Dead Poets Society
Dead Poets Society is set in the year of 1959 at Welton Academy, a fictional elite conservative Vermont boarding school. It is a 1989 American drama film, directed by Peter Weir and written by Tom Schulman (Canby, 1989). It reveals an English teacher, John Keating, played by Robin Williams, inspiring his students via his own ways of teaching poetry. Neil Perry, played by Robert Sean Leonard, is a hard-working honors student who has a dream of following his heart to become an actor despites his father insists firmly that he go to Harvard to study medicine for his future while Todd Anderson, played by Ethan Hawke is an extremely shy person to the level that he will freeze when he is required to speak in front of class and Charlie Dalton, played by Gale Hansen, has the makings of a true rebel and poet (Canby, 1989).
The Dead Poets Society represents a variety of moral and philosophical issues by the term ‘Carpe Diem’ which comes from Latin for ‘seize the day’ and has the meaning of taking chances that may come our way. It is shown through the bravery of the students for standing up in favor of something and doing their own things. In this movie, it is the ability to become a free thinker and enjoy poetry in life. This can be linked to an ethical issue that was raised in the film, including justice, law and punishment. The students don’t go as far as to break the law, but they are certainly going against the rules of the school, and so is their English teacher, who is pursuing this forward-thinking set of mind.
Teleology is a word from Greek for “end” or “purpose”. It refers to moral philosophies in which an act is considered morally right or acceptable if it produces some desired result such as utility, knowledge, pleasure, fame, career growth, wealth and the realization of self-interest. In another word, teleological philosophies assess the moral worth of a behavior by looking at its consequences, and thus moral philosophers today often refer to these theories as consequentialist. Two important teleological philosophies that often guide decision making in individual business decisions are egoism and utilitarianism. According to consequentialist theories, the moral rightness of an action is determined solely by its results (William H. Shaw ; Vincent Barry, 2010). If its consequences are good, then the act is right; if they are bad, the act is wrong. Consequentialism is a normative ethical principle, which means, it’s far a theory about ethical action and a proposed method for figuring out how one have to pick the proper ethical act.
The consequentialist theory is shown through the action of Charlie when he publishes an article in the name of Dead Poets Society in the school newspaper demanding that girls be admitted to Welton and plays a prank during assembly. He then punished by the headmaster of Welton, Mr. Gale Nolan, played by Norman Lloyd, but even so Charlie is unwilling to reveal the members of the Dead Poets Society. Mr. Nolan then warns Mr. Keating that he should discourage his students from questioning the authority. Hence Mr. Keating earnestly advises his students that one must assess all consequences.
Non-consequentialist (or deontological) theories contend that right and wrong are determined by more than the likely consequences of an action. Non-consequentialist theories do not necessarily deny that consequences are morally significant, but they believe that other factors are also relevant to the moral assessment of an action (William H. Shaw & Vincent Barry, 2010). Fundamental to deontological theory is that equal respect must be given to each and every one.
This can be shown via the following incidences. Neil’s father happens to discover Neil play a main role in a play and he forcefully urges him to quit just on the eve of the opening performance. Neil is devastated and talks to Mr. Keating, who gives advise that he should talk with his father of his love towards acting. But Neil didn’t do so. On the performance day, Neil’s father unexpectedly shows up. After the performance, he takes Neil home and instructs Neil that he has been withdrawn from Welton and being enrolled in a military academy to prepare him for Harvard. Neil is unable to stand up to his father and couldn’t seek help from his mother. Neil becomes shattered and ends his own life with a gun.
After the incidence, Mr. Nolan investigates Neil’s death. Richard Cameron, played by Dylan Kussman, blames Neil’s death on Mr. Keating to avoid punishment for his participation in the Dead Poets Society, and he also provides the name of other members. Cameron urges the rest of the members to let Mr. Keating take the fall.
Charlie is expelled as a result of confronting Cameron and punches him. Each of the members of Dead Poets Society is called to Mr. Nolan’s office to sign a letter to declare Cameron’s allegations of Mr. Keating’s responsibility towards the incidence, even though they know deep down this isn’t right. Todd is disinclined to sign, but after seeing others’ signatures on the letter and under his parents’ pressure, he signs eventually.
