Utilitarianism and Deontology are two major ethical theories that influence nursing practice. Utilitarian principles of promoting the greatest good for the greatest amount of people parallels the nursing tenet of beneficence. Deontological principles of treating individuals with dignity, and promoting the well-being of the individual parallels the nursing tenet of non-maleficence. Utilitarian and Deontological principles can be utilized to resolve ethical dilemmas that arise in the nursing profession. The purpose of this paper is to define utilitarianism and deontology, discuss the similarities and differences between the two, and to address an ethical dilemma utilizing utilitarian and deontological principles.
The distinction between right and wrong has been a matter of discussion for centuries, whether expressed through philosophical essays, social organisation or artistic creation. Deontological ethics is a philosophical theory which dissects acts into right and wrong on the basis of the adherence of an act to a specific rule. One of the many formulations of deontology is Kantianism, a view introduced by Immanuel Kant, which argues that the basis for morality are motives for one’s action rather than the consequences of it and searches a justification for one’s duty to behave in a certain manner. One of the critiques or counter positions of Kant’s ethics is Sartrean existentialism as it denies the possibility of an absolute moral system and focuses on the individual morality rather than social one and bases on one’s commitment to his chosen values. Yet drawing parallels between the two positions is far from impossible, despite Sartre’s strong opposition to Kantian moral theory.
According to the American Nurses Association, Deontology, an ethical theory founded by Immanuel Kant, applies judgments based on the underlying morality, or the rightness or wrongness of an action. It is based upon adherence to rules. The driving factor of decisions are evaluated through the intentions rather than the outcomes. Actions are classified into categories. Two of the most outstanding ones include universal law of humanity (categorical imperative) and principle of ends, which perceives that actions should be based in the end and never merely as a means (2011).
When discussing both act and rule utilitarianism, it is important to understand that both of them agree in terms of the overall consequence of an action, because they emphasize on creating the most beneficial pleasure and happiness in the outcome of an act. Despite this fact, they both have different principles and rules that make them different from each other. Act utilitarianism concentrates on the acts of individuals. Meaning that if a person commits an action, he/she must at least have a positive utility. The founders of utilitarianism define positive utility as happiness and pleasure and consider it to be a driving force of all positive and morally right acts. According to Jeremy Bentham, and John Mill Stuart happiness to them comes from
Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative and John Stuart Mill’s view of utilitarianism are two very different approaches to ethics and morals. In fact, they are the opposite of one another.
Deontology which is derived from the Greek words Deon (meaning obligation/duty) and logia (science/study) combined to be also known as duty or rule-based ethics or the study of duties or obligations. It is a branch of ethical theories that deals with ethics of conduct, which theories are based on the sort of actions people must perform. It is based on non-consequentialism where the ends do not justify the means and thus deontology is an approach to ethics in which a sense of duty or principle prescribes the ethical decision (Preston, 2007). Deontology affirms duties must be obeyed regardless of the consequences. The theory of Deontology has its flaws as well and this essay will present three criticisms of deontology namely that deontology relies on moral absolutes, allows acts that make the world a worse place, two permissible duties that are right can conflict with each other and will demonstrate these flaws with relevant case studies and dilemmas.
Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill are two of the most notable philosophers in normative ethics. This branch of ethics is based on moral standards that determine what is considered morally right and wrong. This paper will focus on Immanuel Kant’s theory of deontology and J.S. Mill’s theory of utilitarianism. While Mill takes a consequentialist approach, focused on the belief that actions are right if they are for the benefit of a majority, Kant is solely concerned with the nature of duty and obligation, regardless of the outcome. This paper will also reveal that Kantian ethics, in my opinion, is a better moral law to follow compared to the utilitarian position.
Utilitarianism is different from Kantianism because it says that you can perform any action even if it provides some harm to others, but at the end it should provide maximum utility. But on the other end, Kantianism says that you need to treat everyone equal, no one less than the other. They both hold different views but they both are right in certain situations.
Throughout history many great philosophers have attempted to unravel the origins of virtues by developing moral theories of their own. This document is designed to provide the reader with an overview of some of the more popular theories concerning morals. Three of the most popular moral theories are… Utilitarianism, Kantianism, and Aristotelianism. Though Utilitarianism, Kantianism, and Aristotelianism differ in many ways, they also share similar fundamentals.
First we must understand what is Deontology. The word deontology when broken down to its roots literally means, the study of the nature of duty and obligation. Just the word alone is a great summary of what this philosophy deals with. Kant, the German philosopher who developed deontology, taught that the highest good one could achieve is that of good will. However to achieve this highest good one must be motivated only by a duty or
In “Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals”, Kant explores the subject of duty and the binding force of morality. Kant explores the morality of among many cases, this paper being focused particularly on the case of the lying promise. To determine the morality of such action, Kant provides the Formula of Universal Law, which relies on a maxim passing four steps in order to be considered moral. First, I will explain the Formula of Universal Law and focus on the ethical position of duty belonging to Kant’s deontological ethics. Next, I’ll present Kant’s lying promise case and will analyze his explanation of it being immoral through the Formula of Universal Law. Finally, I’ll end by stating my disagreement with Kant’s
Kant’s approach to this kind of example would be different than the approach of the ethical egoist and utilitarian. In the book it stated this, “According to Utilitarianism, our duty is to do whatever will increase the amount of
Rational humans should be treated as an end in themselves, thus respecting our own inherent worth and autonomy to make our own decisions. This part of Kant’s ideology may limit what we could do, even in the service of promoting an overall positive, by upholding the principle of not using people with high regard, thus serving as a moral constraint. Deontology remains as the stronger ethical framework as it explicitly lists out how one should act morally through absolute, universal laws, and also by promoting not using others as a mere means, but rather as an end in itself.
Utilitarianism is a moral theory developed by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1947 – 1832) and refined by fellow countryman John Stuart Mill (1806 – 1873). It is a results-based concept that gives no weight to the intentions that drive actions but, rather, places emphasis on the consequences of such actions. With specific reference to Bentham’s Utilitarianism and his incorporation of Hedonistic Calculus, this theory is simply derived from human being’s primal desires to seek pleasure and restrict pain, and suggests that morally good actions are those which would accomplish such. Furthermore, the idea of striving to achieve ‘the greatest amount of good for the greatest number’ fuels an objection to this theory when considering the minority,
As per the reading suggested by the instructor about the philosophical idea of Consequentialism (Utilitarianism) given by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill and the other concept which is given by Immanuel Kant in the critics of Utilitarianism theory which is called Deontological Ethics. The reading given made understand about all these two concept and their possible application in the policy or law making like the universal law.