What Are the 4 Ethical Philosophies?

You may have heard of the terms ‘Deontology’ and ‘Rule utilitarianism’ but do you know the differences between these two? If not, this article will give you a brief overview of each of these two ethical philosophies and what they mean. Once you understand their differences, you can decide which is best for you. But which is the best? And which one should you choose?

‘Rule utilitarianism’

According to rule utilitarianism, a person’s behavior should be based on his or her own interests and needs, and not the wishes or desires of others. For example, a rule utilitarian would reject lying, as it would not create good. A rule utilitarian would also reject any behavior that is not in the best interest of others. However, a rule utilitarian would allow partiality towards others if certain conditions were present.

For example, if an armed robber robbed a bank, a utilitarian may argue that they would rather be alive, even if it means a headache for another person. This is morally wrong since the robbers are only looking out for their own interests. But the billionaire owner of the bank may bear the brunt of the loss and thus, the action is wrong.

For those who are unsure about whether rule utilitarianism is the right ethical philosophy for you, it is useful to know a few examples of everyday life. For example, suppose you had promised to finish half of the project on Monday. However, on Monday, there’s still a fair bit of work to do. Therefore, if the task can wait a day, then it is okay to defer the completion of the project for another day.

RULE utilitarians measure the consequences of a single act versus repeated actions. The latter is the more ethical option and allows for greater generalisation of results. It is also the most popular ethical philosophy because it is the most universal. It is also one of the 4 ethical philosophies that many people adhere to. It’s time we learned about it! Take time to understand how rule utilitarianism is applied to everyday life.

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Utilitarianism is a normative ethical tradition derived from the late 18th century English philosophers and economist John Stuart Mill. The principle behind utilitarianism is that any action should be done in a way that maximizes happiness, while minimizing the amount of unhappiness. In other words, actions that cause little or no pain should be avoided, and actions that lead to large gains should be done, regardless of whether those benefits are good or bad.

Rules are the most common ethical philosophy. They are fundamentally about determining how to use resources. In contrast, consequentialism is concerned with choosing a suitable means of achieving a goal. Hence, if a person is able to reach the goal of happiness by reducing the harms caused to society, he or she should pursue it. This philosophy is generally considered to be the best choice for all purposes.

The main differences between the four main ethical philosophies are based on the definition of the “rule.” According to this view, a person should act only when the result will be the best. If someone is suffering because of the actions of others, it is wrong to punish them. However, the rule is the one that is most beneficial to everyone. So, what is utilitarian?

Another major difference between rule utilitarianism and act utilitarianism is that rule utilitarians do not value individual actions separately. Instead, they support rules that maximize overall utility. For example, a doctor should not kill a healthy patient in order to obtain an organ. The reason for this would be the benefit of other patients. This philosophy is not ideal for every situation, but it is an excellent choice for many people.


‘Deontology’ is the science of moral reflection. In deontology, one discovers what one owes to himself or herself. In other words, one’s agency is intrinsically linked to the self as author. Kant explored the possibility of turning back to one’s self and the knowledge that one can acquire within. This distinction has important implications for defining morality. Read on to find out more.

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The problem with deontology is that it often leads to unintended consequences. For instance, a deontological duty to refrain from torture might lead to the death of innocent people. Similarly, the duty not to launch a nuclear missile may prevent thousands of people from dying because a software engineer decided to tamper with the code. This dilemma is a result of deontology’s rigid application. But it should not discourage people from adopting the principles of deontology.

Agent-centered deontology, on the other hand, emphasizes agency instead of intention. Despite the fact that this view does not focus on intent, it still emphasizes the self and the agent. Despite its appeal, many people find these distinctions morally incoherent and unimportant. Nonetheless, it is difficult to deny that deontology has a positive impact on society and human behavior. It can be described as the science of human morality.

As the theory of morality goes, deontology can be combined with consequentialism. In the latter case, deontologists have to construct more detailed moral norms. This is difficult to do, and consequentialists will not agree. But this doesn’t mean that deontologists can’t apply consequentialist reasons. There is no reason that a deontologist can’t use consequentialist reasons, especially when the latter approach is the most sensible one.

The opposite of consequentialism, deontology focuses on the rightness of actions. Unlike consequentialism, which seeks to establish right actions based on good ends, deontology asserts that end and means are intrinsically linked. Therefore, if you choose the right means, the right end will occur. Thus, if you commit a bad act, your actions will have negative consequences. This theory is not suited for all situations, however.

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