Discovering Right and Wrong


DiscoveringRight and Wrong

DiscoveringRight and Wrong

Theconcept of ethics has gained immense attention in the recent times.This may be an acknowledgement of the increased importance of theconcept not only in the society but also in other aspects such asbusiness. Of course, there are variations between what differententities consider ethical or unethical. Nevertheless, the concept ofethics underlines the principles pertaining to what may be consideredright or wrong. Numerous works of literature have explored theconcept of ethics.

Inthe book “Ethics:Discovering right and wrong”,Pojman and Fieser explore the concept of ethics in an effort toexcite the readers about its value. Perhaps the most helpful chapterin the book is the first titled “Whatis Ethics”.Not only does it offer an explanation of ethics and its variedsubdivisions but also comes up with the characteristics of moralprinciples. This seeks to elucidate on the elements that make ethicaldecisions to be considered as such and not mere opinions (Pojman &ampFieser, 2012). Essentially, it eliminates the concept of subjectivityfrom ethics, particularly given the fact that it underlines the factthat for behavior to be considered ethical, it would need to beuniversal. Universalizability means that if an individual deems aparticular action to be appropriate for a certain person, then itwould be appropriate for every other person that is relativelysimilar to that person. It means that moral principles have to applyto every person who is in a considerably similar situation (Pojman &ampFieser, 2012). On the same note, it is acknowledged that moralprinciples are characterized by overridingness, which means that theyincorporate predominant authority and have the capacity to overrideevery other form of principles. Essentially, they take precedenceover other concerns including legal, prudential, and aestheticconsiderations (Pojman &amp Fieser, 2012). This implies thatsometimes, an individual may act in an illegal, imprudent, andunaesthetic manner but still be considered to have done what ismorally or ethically right.

Inthe book, Pojman and Fieser create a distinction between ethicalsituationalism and ethical relativism. Ethical situationalismunderlines the notion that objective moral principles would beapplied in a different way in different situations or contexts, whileethical relativism ignores the possibility of universal ethicalprinciples (Pojman &amp Fieser, 2012). While the definition may beappropriate, I find the concept of situational or ethical relativisma bit abstract. This is based on the lessons pertaining to thecharacteristics or traits of moral principles or ethics, where it isacknowledged that ethics and moral principles would need to beuniversal and overriding, even with the requirements that they bepractical. Essentially, what is ethical would not need to be subjectto the situation or context in which the same is being applied,rather it needs to apply universally and not relatively orsubjectively.

Inconclusion, the concept of ethics has become pretty popular in therecent times. It underlines the moral principles that guideindividuals with regard to what is right or wrong. Of course, theapplication of the same may be subjective as different cultures andsocieties consider different actions to be ethical. Nevertheless, itis noteworthy that ethics have varying characteristics or traitsincluding publicity, practicability, universalizability andoveridingness, as well as prescriptivity. The characteristics may notbe comprehensive or exhaustive but they come close to outlining theelements that make ethics or morality what it is.


Pojman,L.P &amp Fieser, J (2012). Ethics: . NewYork: Cengage Advantage Books