Ch 17: Basic Theories of Morality

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons and learn about the important theories of morality and how they impact contemporary thinking and behavior. The quizzes that follow each lesson can help you check on your comprehension of the important points.

Basic Theories of Morality - Summary and Learning Objectives

Learn about the important theories of morality that have shaped peoples' thinking and behavior over the centuries. Find out about the specific philosophical theories, how they are defined and applied, and the philosophers associated with them. The lessons in this chapter will teach you the historical and contemporary views of morality that are and have been important. Take the lesson quizzes to evaluate your understanding of the concepts, and ask an instructor if you have any questions. In these lessons, you'll learn things like:

  • What is social contract theory?
  • What is utilitarianism and how does it operate?
  • How do psychological and ethical egoism differ?
  • What are consequentialist theories?
  • How does divine command theory function?
  • What is feminism and what different types of feminism exist?

Video Objective
Theories of Ethics: Rights and Natural Laws Deontological and virtue ethics.
Social Contract Theory: Definition and Examples Learn the key attributes, strengths and weaknesses of social contract theory.
What is Utilitarianism? - Definition, Theory and Quiz Discover the creators of utilitarianism, what it is, and its important characteristics.
Comparing Psychological and Ethical Egoism Distinguish between psychological and ethical egoism and understand the advantages of ethical egoism.
Consequentialist Theories: Ethical Egoism and Utilitarianism Review the two major consequentialist theories and understand the two types of utilitarianism.
Altruism Understand the origins of altruism as a moral behavior.
Divine Command Theory: Definition and Ethics Learn the important attributes and distinguishing characteristics of divine command theory.
What is Intuitionism? - Characteristics, Strengths and Weaknesses Understand the important features of intuitionism as well as the strengths and weaknesses of this moral theory.
Feminism Types and Definitions: Liberal, Socialist, Culture and Radical Understand the different types of feminism, what they espouse, and how they differ from one another.
Existentialism: Definition, History, Characteristics and Examples Learn the essential features of existentialism and examples of its applications to moral theory.

6 Lessons in Chapter 17: Basic Theories of Morality
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What is Altruism in Social Psychology? - Origins & Social Influence

1. What is Altruism in Social Psychology? - Origins & Social Influence

Why do we help others, and when do we decide not to help others? In this lesson, you'll take a look at the biological and social motivation behind altruism.

Theories of Ethics: Rights & Natural Laws

2. Theories of Ethics: Rights & Natural Laws

Legal rights are those rights provided to citizens through the Constitution and other articles of the US legal system. Natural rights are rooted in the ethical, based on what is right or wrong. Learn more about ethics in this lesson.

Social Contract Theory: Definition & Examples

3. Social Contract Theory: Definition & Examples

Since the beginning of human civilization, social contracts have helped structure how people and governments worked together. Learn about social contract theory and what some important thinkers from the 1600s onward had to say about it.

What is Utilitarianism? - Definition & Theory

4. What is Utilitarianism? - Definition & Theory

Explore the ethical theory of utilitarianism, founded by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. Then test your understanding of how the principles of this theory work through a short quiz.

Comparing Psychological & Ethical Egoism

5. Comparing Psychological & Ethical Egoism

In this lesson, you will explore two ways of explaining the motivations for your actions. Discover what they have in common and how they are different, and test your understanding with a brief quiz.

Consequentialist Theories: Ethical Egoism & Utilitarianism

6. Consequentialist Theories: Ethical Egoism & Utilitarianism

Actions have consequences. We all know this, but did you know that there is an entire branch of philosophy devoted to this idea? Explore the consequentialist theories of ethical egoism and utilitarianism and test your understanding with a brief quiz.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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