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BPYC-132: Ethics

BPYC-132: Ethics

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

If you are looking for BPYC-132 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Ethics, you have come to the right place. BPYC-132 solution on this page applies to 2021-22 session students studying in BAG courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: BPYC-132/2021-22

Course Code: BPYC-132

Assignment Name: Ethics

Year: 2021-2022

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


1. Give Answer of all five questions.

2. All five questions carry equal marks

3. Answer to question no. 1 and 2 should be in about 400 words each.

4. If any question has more than one part, please attempt all parts. Each part has

separate marks.

Q1. Write a note on, 10+10= 20

Q1. What is virtue? What are the main objections against Virtue ethics? Evaluate these

Objections. 20

Ans) The Greek word for virtue is arête, which also means excellence. Generally, the quality referred to is human excellence, hence the virtues are aspects of human greatness. ‘Virtue' signifies ‘moral excellence' in Latin. A virtue is a good character trait or characteristic. Personal virtues are traits regarded for enhancing individual and societal well-being. The inverse of virtue is vice. In ethics, ‘virtue' has two distinct definitions. It is a desire to act in accordance with one's moral principles, or to perform one of the more general obligations. (a) A virtue is a habit of conduct that corresponds to a character trait. Human and business honesty are both virtues.

Objections Against Virtue Ethics

Aristotle is credited with inventing virtue ethics. A human's best life is eudemonia, which occupies virtues or excellences, he said in his Nicomachean Ethics. He claims that living is nothing but virtue-exercise. The Stoics endorsed this idea. Rather than following Kant's principles, virtue ethics describes a moral agent's character. Unlike act assesses like right and wrong, virtue is the major form of evaluation. Virtue is a habit or characteristic that permits the bearer to achieve success. A knife's virtue is sharpness, and a racehorse's is speed. So, to recognise human virtues, one must first understand human purpose. Aristotle defines virtue as a quality that leads to eudemonia, or happiness. He defined moral and intellectual virtue.

A virtue ethicist, on the other hand, would look at one's character and moral behaviour while deciding whether or not to tell a lie. It is a set of normative acts that stress being over doing. Moral or virtuous people have virtues, desirable attributes that virtue ethicists recognise. Having these attributes makes one moral, and one's behaviours reflect one's inner morality. An action cannot define morality since a virtue is more than just a choice of conduct.

So did David Hume. He finds virtues appealing since they contribute to social usefulness in some way. So, he doesn't overthink virtue. An attractive trait is virtue. Wisdom and knowledge are not required to be moral, however they are appealing and beneficial traits. Hume's account is predicated on a perspective of human nature. We are beings moved by both sympathy for others and self-preservation. Affluence drives people, but so does love and sympathy for others. Morality is based on sympathy. When I see someone else in distress, I sympathise with them. For example, I may feel empathy for someone being tormented. He claimed that while evaluating morality, we are more concerned with intentions. The agent associated with virtue or possessing good character qualities is the major subject of moral judgement.

Q2. Write a note on, 10+10= 20

Q2. a) the division of ethics

Ans) The study of ethics can be divided into two categories: general ethics (the nature of moral activity, the norm of morality, the foundation of morality, the end of morality, and so on) and special ethics (the nature of moral activity, the norm of morality, the foundation of morality, the end of morality, and so on) (applies the principles of general ethics to the various actions of human activity).


When it comes to ethical theories, however, philosophers today split them into three categories: metaethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics. Metaethics is a branch of philosophy that studies the origins and meanings of ethical concepts. It investigates the origins of our ethical ideals and what they imply. Normative ethics aims to arrive at moral rules that regulate good and incorrect behaviour by analysing the fundamental principles of ethical ideals. It's a more practical assignment. It's a quest for the perfect litmus test of proper behaviour; applied ethics entails looking into specific contentious subjects like abortion, infanticide, animal rights, environmental concerns, homosexuality, and so on. Using the conceptual tools of metaethics and normative ethics, one attempts to settle these contentious questions in applied ethics.


