Crg -Major Ethical Theories

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Major Ethical Theories

• Utilitarianism

• Deontological Ethics

• Justice & Fairness

• Virtue Ethics


➢ Study ethical behavior in terms of the result or consequences of ethical decisions

➢ Evaluate decisions whether good or bad in term of impact of the decisions

➢ Decision maker must take broad perceptive concerning who, in society, might be affected by the decision

Weaknesses in Utilitarianism

❖ The distribution and intensity of happiness

❖ Measurement problem

❖ Ignores motivation and focus only on consequences

Deontological Ethics

• Evaluate behavior based on the motivation of the decision maker

• Action can be ethically correct if it does not produce a net balance of good over evil for the decision maker or for society as a whole

Weaknesses in Deontology

• Does not provide clear guidelines for deciding what is right and wrong when two or moral laws conflict and only one can be followed

Justice & Fairness

• Procedural justice concerns how justice is administered.

• Everyone is treated equally before the law and that rules are impartially applied

• There are 3 main criteria: need, arithmetic and merit


▪ One problem with justice is that the allocations may not be fair

Virtue Ethics

➢ Focus on moral character of the decision maker than impact of the decisions or the motivation of the decision maker.

➢ Virtue ethics takes a broader view recognizing that the decision maker has a variety of character traits


• Not compromising on core value even when there is strong pressure to do so.

Ethics case

The iphone was launched in June 2007 at a price $599 per unit. Two month later, the price was dropped to $399. Steve Jobs received hundreds of email from irate customers. Two days later he offer...
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