The Seven Moral Philosophies
Compare and Contrast Research Paper
Terence A. Betts
Instructor: Kimber Cramer
The textbook breaks down seven philosophies used in business decisions; they are Teleology, Egoism, Utilitarianism, Deontology, Relativist, Virtue ethics, and Justice. In this paper I will define each of the seven listed and compare and contrast so that it is clear to decipher each one from the other. Also I will provide an example of each philosophy to help provide further clarity.
The first of the seven philosophies I will be discussing is Teleology. Teleology is defined in where an act is considered acceptable if the outcome or result is a desired one. This means that if something does not benefit an individual or a group then they will normally have nothing to do with it. Teleology looks at things for their moral worth by examining its consequences. Present day philosophers refer to these theories as consequentialism.
Teleology has two major philosophies that are used in decision making business, which are Egoism and Utilitarianism. Egoism can be defined as the concern for your own interest and welfare in the basis of morality. This philosophy can be very negative seeing that you as an individual care about your well being, which can be looked at as being selfish. However, there is a side of egoism that can be looked as positive which is called enlightened egoism. Enlighten egoism consider the well being of others but they put their interest ahead of anything else. Enlighten egoist, for example may tell on a co-worker that is taking money from the business for the purpose of saving their company from theft.
The second philosophy under Teleology is utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is defined as the concern for promoting the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. Both egoism and utilitarianism are concerned with consequences. However utilitarianism is concerned with people as a whole, unlike egoist who is concerned with their own consequences. There are two types of utilitarianism which are rule utlilitarians and act utilitarians. Rule utilitarians determine behavior on the basis of principles or rules. Act utilitarians look at the specific actions instead of the rules leading it (Ferrell, Fraedrich, Ferrell, 2011). A Rule utilitarian such as a lawyer may have an important court date but may be running late. The lawyer believes it is ethically correct to arrive at the court date on time because the lawyer has a client that needs his counseling. The lawyer believes he should follow the law and but he feels it is ethical for him to make it to the court date. Act utilitarians will look at this situation and know the law but will genuinely not care and do what it takes to make the court date.
The fourth philosophy is Deontology. Deontology is the ethical theory that is concerned with duties and rights. Contrast to utilitarianism, deontology believes that there are certain things that we ethically should not do even if the outcome was to maximize effectiveness. For example a deontologist may be stuck on an island with 7 people with no food and they would rather starve to death then to turn to cannibalism because they feel it is unethical. So they would rather die than comment such an act. Deontologist also believes that people have the freedom of speech, freedom of privacy and due process. One of the champions of deontology was Immanuel Kant. He was an excellent philosopher who had great works in ethics, (Kraft, 2010). In comparing and contrasting, utilitarians, deontologists are both divided by rules and acts. Rule deontologist believes that conventionality to general moral ideology determines ethicalness. Act deontologist wants to use egalitarianism, justice and impartiality in decision making. Act deontologist and act utilitarians see rules only as guiding principle. Also to add, one difference between deontology and...
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