Ethical theories provide a framework for judging
right or wrong decisions.
There are two types of Ethical theories
• If the consequences are good, the action is
right; if they are bad, the action is wrong.
There are two theories under this category :
Egoism as an ethical theory
• The view that equates morality with self-
interest is referred to as egoism.
• An egoist contends that an act is morally right
if and only if it best promotes his interests.
• Moral philosophers distinguish between two
kinds of egoism:
• personal and
• Personal egoists claim they should pursue their
own best interests, but they do not say what
others should do.
• Impersonal egoists claim that everyone should
let self-interest guide his or her conduct.
Six Points about Utilitarianism
• First, when deciding which action will produce
the greatest happiness, we must consider
unhappiness or pain as well as happiness.
• Second, actions affect people to different
• Third, because utilitarian's evaluate actions
according to their consequences and because
actions produce different results in different
circumstances, almost anything might, in
principle, be morally right in some particular
• Fourth, utilitarians wish to maximize
happiness not simply immediately but in the
long run as well.
• Fifth, utilitarians acknowledge that we often
do not know with certainty what the future
consequences of our actions will be.
Accordingly, we must act so that the expected
or likely happiness is as great as possible.
• Sixth : my pleasure as pain should be equally
treated as others
Use of utilitarianism in organizational
Second, utilitarianism provides an objective and
attractive way of resolving conflicts of self-
Third, utilitarianism provides a flexible, result-
oriented approach to moral decision making.
1. Formulate the maxim of the action. That is,
figure out what general principle you would
be acting on if you were to perform the
("in situations in which I need money and know I
can't pay it back, I will falsely promise to pay
2. Universalize the maxim. That is, regard it not
as a personal policy but as a principle for
( "in situations in which anyone needs money
and knows he or she cannot pay it back, he or
she will falsely promise to pay it back."
3. Determine whether the universalized
maxim could be a universal law, that is,
whether it is possible for everyone to act as
the universalized maxim requires.
(if everyone started making false promises, the
institution of promising would disappear, so
no one would be able to make a false
promises, since there would be no such thing
as a promise to falsely make.)
Humanity as an End, Never as Merely
• Treat human being as end not as a mean :
Human are worth in themselves so you should
respect their rights
All effort should be done to improve the well
being of human being.
There are two alternative formulations of the
categorical imperative. The first is that an act
is right only if the actor would be willing to be
so treated if the positions of the parties were
The second is that one must always act so as to
treat other people as ends, never merely as
Notes de l'éditeur
For example, whereas breaking a promise generally produces unhappiness, there can be circumstances in which, on balance, more happiness would be produced by breaking a promise than by keeping it. In those cases, utilitarianism would require us to break the promise
If I take my friend’smoney, unbeknownst to him, and buy lottery tickets with it, there is a chancethat we will end up millionaires and that my action will have maximized happinessall around. But the odds are definitely against it; the most likely result isloss of money (and probably of a friendship, too). Therefore, no utilitarian couldjustify gambling with purloined funds on the grounds that it might maximizehappiness