Timeline of Major Ethical Philosophies

  • Period: 469 BCE to 399 BCE


    'no one commits an evil act knowingly and doing wrong arises out of ignorance." He emphasizes that a person who truly commits an evil act is someone lacking of moral knowledge or is ignorant of what is morally right. An employee that decides to do sketchy things to get a higher position lacks moral knowledge and awareness that what he’s been doing all this time is morally bad because he’s already been blinded by the momentary pleasure felt by being someone in power.
  • Period: 428 BCE to 348 BCE


    "it is only by being virtuous that we can hope to be happy." His idea highlights Eudemonism an ethic that’s based upon achieving overall happiness. An employee who earnestly works hard and honestly handles work to earn a living is essentially happier than someone who uses dirty tricks just to stand on top of others because the sense of happiness when they achieve something they’ve invested time and effort is way greater than getting things through something sketchy.
  • Period: 384 BCE to 322 BCE


    “The Golden Mean Principle” states that to be happy, live a life of moderation. He believes that one should formulate the habit of knowing his priorities in life to avoid being too greedy and to control oneself from temptations that may lead to chaos and despair. An employee who’ve lived life of moderation and is well aware of his limitations and abilities would never dare commit an evil act and can achieve happiness through sheer hard work.
  • Period: to

    Moral Positivism

    "anticipates the chaotic outcome if laws are not abided." Hobbes believes that humans are basically selfish creatures who would do anything to improve their position or standing in life. Without the law us humans won’t know what is morally right and would just create skirmishes and wars like crazy barbarians. An employee who knows and abides by the law is fully aware that it is not right to steal company money or share company trade secrets.
  • Utilitarianism

    "the most ethical choice is the one that will produce the greatest good for the greatest number." It focuses in the consequences of a decision rather than its motive. Utilitarianism classifies whether you did something morally good or bad if that act is favorable for the greatest numbers. A company owner would choose to be responsible and monitor the business’ performance to avoid possible bankruptcy resulting to losses on your side, your employees and the economy.