Mr. Keating is terminated as the result of investigation, and Mr. Nolan takes over the class. During Mr. Nolan’s teaching, Mr. Keating comes to collect his personal things. Before he leaves the classroom, Todd shouts that all of them were forced to sign the letter that resulted in his dismissal and that Neil’s death was not his fault. Todd stands on his desk and salutes Keating with the words “O Captain! My Captain” and over half of the class do the same, ignoring Mr. Nolan’s orders to sit down. Mr. Keating is deeply touched by their gestures. He thanks the boys and departs.
Utilitarianism holds that the maximization of happiness ultimately determines what is just and unjust. John Stuart Mill contended that the concept of justice identifies certain rules or rights the upholding of which is crucial for promoting well-being and that injustice always involves violating the rights of some identifiable individual (William H. Shaw ; Vincent Barry, 2010). In Dead Poets Society, Mr. Keating is the one who is being unjust under circumstances, but he only wants the best for his students.
Good Will Hunting
Good Will Hunting is directed by Gus Van Sant and written by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. It is a 1997 American drama film which talks about the main character, Will Hunting, played by Matt Damon, a genius who surprisingly chooses to work solely as a janitor at MIT without using his talents. He is an orphan and went through an unhappy upbringing with many foster families. The memories and experiences of being abused causing him subconsciously blames himself and turns his self-loathing into a form of self-destruction in both his professional and emotional lives. As a result, he is unable to sustain either a steady job or a steady romantic relationship. One day, Will’s talents are discovered by Professor Gerald Lambeau, played by Stellan Skarsgard, after he solves a difficult graduate-level mathematic problem. Professor Lambeau then decides to help the misguided youth to reach to his full potential. Meanwhile, Will hangs out with his buddies in Southie, including Ben Affleck played as Chuckie, and Will attacks a man who had bullied him many years ago in kindergarten and thus he is arrested after attacking the police officer who was responding to the fight, but Professor Lambeau makes a deal to get clemency for Will only if he agrees to use his abilities in the mathematics field under Lambeau’s supervision and participate in the therapy sessions. Sean Maguire, played by Robin Williams, is able to break down Will’s defensive mechanism to open up and gains some credibility from Will when he admits that he had also being abused as a child.
Consequentialism says that the results of motion are all that rely while taking a moral selection to act. There is important purpose for the foundation phrase. The phrase effect is chosen cautiously and it is possible to make a difference among the phrase itself and synonyms which include, results or effects. This can be explained by Will’s realization makes possible a much more positive self-image and a whole new vision of life. He decides to stop denying his talents and to recognize that he might be good enough after all for brilliant, charming and independently wealthy Harvard student, Skylar, played by Minnie Driver, who said she loves him, and whom he finally leaves Southie to follow her as she heads west for graduate school.
The libertarian theory identifies justice with liberty, which libertarians understand as living according to our own choice, free from the interference of others (William H. Shaw ; Vincent Barry, 2010). If I was faced the same situation as Todd Anderson in the Dead Poets Society, I wouldn’t sign the letter that leads to the dismissal of Mr. Keating because I believe an individual should be able to freely make his or her own choice ethically, doing what is right without being forced into doing something else.
Egoism defines right or acceptable behavior in terms of its consequences for the individual and they also believe that they should make decisions that maximize their own self-interest, which is defined differently by each individual (Ferrell, O. C., Fraedrich, J., & Ferrell, L., 2008). Personal egoists claim they should pursue their own best interests, but they do not say what others should do while impersonal egoists claim that everyone should let self-interest guide his or her conduct (William H. Shaw & Vincent Barry, 2010).
In the Dead Poets Society, Richard Cameron blames Neil’s death on Mr. Keating to avoid punishment for his own involvement in the Dead Poets Society, and provides the name of other members to Mr. Nolan. Cameron then urges the rest of the members to let Mr. Keating take the fall. This is clearly an example of impersonal egoists.
Utilitarianism focuses on the consequences of business actions and corporate decisions rather than on notions of intrinsic rightness, it encourages us to evaluate the amount of good and harm that those actions and decisions bring about. Hence, utilitarianism offers an alternative way of thinking about business ethics to rights theory and other non-consequentialist theories. Moreover, although identifying precisely what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ for people is no simple matter, it seems to make intuitive sense to think about business ethics in terms of maximizing the good (Fryer, 2014).
