Premium Essay

Modern Ethical Theories

In: Other Topics

Submitted By tarrx3
Words 994
Pages 4
Modern Ethical Theories
Psychological Egoism vs. Ethical Egoism
When we discuss modern ethics there are two theories that emerge above all others and although both are supported they are often controversial in nature. Ethical Egoism states that we should put ourselves and our interests before those of others leading to the conclusion that if we do things that are only in our own self interest then we have achieved morality. Psychological Egoism presumes that we always put ourselves and our interests before others and that every act is motivated only by our own self interest. Even when an act appears on the surface to be totally unselfish it is in all reality a selfish act. Simply feeling good about doing an “unselfish act” makes it selfish. Ethical and Psychological Egoism may seem similar at first glance but they are actually quite different. We will discuss these two theories and their differences, compare the doctrines of motivation for both and discuss selfishness and self interest.
Let’s first take a look at the fallacy of Psychological Egoism. The fallacy of Psychological Egoism is the belief that people are only motivated by self interest but as we all know there are many things that can motivate people to do things. Take for instance the seven deadly sins; sloth, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, and pride. Any one of these can be a motivating factor. So it is easy to see that the fallacy of Psychological Egoism is the erroneous belief that the only motivating factor is self interest. Furthermore you can never know without doubt that you are acting in your definitive self interest because your actions could have undesired results in the future. Psychological Egoism fails without the ‘method of reinterpreting motives’ (Rachels, 1995).
Now that we know the shortcomings of Psychological Egoism let’s discuss the versions of Ethical Egoism. Ethical Egoism...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Security Analysis and Portfolio Management

...Report On Security Analysis & Portfolio Management Investment Theory Course Code: FIN-502 Submitted To Md. Rafiqul Matin Adjacent Faculty Department of Business Administration East West University Submitted By Anwer Hossan ID: 2012-3-95-133 Warda Alam Ananna ID: 2012-1-95-054 Abir Sultana Mishu ID: 2012-1-95-106 Nikita Mashiat ID: 2012-2-95-114 Section : 1 Semester : Summer-2013 Submission Date : August 16, 2013 Table of Content Particulars | Page no. | Letter of Transmittal | 01 | Acknowledgement | 02 | Executive Summary | 03 | 1.Introduction | 04 | 1.1 Origin of the Report | 05 | 1.2 Objective of the Report | 05 | 1.3 Methodology of the Report | 05 | 1.4 Limitations | 06 | | | 2. Company Overview | 07 | 2.1 Green Delta Insurance Company Limited | 08 | 2.2 Pioneer Insurance Company Limited | 08 | 2.3 Pragati Insurance Company Limited | 09 | 2.4 Meghna Life Insurance Comapany Limited | 10 | 2.5 Summit Power | 11 | 2.6 DESCO | 11 | 2.7 Power Grid | 12 | 2.8 GBB Power Limited | 13 | 2.9 BEXIMCO Limited | 13 | 2.10 Aramit Power Limited | 14 | | | 3. Findings & Analysis | 15 | 3.1 Market & Individual Security Returns | 16 | 3.2 Investor with Adversity | 19 | 3.3 Average Daily Return Of All Securities | 20 | 3.4 Sector Wise Daily Return Of All Securities |......

Words: 10408 - Pages: 42

Premium Essay


...Peckham Professional Ethics Describe the relationship between legal and ethical issues: a relationship exists between law and ethics and sometimes both concepts overlap. On one hand, behaviors and issues that are not ethical are also not legal. On the other hand, they are two separate parallel lines, for instance what is illegal maybe considered ethical and in another instance, what is considered legal might be unethical. Legal issues are matters that are defined by a law or set of laws that give us a frame work of how we should conduct ourselves in society. These issues are not unequivocal though; there may be more prevailing interests that command treatment even against the patient’s wishes. An overriding issue would be something such as “mandatory immunization statutes” (University of Phoenix, 2010, p. 4) this is for the greater good of society versus the good of one. Ethical issues revolve around our individual interruption of philosophical and moral values. Both the care provider and the care recipient have their own set of values, and as long as the recipient is of sound mind they can refuse or request any treatment they desire. Suicide is one area where legal and ethical issues collide According to "Suicide" (2008), “Under Common Law, suicide, or the intentional taking of one's own life, was a felony that was punished by forfeiture of all the goods and chattels of the offender. Under modern U.S. law, suicide is no longer a crime. Some states, however,......

