Can you connect these ethics terms in one paradigm?

Should you think about your duty, or about the consequences of your actions? Or should you concentrate on becoming a good person?

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Can you connect these ethics terms in one paradigm?

Post by DaveKS25 »

I'm curious how you would connect the following terms in one paradigm.

Ideology, Ideals, Principles, Values, Virtues, Vices, Code of Conduct, Rules, Regulations, Laws
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Re: Can you connect these ethics terms in one paradigm?

Post by prof »

Yes, Dave K, it can be done.

I'd like to take a stab at it.

In the ethical meta-language known as Formal Axiology (theory of value employing logic), many of the words you list refer to concepts that are regarded as properly valued systemically, since they have something about them that connotes a system. These are: Code of Conduct, Rules, Regulations, Laws, and ideologies.

This process of valuation is reified into the technical term: Systemic values. That is the normal way to regard these concepts - from this perspective. Ideals too are Systemic, but to a platonist they have Intrinsic-value overtones ...for according the Platonic Realism ideology, the Ideals live in a kind of heaven somewhere.

When the 'person-in-the-street' uses the word "ideals" it usually denotes a mental vision about x (about something or some situation) at its most excellent or outstanding. Because an ideal is a construct of the mind, and usually has a finite number of features [e.g., the ideal portable drill] you might list [- although an actual drill you could hold in your hand would have more features than you could ever count -] ideals are classified as Systemic values.

Principles are at what a good theory of Ethics should arrive: we ought to be able to derive a few if we have a frame-of-reference pertaining to ethics that is worth anything.
They are also what a person of good character carries around in his self-image or self-identity as his/her rules to live by. For that person they are guidelines, like a playbook is for a sports team.

"Virtues" are the fine balance between over-doing and under-doing, between over-valuing and under-valuing. To do the latter is a mistake. Virtues are a kind of prudence possessed by a person of good character. They are the qualities we would use to describe such a person - who would then be moral to some degree. The more of them he has, the more moral he is. As originally conceived, and related to us by Aristotle, they are based on arithmetical notions: more and less. Excess and deficit are mathematical ideas. Math is a kind of Logic. It deals with hypothetical sets, the properties of which are invariant under transformation, or mapping. So does Formal Axiology, the brainchild of the philosopher, Robert S. Hartman. You can look him up in Wiki. No nonphilosopher these days speaks of virtues; I prefer to speak of the constituents of morality's what the moral individual has, his moral values. We all are immoral to some degree. [I include M. K. Gandhi and the Dalai Lama in this claim.] This is where the concept "vice" comes in.

A "vice" is a violation of the logical Existential Hierarchy of Value, about which you will be hearing more in my subsequent posts. You can read about it right now in this link: ... ETHICS.pdf,, which is a booklet that has three later - and much briefer - sequels by the same author.

A vice in this system is what is known as 'a Transposition of Value.' It is a dis-value - a mix-up of two or more values, that are put together in a way so that they are incompatible with one another; it is an incongruence. Something doesn't fit. A moral vice is a kind of transposition, a confusion, of positive values that when combined this way make a negative. ...a downgrading of the values. There is a way to compute with these compound values in the system. It is based on the definition of "value" itself, and upon some widely-accepted concepts from Set Theory.

If you want to see the way Hartman worked out the system, step by step, you can study this paper he wrote to explain it in plain language: ... ience.html

I hope this speaks to your concern. Those words you listed are all closely-related in my mind, but it may take some further study for you to gain the insight as to why. The references I gave should help in this quest. You are a true searcher-for-truth, and I'd love to hear from you after you read the material presented to find out if you appreciate how much it actually does connect.
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Re: Can you connect these ethics terms in one paradigm?

Post by LukeS »

Ideology stems from Ideals, Principles help us realise their content, Values are the conceptual basis of ideals because they inform us of the worth or preferability of a state of affairs, Virtues are personality traits that enable us to know true values and form related ideals and principles, Vices are the opposite of virtues, Code of Conduct are rules of thumb that promote the realisation of states of affairs, Rules are verbally expressed constraints upon action, Regulations are official rules, Laws are regulations enforced by the state, or more generally any other institution.
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