Ethics of Sir William David Ross Term Paper by Master Researcher

Ethics of Sir William David Ross
A review of the ethical theories of Sir William David Ross.
# 36268 | 1,150 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Oct 02, 2003 in Philosophy (General) , Ethics (General)


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Description:

This paper discusses Sir William David Ross' ethical theory and explains how he defended ethical institutionism in the first half of the twentieth century. The paper discusses how he suggested that there were ethical truths that were obvious and on which the skeptics could not argue and that the ethical institutions were explained better by the concept of "prima facie" duties that hold other things equal. The paper also relates that Ross was against the theory of Utilitarianism that stressed the concept of the greatest good. This author argues that Ross' ethics are too convenient a way out of situations; responsible judgments and actions are not always easy to determine.

From the Paper:

A British moral philosopher called Sir William David Ross defended ethical institutionism in the first half of the twentieth century. He suggested that there were such facets as ethical truths that were obvious and on which the skeptics could not argue. He then contended that the ethical institutions were explained better by the concept of "prima facie" duties that hold other things equal. Ross was against the theory of Utilitarianism that stressed the concept of the greatest good. Consider here this very simple case.
"We make a promise to a close friend that we will meet them somewhere. Then something comes up and three friends suggest that we go with them. If the theory of Utilitarianism was focused upon it would then mean we break the promise to one friend to satisfy three other undermining a social moral. Kant, would suggest that the promise be kept without exception but if we use logic the fact is exceptions to the rule can always be made. The doctrine of Ross is one of common sense. He suggests that we do good to others, keep promises, avoid harming others etc and when one duty conflicts with another, we take into account the situation, weight our priorities and judge accordingly."

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Ethics of Sir William David Ross (2003, October 02) Retrieved September 19, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/ethics-of-sir-william-david-ross-36268/

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