Words: 1561 - Pages: 7

Free Essay


...Ethical Framework in Practice Nursing is an admirable, dignified career. Nurses respect the self-sufficiency and self-esteem of all their patients in every matter. Patients share their confidential information to the nurses, because they trust the nurse. Nurses care for the sick and needy population. Nurses take care of the patient’s deepest and painful needs in an intimate way compared to other disciplines in the health care team (Nazarko, 2009). Nurses frequently encounter ethical dilemmas and issues related to providing confidential information. This paper analysis is about the ethical recommendations on breach of privacy act between the nurses and the patient. Hippocratic Oath evidently explains about the importance of confidentiality in medical ethics. The oath is like this," That whatsoever I shall see or hear of the lives of my patients that are not fitting to be spoken, I will keep in confidence" (Hippocratic Oath, 2010). In Nightingale’s pledge for nursing, says that ‘‘I will hold in confidence of all personal matters in the practice of nursing” (Gretter, 1893). All nurses take Nightingale’s pledge at their graduation oath. Nurses are dedicated to provide better care for their patient based on their patient’s values and beliefs to maintain confidentiality. The provision of health care is comprehensive and people’s needs are often complex. Modern technology has made advanced changes in healthcare. With the many advances changes in health care a......

Words: 978 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Case 10 Ford Pinto Fires

...College for Financial Planning ETH 550—Business Ethics Master Course Syllabus I. Course Description Course Description This course is designed to achieve the following objectives:        Explore the ethical dimension in the current global environment. Study and apply major normative ethical theories to business situations. Understand the relevance of stakeholders to business decisions. Improve ethical and moral decision-making processes. Analyze case studies that present ethical business dilemmas. Understand moral, amoral, and immoral decisions in business situations. Encourage ethical behavior and professionalism in all activities. Prerequisites There are no prerequisites for this course. II. Overview Overview The goal of this course is to teach students how to ethically interact in today's global business environment. III. Required and Recommended Text Required Text Modern Language Association of America. MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing. 3rd ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2008. ISBN 0-87325-699-6. Perkins, John. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. Plume, 2005. ISBN 978-0452287082 (paperback). Weiss, Joseph W. Business Ethics: A Stakeholder and Issues Management Approach. 5th ed. South-Western, 2009. ISBN 978-0-324-58973-3 (paperback). How to Order Texts You may order textbooks online at, by fax at 800-274-9105, or by telephone at 800-274-9104. Students interested in selling their......

Words: 508 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

“Virtue Ethics Is of Little Use When Dealing with Practical Ethics.” Discuss.

... It is often argued that virtue ethics is of little use when dealing with practical ethics. Virtue ethics does not focus on actions being right or wrong, but on how to be a good person. Virtue ethics raises three questions “who am I?”, “Who I ought to become?” and “How do I get there?”. On the other hand Practical ethics describes situations where an action is needed. Firstly virtue ethics goes back to Plato and Aristotle. Plato’s moral theory centres on the achievement of man’s highest good, which involves the right cultivation of his soul and the harmonious wellbeing of his life (Eudaimonia). Plato seemed to consider that certain virtues such as temperance, courage, prudence and justice (cardinal Virtues) are in balance a person’s actions will be good. It motivates people to want to be good. It shows the importance of education in showing that good actions are their own rewards. When these virtues are in balance a person’s actions will be good and therefore would disagree that virtue ethics is of little use. Aristotle’s ethical theory is known as virtue ethics because at the centre of his description of the good, which are the virtues which shape human character and ultimately human behaviour. However this good human life is one lived in harmony and co-operation with other people, since Aristotle saw people as not only rational beings but also as social beings. Aristotle saw two types of virtues, intellectual virtues and moral virtues. Aristotle compares the virtues......

