Glossary for Psychology Essay

Submitted By ShelbyI1
Words: 2803
Pages: 12


Absolute: Never permissibly broken; violating an absolute moral rule is always wrong. Act consequentialism: The normative ethical theory that says that an act is morally right just because it produces the best actual or expected results. Act utilitarianism: The version of act consequentialism that says that only wellbeing is intrinsically valuable, and so says that an act is morally right just because it maximizes overall well-being. Ad hominem attack: An attempt to undermine the position of an opponent by criticizing his motives or character. Agnostics: Those who suspend judgment on the question of whether God exists. Altruism: The direct care and concern to improve the well-being of someone other than yourself. Ambiguous: Having two or more meanings. Amoralists: Those who do not care about living up to the moral views they sincerely hold. Argument: Any chain of thought in which premises are enlisted in support of a particular conclusion. Atheism: The belief that God does not exist. Autonomy: The capacity to determine for yourself the principles that you will live by. It can also refer to your ability to live according to your own plan of life. Begging the question: Arguing on the basis of a reason that will appeal only to people who already accept the argument’s conclusion. Categorical imperative: A command of reason that requires a person’s obedience regardless of whether such obedience gets him anything he wants. Categorical reason: A reason to do something that applies to a person regardless of her desires. G–1



Circular reasoning: Defending some belief by a set of other beliefs whose justification ultimately traces back to the original claim in question. Coherentism: The view that we are justified in believing a claim to the extent that it supports, and is supported by, other beliefs we hold. Conceptual truth: A true claim that can be known just by understanding it. Such a claim is true just by virtue of the concepts it contains—that’s why understanding it enables one to know it. An example: bachelors are unmarried men. Consent, tacit: See tacit consent. Consequentialism: A family of normative ethical theories that share the idea that the morality of actions, policies, motives, or rules depends on their producing the best actual or expected results. See also: act consequentialism, rule consequentialism, act utilitarianism, rule utilitarianism. Continent: Doing the right thing while suppressing desires that tempt one away from doing one’s duty. Contractarianism: See social contract theory. Cultural relativism: The view that an act is morally right just because it is allowed by the guiding ideals of the society in which it is performed, and immoral just because it is forbidden by those ideals. Decision procedure: Any method designed to guide us in successfully deliberating about what to do. Deist: One who believes that God exists, created the universe, and then refrained from becoming involved in human affairs. Desire satisfaction theory: A theory of human well-being that claims that the satisfaction of your actual or informed desires is necessary and sufficient to improve your welfare. Divine Command Theory: The view that an act is morally required just because it is commanded by God, and immoral just because God forbids it. Doctrine of Doing and Allowing (DDA): The view that it is always morally worse to do harm than to allow that same harm to occur. Doctrine of Double Effect (DDE): The view that if your goal is worthwhile, you are sometimes permitted to act in ways that foreseeably cause certain harms, though you must never intend to cause those harms. Dogmatism: The trait of being closed-minded and unreasonably confident of the truth of one’s views. Empirical truth: A true claim that can be known only by means of evidence gained through the senses. Understanding what such a claim says is not enough to know whether it is true—you have to check the claim “against the world” to test…