The boundaries between metaethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics are frequently blurred. The subject of abortion, for example, is an applied ethical topic because it involves a specific sort of contentious behaviour. It's also a matter of normative principles like the right to self-determination and the right to life, as well as metaethical questions like "where do rights come from?" and "what kind of beings have rights?"

Q2. b) consequentialism

Ans) Consequentialism is a sort of normative ethical theory that holds that the moral significance of an action is determined by the type of consequences it causes. What matters most in terms of moral significance is what an action accomplishes or the consequences it causes. What counts morally about an action, according to the Consequentialists, is what causal difference it makes, or what it can be expected to bring about. Even if we aren't always sure what implications an action will have, we can predict the general consequences based on our own or others' experiences. We look for the total difference that an action makes or is likely to make when we morally analyse it or consider what to do.

According to consequentialialism, the goal of morality is to lead us in taking behaviours that will have overall positive outcomes. There may be discrepancies in identifying specific behaviours that have far-reaching implications. However, there is consensus that we may morally evaluate any action, i.e., whether it is morally acceptable or harmful, based on the type of result it produces. If an action does not result in overall good/welfare, it is deemed a bad action; otherwise, it is deemed a good action. "What distinguishes consequentialist ethical theories from non-consequentialist ethical theories is the argument that when it comes to rightness or wrongness, nothing matters but the outcomes of our actions," writes William Shaw.

Q3. Answer any two of the following questions in about 200 words each. 2*10= 20

Q3. a) Differentiate between Ethical Naturalism and Ethical Non-naturalism. 10

Ans) Moral realism is divided into two varieties: ethical naturalism and ethical non-naturalism.

Ethical Naturalism

Moral characteristics are objective and natural, according to ethical naturalism. They believe that we may know moral truths empirically. Naturalism can be broadly defined to include all reductionist ethical theories that explain the function of ethical terms in terms of natural phenomena, such as hedonist and utilitarian theories, accounts of "good," "ought," and "right" in terms of desire satisfaction, as well as propositional and non-cognitivist versions of subjectivism and relativism. Moral goodness is defined by behaviours that produce the greatest amount of (qualitative happiness, notably in Mill's form of utilitarianism) happiness for the greatest number of individuals, according to utilitarian’s Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. As a result, these philosophers regard 'good' as a natural quality (i.e., We can measure happiness).

Ethical Non-Naturalism Introduction to Meta-ethics

Moral attributes are distinct from natural properties in ethical non-naturalism. Non-main naturalism's proponent is G.E. Moore. Moral attributes, according to Moore, are basically simple non-natural properties that do not exist in the outside world like natural properties. Here, goodness is not a natural attribute that can be measured empirically. Non-naturalists believe that we may intuitively perceive the presence of moral characteristics (such as goodness) thanks to our moral sense. Moral characteristics are not natural properties, according to G. E. Moore. Moral characteristics, according to Moore, are inherently simple. He critiques the naturalistic fallacy, which he refers to as the identification of moral traits with natural properties. Moore rejects the naturalistic or supernatural equating of moral attributes such as "goodness" with non-moral properties.

Q3. b) Write a note on the division of ethical cognitivism. 10

Ans) Ethical Cognitivism is a metaethical theory that states that (1) moral judgments can convey beliefs and (2) they are truth-apt, meaning that the 120 Meta-Ethics propositions can be classified as true or incorrect. A moral statement, according to Psychological Cognitivism, is an expression of our belief regarding a moral action. Someone is expressing a belief when they say something like "killing someone is wrong" or "abortion is ethically wrong." "Killing someone is bad" and "Abortion is morally unacceptable" are two assertions that can be true or untrue, a concept known as truth-aptness. Semantic Cognitivism is the belief that moral propositions can be true or incorrect. Our moral claims are true or false, according to the Semantic Cognitivists, dependent on how precisely they refer to a certain moral component of the universe.