Human service practitioners will have no preference but to make choices with possible moral outcomes at some point of their career. Will Hunting is an orphan but also a genius with special gifts especially in mathematics, living in South Boston, earn a living as a janitor and surrounded with buddies like Chuck who is loyal to him, but they are every so often unemployed and gather to drink beers at pub during night time. Others may be extra hard due to the fact the recommendations or circumstances are doubtful and the wrong selection could deliver results for others or even yourself. Every occasionally a difficulty of tremendous proportions may additionally surface that impacts you directly or other people. Contrary to Kant’s ethic, Bernard Williams argues that when judging human movements the outcomes of human actions should be taken into consideration. Secondly, a good fortune performs a major function in morality. Thirdly, ethical values are not ultimate over different values. Fourthly, ethical sentiments can’t be modeled on a view of the world wherein each happening and anyone is on the identical distance.
This can be shown in the movie when Will Hunting explains why he doesn’t want to work for National Security Agency (NSA), if someone puts a code that no one else except him can break on his desk, he did his job well but maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or Middle East, once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels are hiding, fifteen hundred people that Will never met, never had no problem with will get killed.
Universalism is developed by Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher who lived in the 18th century (1724–1804) and is considered a deontological or duty-based approach. Kant believed that moral reasoning is not based on factual knowledge and that the results of our actions do not determine whether they are right or wrong (William H. Shaw & Vincent Barry, 2010). Kant’s theory is an important example of a purely non-consequentialist approach to ethics and Kant held that only we act from duty does our action have moral worth (William H. Shaw ; Vincent Barry, 2010). Good will is the only thing that is good in itself.
John Rawls (1921-2002) presents his theory as a modern alternative to utilitarianism, one that he hopes will be compatible with the belief that justice must be associated with fairness and the moral equality of persons. John Rawls derives his two principles of justice. The first principle is everyone have an equal right to the most extensive total system of equal basic liberties compatible with a similar system of liberty for all and the second principle is social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged, consistent with the just savings principle, and attached to offices and positions open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity (Rawls, 1999). The first principle guarantees not only equal liberty to individuals but also as much liberty to individuals as possible.
Justice is fair treatment and due reward in accordance with ethical or legal standards. In business, this means that the decision rules used by an individual to determine the justice of a situation could be based on the perceived rights of individuals and on the intention of the people involved in a given business interaction. Hence, justice is more likely to be based on deontological moral philosophies than on teleological or utilitarian philosophies. Put it in another word, justice deals more with the issue of what individuals feel they are due based on their rights and performance in the workplace.
The differences between consequentialism, non-consequentialism and virtue ethics are both consequentialism and non-consequentialism are applied deductively to problems while virtue ethics is applied inductively and virtue ethics also assumes that what current societal moral rules require may indeed be the moral minimum for the beginning of virtue. The viability of our political, social and economic systems depends on the presence of certain virtues among the citizenry that are vital for the proper functioning of a market economy (Ferrell, O. C., Fraedrich, J., ; Ferrell, L., 2008).
Virtue ethics names a type of moral principle that takes virtues of person, rather than characters moves or regulations, because the most essential moral concepts. Moral virtues like honesty, courage, integrity, temperance and generosity are taken to be inherently good first, then moves are evaluated based totally on whether or not they express the ones virtues. That is, do the moves match what a virtuous man or woman would do in those occasions. Virtue ethics may, initially, be identified as the one that emphasizes the virtues, or moral character, in contrast to the approach that emphasizes duties or rules (deontology) or that emphasizes the consequences of actions (consequentialism). Suppose it is obvious that someone in need should be helped, a utilitarian will point to the fact that the consequences of doing so will maximize well-being, a deontologist to the fact that, in doing so the agent will be acting in accordance with a moral rule such as “Do unto others as you would be done by” and a virtue ethicist to the fact that helping the person would be charitable or benevolent (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2003).
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (2003, July 18). Retrieved September 15, 2018, from https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-virtue/
Canby, V. (1989, June 2). Review/Film; Shaking Up a Boys’ School With Poetry. Retrieved September 9, 2018, from The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/1989/06/02/movies/review-film-shaking-up-a-boys-school-with-poetry.html
Ferrell, O. C., Fraedrich, J., & Ferrell, L. (2008). Business ethics : ethical decision making and cases. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.
Fryer, M. (2014). Ethics Theory and Business Practice. Sage Publications Ltd.
Rawls, J. (1999). A Theory of Justice. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
William H. Shaw & Vincent Barry. (2010). Moral Issues in Business. Wadsworth Cengage Learning.