Ethics Notes

Mode of application

  1. Determine the available alternatives
  2. Determine the consequence(s) of each action
    1. Every action you make has a consequence. Ethics dictates that the standard should be that which a reasonably intelligent person would judge the consequences of.
  3. Evaluate the consequences
    1. Some sort of metric must be determined.
    2. Which consequence results in greater happiness?
  4. The alternative with the best consequences is the morally right action


  • Based on consideration of individual’s rights, duties, and obligations.
  • individual autonomy - we are self legislating being, we determine the laws that govern our actions.

For each right a person has, there is a corresponding duty. For instance, if someone has a right to life, then someone else has a duty not to take that life.

Perfect duties - You either stole something or you didn’t. Imperfect duties - Helping others in need. How much do you have to do to fulfill that duty?


  • Laissez Faire Capitalism → (Libertarianism)
  • Welfare State Capitalism
  • Socialism - Socialism infringes upon individual autonomy
  • Marxism / Communism

Equality ←→ Freedom