Ethical theories Assignment- HU245


For this Assignment, you are to complete the chart for seven ethical theories based on the following criteria:

How is “good” determined: Explain in one or two sentences what the theory argues is the correct way to determine what is right. This is the main argument of the theory in a nutshell.

Most Noted Philosopher(s): Name the philosopher or philosophers most closely associated with the theory.

Major Strengths: Using phrases or sentences, list at least two major strengths that is specific to that theory.

Major Weaknesses: Using phrases or sentences, list at least two major weaknesses that is specific to that theory.

Sample paper

Ethics Unit2


Utilitarianism Ethical Egoism Ethics of Care Kantianism Prima Facie Duties Divine Command Theory Virtue Theory
How is “good” Determined It is a policy that an act is good in so far as it stimulates contentment (Kraut, R. 2013). The guiding principle is that the act should result to greatest happiness and of most people. It argues that moral agents should do what favor them or what is in their own self-interest It is a type of normative ethical theory. It determines the factors that make actions morally right or wrong.


Good is judged on principles that guide certain actions. What is good is determined by numerous prima facie duties that we ought to do.


Good is equivalent to whether it is ordered by God.



Good is identified on individual character and virtue.



Most Noted Philosopher(s) John Stuart Mill Henry Sidgwick

Thomas Hobbes

Carol Gilligian

And Nell Noddings

Immanuel Kant W.D. Ross William of Ockham, St Augustine, John Calvin, and Duns Scouts. Plato and Aristotle
Major Strengths The concept of utility includes both quality and quantity.

Computing the greatest utility for the greatest number of people is rational and can be calculated.

It allows personal autonomy.


The theory assists individuals to develop a sturdy sense of self conservation.


It also ensures the person will not take risks to put their life in harm.

It recognizes weaknesses in moral theories.

It also identifies emotions in moral reasoning.


Clarity – clear and easy to follow.


It honors dignity and respect.

Harm prevention – It is the prima facie duty of individuals to thwart harm to other people from his own causes.


Beneficence – there is a duty to do goods to others.

It will offer motivation to perform the right thing even under no supervision.


Consistent and Objective

It places virtues and character as the center of morality.


It recognizes the responsibility and emotions of humankind.

Major Weaknesses There are those who have rejected the idea that pleasure has positive value and have backed negative utilitarianism that outlines satisfaction only in terms of anguish and suffering.


Utilitarianism ignores justice and exploits the minority.


It values selfish individuals more than other people.


It is not universal as something is only good when an individual possesses it. It follows then, that the goodness of things would have to be circumstantial, not universal.

It is hard to define the contexts and identify the ethics of care.


The moral emotions are difficult to quantify.

The theory is inflexible due to its absolutist nature (Bunge, M. 2012). It doesn’t regard the situation of action.


Maximum scope. It is possible for any person to universalize a maxim to permit anything.


Unsystematic and follows no logical principle.


There is no code for determining the actual moral obligations.



They are not universally applied as people have different beliefs.


It does not consider the religious diversity of individuals.

It ignores the relativist dilemma. Virtue in USA may be different with what is virtue in Spain.


Illusions – some philosophers believes character traits are illusions.


Bunge, M. (2012). Treatise on Basic Philosophy: Ethics: The Good and The Right (Vol. 8). Springer Science & Business Media.

Kraut, R. (2013). Desire and the human good. The American Philosophical Association Centennial Series, 255-270.