How Ethics Impact Our Judgement. Essay

1265 words - 5 pages

This assignment will be critically analysing how different ethical perspectives may impact upon an individual and their justification for an action they have elected to undertake. This shall be implemented in accordance to case study one, where Sean misses the deadline to submit a substantial piece of work, whilst referring to the ethical perspectives of consequentialism and deontology.
Deontologists judge the morality of their actions in accordance to how those actions adhere to the rules (Hursthouse, 2010), without regard to consequences or other external factors (Fox and Demarco, 2001). In this case, the rule was that the students must submit the assignment on that particular day, and no later. As such, the teacher has no choice but to record Sean's work as un-submitted. There is an inherent duty to comply with the rules (Waller, 2005) from the deontological viewpoint, which overrides any mitigating circumstances; as justification for their actions are based on what is permissible and what is wrong (Blackburn, 2003).
This is not to say the teacher would not have granted Sean with an extension had Sean had a plausible reason as to why he was unable to submit his work, as the rules do allow for extensions under certain circumstances. Sean however did not offer such reasons, thus the ability for the teacher to give him an extension is not available. Although such action may compromise the overall grade Sean achieves, this would not phase the actions of a deontologist. This is not to say however that the decision to take such action would come easily, as personal feelings are morally neutral (Billington, 1993) and may contrast with the course of action taken.
If the teacher had decided to grant Sean with an extension it could have been perceived as unprofessional favouritism as the same exception would not have been made for every child. As a result a deontologist can argue that the decision to adhere to the rules has ensured the teacher not only for-filled their moral obligation but also their professional duty to both their fellow colleges and all the other children they educate.
Prichard (1912) however argues every particular act is different to another therefore it is impossible to find a single or combination of features which would make all right acts right as the rightness and wrongness of an action cannot be judged on principles or rules. This thesis is reinforced by Fox and Demarco (2001) as they to argue individual cases need to be judge on their own merit, as there is a need to use intuition in order to access what action is right or wrong. Thus it could be suggested the uncharacteristic behaviour of Sean is an important factor- one which should not be over looked.
In contrast to deontological ethics, consequentialism allows actions to be more flexible as a fundamental aspect to this theory is that the moral rightness and wrongness of acts are determined by the consequences the action creates (Darwall, 2003). Given the...

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