My Ethical Theory

In the RSA video 21st Century Enlightenment, ( ) Matthew Taylor makes a number of startling assertions about the need to revise the principles upon which the current values, goals and ultimate good of society is based. In essence, he asserts that the goals of the earlier version of the enlightenment are outmoded given the ways we have organized modern societies, and that these earlier enlightenment values have little relation to greater good or to principles upon which to build a type of human character that is, or can strive to be, virtuous. The bottom line of Taylor’s argument: the ethical philosophy upon which the earlier enlightenment has been build is no longer able to lead us to an understanding of the ends or means to the greater good or the virtuous citizen.
Building from Taylor’s argument or a portion or portions of Taylor’s argument create the ethical system of the 21st century. Your answer should refer to at least three distinct ideas from three different readings we have covered in class. But your ultimate goal is to present, and evaluate, the strengths and weaknesses of your own ethical system/theory!
Elements you should consider including (you probably will not be able to include all of these, however): ultimate principles or principle of your ethical system (or either why there will be no ultimate, a prior principles, or what rules ought to govern moral decision-making); the meaning of (or lack of meaning in) Taylor’s real problems with applying enlightenment ethics or values and how we might overcome them through your own philosophical system; the relation between reason and current limitations of ethical thought; the problem of violence or inequality and how we can develop virtuous character; the relation or form of education to obtaining the greater good or the virtuous citizen, etc.


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