Timeline of Major Ethical Philosophies

Timeline created by angelikaenderez
  • 469 BCE


    According to Socrates, “no one commits an evil act knowingly and doing wrong arises out of ignorance.” A person will commit only moral evil if he lacks moral knowledge. Sometimes, a person may have knowledge but he deliberately commits an evil act to satisfy his hidden motive.
  • 428 BCE


    Plato’s main concern is to challenge the views most people have about goodness, for it is here that they go disastrously wrong in trying to live happy lives. 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.
  • 384 BCE


    The ethics of Aristotle is concerned with action, not as being right in itself irrespective of any other consideration, but with actions conducive to man’s good. Aristotle sets himself to discover what this good is and what the science corresponding to it is. Aristotle’s “The Golden Mean Principle” states that to be happy, live a life of moderation. In everything that we do, we must avoid extremes
  • Thomas Hobbes

    According to Hobbes, people would act on their evil impulses if left alone for themselves; therefore, they should not be trusted to make decisions on their own.
  • Jeremy Bentham

    The principle of Utilitarianism is used in Cost-Benefit Analysis, for example, more benefit, less cost, is a good action. It can also be used in the resolution of Labor-Management conflicts. Utilitarian ethics is best explained by the maxim, “Do whatever produces the greatest good for the greatest number.” The theory argues that what makes an act right is its consequences and not the motive of the action.