Ethical concepts and the common good

The following list of principles incorporate the characteristics and values that most people associate with ethical behavior. Ethical executives are honest and truthful in all their dealings and they do not deliberately mislead or deceive others by misrepresentations, overstatements, partial truths, selective omissions, or any other means. Ethical executives demonstrate personal integrity and the courage of their convictions by doing what they think is right even when there is great pressure to do otherwise; they are principled, honorable and upright; they will fight for their beliefs. They will not sacrifice principle for expediency, be hypocritical, or unscrupulous.

Ethical concepts and the common good

Some Fundamental Concepts in Ethical concepts and the common good "Ethics" may be broadly defined as that division of philosophy which deals with questions concerning the nature of value in matters of human conduct. While virtually all people are concerned with making ethical judgments and decisions, philosophers in particular are concerned to a explicate the nature of such judgments in general and b provide criteria for determining what is ethically right or wrong, and c analyze the grounds or reasons we have for holding them to be correct.

Those concerned exclusively with telling us what is right or wrong, good or bad, in matters of human conduct may be termed "moralists. To do so, philosophers engaged with such questions have generally sought to formulate and justify "ethical theories" which are intended to explain the fundamental nature of that which is "good," why it is "good," and why the ethical principles which are most commonly used to evaluate human conduct follow or do not follow from this theory of that which is good.

While there are of course many words in English as well as most languages which refer to positive and negative values, we may simplify our vocabulary by taking the words "good" and "bad" to refer to positive and negative values respectively in judgments with respect to people and things, and "right" or "wrong" to refer to positive and negative values respectively with respect to actions.

In this way of speaking, then, a "good person" will simply be one whose actions are "right" by the criteria of whatever ethical theory is the basis of such a judgment. If we restrict attention to actions, any "action" may be analyzed as involving an actor, the person who does the action, and an end result or outcome of the action.

In ethical terminology the actor is called the "agent," and the end result is the "consequence" of the action.

Ethical theories may be presented for various purposes. Some theories may merely purport to describe what people do, in fact so it is claimedconsider to be "good" or "right. Since such descriptive theories are concerned with what people actually do believe and what motivates them to believe what they do, such theories are strictly speaking more the concern of psychology than philosophy, and their acceptability is a matter of whether or not the empirical evidence indicates that what they say about human values is in fact the case.

Concepts and Philosophies

Since they are restricted to telling us what is the case, descriptive ethical theories cannot serve as the basis for making claims intended to change or persuade people to act or think otherwise than the way they do.

In contrast to descriptive ethical theories, those ethical theories which are intended to justify judgments concerning what people ought or should do or not doare called " normative ethical theories. Their concern is not with what is the case, but with what should be the case; they are concerned not with the "real" what is sobut with the "ideal" what ought to be.

As such, unlike a purely descriptive theory, a normative theory cannot be "refuted" by appeal to the facts of human behavior, for the defender of a normative claim can always reply, yes, it is true people do not in fact behave this way, but they ought to.

12 Ethical Principles for Business Executives - Josephson Business Ethics

Normative theories are not the concern of psychologists, but of philosophers and typically moralists. The person who seeks to change, to improve or reform, human behavior must defend a normative theory, and it is this kind of theory which most people have in mind in examining what philosophers have to say about ethics.

Ethical theories can be divided into two categories depending on what they consider the source of ethical value to be: A consequentialist or "teleological ethical theory" claims that what makes an action right or wrong are the consequences of the action; quite simply a "right action" is one which has good consequences, a "wrong action" has bad consequences.

Of course the consequentialist theory still has to specify what makes the consequences good or bad, concerning which, see the next paragraph. A " deontological ethical theory" holds in opposition to a consequentialist theory that it is not the consequences but the motivation which prompts the agent to do an action which makes an action right or wrong.

On this type of ethical theory an action motivated by the right sorts of reasons will be "right" no matter whether its consequences are desirable or not, whereas an action motivated by the wrong sorts of reasons will be a wrong action, even if its consequences might be considered desirable.

Ethical concepts and the common good

A eudaemonistic consequentialist ethical theory holds that what makes a consequence "good," and hence an action "right," is its tendency to promote human happiness or well-being.

One must make a distinction between the doctrine called "psychological eudaemonism" which holds the descriptive claim that human beings are in fact always motivated by a desire to achieve happiness, and the doctrine called "ethical eudaemonism," which makes the normative claim that people ought always to act so as to achieve happiness.

Psychological eudaemonism as a theory about human motivation may be correct or incorrect depending on the empirical evidence psychologists are able to present regarding this view of human motivation. For most of history, it was common to regard the evidence as favoring such a view, but more recently psychological research tends to call this into question.

Ethical eudaemonism, however, makes a normative claim about what ought to motivate people, and thus cannot be refuted by empirical evidence regarding what does in fact motivate them.

While eudaemonistic theories in general leave open the question of what constitutes human happiness or well-being, the special kind of eudaemonistic theories which define "happiness" as maximum pleasure and minimum pain are called "hedonistic" ethical theories. Many Western eudaemonistic, consequentialist theories have also been hedonistic theories, most notably epicureanism and utilitarianism.

Hedonistic theories may be further subdivided into two groups depending on whose pleasures and pains give an action its ethical value.

Epicureanism is an example of egoistic hedonism, while utilitarianism is an example of altruistic hedonism. Since what does produce pleasure and pains cannot be deduced from reasoning but can only be known by experience, hedonists are ethical empiricists, who hold that it is only by experience that we can determine the ethical value of an action.

Deontological ethical theories generally have held that what makes an action right is whether the agent is motivated by a desire to follow an "ethical principle.

Such theories may be called "theological deontological ethical theories. There is no need for theological and philosophical deontological theories to conflict; a philosopher might, for example, argue that the ethical principles which reason dictates are the same as those a supreme being has commanded.

Typically philosophers seeking to defend deontological theories have been "rationalists" in the sense that the ethical principles they hold determine human ethical duties are claimed to be deduced by reason from the essential nature of the universe as in stoicism or from the nature of human beings as essentially "rational beings" as in Kantian ethical theory.Ethics (Concepts) STUDY.

PLAY. the common good approach, & the virtue approach. The Utilitarian Approach. promotes ethical actions that do the most good or least harm; balances the good over harm.

The Rights Approach. promotes ethical actions that protects & respects the moral rights of those affected. Ethical leadership: knowing your core values and having the courage to live them in all parts of your life in service of the common good. Gracious Space: a spirit and a setting where we invite the stranger and learn in public.

Ethical leadership: knowing your core values and having the courage to live them in all parts of your life in service of the common good. Gracious Space: a spirit and a . The concept of the common good differs significantly among philosophical doctrines.

Early conceptions of the common good were set out by Ancient Aristotle is clear that there is greater value in the common good than in the individual good, noting in his Nicomachean Ethics that "even if the end is the same for a single man and for a.

Some Fundamental Concepts in Ethics "Ethics" may be broadly defined as that division of philosophy which deals with questions concerning the nature of value in matters of human conduct.

While virtually all people are concerned with making ethical judgments and decisions, philosophers in . The common good has been an important ethical concept in a society that has encouraged many to "look out for Number 1." Appeals to the common good have also surfaced in discussions of business' social responsibilities, discussions of environmental pollution, discussions of our lack of investment in education, and discussions of the problems of.

Concepts and Philosophies