The 5 Types of Ethics

Ethics presents several classes, each relating to a different aspect of morality. These classes serve as guidelines for human behavior and the responses to everyday dilemmas. Epicurus’ type of ethics lays out that pleasure is the ultimate goal of all human beings. According to Epicurus, everything that brings pleasure is good and all things that bring pain are bad. Pleasure should be rational, but also moderate.


A deontological ethical system focuses on the actions an agent must perform or refrain from performing based on fundamental moral principles. An action is considered to be morally appropriate if it is in line with one’s duty or good consequences. However, it may be difficult to determine which actions are the most appropriate under deontological principles. This type of ethical theory is not appropriate for all situations. Here are some of the common problems it faces.

Patient-centered deontological theories focus on people’s rights. The core of patient-centered deontology is the right not to use another person for their own good without their consent. Patients have a right not to be exploited, and physicians often have conflicting obligations. This theory also focuses on the rights of other people, such as their bodies, labor, or talents. This type of deontology can be difficult to apply in everyday life, and it is often unrealistic to make such claims.

In addition to these problems, deontologists also face the paradox of relative stringency. While all deontological duties are categorical, some are more stringent than others. This phenomenon forces a deontologist to weigh duty of differential stringency against conflict, and this can make the overall duty more or less difficult. However, this paradox has a positive side. The resulting morally correct behavior is a great benefit for all people.

A common example of this is the use of mercy-killing or euthanasia. Both situations are considered to be outside the scope of deontological ethics. Although a person may suffer from a variety of physical or mental health issues, there are instances when mercy-killing or euthanasia can be justified. The act in question will remove the agent’s defense against death. Medical professionals can also disconnect a patient’s life-sustaining equipment.

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There are several different metaethical theories. In this chapter, the difference between meta-ethics and normative ethics is explained. The chapter provides a critical analysis of the other chapters in the volume. It then examines the various types of moral realism, including moral relativism and divine command theory. The discussion of morality is also based on contractarianism, a non-realism position.

While the philosophical questions involved in metaethical ethics are typically abstract, the issues that they address are often concrete. Some metaethics issues focus on presuppositions and commitments and abstract away from moral judgments. The goal is to explore commonalities in values without taking a stand on specific substantive moral questions. In this way, metaethics is often seen as a neutral backdrop against which competing moral perspectives can be assessed.

The main problems associated with this metaethical approach are related to moral responsibility. These issues arise when considering the nature of free will, as responsibility assumes it. It cannot be arbitrary, as a random will would not respond to reason. It would be like a puppeteer controlling someone else’s will. However, prescriptivism is often considered a step up from Emotivism.

While normative ethics is a form of ethical analysis, metaethics is an entirely separate discipline. It examines the nature of moral judgments and ethical theories. The study of ethics is divided into three general categories: applied ethics, normative ethics, and metaethical ethics. If you are interested in metaethics, you can learn more about this discipline through books and articles.


Aristotle defined a virtue as “the characteristic of a person to be good.” In this sense, a virtue is a habit of mind that enables a person to perform a function admirably. A person who possesses the virtue of generosity is said to be “generous,” and he or she usually acts in this way, regardless of the circumstances. Similarly, a person who possesses the virtue of honesty tends to be ethical by nature, and his behavior naturally conforms to his or her moral principles.

Aristotle developed the notion of virtue ethics largely from his work. The higher good is defined as happiness, and other things are only means to that end. Human flourishing and happiness are considered to be the highest good, or eudaimonia. However, this idea is far from universally accepted. Some of the most influential philosophers of the past and present have advocated virtue ethics.

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Deontology focuses on prima facie duties, consequentialism focuses on the consequences of actions, and virtue-based ethics aims to cultivate specific moral traits. The resulting moral conflicts arise from conflicting moral obligations and are resolved by deciding which is more important for the concerned parties. In virtue-based ethics, however, an individual’s actions are primarily determined by whether they produce desirable outcomes.

Some philosophers have defended a pluralistic version of virtue ethics. In A Virtue Ethical Account of Right Action, Christine Swanton has defended a pluralist version of virtue ethics. Another popular book on virtue ethics is The Virtues and Morals: A Critical Introduction


Applied ethics are the study of ethical considerations in the real world. Unlike other branches of ethics, which focus on the philosophical analysis of ethical issues, applied ethics tries to give practical answers to moral dilemmas. It has three distinct branches, namely normative, descriptive, and critical. The branches differ in their focus areas and focus on various issues such as the right way to behave and what actions are impermissible.

When applied ethics are used in a profession, they require extensive knowledge in the field they are applied to. Examples of these areas include medicine, engineering, journalism, public policy, and court cases. For each of these areas, there are different types of applied ethics. Using the right theory in the right context can help the practitioner make ethical decisions, while applying an ethical framework can help a person determine the best course of action.

Applied ethics are distinct from the other two branches of ethics, and they often require extensive empirical knowledge. These approaches typically focus on human practices. As such, they may require a lot of empirical analysis, since experts in one area may not know much about another. Nevertheless, a good example of an application of applied ethics can be found in the real world. So, the next time you encounter a moral dilemma, keep reading. You’ll be glad you did.

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Utilitarian ethics is the philosophy that applies a rational, non-emotional standard of reasoning to a decision when it affects an individual. The concept is essentially that an act is right if it produces the greatest happiness for the largest number of people. Although this statement is accurate, it is not always the case. There are situations where an act may increase the happiness of the greatest number, but still fail to maximize the net good for the world. In this case, the act may cause a smaller group of people to suffer, and thus the principle of utility would not allow it.

Furthermore, utilitarians also consider the suffering of nonhuman animals. Moreover, they believe that human suffering is more significant than that of nonhuman animals. Thus, they are against killing animals unless they are in a humane condition. In addition, harming animals for sport is also considered unethical because it reduces the happiness of humans. However, it can be justified if the actions cause fewer harm to humans.

Despite these differences, many utilitarians still accept the distinction between judging actions and evaluating people. This means that a utilitarian would support the rule that says parents have a moral obligation to help their children. While this is a controversial argument, it’s one of the more popular utilitarian ethics principles. The philosophy is also based on the principle of maximization of utility. Utilitarians generally believe that if a person is suffering, then it is wrong to kill them.

The theory of value can be modified by applying the concept of preference. For example, in preference utilitarians consider pleasure as bad while suffering as good. Moreover, a person’s preference is his/her desire, and it should be satisfied as much as possible. The maximization of happiness will minimize unhappiness and pain. However, a person’s preferences may be contrary to his/her beliefs, and this can lead to conflict.

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