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Table 1

Dangers and problems in Western philosophy normative ethical theories.

Western philosophy normative ethical theories Danger/problem
Theories that seek reference in “universally applicable principles” (Kantian) deontology, consequentialism (utilitarianism) Danger: risk of overlooking the particular of specific situations
Theories that seek reference in evaluating particular situations
Danger: risk of self-protective relativism (cultural, social, political)
Theories that seek reference in virtues (“being good”)
“Virtue ethics” (Aristoteles)
Problem: virtues do not always unambiguously translate into concrete action
Theories that seek reference in the care for human relationships
“Ethics of care”
Problem: works for close relations with known people; unclear how it could work for distant relations with strangers

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