Moral language, according to semantic cognitivists, is primarily descriptive in nature. The statement "cat is on the mat" makes a descriptive claim that the cat is sitting on the mat, and it is true or false depending on whether or not the cat is sitting on the mat. This statement expresses a viewpoint on how the world works. Moral statements, like other descriptive claims, rely on the external world or state of circumstances to determine their validity or falsity. When our descriptions of moral claims conform (represent; as it is) with the external world, facts, or state of affairs, they are true; if they do not correspond with the external world, facts, or state of affairs, they are false. When Ethical Cognitivists hold that moral statements are the expression of truth-apt beliefs, and their truth value (truth and falsity) can be judged only by their correspondence with the facts or external world, they combine the views of psychological cognitivism and semantic cognitivism. Moral realism, moral subjectivism, and mistake theory are all examples of ethical cognitivism.

Q4. Answer any four of the following four questions in about 150 words each. 4*5= 20

Q4. a) Write a note on the four cardinal virtues of Plato. 5

Ans) The four qualities defined by Plato in the Republic became known as the cardinal virtues. The word 'cardinal' is derived from the Latin word 'cardo,' which means a hinge, and the cardinal virtues are the qualities that sustain the moral life in the same way that hinges support a door.

The four cardinal qualities are described by Plato as follows:

  1. Wisdom (calculative) - see the whole

  2. Courage (spirited) - preserve the whole

  3. Moderation (appetitive) - serve the whole

  4. Justice (founding/ - “mind your own business” i.e., “tend to your preserving virtue) soul”/”know yourself”

Plato explains how a person can achieve these virtues: Wisdom comes from training reason; courage comes from exercising emotions or spirit; moderation (also referred to as "temperance") comes from allowing reason to triumph over appetites; and justice results from this, a state in which all aspects of the mind are in harmony. Justice is the foundation and preserving virtue, according to Plato, because only by understanding justice can one get the other three virtues, and once one has all four virtues, it is justice that holds everything together.

Q4. b) Write a note on the principle of Universalizability in R M Hare’s prescriptivism. 5

Ans) R. M. Hare's writings, primarily the Language of Morals (1952), Moral Thinking (1981), and Freedom and Reason (1983), demonstrated and developed Prescriptivism (1965). According to Hare, any moral term or predicate (such as good, bad, right, wrong, and so on) may be comprehended using two principles: prescriptivity and universalizability. A moral judgement is universal and prescriptive in character. (In general, a moral judgement is a sentence or statement predicated by a moral term.) Any phrase containing a moral term that cannot be universalized and regulated cannot be used to make a moral judgement. To put it another way, if we want our moral judgement to be transformed into moral action, then our moral judgement must have the ability to universalize and prescribe. Hare claims that preference utilitarianism is created by combining the concepts of universalizability and prescriptivity.

Moral judgments, according to Hare's form of prescriptivism, should prescribe rather than simply describe or express feelings. He goes on to say that moral prescriptions differ from non-moral prescriptions in that the former has universalizability. Anyone who declares an action to be morally good must be willing to declare any relevantly identical action to be morally good as well.

Q4. c) What are the central claims of prescriptivism? 5

Ans) Prescriptivism claims that a moral statement has an element of meaning which makes moral statements prescriptive in nature. In other words, prescriptivism is a thesis that tells us, when moral terms used to make moral judgements; it is a logical inference that they used to make a universal prescription. Moral statements have two elements one is descriptive and second is prescriptive. A prescription means to tell someone to do something, to prescribe, in such a manner that one can dispose that prescription into action. When we prescribe a course of action it commits us to agree to an imperative to ourselves and to others that an action is done. When we make a sincere agreement then it may be said that one is positively willing to the action being acted on. The prescriptions that rest on universals principles are called universal prescriptions.

Q4. f) Write a note on the ethical teachings of Buddhism. 5

Ans) Buddhism places a high value on the sanctity of life and considers any conduct that causes suffering to be immoral. It is the Eightfold Path that expresses the four noble truths of Buddhism. Enlightenment is the goal of pursuing the noble truths. The eightfold road defines acceptable behaviour. Injuring or harming any live creature is prohibited.

