What Do We Know About Utilitarianism

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Utilitarianism

  1. How is “good” determined: By what is best for the greatest number of people and by those consequences.
  2. Most Noted Philosopher (s): Jeremy Bentham & Stuart Mill
  3. Major Strengths: Encouraging all human welfare and the end-justifies-the-means.
  4. Major Weaknesses: Finding all the consequences for all in society is complex. When do the end-justifies-the-means for all in society?

Ethical Egoism

  1. How is “good” determined: By Self-interest and what will serve that person and solely that person.
  2. Most Noted Philosopher (s): Epicurus
  3. Major Strengths: Every person ought to carry out in self-interest no matter what the outcome. Encourages individual freedom and responsibility for their actions.
  4. Major Weaknesses: Contradictory to one’s own self-interest when related too all in society. Cannot show a consistent method of dealing with conflicts with others.

Ethics of Care

  1. How is “good” determined: The theory that caring for others and sensitivity to others is important for a moral life.
  2. Most Noted Philosopher (s): Carol Gilligan
  3. Major Strengths: One should carry out with caring and compassion in all actions. A person should constantly consider others and the consequences of their actions towards them early.
  4. Major Weaknesses: May lead others to look at gender as a system to the guide as too who is best and not perfect equality of gender. May only change one incomplete theory with another incomplete theory.

Kantianism

  1. How is “good” determined: Look at what’s good no matter what the consequences are to be positive/negative.
  2. Most Noted Philosopher (s): Immanuel Kant
  3. Major Strengths: Must be logical and not self-contradictory. Must still be effective to create a universal rule for all in society.
  4. Major Weaknesses: Works not to define away exceptions in every situation when competing obligations begin. Establishing what one can create a comprehensive rule for without exceptions.

Prima facie Duties

  1. How is “good” determined: It is a person’s moral obligation to perform various duties in society and they must serve those duties.
  2. Most Noted Philosopher (s): Sir William David Ross
  3. Major Strengths: Determine the act with the highest duties too societal duties. Do the act which has the highest degree for right over wrong.
  4. Major Weaknesses: Difficulty in figuring out what is always the most significant social duty. When does one duty outweigh another duty?

Divine Command Theory

  1. How is “good” determined: Moral principles set down by a higher power or God/Goddess stating what is appropriate/unacceptable.
  2. Most Noted Philosopher (s): St Augustine
  3. Major Strengths: An all-powerful and all-knowing being/beings have set rules/commandments for a man to serve in any situation. By observing those rules/commandments they will have rewards in another life.
  4. Major Weaknesses: Difficulty showing proof there is a supernatural world. Inability to prove those higher powers will reward someone.

Virtue Theory

  1. How is “good” determined: By a human being’s own character as a person.
  2. Most Noted Philosopher (s): Aristotle and Confucius
  3. Major Strengths: An exceptional character will require you to serve honorable accomplishments in life. By doing noble actions one will strive to be an honorable person with a full or accomplished life.
  4. Major Weaknesses: Seeking to verify if an individual does have a goal or purpose to exist. Convincing or not if humans are created with morals implanted or are, they picked up from events in development.

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