Theory – Categorical Imperative is the central head of the theory which define the absolute and unconditional requirements. According to the theory rightness and wrongness related to any incidence does not depend on its consequences on whether they fulfill their duty or not. This theory entirely depends upon giving duty instead of emotions (Wood, 2007). The actions of a person depend upon the underlying maxim. This theory completely depends upon rationality as the ultimate good. This theory led to formulation of the categorical imperative in between the good and the bad (O'Neill, 2013).
Implications- Jean didn’t act ethically as per the Kant Theory. As per the given situation Jean was aware that Pierre is under a serious risk and knows that this might cause death. Pharmacist on the island is legally unable to provide medication without a prescription. Jean tried almost everything to reach a doctor. The Kant’s theory doesn’t support emotion. Moreover the decisions of a person should be focused on providing duty. In the given situation the decision made by Jean was out of emotions. Good or bad actions without the rationality are not supported by the theory. The theory however denies the consequences of the act in any way adding to the moral worth of the act(Stern,2015).
Theory -According to the theory a person’s act is morally right if it creates at least as much happiness as any other similar task. This theory is based on principle of utility where every individual focus on gaining happiness instead of the consequences. This theory focuses on the well known phase “the greatest good for the greatest number”. One should focus on gaining happiness by doing charity work(Hooker,2014).
Implication – yes, the action done by Jean was ethical as per the theory. In the given theory Jean did the right thing by impersonating a health care person because the act was necessary as per the situation Pierre required treatment and Jean tried almost everything to reach a doctor. Under the given circumstance the theory supports the action of Jean. The theory supports an action if it gives utmost happiness to a person. The purpose was solved as it gave maximum happiness to an individual. The theory accepts the behavior of an individual done during emergency. The theory believes in doing charity work instead of wasting time of leisure activities. What Jean did was illegal but this theory support an act done to provide happiness to other people. Utilitarianism theory depends upon the concept of utility. It is driven by how a common person acts during necessity.
Theory- This theory depend upon the correctness of a rule which is determined by the amount of good or bad it causes when followed by the people. This theory argues that, following the theory can lead to greatest good if the consequences are positive for an individual. This rule completely depends upon the consequences of an activity. It is positive in nature if it gives effective results. An act which does not give positive result is not supported by the theory. Only those activities with a positive result are supported by this theory on a long run.
Implication- yes, this act is ethical as per the situation. Jean in the given case tried finding medicines at every available place but due to emergency he couldn’t find any. The conferences of the activity were positive. So the theory completely supports the act done by Jean. Under the given situation the result were positive which depicts that the act was ethical in nature. The consequences demonstrated in the act gave utmost happiness as it saved the life of Pierre. The illegal part is generally ignored as the theory focus on the result derived from an activity.
Social Contract Theory
Theory- This theory is based on an old philosophy that focuses on moral and political obligation which depends upon contract and agreement in between the society they live. Societies are controlled by the government bodies and it requires rules and law to maintain peace in the State(Steverson, Rutherford and Buller, 2013). Individual who lives in a social structure has to follow the law and order in order to sustain in the society. Every individual must contribute in developing a stable, wealthy and happy society (Skyrms, 2014)
Implication- No, the act according to the theory is unethical. Social contract theory focuses on maintaining law and order. In the given situation Jean did an act that is illegal in nature. Social contract theory doesn’t support any activity which disrupts local law and order. Impersonating a health care provider is an illegal activity. It is necessary for an individual to do an act under the permission of law and authority. In the general condition a normal human being would not respond according to the social contract theory when it’s about life of a person.
Hooker, B., 2014. Acts or rules? The fine tuning of utilitarianism.
Martin, R., 2008. Two concepts of rule utilitarianism. Journal of Moral Philosophy, 5(2), pp.227-255.
O'Neill, O., 2013. Acting on principle: An essay on Kantian ethics. Cambridge University Press.
Skyrms, B., 2014. Evolution of the social contract. Cambridge University Press.
Stern, R., 2015. Kantian Ethics: Value, Agency, and Obligation. Oxford University Press, USA.
Steverson, B.K., Rutherford, M.W. and Buller, P.F., 2013. New venture legitimacy lies and ethics: an application of social contract theory. J. Eth. Entrep, 3, pp.73-92.
Wood, A.W., 2007. Kantian ethics. Cambridge University Press.