Ethical Theories

Topics: Business ethics, Ethics, Ethical code Pages: 5 (1067 words) Published: February 16, 2013
Ethical Theories






a) Ethical Theories Chart

Mankind has been credited as being a social animal who at all times premise their actions upon two considerations; what in fact exists on one hand, and what ought to be on the other. To this end, every social setting seeks to prescribe either explicitly or implicitly certain rules upon their members which are supposed to adhere to. Ethics have however been defined as the study as to what is right and what is wrong. It thus sets the scale as to the determination as to who is to be regarded as right and good. This concept has however not lived in oblivion but rather founded upon concepts of rights and duty, with religion being deemed as a vital factor in its evolution. Many theories have thus emerged with relation to human ethics; however four have had greater impact and have been the most referred of all. These are utilitarianism, Kantanian ethics, Rawlsian ethics and Aristotelian ethics (Summers, 1989). These ethics can thus be used to address various issues as will be illustrated below.

|Theory |Consequentialism |Deontology |Virtue ethics | |Founder |Jeremy Betham |Immanuel Kant |Aristotle | |Example |Utilitarianism |Kantianism |Aristotelianism | |Model of practical reasoning |Dictates as to getting means-end |Seek to understand, what is |seeks to determine; what habits | | |reasoning with reference to |rational? |do I develop? | | |attaining one’s goals i.e. what | | | | |is good? | | | |Personal identity |Addresses issues of will, reason |They seek to address issues of |Seeks to find ones will, reason, | | |and desire |will and reason whilst issues of |desire as well as their character| | | |desire are excluded as they are |traits with reference to the | | | |deemed to have potential of |subject matter. | | | |frustrating rationality. | | |Rationality |Addressing the ability of one |Seeks to give reason to ones |Believes that one should only | | |attaining their desires |actions so that one does not |desire that which they reason to | | | |contrary to their policies. |be in their best of interests. | |Central question |Seeks to explain that one’s |Seeks to explain that one’s |Is agent oriented and thus seeks | | |actions are based on orientation |actions are based on orientation |to be the best person one can be | |Primary evaluation object |The consequences of the status |What one does |The people i.e. the agents | | |quo | | | |The good |This is based on the basic notion|Acts that are justifiable are the|Acts that lead to making the | | |which is to seek the...
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