Ethical Egoism We will be discussing the strengths and weaknesses of ethical egoism, but before we begin we first must understand what ethical egoism is and what is involved. Ethical egoism is the normative ethical position that moral agents ought to do what is in their own self-interest. It differs from psychological egoism, which claims that people can only act in their self-interest. Ethical egoism also differs from rational egoism, which holds that it is rational to act in one's self-interest. Ethical egoism contrasts with ethical altruism, which holds that moral agents have an obligation to help others.
Ethical language is subjective. Discuss (35) If ethical language is subjective, this means that it is very personal to the person following the ethic or moral belief. This is contrary to ethical language being objective whereby the morals that one holds are not a result of or influenced by personal opinions or feelings, rather a result of a moral theory that lays out a set of morals to act as guidance that one must follow. G. E. Moore, David Hume, R. M Hare, A. J. Ayer and Ludwig Wittgenstein would argue that ethical language is subjective, whereas normative ethicists such as Kant, Bentham, Mill and Aristotle would argue that ethical language is objective. ‘Naturalism’ is the term used to describe the attempt to arrive at a moral system based on observations of human life.
Critique of Kant’s Indiscriminant Use of the “Categorical Imperative” In terms of the discussion of morals, it all comes down to whether one believes the “good” in a morally good action lies in the cause or the effect of the action. For philosopher Immanuel Kant, the answer lies in the cause, or the initial motive of the action, rather than the consequences that arise from it. However, one cannot rely on his system of morals, as the more they get grounded into real life situations, the harder it is to justify certain actions. If one were to accept a higher and definite system of moral law that applies to any and all rational beings, it cannot be morally permissible for people to only consider the beginning motives of an action with blatant disregard for the potentially horrifying consequences that may follow. In “Groundwork for the Metaphysic of Morals” by Immanuel Kant, a general framework is laid out for this idea that the discussion of metaphysics in philosophy has been led astray; that even the common man has a better understanding than most philosophers.
The two dominant theories of morality are relativism and absolutism. The former is the position which states that moral propositions do not reflect objective or universal moral truths but instead make claims relative to social, cultural, historical or circumstantial conditions. The latter is the ethical belief that there are absolute standards against which moral questions can be judged. The theory claims that certain actions are right or wrong regardless of the context of the act. Therefore, actions are inherently moral or immoral, regardless of the beliefs and goals of the individual, society or culture that engages in the action.
Off the Precipice into the Gorge: Why Utilitarianism Can’t Save Us Introduction In his article, “A Critique of Utilitarianism” Bernard Williams is concerned that consequentialism has found plausibility in people’s minds due to a misunderstanding of and negative reaction to non-consequentialist theories.  Though he does not offer an alternative ethical theory, Williams successfully takes on the project of exploring how utilitarianism and those who uncritically embrace it have accepted an unworkable standard for defining right actions. Williams offers a unique and penetrating thesis: to define right action only by reference to whether it produces a good “state of affairs” necessitates a fundamental clash between an agent’s moral character and that allegedly right action.  In its attempt to compensate and maintain viability as a moral theory, utilitarianism smuggles into its calculus the agent’s non-utilitarian-based moral feelings. For a conscientious observer, this double standard should seriously cause him to question the ability of a consequentialist perspective to prescribe satisfactory moral understanding and guidance.
The Distinction of Virtue Ethics from other normative ethical theories In this essay, I will focus on a particular trait of Virtue ethics, which is “it has No Rules, or Too General Rules”. I will argue that this trait is the one of the main distinctions among other theories, and that this feature is an advantage to the theory. Virtue ethics is a normative theory where in the west, has its roots from the ancient work of Aristotle. The theory puts a strong emphasis on virtues and/or moral character, explaining that ethical behavior of a person is strongly related to the role and virtues of his/her character, in contrast the ways of deontology and consequentialism. Where in deontology the emphasis is on duties or rules, and in consequentialism it focuses on the concequences of one’s actions.
Norm Acceptance and Fitting Attitudes Howard Nye University of Michigan Abstract: I offer a way to distinguish between the kinds of reasons for attitudes that contribute to the instantiation of ethical concepts and the kinds that do not, thus solving what Rabinowicz and Ronnow-Rasmussen call the ‘wrong kind of reasons [WKR]’ problem for analyses of ethical concepts in terms of fitting attitudes. Intuitively, judgments about ethical-fact-making reasons for an attitude can, whereas judgments about other kinds of reasons cannot, directly cause one to have the attitude. I argue, however, that in order to clarify and defend this intuitive distinction, we should ultimately analyze judgments about fitting attitudes in terms of the acceptance of norms for attitudes. I contend that the best such analysis understands judgments about an agent’s reasons as judgments about the prescriptions of the system of norms she deeply accepts. I call this view ‘Norm Descriptivism’, and argue that it best explains how judgments about reasons both guide attitudes and can be determined to be true or false via a priori reflective-equilibrium methods.
2. Examples: a) ”the notion of duty” A good will is a will that is for duty and what you do is only moral if it is done for duty. Doing something with duty being your only reason to act is morally right, and it does not have to be enjoyable only morally right. b) ”I would express thus, Duty is the necessity of acting from respect for the law. I may have an inclination for an object as the effect of my proposed action, but I cannot have respect for it, just for this reason, that it is an effect and not an energy of will.
David Hume and Immanuel Kant on Morality When discussing the morality of ethics there are many different schools of thought by which we can attempt to justify why we think or do things the way we do; why we value the things we value; and what makes our actions right or wrong. In this essay I will address the flaws in the assumptions of Immanuel Kant’s theories on morality by reason, using David Hume’s beliefs on morality by feelings and material from the Subjectivist school of thought. The Kantian view on morality places extreme emphasis on reason rather than what we desire as humans. In other words, people act in accordance to what is their duty, not by how they feel or what they personally believe to be right. This is in direct violation with David Hume’s stance on morality.
“Virtue ethics has no practical application to modern ethics”. Discuss Virtue ethics is different from the other ethical approaches. It concentrates on the idea of human character. How can you be a better person? It’s concerned with the ethical character of an individual rather than the individual actions.