- Describe the various major theories about ethics in human decision making.
- Begin considering how the major theories about ethics apply to difficult choices in life and business.
There are several well-respected ways of looking at ethical issues. Some of them have been around for centuries. It is important to know that many who think a lot about business and ethics have deeply held beliefs about which perspective is best. Others would recommend considering ethical problems from a variety of different perspectives. Here, we take a brief look at (1) utilitarianism, (2) deontology, (3) social justice and social contract theory, and (4) virtue theory. We are leaving out some important perspectives, such as general theories of justice and “rights” and feminist thought about ethics and patriarchy.