Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Ethics, Actions, Morality, Utilitarianism, Pleasure, Law, Enlightenment, Society

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/12/03

Emmanuel Kant

According to Kant, for a person to be considered morally good, that person must have a good will. The result of a person action cannot be used as a measure of morality because no person is in control the consequences of their actions. A person is only in control of his will and, therefore, it is the true measure of morality. Kant claims that moral duty is an obligation placed upon everyone. According to Kant a person should act in a way that he would be comfortable if his action became universal law. This embodies the principle of categorical imperative.

Jeremy Bentham

Jeremy Bentham believed in utilitarianism. He argued that the right thing to do is that which maximizes pleasures and limits pain. According to Bentham this was the guiding factor. He claims that humans prefer pleasure over pain. This moral philosophy is embodied in the principle of utilitarianism. The principle of utilitarianism embodies the principle of cost benefit analysis. This means that if the benefits of an action are more than the costs, the right thing to do is that which brings more benefits.

John Stuart Mill

Mill supports the principle of utility as proposed by Jeremy Bentham. He claims that the more an act leads to more pain, it should be avoided. An act should be accepted as it brings more pleasure. However, he introduces the concept of higher and lower pleasures. This explains why some pleasures are better than others.

William D. Ross

William Rose claims that there is no universal principle to be used in determining whether a thing which we believe to be wrong or right is actually right or wrong. There are many moral requirements to be used in determining what is right or wrong and they cannot be thinned to a fundamental principle. Rose claims that there are duties which rank hierarchically that people owe one another. However, the rights are not absolute, they are prima facie. He is of the opinion that morality is about common sense. Some of the duties are “axiomatic” and life without them cannot be imagined.

Question A

Meta-ethics does not lay don rules for determining what is moral. It engages in issues such as whether some is of value or good. However ethics lays down the guidelines for determining morality. All the two deal with morality

Question B

There were developments in science, politics and the philosophy. This changed the perception of society with respect to certain things that the society itself went through transformation. It was referred to as the enlightenment

Question C

Deontology focuses on the duty that a man owes to mankind. The duty is regarded more highly than results. However, Teleology is result based. It looks at the consequence of an action. It checks for meaning and intention for carrying out an action.

Question D

Ethical egoism differs with Utilitarianism to the extent that egoism is individualistic. It supports the individual utility. However, utilitarianism supports universal utility. Utilitarianism looks at the greater communal good rather than individual interests. The two theories are however similar because they all advocate for pleasure over pain. The aim of an egoist or utilitarian is to derive pleasure and avoid pain.

Question E

The difference is that a positive right is the right to have something provided for someone while a negative right is the right to protected when attempting to realize certain things.

Question f

Kant was attempting to create a just society where equality reigned supreme. The philosophy required people to do things that they would be happy about if their actions were made universal law. It succeeded in creating a just society people are treated with human dignity because they were all equal.

Question g

Bentham intended to have greater pleasure for the greatest number in society. This meant that if something would make many people suffer, then it was okay to trample on the rights of a few people. This is the principle on which taxation is based. The richer a person is the more that person is taxed so that he contributes to the majority poor.

Question h

Mill introduced the concept of higher and lower pleasures which were not present in the philosophy of Bentham. There are certain pleasures according to mill that people cannot drop even if they come with discomfort. These are the high pleasures.

Question J

Ethics looks at what the action to be taken is likely to achieve. It focuses on the moral and immoral consequences of an action. If the action leads to desirable results the action is regarded as moral.

Question G

Ross describes deontology as the duty that human beings owe other men. He however says that those duties are not absolute as they are prima facie. This is because they may be illusory. Teleology looks at the consequence of an action. It is the consequence of an action that determines it morality.

Part 3

The Enlightenment
This was a period in the thought of the western world which was marked by revolution in the field of science, politics, society and philosophy.


This principle means that what is true may vary from one person to another and from one place to another.
This principle claims that there are absolute truths on morality
This principle means that exist many principles and not just one
This is a framework through which a person makes sense of the world and the things in it
Moral Norms
These are morality rules that should be observed
Ethics of “the good”
The ethics of the good claim that there are justice, pleasure, knowledge and virtue are the four things that are good

Ethics of “the right”

The ethics of the right claim that there are five duties that are distinct but they are different in terms of importance.


The principle that an action is either moral or immoral based on its compliance with the law Rights
These are entitlements not to or to do certain acts.
Positive Rights
Positive rights are those rights that seek action
Negative Rights
Negative rights are those rights that seek inaction
Duties refers to the obligations to act owing to respect for the law
A maxim refers to a ground rule or an action principle that is subjective
Categorical Imperative
This principle advocates for equality justice and human dignity.
It is a philosophical principle which espouses that the universe and every other thing in it has a purpose and a cause.


This principle claims that the result or consequence of an action is the determinant of the actions morality
Utilitarianism is embodied in the principle of utility where a person is increases their pleasure while avoiding pain
Act utilitarianism
A person’s action is regarded as morally right if the action can offer the same happiness as an action that the person could perform at the particular moment.

Rule utilitarianism

An action is treated as right if it conforms to a rule that offers greater good
This refers to giving value to things based on the individual interests that the thing serves
Ethical Egoism
Ethical egoism supports individualistic utility where the pleasure of the individual occupies a better place than communal pleasure
Psychological Egoism
This principle claims that it is personal interests that motivate human action.

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WePapers. (2020, December, 03) Good Essay On Ethics. Retrieved November 30, 2023, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-on-ethics/
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Good Essay On Ethics. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-essay-on-ethics/. Published Dec 03, 2020. Accessed November 30, 2023.

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