Ethics and Beyond - A Philosophical Overview Term Paper by scribbler

A look at ethics.
# 151746 | 2,027 words | 8 sources | APA | 2012 | US
Published on Sep 09, 2012 in Philosophy (Ethics) , Ethics (General)

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This paper presents an overview of various philosophical concepts, focusing on ethics. First, the paper defines ethics and further examines its relationship to utilitarianism and deontology. These terms also clarified and the various debates about their meaning over time is highlighted. In particular, the paper discusses Aristotle, Socrates, and Aquinas in terms of their philosophical principles. Next, the paper gives an example in life of a situation in which one may use either utilitarianism or deontology. It also cites how this would apply to Kant or Mills. Various other examples of contemporary applications of these philosophical outlooks are given. The paper also questions how these situations apply to moral responsibility. The paper concludes by stating that in order to apply morality to contemporary situations, one must first understand the basic principles of ethics and ethical thought.


Introduction to the Issue
Overview of the Principles
Contemporary Applications
Contemporary Applications

From the Paper:

"IEven prior to the formalization of the terms utilitarianism and deontology, the core ideas of each have been debated for centuries. The Ancient Greeks argued over the needs of the individual as opposed to the needs of the State (Athens, for example); and throughout history generals and heads of state have had to balance out the ends versus the means of attainment. The concept even made it to the motion picture screen and was given a popular treatment in the science fiction movies Star Trek 2 and 3. At the center of this debate is the notion that many remain dissatisfied with the definition of "good" or "appropriate" being at the whim of a particular social order, or ruling elite. This debate may be found in Aristotle, Socrates, and Aquinas, leading to more contemporary political notions from Lock, Kant, and even Martin Luther King, Jr. Forming the core modern argument, for instance, Aquinas argued that there were certain universal behaviors that were either right or wrong as ordained by the Divine. Hobbes and Locke differed, and put forth the notion that there were natural rights, or "states of nature," but disagreed on the controlling factors of those natural tendencies. Kant took this further, reacting, and argued that a state or society must be organized by the way laws and justice was universally true, available, and, most importantly, justified by humanity. Yet, for Kant, these laws should respect the equality, freedom, and autonomy of the citizens. In this way Kant, prescribed that basic rights were necessary for civil society, and becomes a rubric by which we may understand modern utilitarian principles and their interdependence with the concept of human rights."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Hayden, P. (2001). The Philosophy of Human Rights. Paragon Press.
  • Kamm, F.M. (2007). Intricate Ethics: Rights, Responsibilities, and Permissible Harm. Oxford University Press.
  • MacIntyre, A. (2006), A Short History Of Ethics, Routledge.
  • Hayden, P. (2001). The Philosophy of Human Rights. Paragon Press.
  • Preston, J. (January 21, 2010), "Thriving Military Recruitment Program Blcked." The New York Times. Cited in:

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APA Format

Ethics and Beyond - A Philosophical Overview (2012, September 09) Retrieved April 03, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Ethics and Beyond - A Philosophical Overview" 09 September 2012. Web. 03 April. 2020. <>