Drawing on ethical theory to critique a claim.
Businesses putting something back
into the local community...
...Morally obligatory - or not?
Utilitarian and Kantian Moral Theory Viewpoints
Tanya Lundie 9118692
27 March 2009
Rainbow (2002) describes ethical theories as being “...the foundations of ethical analysis...” because they are viewpoints from which guidance can be obtained in the interests of determining “...what counts as acting ethically...” (The Open Polytechnic, 2009, p.15). This essay draws on such ‘foundations’ to critique a claim about what makes an action morally obligatory for businesses. It is presented in four parts, the aim being to clarify my understanding of the positions of two ethical theories in particular; Utilitarianism and Kantian Moral Theory (Kantianism). First, I’ll explain the purpose of ethical theory in ethics; giving consideration to why only one theory can be right. Next, I’ll outline the abovementioned theories. Then, drawing on their promulgations, I’ll critically discuss the claim, highlighting general problems in the process. I’ll then outline and assess a criticism detractors might level at each theory, and I’ll close by clarifying my position on what these theories would make of the claim.
The purpose of ethical theory can be explained in terms of its role in the normative approach taken to studying ethics. This requires critically considering the basic moral norms people should adhere to in the interests of acting ethically; how they should value humans (and other beings) in their actions (The Open Poly, 2009); what should they consider in so doing; how should they act as a result; and, most importantly, why? The ultimate aims being, to prescribe conduct; judge actions; underwrite judgements; and, justify moral beliefs. Ethical theories are proposed, criticised, defended, revised, re-proposed and-so-on in on-going pursuit of this aim; becoming reference... [continues]
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