dentify and define each of the three dominant ethical theories in Western philosophy, discussion help

Respond, add, disagree, agree to this post in 50 words or more and use examples from the pdf attached. Cite within your answer like so: (Mosser, 2013, ch 1.6, para 11).

SOC 120 Week 1 Discussion 2

Identify and define each of the three dominant ethical theories in Western philosophy. Describe a situation that you have faced recently that presented an ethical dilemma. How would you evaluate your actions in this situation to determine whether or not they were good or virtuous?

  The three dominant ethical theories in Western philosophy are utilitarianism, deontology and virtue ethics.

  The first dominant theory is utilitarianism. According to our reading; “utilitarianism argues that, given a set of choices, the act we should choose is that which produces the best results for the greatest number affected by that choice.” (Mosser, 20013, Ch. 1.6, para. 2) So basically it is stating that the actions we choose should be fair and benefit the majority affected by your conclusion. 

  The next dominant theory is deontology. “Deontology (sometimes referred to as duty ethics) focuses on what we are obligated to do as a rational moral agents. (Mosser, 2013, Ch. 1.6, Para. 12) Deontology focuses on the reasons for which an act is done versus looking at the consequences.  The easiest way to define deontology is treating others the way you want to be treated.

  The last dominant theory is virtue ethics. Virtue ethics is different from the first two theories. “Rather than focusing on the consequences of the act we wish to evaluate, or the reason or rule that guides the action, we look at the character of the person performing the act.” (Mosser, 2013, Ch. 1.6, Para 21) Virtue ethics focuses on the character of a person and how it affects their decision when performing an act.

  I have not recently faced a situation that presented an ethical dilemma, but last year while walking around the outlet mall here in El Paso. I witnessed an elderly woman unknowingly drop a large amount of cash when she pulled something out of her purse. I went over and picked it up and gave it back to her. I could have easily kept all the money but I gave it back to her. The action I choose was good and because I am honest, that makes me a virtuous person.


Mosser, K. (2013). Ethics and social responsibility(2nd ed.) [Electronic version]. Retrieved from