The best known version of consequentialism is utilitarianism. This theory defines morality in terms of the maximization of net expectable utility for all parties affected by a decision or action. Although forms of utilitarianism have been put forward and debated since ancient times, the modern theory is most often associated with the British philosopher John Stuart Mill who developed the theory from a plain hedonistic version put forward by his mentor Jeremy Bentham As most clearly stated by Mill, the basic principle of utilitarianism is:
A huge subject broken down into manageable chunks Random Quote of the Day: The explanations are necessarily simplistic and lacking in detail, though, and the links should be followed for more information. Thales of Miletus is usually considered the first proper philosopher, although he was just as concerned with natural philosophy what we now call science as with philosophy as we know it.
Thales and most of the other Pre-Socratic philosophers i. They were Materialists they believed that all things are composed of material and nothing else and were mainly concerned with trying to establish the single Benefits teleological theory morality substance the world is made up of a kind of Monismwithout resorting to supernatural or mythological explanations.
For instance, Thales thought the whole universe was composed of different forms of water; Anaximenes concluded it was made of air; Heraclitus thought it was fire; and Anaximander some unexplainable substance usually translated as "the infinite" or "the boundless".
Another issue the Pre-Socratics wrestled with was the so-called problem of change, how things appear to change from one form to another. At the extremes, Heraclitus believed in an on-going process of perpetual change, a constant interplay of opposites; Parmenideson the other hand, using a complicated deductive argument, denied that there was any such thing as change at all, and argued that everything that exists is permanent, indestructible and unchanging.
This might sound like an unlikely proposition, but Parmenides 's challenge was well-argued and was important in encouraging other philosophers to come up with convincing counter-arguments.
Zeno of Elea was a student of Parmenidesand is best known for his famous paradoxes of motion the best known of which is that of the Achilles and the Harewhich helped to lay the foundations for the study of Logic. However, Zeno 's underlying intention was really to show, like Parmenides before him, that all belief in plurality and change is mistaken, and in particular that motion is nothing but an illusion.
Although these ideas might seem to us rather simplistic and unconvincing today, we should bear in mind that, at this time, there was really no scientific knowledge whatsoever, and even the commonest of phenomena e.
Their attempts were therefore important first steps in the development of philosophical thought. They also set the stage for two other important Pre-Socratic philosophers: Empedocleswho combined their ideas into the theory of the four classical elements earth, air, fire and waterwhich became the standard dogma for much of the next two thousand years; and Democrituswho developed the extremely influential idea of Atomism that all of reality is actually composed of tiny, indivisible and indestructible building blocks known as atoms, which form different combinations and shapes within the surrounding void.
Another early and very influential Greek philosopher was Pythagoraswho led a rather bizarre religious sect and essentially believed that all of reality was governed by numbers, and that its essence could be encountered through the study of mathematics. Unlike most of the Pre-Socratic philosophers before him, Socrates was more concerned with how people should behave, and so was perhaps the first major philosopher of Ethics.
He developed a system of critical reasoning in order to work out how to live properly and to tell the difference between right and wrong.
His system, sometimes referred to as the Socratic Method, was to break problems down into a series of questions, the answers to which would gradually distill a solution. Although he was careful to claim not to have all the answers himself, his constant questioning made him many enemies among the authorities of Athens who eventually had him put to death.
Socrates himself never wrote anything down, and what we know of his views comes from the "Dialogues" of his student Platoperhaps the best known, most widely studied and most influential philosopher of all time.
In his writings, Plato blended EthicsMetaphysicsPolitical Philosophy and Epistemology the theory of knowledge and how we can acquire it into an interconnected and systematic philosophy. He provided the first real opposition to the Materialism of the Pre-Socraticsand he developed doctrines such as Platonic RealismEssentialism and Idealismincluding his important and famous theory of Forms and universals he believed that the world we perceive around us is composed of mere representations or instances of the pure ideal Forms, which had their own existence elsewhere, an idea known as Platonic Realism.