Words: 1557 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay


...The influence of consequential ethics as an ethical framework (the greatest good for the greatest number) opposes the ethical principle of deontology (i.e., the rightness of an act itself determines what is right). Both of these impact the nursing profession. Modern social exchange theories are based on the principle of utility. Read the assumptions of social exchange theory and consider how these would affect the nurse-patient relationship, compared to how these impact the nurse within the health care environment. To what extent are all theories ethical? Is social exchange theory compatible with the values of the nursing profession? Theories from the sociologic sciences are integral to the discipline of nursing (McEwen &Wills, 2014). Social exchange theory deals with the many different types of interactions among patients and their nurses. The social exchange theory is defined as “a flow of emotional concern, instrumental aid, information, and or appraisal (information relevant to self-evaluation) between people” (Leahy-Warren, 2007, p. 370). The implication for using non-nursing theories to develop nursing knowledge is that borrowed theories are potentially useful for understanding the patient nurse interaction. The two categories of social exchange theories are individualistic and collectivist. In individualistic frame work “human beings are motivated by self-interest to act” (McEwen &Wills, 2014). In individulistic method the nurse will provide comprehensive......

Words: 514 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Business Ethics

...The parable of the Sadhu is a very interesting example of the modern society, where the individual doesn’t really know what he has to do, he doesn’t arrive to take an important decision alone if the others do not support him, especially under mental and physical stress. The parable offers an interesting parallel to modern business situations, because in this case people had to make an important decision immediately, only one person reacted on the right way (Stephen), the other were thinking as individuals with different points of view, values and beliefs. In an organisation a manager personalised the values of the company where all can identify themselves in; in this case it wasn’t a ‘manager’ but only a group of person coming from different cultures. I can say that when in a corporation the members share all together the notion of correct behaviour and culture (so interdependent), it is traduced as a positive force because they are strong and they can act and implement immediately. The individual is lost if he is not supported by a group, it is necessary that the individual has a stake in the success of the group. The management has to be sensitive to individual needs and to focus them for the benefit of the group. ‘Introduction to ethical reasoning’ Q2-What is, in your view, the key difference between theological and deontological theories? These theories are the two most important approaches of the ethical reasoning. I can say that Theological...

Words: 1605 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Ethical Relativism

...Fabio Cuetara Philosophy October 15, 2011 Right or Wrong Ethical Relativism is the belief that nothing is objectively right or wrong and that the definition of right or wrong depends on the prevailing view of a particular individual, culture, or historical period. Different cultures have different ethical and moral standards that might seem odd or wrong but if they are justifiable and or not completely forced upon a group then there should be nothing wrong with said act. I agree with ethical relativism, to a certain extent, the fact that people in our modern culture criticize or judge people in others for what they do and why they do it is morally wrong. We have never had an absolute ethical standard in history so just because we think something is right or wrong doesn’t mean it is, different people respond differently to certain ideas and actions. Ethical Relativism shows us that some practices are ethically right in their respective cultures and that we should respect other people’s ethical decisions if they are made out of necessity or choice by the group of people involved. What one culture might think is absolutely horrible and wrong, might be completely acceptable and necessary in another. In other cultures some decisions are made for the survival of the civilization. The Eskimos sometimes leave there new born female children behind in the frigid climate to die. At first glance that seems incredibly wrong and inhumane, but looking further into the......