The eight items in the eightfold path are often divided into three categories: Right view, Right conduct and Right practice. Within the Right view, there are two items (1) Right understanding and (2) Right thought. In Right conduct, there are (3) Right speech (4) Right action (5) Right livelihood. In Right practice there are (6) Right effort (7) Right Mindfulness (8) Right concentration.

This eight-fold route originally drives an agent towards enlightenment, which is also a set of rules. It never asks for blind faith or promotes self-discovery. Respect, generosity, self-control, honesty, and compassion are all moral actions in Buddhism.


Q5. Write short notes on any five of the following in about 100 words each. 5*4= 20

Q5. a) Eudaimonia 4

Ans) Eudaimonia sometimes anglicized as eudaemonia or eudemonia  is a Greek word literally translating to the state or condition of 'good spirit', and which is commonly translated as 'happiness' or 'welfare'.In the works of Aristotle, eudaimonia was the term for the highest human good in older Greek tradition. It is the aim of practical philosophy, including ethics and political philosophy, to consider and experience what this state really is, and how it can be achieved. Aristotle said that the moral end is ‘eudaimonia’, which may be translated as happiness, and he said that ‘eudaimonia’ consisted in the exercise of a person’s soul in accordance with virtue. To put it in Aristotle’s own terminology, ‘eudaimonia’ is the end or what was later called the final cause of the moral life, while virtue is what was later called the form or the formal cause of the moral life.

Q5. b) Voluntary Action 4

Ans) Voluntary action is a planned movement. Voluntary action is a key notion in cognitive psychology, operant conditioning, philosophy, neuroscience, and criminology. Also, depending on the context, voluntary activity might indicate different things. In operant psychology, the word refers to acts that can be changed by their outcomes. A more cognitive account of voluntary action would include identifying a desired end and doing the actions required to accomplish it. Self-motivated action is typically linked to awareness. Informed consent to act is voluntary. A self-determining agent does a free act. Other than that, most voluntary acts are free.

Q5. c) Ideal Observer Theory 4

Ans) The ideal observer theory explains moral judgements in terms of the approval or disapproval of an ideal observer. An ideal observer is someone who makes moral decisions without being influenced by contaminating biases or preconceptions that come with having a particular point of view. The perfect observer sees everything and knows everything, while the idiot observer is logical and objective. Being an ideal observer, according to Richard B. Brandt, does not necessitate knowledge of every ethically significant truth. He responds, "We can lessen the qualification." The ideal observer must believe that these [ethically significant] truths are true, rather than knowing them. It should be objective, non-biased, and simple. The early forms of ideal observer theory are assigned to Adam Smith and David Hume, while the modern version is credited to Roderick Firth.

Q5. d) Error Theory 4

Ans) An "error theory of ethics" is the belief that the average user of moral language makes statements that are based on a misunderstanding of the moral principles. It is through the principles of ethics that we are introduced to a faulty, erroneous manner of thinking about the world and undertaking practical reasoning. The thesis was first offered by John L. Mackie in his book Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong, which was widely read and cited. Ordinary moral claims, according to Mackie, imply the existence of objective moral values, which, in his opinion, do not exist. As a result, the practise of morality is predicated on an erroneous metaphysical assumption.

Q5. e) Ethical Utilitarianism 4

Ans) According to ethical utilitarianism, an activity is morally desirable if its results benefit everyone. Ethical utilitarianism, sometimes known as classical utilitarianism, is a major teleological ethics theory. There are two aspects to this: a value theory and a right-action theory. It supports Hedonism as a value philosophy. The greatest goal in life is hedonism. It promotes consequentialism as a theory of ethical conduct. Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill are among the proponents. They came up with the idea that right and evil are determined by the greatest happiness of the greatest number. Mill develops the utility principle, which he regards as a moral principle. Actions that appear to be advantageous to the party whose interests are being considered might improve or reduce a person's pleasure.

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