Morality and Ethics in a Pandemic World I
Philosophical approaches to ethics and morality involve longstanding questions of value. What is good, what is right, and how can we determine these goods or right actions? Does ethics involve doing the right thing, having the right intent, or being the right sort of person? In each of these cases, how do we determine what exactly is the right action, state of mind, or the best way of life? Do we use reason or emotions or a combination of the two? Can we make these determinations in general, or are such decisions relative to the individual? And finally, how do ethical concerns bear on our relationships with our selves, other individuals, and members of a larger society? A pandemic is a disease occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population. Today headlines usually include the following pandemics: Covid-19, systemic and institutionalized racism, economic inequality, nationalism and religious extremism. By examining the writings of several key thinkers in the history of philosophy, we will explore different ethical theories in the context of our pandemic world.