MAJOR ETHICAL PHILOSOPHERS

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  • 469 BCE

    SOCRATES (469 - 399 BC)

    SOCRATES (469 - 399 BC)
    The most exemplary and the strongest of the Greek philosophers. "No one commits an evil act knowingly and doing wrong arises out of ignorance." He seemed to think otherwise: people only did wrong when at the moment the perceived benefits seemed to outweigh the costs. The development of personal ethics is mastering what he called "the art of measurement".
  • 428 BCE

    PLATO (428 - 348 BC)

    PLATO (428 - 348 BC)
    Many scholars view him as the most important philosopher of Western Civilization. Ancient Greek philosopher who was a student of Socrates and a teacher of Aristotle. Most people think that virtue is a minor good, or even an impediment to living a happy life. Plato considers this to be incorrect, it is only by being virtuous that we can hope to be happy. They are regarded as the basic virtues required for a virtuous life: 1) Prudence
    2) Courage
    3) Temperance
    4) Justice
  • 322 BCE

    ARISTOTLE (348 - 322 BC)

    ARISTOTLE (348 - 322 BC)
    In Arabic philosopy, he was known as "The First Teacher". Founded his own school, The Lyceum. He believes that man was born with knowledge. His ethics is concerned with action, not as being right in itself irrespective of any other consideration, but with actions conducive to man's good. What conduces to the attainment of his good or end will be a "right" action on a man's part; the action that is opposed to the attainment of his true good will be a "wrong" action.
  • 354

    AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO (354-430 AD)

    AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO (354-430 AD)
    A Pagan father, Patrichus and a Christian Mother, Saint Monica. Augustines's ethic was called the typical ethic that is eudaemonistic in character, which proposes and end for human conduct, namely happiness. However, this happiness can only be found in God. The ethic of Augustine is primarily in the ethics of Love.
  • 1274

    SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS (1225 - 1274)

    SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS (1225 - 1274)
    An Italian philosopher, theologian, and priest. He follows Aristotle in thinking that an act is good or bad depending on whether it contributes to or deters us from our proper human end. "Unlimited happiness can only be achieved through God, and God alone." Perfect happiness, the ultimate end, is not to be found in any created thing, but only in God, who is Himself, the supreme and infinite Good.
  • THOMAS HOBBES (1588 -1679)

    THOMAS HOBBES (1588 -1679)
    People would act on their evil impulses if left alone for themselves; therefore, they should not be trusted to make decisions on their own. His moral positivism anticipates the chaotic outcome if laws are not abided. Moral positivism in business applications:
    a. Businesses must follow laws and government
    regulations, b. Business organizations must promote the common good and the interest of the majority, c. Businessmen and managers must be law abiding citizens.
  • IMMANUEL KANT (1724 - 1804)

    IMMANUEL KANT (1724 - 1804)
    He wrote the famous "Critique of Pure Reason" and was brought up in the spirit of pietist movement. "Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always as an end and never as a mean." Kantian Ethics (Duty Ethics): he focused on motives and the willingness of individuals to act for the good of others, even though that action might result in personal loss. Doing something for the right reason was much more important to Kant than any particular outcome.
  • JEREMY BENTHAM (1748 - 1832)

    JEREMY BENTHAM (1748 - 1832)
    An English philosopher. Utilitarianism (Consequence-based Theory), a theory about ethical action and a proposed method for deciding how one should choose the right ethical act. Bentham's Thories:
    1) Act-utilitarianism. The value of the consequences of the particular act that counts when determining whether the act is right or wrong.
    2) Rule-utilitarianism. An action is right as it confirms to a rule that leads to the greatest good.