Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, Plato, and Aristotle: Morals and Ethical Codes

1169 WordsFeb 24, 20115 Pages
What is the appropriate action? It is a controversial question that is a focal point for moral and ethical codes. Morals and ethics is, of course, a subject that runs deep in the discussion of philosophy. People are faced with moral dilemmas everyday, which many times society decides without thoroughly exploring their options. Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, Plato, and Aristotle are philosophers that focus on the topic of ethics, yet all have different outlooks. Kant is considered a non-consequentiality, which means he feels the intentions motives, and good will is more important than the results or consequences of an action. The backbone of Kant's philosophy is the belief in the fundamental freedom of the individual. Kant did…show more content…
Mill defines happiness as the production of happiness and the absence of pain. Unlike Kant's focus on the individual, Mill believed in considering the happiness of everyone that might be affected by the action. People should seek the greatest amount of happiness possible for all involved. Plato aims to give an account of the ethical life. Themes for example knowledge, the well-ordered life, and wisdom are connected into the discussion of ethical life, however, the principle of justice and the organization of the good life is the central topic of Plato's theories. Today we associate justice with the successful implementation and execution of political law. To the Ancient Greek's justice was used to describe the proper and correct method of living. Justice is harmony and was believed it could be achieved through learning. Plato first established that justice is good, and part of the good life in Book I. Plato listens to other philosophers theories and argues that justice is an excellence of character. The role that justice plays is to improve human nature. In addition to other things, justice is a form of goodness that cannot contribute in any activity that attempts to harm one's character. In Book II, Plato begins to construct the first city, Kallipolis, analyzing the fundamental parts of societal life that relate to the needs of human life. Plato says, "The goal is not to create 'happy' individuals

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