Ethical Frameworks And Their Main Categories

Ethical Frameworks

Ethical frameworks are divided into three categories: deontological, virtue and teleological. There are two central principles upon which they classify various ethical frameworks. Each belief system is distinct, and many different ethical frameworks exist. Some people are more likely to identify with particular ethical frameworks, while others might disagree with those standards of conduct. The point is not to form an opinion on the many ethical systems but to learn about and respect the thoughts and beliefs of others. It is generally accepted that an individual’s admirable qualities constitute their virtue, given that it is one of the primary frameworks. Following Aristotle’s teachings, a person can be considered virtuous if and only if they genuinely care for the well-being of other people. The teleology concept comprises function, frequently employed in establishing context for explanations. The most important ethical frameworks, together with the philosophers who have contributed to their development, will be the subject of discussion in this paper.

Deontological Ethical Framework

The term “deontology” originates from two Greek words: “deon,” which translates to “duty,” and “logos,” which translates to “knowledge.” It is generally accepted that various actions that largely adhere to norms are ethical. Whereas a variety of actions that are carried out by individuals and do not consider the outlined ethical standards or guidelines are considered largely unethical. Various acts adhering to norms are generally considered ethical (Cook, 2018). Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher, is often regarded as the thinker most closely associated with the deontological ethical framework. He was an active participant in developing the ethical system of a deontological ethical framework, which is still used in today’s society. Duties and obligations are emphasized strongly in deontological ethical systems. It is defined as an inquiry into accountability. It considers the formulation of ethically right issues, and each action is either right or bad, irrespective of its outcomes. Its focus on rule-following might be seen as analogous to taking life as a whole into account.

Teleological Ethical Framework

A purpose, end, objective, or function is typically utilized to establish a context for an explanation. In contrast to an explanation that focuses solely on efficient causes, a term coined more recently, the concept of final causality was formerly characterized as having existed in the past (the origin of a change or a state of rest in something). The teleological framework is rooted in the premise that the world has an intelligent aim, usually based on observational data of the world’s nature, such as equality, society’s order, design, the cohesion of various components in society, and even the variability of communities and people. Among all of the other teleological claims that espouse the availability and presence of God, this form of an ethical framework is the only one with this premise as its fundamental premise (Rahanu et al., 2021).

The teleological ethical framework focuses on the significance of the targets or ends rather than the means. Since it makes decisions based on the outcomes an action produces, rather than any preconceived notions of what is right or wrong, it gives more weight to what is thought to be good than to what is accurate. Teleological theories sometimes take into account the possibility of denying individuals their rights to advance the common good. The utilitarian theory, developed at the beginning of the 19th century, illustrates a teleological paradigm (King, 2020). This paradigm is applicable in day-to-day life, particularly for people who engage in selling-related activities. People that are successful in business are mindful of how their activities affect others, particularly their clients and consumers.

Virtue Ethical Framework

A person possessing a virtue has a good quality that others admire. According to Aristotle, a person must act in a way that serves the interests of others to be considered virtuous (Wood, 2019). Those who subscribe to the philosophy of virtue ethics maintain that there is no need for moral standards. This is a somewhat new viewpoint in the discipline and the researcher believes that virtues are personal attributes that lead to beneficial outcomes (Wood, 2019). The concept of virtue as an ethical framework encompasses, to a large extent, the personalities of people in various settings. The degree to which people adhere to a predetermined set of qualities can be strongly inferred from the activities’ correctness. People who have a good deal of virtue engage in a variety of activities that are appropriate and appropriate for the setting under settings that are favorable and identical to one another.

A person is said to be virtuous if they live their lives in general and carry out all of the actions that are expected of them in a good way. It is important to remember that for a person to act uprightly, they must first possess the virtues and then make an effort to living their lives according to those merits (Wood, 2019). For instance, in many situations, the Catholic Church proclaims that people should have moral behavior, which means that at all times, they are required to uphold the laid down morals and the various qualities that they live with and use to direct their livelihood.

The deontological, virtue and teleological ethical frameworks differ significantly. The difference between these two approaches to morality lies in the weight placed on the quality of the actor’s intentions as opposed to the consequences of their actions. In a deontological ethics theory, the morality of an act is evaluated only based on the actor’s intentions, regardless of whether or not those goals led to a positive or negative outcome. In contrast to a deontological ethical theory, a teleological ethical system bases the morality of an action on whether or not it leads to a desirable consequence, independent of how others may interpret the act.

