Ethical Theorists Essay

Submitted By madisonkoen
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Pages: 3

Karl Marx’s Ethical Theory

Ethical theories address the questions relating to morality set out by many individuals. Both ethical theorists’ Karl Marx and Kant focus on the good rather then the wrong doings and believe that everyone has duties and must fulfill them. “Duty is the necessity of acting out of reverence for universal law. Moral value is essentially established by the intention of the person acting”(Ethics). In this paper both ethical theorists perspectives and what their theory believes in will be discussed and how both Karl Marx and Kant relate in their beliefs of their ethical theories.

Karl Marx was one of the major historical founders of sociology. His theory, known as “Marxism” was based upon society, economics, and politics. He was critical of society and believed that society was “run by the wealthy middle and upper classes purely for their own benefit” (Crossman). He strongly believed in eliminating any sense of capitalism in society as it destroys community and alienates work. According to Marx, “Communism was the inevitable end to the process of evolution begun with feudalism and passing through capitalism and socialism” (Library Economics Liberty). Inequality in workers and their own rights were a very big concern to Marx. He saw that the distribution of wealth being given out to people of society was a very big issue and evidently unfair and wrong. Marx saw this wrong-doing in society as that “They do not realize that the situation is unjust. This is usually due to the acceptance of ideas which cast the status quo as being legitimate” (Trainer). People were set into set dominance classes, which resulted in false consciousness where people were determining what is “right” and what is “wrong” when it comes to society and production.

Kant believes only actions performed from duty have moral worth. Kant did not believe that any outcome was inherently good. Happiness could result out of the most evil acts. He also did not believe in ‘good’ character traits, as intelligence and courage could all be used for evil. He used the term good to describe the ‘good will’, in which he meant the resolve to act purely in agreement with one’s duty. He believed that, using reason, an individual could work out what one’s duty was. Similarly to Marx who believed that a communist country/ environment was a way to insure “the good” was being met. Kant believed that certain types of actions (wrong doings) were not accepted and not aloud, even in cases where the action would bring about more…