Ethical Theories: Description And Application

Ethical Theories: Description And Application Research Paper example
High school
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Engineering and Construction
Pages 5 (1255 words)
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Ethical Theories: Description and Application The purpose of this paper is to examine three major ethical theories. These theories include Deontology and Utilitarianism, as well as the moral theory of David Hume, which is a type of virtue ethics. I will outline each major theory and explain their strengths and weaknesses.


Utilitarianism is a specific brand of consequentialism, where the moral status of an action is based on the utility or usefulness of its consequences. The action that results in the greatest amount of utility is considered morally right, where any actions resulting in less overall utility are considered morally wrong. In Classical Utilitarianism, utility is usually defined as pleasure. In this theory, the morally prescribed action is often described as the action that results in the greatest amount of good, for the greatest number of people involved (Sinott-Armstrong, sec.1). If you take into consideration all of the consequences of a particular action, and that action results in more net good, than net bad, then that action is morally permissible (Sinnott-Armstrong, sec.1). Deontological systems of ethics are often explained in contrast to consequentialist ones, because they are essentially the opposite. Where consequentialist theories focus entirely on the consequences of the act, deontological theories focus on the act itself (Alexander, sec. 1). According to deontological theories, some acts are simply wrong and should never be done regardless of the consequences (Alexander, sec. 1). ...
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