Ethical Philosophers And Their Respective Ethical Philosophies

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In History
  • 469 BCE


    Socrates, a Greek philosopher whose way of life, character, and thought exerted a profound influence on ancient and modern philosophy. He believed that philosophy should achieve practical results for the greater well-being of society. He attempted to establish an ethical system based on human reason rather than theological doctrine. Socrates pointed out that human choice was motivated by the desire for happiness.
  • 428 BCE


    Plato was a Greek philosopher known and recognized for having allowed such a considerable philosophical work. He maintains a virtue-based eudemonistic conception of ethics. That is to say, happiness or well-being is the highest aim of moral thought and conduct, and the virtues are the requisite skills and dispositions needed to attain it.
    In ethics and moral psychology, he developed the view that the good life requires not just a certain kind of knowledge (as Socrates had suggested).
  • 384 BCE


    Aristotle was one of the greatest philosophers who ever lived and the first genuine scientist in history. Aristotle's approach to ethics is teleological. If life is to be worth living, he argues, it must surely be for the sake of something that is an end in itself—i.e., desirable for its own sake.
  • THOMAS HOBBES (Moral Positivism)

    THOMAS HOBBES (Moral Positivism)
    Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher, scientist, and historian best known for his political philosophy, especially as articulated in his masterpiece Leviathan (1651). Hobbes believes that the morals derived from natural law, however, do not permit individuals to challenge the laws of the sovereign; law of the commonwealth supersedes natural law, and obeying the laws of nature does not make you exempt from disobeying those of the government.

    Kant’s work develops his ethical theory, it is most clearly defined in Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, Critique of Practical Reason, and Metaphysics of Morals. As part of the Enlightenment tradition, Kant based his ethical theory on the belief that reason should be used to determine how people ought to act. He did not attempt to prescribe specific action but instructed that reason should be used to determine how to behave.

    Jeremy Bentham was a philosopher, economist, jurist, and legal reformer and the founder of modern utilitarianism, an ethical theory holding that actions are morally right if they tend to promote happiness or pleasure (and morally wrong if they tend to promote unhappiness or pain) among all those affected by them.

    The ethical theory of John Stuart Mill is most extensively articulated in his classical text Utilitarianism (1861). Its goal is to justify the utilitarian principle as the foundation of morals. This principle says actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote overall human happiness.