January 7, 2014
Ethics and moral perspectives are integral to how our society works in both personal life and the business world. Moral realists define ethics as the science concerning right and wrong. This essay discusses and describes the three basic ethics theories: virtue theory, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics. The similarities will also be discussed, including a personal experience explaining the relationship between virtue, values, and moral concepts as related to one of the three theories.
The core meaning found in virtue theory focuses on character, or excellence. Virtue in the classical Greek (its origin in this tradition) refers to “excellence” (Boylan, 2009). “Thus the Greeks thought that to be an effective person in the world one must adopt various habits and characteristics that others would deem as praiseworthy”. This is the origin of this theory. According to this theory we watch their actions in the midst of either a moral or non-moral circumstance to evaluate the response. This Furthermore, this evaluation of character is contemplated during the course of a longer, extended period of time. Virtue theory focuses on the individual’s ethics and morality.
Utilitarianism is the political theory that we should aim to achieve the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. It focuses on the group or collective in a community or organization. Specifically, the focus is on actions that are in the best interest of the group. A common phrase summing this up often recited is, “The greatest good for the greatest number” (Boylan, 2009). This theory focuses on what outcome is ethically and morally right for the group as an entity.
Deontological ethics theory, in contrast, places its focus on the action entirely without regard to the outcome. The importance of duty to principal outweighs...