Book 3 Ethics and Justice: Study Tools

Chapter 1 – Principles of Ethics

Vocabulary (click on the word for the definition)

Bartolomé de las Casas

Bartolomé de las Casas  – A 16th century Spaniard who was one of the first settlers to the New World. After witnessing atrocities being committed against Native Americans by the conquistadors, las Casas gave up his own slaves, was ordained a Dominican priest, and became an active advocate for human rights. He developed the principle of full human potential to argue that Native Americans were not inferior in value or worth to the Spaniards.


dignity – The value and worth of a human being.


ethical – An act that does not break any of the rules that guide human behavior toward what is right.


ethics – Rules that guide human behavior to what is right.

extrinsic dignity

extrinsic dignity – The value or worth that other people perceive in us.

full human potential

full human potential – The highest potential that humans can achieve.

intrinsic dignity

intrinsic dignity – The value or worth that you have simply because you are a human person.


non-maleficence – (nawn-mah-LEH-fi-sense) to do no harm.


subjective – Based on feelings or perceptions, which can change from time to time, and person to person.


unethical – An act that breaks the rules that guide human behavior toward what is right.

universal ethical principles

universal ethical principles – Rules which are so basic that they apply to the entire human race for all times.

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