Words: 1259 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay


...1. Contrary to some contemporary writers who appear to base human rights on the decision of a governing body, human rights are more securely based on __________, which can be traced back from the works of modern thinkers such as Locke & Jefferson to medieval & Roman thinkers back to Plato & Aristotle. (a) communitarian theory, (b) natural law theory, (c) egalitarian theory, (d) conventionalism. 2. The type of virtuous social order envisioned by Plato is called a __________. (a) democracy, (b) plutocracy, (c) meritocracy, (d) elected monarchy. 3. One of the basic ways in which one develops a virtuous character is from _______. (a) role-modeling, (b) having “peak experiences” & moving on to a higher stage, (c) just conforming to one’s culture, (d) studying philosophy. 4. Aristotle’s moral theory argues that _________________ is the primary end of human action. (a) following one of two extremes, (b) promoting utility, (c) acquiring virtues, (d) the happy life. 5. Another way of describing the end referred to in question 4 above is to___________________. (a) follow one’s duty, (b) contribute to human flourishing, (c) being civic, (d) fulfill the need for moderate pleasures. 6. In the long line of thinkers who have contributed to Natural Law theory of rights, one of the principles first put forth by Plato as both a natural & rational...

Words: 964 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

To What Extent Do Modern Virtue Ethics Address the Weaknesses of Aristotle’s Teachings Virtue? (35 Marks)

...that a ‘virtue’ is an ethical quality that lies between excess and deficiency. His book ‘Nicomachean Ethics’ features a table of personality traits in which there is ‘excess’ and ‘deficiency’ and the doctrine of the mean, which outlines the optimum development of an ethical quality, but it is relative to the people involved, it is described in the book as ‘that which is neither excessive nor deficient, and this is not one and the same for all’. One example he uses in the table of virtues is ‘Shame’, in which shamelessness is excessive and shyness is deficient while modesty lies between them and is the doctrine of the mean. In modern times, Scholars have criticised Aristotle’s Virtue ethics for being too relative, vague and self-centred. Many Modern Ethicists have written their own theories of virtue ethics to try and address some of the issues. Aristotle’s teachings of virtue have been criticised by J.L Mackie, Louden and Sidgewick for being too vague for actual application. Sidgewick said that it ‘only indicates the whereabouts of a virtue’. Benjamin Franklin’s Virtue Ethics attempts to address the vagueness of Aristotle’s teachings. Franklin was a utilitarian who believed that all actions should bring about the ‘greatest good for the greatest number’- he believed that in order for this to work everyone must develop certain moral qualities that will help guide them to follow the principle of utility. His list of virtues is comprised of 13 ethical qualities that he......

Words: 1092 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Research Paper: Jeremy Bentham

...Unit 2: Research Paper Jeremy Bentham Kaplan University Denise Manning AC504-01: Ethical Issues in Business and Accounting Professor Sandra Gates May 8, 2012 I will discuss Jeremy Bentham, who is considered the founding father of utilitarianism. He was an English philosopher and a political radical. Jeremy was born on February 15, 1748 in Houndsditch, London and died June 6, 1832. Jeremy Bentham came from a family of attorneys and lived during a time period of major social, political and economic change. In 1760 He went to the Queen’s College, Oxford and graduated in 1764. He also studied law at Lincoln’s Inn. Even though he was qualified to practice law, he never did. Jeremy decided to devote his life to writing on matters of legal reform. Some days he would write for eight to 12 hours. His best known works were on theoretical questions about law. Although, he did not make much of an effort to have his writings published. Jeremy’s most important work is the “Introduction to the principles of Morals and Legislation (1789)”, where his moral theory reflected “the greatest happiness principle” is described and developed. Upon his death on June 6, 1832, he left thousands of manuscript pages, all of which he hoped would eventually be prepared and published. The basis of Bentham’s moral and political philosophy is the greatest happiness principle, universal egoism and the artificial identification of...

Words: 1216 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Ancient Naturalist level of conceptual abstraction. His knowledge of geometry allowed him to introduce the gnomon in Greece. He created a map of the world that contributed greatly to the advancement of geography. He was also involved in the politics of Miletus and was sent as a leader to one of its colonies. Aristotle, who lived and taught in Greece around 350 B.C., contributed several basic ideas relating to learning and behavior that reappear many centuries later to influence the development of Psychology. These include Aristotle's conception of the life-force, "psyche," or "soul" that distinguishes the animate from the four "causes", and his ideas about the factors involved in memory. Confucius. The philosophy of Confucius is still prevalent in these modern times. He believed that the educated aristocracy and the rulers had an obligation to set a good example and that morals and good governance were essential for a healthy society. He believed that society should be ruled by compassion and persuasion rather than by threats of punishment. According to the teachings of Confucius a " good official" had to have five virtues which were good etiquette and manners, kindness and compassion, honesty and sincerity, righteousness and strong family values. Confucius' greatest contribution to the culture of China was in the field of education. In those ancient times only the...

