The Role Of Consequentialism And Deontology

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Throughout the field of philosophy, ethics play an extensive role. This branch of knowledge is significantly important within the area of moral philosophy, as the main concept touches on moral principles and behaviour of mankind as a consequence of such principles. LaFollette (2000) expressed his view that as a whole, humanity ‘should better understand ourselves, our place in the world, and our relationship to others’, from which I believe, can be derived through ethics. When studying the behaviour of humans and their proficiency to make decisions, I have learned that there are two leading philosophical positions which determine the way in which we think, both rationally and irrationally, and influence our decisions. These two principles consist of consequentialism and deontology. I intend to analyse how the views of consequentialists differ from that of deontologists and determine whether both views are tenable. Consequentialism is the view that ‘normative properties depend only on consequences’ (Plato.stanford.edu, 2014). Therefore the act itself is deemed either right or wrong judged on the result that follows. If an act is to produce good consequences then it is portrayed as right, however, if the consequences do not benefit humans by conceiving some form of happiness then it is seen as wrong. Markham (2007) describes a consequentialist as ‘a person who insists that the goal of ethical action is to bring about the most desirable outcome’. He suggests that if we

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