February 16, 2014
Virtue theory, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics are three of the different approaches to ethics. This paper will go over the similarities and differences between virtue theory, utilitarianism, and the deontological principles. It will also include information of the variations in how each concept details ethics, morality, and will also discuss a personal experience to describe the correlation between virtue, values, and moral perceptions as they relate to one of the three theories. Virtue theory, utilitarianism and deontological ethics are similar in that they each represent how morality and ethics can be judged. They differ by judging the different aspects of what is right or best. Each has a unique definition and can be used in different situations to determine if decisions were made ethically (Boylan, 2009). Having a full understanding of the similarities and difference between the three theories begins by explaining each ethic theory.
Virtue theory does not judge a person as good or bad based upon one single action in their lives. Rather, it takes a look over time to judge one’s character. Virtue ethics is a way to look at someone’s character development over a period of time, one’s career, or perhaps a lifetime (Boylan, 2009). Virtue theory also looks at past mistakes that are not normally in a person’s historical nature. For example, a virtuous person is someone who is kind across many situations over a lifetime because that is their character and not because they want to maximize utility or gain favors or simply do their duty (Virtue, 2010). It is the view that one should try to cultivate excellence in all that one does and in all that others do. Physicians’ continuing education on the latest procedures in order to best serve their patients would be an example of virtue ethics. Utilitarianism is a theory that states that an...
References: Boylan, M. (2009). Basic ethics (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Virtue. (2010). In Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from
Please join StudyMode to read the full document