Lesson 15 & 17: Ethics

Friday 24th January 2014


  • How can we prove or verify what is good action in complex situations;
  • To what extent are knowledge claims in ethics open to bias and other limitations;
  • What are the strengths and limitations of emotion and reason when deciding on courses of action.


What is the moral relativism?

  • is the idea that moral principles have no objective standard
  • is the individual moral practice where personal and situational encounters supposedly dictate the correct moral position. This may differ from one’s view of what is morally correct to another’s view despite looking at the same thing/being in the same scenario
  • Relativism can be described with the slogan= “Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder”


How to judge what is right and wrong? Do we judge…

  • By what is stated in the Law?
  • By what we’ve been taught by our parents/teachers/role models?
  • By what we’ve experienced?
  • By what we’ve seen first hand?

How do we act on what we think is right or wrong? What drives us to act: the motives VS the consequences

Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison experiment

More useful links:

School ToK blog – Ethics

Ethics tok.net


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