An Examination of Different Ethical Perspectives

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An Examination of Different Ethical Perspectives Ethics can generally be understood as the branch of reasoning and knowledge concerned with developing rules for proper conduct. As is clear from even the most cursory examination of any ethical dilemma, there are never completely-agreed upon ethical solutions or principles. Going still further, there are actually no agreed-upon methods for determining what ethical goals or principles should exist. That is, not only are different things seen as ethical by different scholars and individuals, but the means for determining what is and is not ethical also vary considerably. The following paragraphs provide a brief overview of three prominent and fairly common ethical perspectives. Virtue ethics is one of the more abstract and difficult-to-apply ethical theories, asserting that ethical behaviors is that which is accomplished due to the virtue in one's character acting as is right because the person actually desires to act rightly, not because it brings about some greater good or because they feel duty bound to behave thus (Athanassoulis, 2010). This ethical theory stretches all the way back to Aristotle, and does not depend on any external determination of good or bad based on concretely observable or definable phenomenon. For example, kindness is a virtue, and therefore someone who acts kindly simply because they are themselves kind they possess the virtue of kindness is acting ethically, while someone who does a kind act to
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