When applied as a form of the ethical framework, virtue ethics offers a solid base upon which moral reasoning can be built. Instead of focusing on regulations and the associated punishments, it places significant emphasis on personal traits and behavior. It is imperative that people live their lives under the ideal values since doing so contributes to the improvement and growth of humanity. The virtues encompass all of the attitudes and ways of behaving that guide people toward acting according to their highest possible character potential. They contain the qualities of honesty, generosity, tolerance, integrity, self-control, faithfulness, prudence, and love, among many more. Through the application of virtue ethics as a model for ethical frameworks, this study aims to construct a personal and professional code of conduct for myself.

Main Philosopher Proponents of each

Immanuel Kant was a prominent philosopher who lived in the 18th century. He is credited with developing the deontological ethical framework. As a result, Kant, who advocated the ethical deontological principle, claimed that the many ethical actions that people engage in must also ensure that all people adhere to the numerous moral standards, which are inverse to one another (Cook, 2018). Jeremy Bentham, who is most known for his contributions to the theory of utilitarianism, is the person responsible for the development of the teleological ethical framework. Bentham proposed that acting morally and doing good deeds for others were key contributors to achieving his goal of ‘maximum pleasure for the greatest number of individuals’ (Martin et al., 2021). Aristotle, along with other Greeks and members of other ethnic minorities, contributed to developing the ethical framework of virtue. Aristotle firmly grasped the idea that there is life after death (Nussbaum, 2019). This indicates that it is the pursuit of every understanding in addition to living a life in which one welcomes the pursuit of knowledge throughout one’s entire life.

Main Criticisms of each Ethical Standard

One of the most significant arguments against deontology concerns the issue of determining who should be in charge of decisions regarding what kinds of actions are deemed appropriate in a given community. This may be the case if what is considered acceptable behavior heavily relies on particular circumstances (Cook, 2018). It is essential to remember that people’s behaviors are shaped by the circumstances in which they find themselves. This is because context shapes behavior.

Within a teleological ethical framework, it is commonly claimed that individuals can debate and largely derive the availability of intellectual designs just by witnessing a range of objects. In addition, considering that life is comparable to several things humans can produce, it must have been planned in some capacity (Rahanu et al., 2021). This is because life resembles things that people can create. As a result, things in their natural habitats may need to be manufactured in the not-too-distant future. It is common practice for many virtue ethicists to criticize many action-based features, and they may suggest that ethical frameworks are inherently flawed. Generally, they are concerned with forming moral rules; nevertheless, save for occasionally inspiring or pushing persons to accept morality, they are mostly useless in this endeavor. This criticism falls under the purview of the ethical framework of virtue. It is more important to help people become moral people, yet it is the criticism to place more emphasis on the significance of appropriate regulations.

The current world is defined by a lack of virtue, which has contributed to the immorality and vices common in our society. When it comes to the concept of virtue, the first and most important question is, “What exactly is it?” A person’s moral superiority and showing great behaviour are defined as that individual’s virtue. The concept of virtue is acknowledged and held in extremely high esteem by people of all cultures, religions, and customs across the globe. Nevertheless, vices, immorality, and indecency are still present in our society today, regardless of where you reside, even though all civilizations acknowledge virtue in every part of the globe.

Application of Philosophy in Public Safety

The development of a variety of personal values helps children have a significantly better upbringing, which will significantly assist them in learning how to manage their lives in the future effectively. Young people should be taught humanitarian principles because it will help them develop a feeling of responsibility when assisting others who need assistance (Rahanu et al., 2021). This is why the teaching of these values is crucial. The instillation of ethical standards will greatly support the teaching of humanitarian values, which are essential in guaranteeing public safety.


Cook, T. (2018). Deontologists can be moderate. The Journal of Value Inquiry, 52(2), 199-212.

King, P. E. (2020). Joy distinguished: Teleological perspectives on joy as a virtue. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 15(1), 33-39.

Martin, R., Kusev, P., Teal, J., Baranova, V., & Rigal, B. (2021). Moral decision making: From bentham to veil of ignorance via perspective taking accessibility. Behavioral Sciences, 11(5), 66.

Nussbaum, M. (2019). Aristotelian social democracy. In Liberalism and the Good (pp. 203-252). Routledge. Web.

Rahanu, H., Georgiadou, E., Siakas, K., Ross, M., & Berki, E. (2021). Ethical issues invoked by Industry 4.0. In European Conference on Software Process Improvement (pp. 589-606). Springer, Cham.

Wood, N. (2019). Virtue rediscovered: Deontology, consequentialism, and virtue ethics in the contemporary moral landscape. Lexington Books.