Ch 3: Theories of Ethics & Morality

About This Chapter

Boost your grades, prepare for a test or complete a project covering theories of ethics and morality with help from this entertaining chapter. Review short lessons to improve your understanding of these theories, and take mini quizzes to quickly and effectively assess your comprehension.

Theories of Ethics & Morality - Chapter Summary

Our instructors have developed bite-sized lessons you can study at your leisure in a secure online environment to gain greater insight into theories of ethics and morality. Simply hop on your computer, smartphone or tablet to study Eastern and Western theories of ethics, utilitarianism, consequentialist theories, intuitionism, existentialism and more. If you want to test your knowledge of our lessons, be sure to take accompanying quizzes. A practice exam is available to find out how well you grasp the entire chapter. By the end of this chapter, you could be ready to:

  • Define the divine command theory
  • Share details about Euthyphro and Plato's beliefs on ethics
  • Summarize Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
  • Outline the moral law theories of Epictetus, Locke and Kant
  • Differentiate between legal and natural rights as they relate to ethics
  • Explain John Stuart Mill's theory of utilitarianism
  • Compare and contrast Act and Rule utilitarianism
  • Provide examples of social contract theory
  • List and define different types of feminism

15 Lessons in Chapter 3: Theories of Ethics & Morality
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Western Theories of Ethics

1. Western Theories of Ethics

What is right? What is wrong? There are countless ways to answers these questions, but, in this lesson, we'll look at some of the most dominant theories within Western philosophy.

Eastern Theories of Ethics

2. Eastern Theories of Ethics

There are many theories of ethics in the world. In this lesson, we'll look at the ethics of Eastern philosophies, and see how each one of them is both similar and different to its counterparts.

Divine Command Theory: Definition & Ethics

3. Divine Command Theory: Definition & Ethics

In this lesson, you'll find out why some philosophers argue for the existence of God. You will explore what divine command theorists see as the benefits of the belief in a creator of moral laws.

Euthyphro & Plato's Beliefs on Ethics

4. Euthyphro & Plato's Beliefs on Ethics

Learn about virtue ethics and Plato's beliefs on how to achieve human well-being in this lesson. We'll use his text 'Euthyphro' as an example of his interest in virtue and piety.

Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics: Summary & Analysis

5. Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics: Summary & Analysis

In this lesson, you'll develop an understanding of Aristotle, including his view of moral responsibility and ethics. You'll also better understand what he thought was the purpose of human life.

Moral Law Theories of Epictetus, Kant & Locke

6. Moral Law Theories of Epictetus, Kant & Locke

Morality is a tricky subject and has been debated for a long time. In this lesson, explore the moral law theories of Epictetus, Kant, and Locke, and test your understanding with a brief quiz.

Theories of Ethics: Rights & Natural Laws

7. 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.

What is Utilitarianism? - Definition & Theory

8. 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.

John Stuart Mill: Utilitarianism, Quotes and Theory

9. John Stuart Mill: Utilitarianism, Quotes and Theory

Join us for this analysis of nineteenth century British philosopher John Stuart Mill, whose radical political and ethical ideas based in utilitarianism have had a profound effect in the final frontier and on our current political landscape.

Act vs. Rule Utilitarianism

10. Act vs. Rule Utilitarianism

The general belief of utilitarians is that actions should lead to good consequences. Let's take a moment to review the two categories of utilitarianism while using examples to illustrate their similarities and differences.

Consequentialist Theories: Ethical Egoism & Utilitarianism

11. 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.

What is Intuitionism? - Characteristics, Strengths & Weaknesses

12. What is Intuitionism? - Characteristics, Strengths & Weaknesses

Of all the places to look for moral truths, one common suggestion is within our own minds. But this means something distinct within the philosophy of intuitionism. Explore this philosophy and test your understanding with a brief quiz.

Social Contract Theory: Definition & Examples

13. 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.

Feminism Types and Definitions: Liberal, Socialist, Culture & Radical

14. Feminism Types and Definitions: Liberal, Socialist, Culture & Radical

This lesson first provides a general definition of feminism. Then, four specific types of feminism are discussed and defined, including liberal feminism, socialist feminism, cultural feminism, and radical feminism. For each type, examples of social changes preferred by that type of feminism are also provided.

Existentialism: Definition, History, Characteristics & Examples

15. Existentialism: Definition, History, Characteristics & Examples

This lesson describes existentialist philosophy, including its historical roots and key characteristics. While imagining what the world was like after World War II, you'll also consider the value of the existentialist viewpoint in describing human existence.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Support