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Normative Ethics

Normative ethics
examines standards for the rightness and wrongness of actions investigates the set of questions that arise when we think about the question how

ought one morally speaking?


3 things that might be thought to be morally interesting !"the agent - person performing act #"the act itself


3"the consequences of the act $ypes of normative ethical theory virtue deontological consequentialist

%irtue Ethics virtue theory

concentrates on the moral

character agent


the an the

providing account of virtues"

primarily about agents& not actions" 'eing good is thus seen as primarily a matter of character rather than of deeds"

(n general terms& virtues are character traits& dispositions to act in certain ways& that it is good to possess"

)eontology* deontological theories

concentrate on the act being performed" certain types of act are intrinsically good or bad& i"e" good or bad in themselves"

holds that the moral status of an act is determined

entirely by consequences


moral status of an act is determined by its consequences" +onsequentialism thus re,ects both the virtue ethicist-s view that the moral status of an act is determined by the

moral character of the agent performing it& and the deontologist-s view that the moral status of an act is determined by the type of act that it is" .ccording to consequentialism& each of these factors is morally irrelevant" .ll that matters is what consequences an act

leads to" .pplication Ex" suppose that a man bravely intervenes to prevent a youth from being assaulted" virtue theorist will be most interested in the bravery that the man exhibits/ this suggests that

he has a character"


deontologist will be more interested in what the man did/ he stood up for someone in need of protection& and that kind of behaviour is intrinsically good" consequentialist will care only about

the consequences of the man-s actions/ what he did was good& according to the consequentialist& because he prevented the youth from suffering in,ury"