Ethics in America:

DANTES Final Exam Outline 

Each topic will be covered in class. 


Ethical Traditions (43% - 45%)


  • Greek views:

    • Thucydides: Wrote the History of the Peloponnesian War.

    • Socrates: felt that ethics was born of human conflict.

    • Plato: Believed the organization of the soul of a good person is similar to the organization of the social classes in an ideal society.

    • Aristotle: The good for which all humans aspire is happiness, which is the activity of the soul.


  • Religious traditions: The morally right action is the one that God commands.


  • Moral law:

    • Epictetus: Our moral responsibility lies in the things we control.

    • Aquinas: Put forth the notion of eternal law as the road map for ethics.

    • Hobbes: He believed that all acts are ultimately self-serving.

    • Locke: Everybody must be moved by a desire for his or her own happiness or pleasure.

    • Rousseau: in an ideal society, no one above rules.

    • Jefferson: Believed moral philosophy is found in the evidence offered by human nature.

    • Kant: Divided moral philosophy into two domains, that of justice or law on the one hand, and that of ethics or virtue on the other.

    • Royce: Social groups own their own values.

    • King: Moral responsibility to obey laws that are just.

    • Rawls: Envisioned a society of free citizens holding equal basic rights cooperating within an egalitarian economic system.

    • Nozick: Best known for his version of an "externalist" theory of knowledge.


  • Consequential ethics: Epicurus, Smith, Bentham, Mill, Rand. Consequentialists hold that choices, acts, and/or intentions are to be morally assessed solely by the states of affairs they bring about.


  • Feminist ethics: Gilligan, Noddings. Feminist ethics was an attempt to revise, reformulate, or rethink traditional ethics to the extent it depreciates or devalues women's moral experience.


Ethical Analysis of Issues and Practical Applications (55% - 57%)


  • Morality: Issues of right and wrong as they relate to an individual's religious and/or cultural belief.

    • Relationships: The most fundamental and dependable relationship that one person has with another person.

    • Sexuality: Religious texts that are 1800-3000 years old still govern and guide a large part of the population on matters of sexuality.


  • Life and death issues: Fundamental principles that guide our understanding on issues such as saving a life and euthanasia.


  • Economic inequity, poverty, and equal opportunity: Lack of economic equality and how it relates to living conditions and opportunities.


  • Racism and affirmative action: Issues on discrimination based on race and attempts at providing equal opportunities through legislation and policies.


  • Punishment: Checking the power of the individual so that punishment is a means of repairing social order and not a means of satisfying and individuals need for reparation.


  • War and peace: Justifying war and the politics of peace.


  • Life-centered and human-centered ethics: The rights and duties of the individual as a person as opposed to the individual as a part of the environment.


  • Human rights: Fundamental rights of all peoples that are universally protected


  • Biomedical ethics: Issues of right and wrong in medicine and biomedical science










Ethics in America​