The term normative is an adjective derived from the term norm. Norm means rule or a standard. Therefore moral norms refer to the principles or standards on which reasonable persons are expected to act. People have got different thoughts on what the rules are. The various normative theories of ethics focus on what people argue that renders an action moral. This is based on what actions are bad or good and what habits are considered right as opposed to wrong.
Teleology, consequentialism, deontology and character-based ethics are not typically ethical theories but rather, they are ethical theory categories. Natural moral law is considered as a kind of deontological theory. Another one is the Kant’s theory of the Categorical Imperative. One kind of consequentialist theory is Fletcher's situation ethics, and another one is the utilitarianism. Aristotle’s virtue ethics is a character based theory and also a type of teleological theory.
The four normative theories include:
Egoism – this is a normative ethical position which agents are supposed to act in their personal interest. It varies psychological egoism, that argues that persons can only do what is of their own interest. It can be broadly broke into three type. That is universal personal and individual. A personal egoist suggests that a person should do what fulfills his or her own interest and should not mind on what others think they should do. Universal egoist believes that everybody should satisfy their personal interest through their actions. Individual egoist believes that peoples are supposed to do actions that advantage their personal interests.
Utilitarianism – is an ethical theory that suggests that an action that optimizes utility is the best action. The utility can be described in different ways. Normally, regarding sentient entities well being like animals and human beings. The founder of Utilitarianism, Jeremy Bentham states utility as the amount of pleasure that comes from an action. It is a kind of consequentialism since it settles on the opinion that it is the results of policies, laws, and actions. Anything that is being analyzed we are expected to choose that which will bring out positive results.
Ethics of duty – this suggests that a person has the responsibility to live an orderly life by being loyal to the laws, not to conflict the rules, and live with discipline. Almost all people live by unconditional rules that are binding on every person at all times. These are non-consequential since they not focus on the consequence but the act. They are more obligatory as people who believe in it are of the opinion that virtue results from acting the way you are supposed to act.
Ethics of Rights and Justice – also referred to as morality of justice. Justice is mostly concerned with what is right by the law. Reasonably, justice is ethical, and it is legal to do what is ethical. Administered justice and ethical standards are supposed to act as each other’s brother’s keeper. However, breaking the law is consequential as one is expected to pay for his actions by justice. There is no justice if a person doesn’t face the consequences of his or her actions