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There is no real ethical theory. What one person believes is intolerable, duty, etc., is not right for every person in every circumstance. Ethical Theories Ethical Perspectives. Teleological (Aristotle) Telos – Greek root meaning goal, purpose or end, logos meaning study

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Ethical Theories Ethical Perspectives

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Ethical theories ethical perspectives

There is no real ethical theory. What one person believes is intolerable, duty, etc., is not right for every person in every circumstance.


Ethical theories ethical perspectives

Ethical TheoriesEthical Perspectives

Teleological (Aristotle)

  • Telos – Greek root meaning goal, purpose

    or end, logos meaning study

  • Having to do with the design or

    purpose of something

  • Looking for the end – not as an end

    point, but as a completion, as fullness.

  • Seeking to understand the ultimate

    goal, purpose or end of something


Ethical theories ethical perspectives

  • Aristotle's Ethical Theory

  • Humans find happiness within community

  • To be happy is to live well and do well

  • Human activity aims to achieving the

  • good – happiness

  • The highest form of happiness is based on

  • rational behaviour – live an ethical life

  • How do you accomplish this

  • according to Aristotle?

  • Be moderate in all things

  • Absolute good can be found only in God

  • Good is inscribed by God into the nature

  • of all things (innate)

  • To find the good in anything is to discover

  • its purpose

  • A person develops good character by acting

  • virtuously – virtues control passions


Ethical theories ethical perspectives

Aristotle’s Main Ideas

Main Idea: Vision or purpose or ends

What is good? Human activity aims to

achieving the good

What motivates humans? Humans find

happiness within

community

Moral guidelines: Values

Life Orientation: Goals

Requirements: Imagination

Strengths: Vision, direction

Weaknesses: Irrelevancy; ends justify the means


Ethical theories ethical perspectives

Deontological (Kant)

  • Deon – Greek word meaning duty

  • Asking questions like – What is my duty? What is my duty as a Catholic?

  • To do what is right

    Kant’s Ethical Theory

  • Ethics are a matter of one’s inner conviction

    and autonomy

  • A human act is morally good when it is done for

    the sake of duty

  • The use of reason is central to moral life – duty

    is determined by principles

    How do you accomplish this according to Kant?

  • I must act in such a way that the principles

    according to which I act should become universal law

  • The only good is good will

  • Good is only good if it is done out of good will and provides not personal gain

  • Moral acts are performed out of duty and obligation

  • Reason dictates what is good


Ethical theories ethical perspectives

Kant’s Main Ideas

Main Idea: Duties and structures

What is good? A human act is morally good when it is done for the sake of duty

What motivates humans? “I must act in such a way that the principles according to which I act should become universal law

Moral guidelines: Rules

Life Orientation: Duties

Requirements: Responsibility

Strengths: Structure, organization

Weaknesses: Bureaucracy; blindly following orders


Ethical theories ethical perspectives

  • Relational (Levinas)

  • Starting with the other, not with ourselves

  • Face to face with the other who calls me to be

  • ethical

  • Levinas’ Ethical Theory

  • The central question in philosophy is: where

  • is the Good?

  • Each thing or person is a unique expression

  • of the Good

  • The face of another calls me to respond

  • How do you accomplish this according to Levinas?

  • Goodness translates into responsibility for the Other (turn away from own desires and interests)

  • The infinite Good (God) is at the heart of ethics

  • The good comes as a vocation (not from myself)


Ethical theories ethical perspectives

  • Levinas’ Main Ideas

  • Main Idea: Encounter with

  • the other

  • What is good?

  • The central questions is:

  • where is the good?

  • What motivates humans?

  • The face of the other calls me

  • to respond

  • Moral Guidelines: Needs

  • Life Orientation: Others

  • Requirements: Involvement

  • Strengths: Heart, grounding

  • Weaknesses: Sentimentality – people wear masks


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