Words: 958 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Chapter 1 Esssentialsofgovernmentandreform

...American settlement in the seventeenth ce ntury? A) Q uesti oning the divine right of kings B) T he sp lit from the Church of England C) Belief in self - government D) Belief in intelligent design E) Hobbes and Loc ke’s social contract theories 3) A social contract theory of government was proposed by A) Plato and Aristotle. B) Aquinas and Luther. C) Newton and the separatists. D) Locke and Hobbes. E) Plato and Luther. 4) Locke's Second Treatise on Civil Government set s out a theory of A) the divine rights of kings. B) aristocracy. C) democracy. D) republicanism. E) natural rights. 5) Indirect democracy is based on A) consensus. B) unanimity. C) the system of government used in ancient Greece. D) representation. E) "mob rule." 6) Republics are A) representative democracies. B) direct democracies. C) a hallmark of unitary governments. D) frequently found in totalitarian regimes. E) another name for states. 7) In an oligarchy, rule is by A) the many. B) the few. C) one person. D) all people. E) people who own property. 8) A doctrine that society should be governed by certain ethical principles that are part of nature and can be understood by reason is called A) ethical law. B) contract law. C) natural law. D) Newton's law. E) constitutional law. 9) Who was the major author of the Declaration of Independence? A) George Washington B) James Madison C) Thomas Jefferson D) Benjamin Franklin E)...

Words: 705 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay


...assignment the most convincing ethical system. I will attempt to explain why it is necessary to have universal principles. I will give the fundamental principles of ethics. I will explain what is considered the good life and how to achieve it. I will elaborate on what it ethically bad life. I will attempt to discuss if ethics is natural or learned. I will discuss the role of ethical actions. I will discuss how humans differentiate on between what is good and bad. My final point will be to explain if humans are free or determined and how this perspective relates to human responsibility. The systematic study of rules for behavior and conduct, for ourselves and for others is called ethics. Ethics are a requirement for a normal life. It is a study of right or wrong in human actions. Ethics helps us understand who we are. Without out ethics a human life would be full of destructive patterns. A good foundation of ethics requires a standard. This standard has to have proper goals and actions to be considered ethically correct. The most convincing ethical system is utilitarianism. This ethical system dates back to the seventeenth century to the ancient philosopher Thomas Hobbess. The theory was examined in the eighteenth century by Stuart Mill. He is noted as being the father of utilitarianism. “Utilitarianism is the most convincing ethical system because it judges an act as either right or wrong depending on the outcomes” (Mosser,2010) . This theory is directed on making life......

Words: 1689 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay


...Theories Introduction Some ethical theories are teleological - what is right or wrong depends on the end or outcome of an action - for utlitarians, pleasure, happiness or 'the greatest good'; for Aristotle, 'Eudaimonia'. Other theories are deontological - doing what is right means doing your duty or following the rules - for Kant, the categorical imperative; in Natural Law, the secondary precepts. It is easy to think of teleological theories as relativist and deontological theories as absolutist, but it it not that simple. Apart from Kantian Ethics (thoroughly absolutist and deontological) and Situation Ethics (clearly relativist and teleological), ethics seems to involve an uneasy mix. Absolutist ethical theories Kant and the Categorical Imperative Kant says that we should act according to maxims that we would want to see as universal laws. These laws are absolutist - we can work them out logically prior to experience; they are not verified through experience (they are known 'a priori'). The consequences of our actions are irrelevant to whether they are right or wrong - evil actions may have unintended good consequences, and someone might act heroically without any guarantee that the consequences will be good. No character quality is absolutely good (good without exception) - for example, it is possible to act kindly but do the wrong thing. The only good thing is a good will that does what is...

Words: 794 - Pages: 4