Essay: Ethical Theories

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Essay: Ethical Theories

Sample Essay

The overall tone in utilitarianism is the famous dictum the end justifies the means. Actions are considered proper if they uphold the best results (Hursthouse 2001).  The best results ever are those which maximize happiness (Hurtshouse 2001). In the Kantian perspective, an action is justified if it reflects the would-be universal inclination (Lara et al. 2007).

Kant further notes that a moral decree is one that is grounded on rationality (Allen et al. 1992). Social contract theory is the view that individuals’ moral responsibility and/or political responsibility are punctuated by the contract or agreement among themselves in a bid to form a society (Gauthier 1988).  Social contract theory is an expression of total conformity by which people let go of the state of nature in order to form a society which they live presently. This was first coined by Thomas Hobbes in his Leviathan doctrine and John Locke (Barker 1962).

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