Episode 4: Ethical Theories is out now!

Episode 4: Ethical Theories

The fourth episode of the financial ethics training series produced by Seven Pillars Institute gives nutshell descriptions of the four main ethical or moral theories: Consequentialism, Duty Based Ethics, Virtue Ethics and . We apply these theories and use them as tools to help us decide on the right act or acts at work.

Just as we use tools from finance theory such as net present value or rate of return to decide if we should invest in a project, so too we use the tools of ethics theory to help us find the right choice of action in situations needing ethical decision making. We do not have to rely simply on what others tell us to do, or on merely some vague feelings. We can use our reason and tools of ethics theory.


But if it depends on us to do fine things and shameful things, and similarly not to do them too, and this, it is agreed, is what it is to be, respectively, a good person and a bad one, then being decent people, and being worthless ones, will depend on us.

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics



Ethical theory provides these answers by explaining why actions are right or wrong and by providing a decision procedure for resolving difficult or controverted cases…Thus, one reason for studying ethical theory is to help moral individuals clarify to themselves what their moral values are and think through difficult issues in an orderly way.

Richard T. De George, Business Ethics