Plato believed that virtue was a kind of knowledge the knowledge of good and evil that we need in order to reach the ultimate good, which is the aim of all human desires and actions a theory known as Eudaimonism.
Plato 's Political Philosophy was developed mainly in his famous "Republic", where he describes an ideal though rather grim and anti-democratic society composed of Workers and Warriors, ruled over by wise Philosopher Kings.
The third in the main trio of classical philosophers was Plato 's student Aristotle. He created an even more comprehensive system of philosophy than Platoencompassing EthicsAestheticsPoliticsMetaphysicsLogic and science, and his work influenced almost all later philosophical thinking, particularly those of the Medieval period.
Aristotle 's system of deductive Logicwith its emphasis on the syllogism where a conclusion, or synthesis, is inferred from two other premises, the thesis and antithesisremained the dominant form of Logic until the 19th Century.
Unlike PlatoAristotle held that Form and Matter were inseparable, and cannot exist apart from each other. Although he too believed in a kind of EudaimonismAristotle realized that Ethics is a complex concept and that we cannot always control our own moral environment.
He thought that happiness could best be achieved by living a balanced life and avoiding excess by pursuing a golden mean in everything similar to his formula for political stability through steering a middle course between tyranny and democracy. Other Ancient Philosophical Schools Back to Top In the philosophical cauldron of Ancient Greecethough as well as the Hellenistic and Roman civilizations which followed it over the next few centuriesseveral other schools or movements also held sway, in addition to Platonism and Aristotelianism: Sophism the best known proponents being Protagoras and Gorgiaswhich held generally relativistic views on knowledge i.
Cynicismwhich rejected all conventional desires for health, wealth, power and fame, and advocated a life free from all possessions and property as the way to achieving Virtue a life best exemplified by its most famous proponent, Diogenes.
Skepticism also known as Pyrrhonism after the movement's founder, Pyrrhowhich held that, because we can never know the true innner substance of things, only how they appear to us and therefore we can never know which opinions are right or wrongwe should suspend judgment on everything as the only way of achieving inner peace.
Epicureanism named for its founder Epicuruswhose main goal was to attain happiness and tranquility through leading a simple, moderate life, the cultivation of friendships and the limiting of desires quite contrary to the common perception of the word "epicurean".I accept certain facets of evolutionary theory, but to be honest, most people barely even understand what it means anymore.
It has become an ‘accordion’ word that can be stretched out or squeezed in to claim as much or as little as is necessary. Dec 29, · Consequentialist (Teleological) Theories of Morality Examples of such theories are Kant's Duty Ethics and the Divine Command Theory" ().
Kaplan: 1) The language here simply refers to people who believe rules are to be obeyed. Psychological egoism exemplifies the scientific, or descriptive approach to morality. Benefits of a Teleological Theory of Morality Comparison Essay Benefits of a Teleological Theory of Morality Compares teleology, deontology, and the virtue-based systems of morality, making an argument for the teleological system of morality.
The Euthyphro dilemma is found in Plato's dialogue Euthyphro, in which Socrates asks Euthyphro, "Is the pious (τὸ ὅσιον) loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?" It implies that if moral authority must come from the gods it doesn't have to be good, and if moral authority must be good it does not have to come from the gods.
Indeed, each of the branches of deontological ethics—the agent-centered, the patient-centered, and the contractualist—can lay claim to being Kantian. The agent-centered deontologist can cite Kant's locating the moral quality of acts in the principles or maxims on which the agent acts and not primarily in those acts' effects on others.
Fideisms Judaism is the Semitic monotheistic fideist religion based on the Old Testament's ( BCE) rules for the worship of Yahweh by his chosen people, the children of Abraham's son Isaac (c BCE)..
Zoroastrianism is the Persian monotheistic fideist religion founded by Zarathustra (cc BCE) and which teaches that good must be chosen over evil in order to achieve salvation.