Justice Jackson and the Application of Universal Ethics

Aims & Purpose

One thing often said to distinguish humans from other animals is morality. A key question in ethical discussions in the Theory of Knowledge is therefore whether we can really know whether something is moral. What is peculiar about moral values is that they seem to embody obligations for action. An example of a key area of discussion in ethics is the issue of moral rules. There is disagreement about whether being moral is about following rules, not least because some would question whether moral rules really exist at all. There is also debate about whether moral rules should ever be broken, and if so, in what circumstances. Other key areas of discussion include the issue of whether humans are essentially altruistic or selfish, or whether the consequences of, or motivation for, an action is the location of moral value.

This unit explores the essential elements of ethical frameworks – including the scope and application of ethical knowledge, key concepts and use of language, the methodology employed in the development of ethical principles, key historical developments, and links to personal knowledge.


Ways of knowing

Justifications for accepting knowledge claims as true

How language frames the acquisition, consideration, and production of knowledge.

Cultural framework for ethical applications