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This essay presents a categorical overview of the debate on ethics. It begins with the division between consequentialist and non-consequentialist ethics. In the first category are considered ethical egoism, utilitarianism and intuitionism. It argues that all these positions are subjective and selfish, and therefore are dubiously ethical. Among the second category are considered Aristotle's virtue ethics, Kantian duty and Ross' prima facie duties. Stress is laid on the disinterested nature of such ethics. It is then described how modern ethical theories elevate practice over theory. Among the modern theories discussed are virtue theory, care ethics, feminist ethics and communicative ethics. Each is shown to emerge from a specific context of modern life. Finally, modern theories are shown to be largely consequentialist.
From the Paper:"Ethics studies how the moral course is determined. Since morality can never be determined absolutely, ethics presents an ongoing debate. This essay presents a categorical overview of this debate. In recent times ethical theory has developed some novel strands, for example virtue ethics, care ethics, feminist ethics and communicative ethics. After outlining these developments, the essay goes on to advocate an eclectic approach to morality which combines elements of the traditional account with some of the new developments.
"The major division in the traditional argument is between consequentialist and non-consequentialist ethics. Consequentialism in ethics is a distinctly Western concept, influenced by the rise of science and individualism. Here the consequence of an act is of paramount importance. Ethical egoism contends that only the individual may determine what is moral, and considers only his or her own benefit in the process. This does not imply that the individual acts only on whim. It is not always possible to measure the consequences of actions immediately, and to always act on whim turns out to be a foolish policy. The pursuit of short-term pleasure frequently messes up with long term benefits."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Brabeck, M., & Ting, K. (2000). Feminist ethics: Lenses for examining ethical psychological practice. New York: Garland Publishing.
- Copleston, F. C. (1999) A History of Philosophy, International Publishing Group.
- Meara, N., Schmidt, L., & Day, J. (1996). Principles and virtues: A foundation for ethical decisions, policies, and character. The Counseling Psychologist, 24, 4-77.
- Sylvester, C. (2002). Ethics and the quest for professionalization. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, Fourth Quarter.
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Ethical Theories (2010, October 31) Retrieved December 06, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/ethical-theories-145253/
"Ethical Theories" 31 October 2010. Web. 06 December. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/ethical-theories-145253/>