawls that involves imagining social justice from a new perspective.

Distributive Justice Patterns

6. Distributive Justice Patterns

In this lesson, we will identify and discuss some of the patterns of economic distribution including: egalitarianism, the difference principle, welfare-based principles, desert-based principles, and libertarian principles.

Virtue Ethics: Principles, Application & Examples

7. Virtue Ethics: Principles, Application & Examples

In this lesson, we will discuss the basic principles of virtue ethics and its application to ethical decision making. Further, we will break down the key components of virtue ethics including arete, phronesis, and eudaimonia.

Ethics of Care Theory: Carol Gilligan & Nel Noddings

8. Ethics of Care Theory: Carol Gilligan & Nel Noddings

How has the lack of female voices in philosophy in the past affected our understanding of ethics? In this lesson, you'll consider the difference between the traditional ethics of justice and a feminist ethics of care.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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