Prasasti Pandit
West Bengal Education Service
My objective of this paper is to suggest and workout a more credible form of the Principle of Beneficence from the common essential elements of the three major ethical theories (Deontology, Utilitarianism and Virtue Ethics) that will try to overcome the over-demanding objection of Utilitarianism and the rigorism of Kant’s Deontology. After analyzing these three moral systems, I find that beneficence lies within the very essence of humanity. Human beings are superior to other creatures in the world due to rationality and humanity. From the humanitarian ground, a common goodness lies within every human. Beneficence, as a moral principle, is derived from this inner humanity of every individual. Despite their initial differences, utilitarianism, deontology and virtue ethics recognize this fundamental humanitarian disposition of doing good for all as a part of being a morally better person. The principle of beneficence as I suggest, is different from its consequential utilitarian notion suggested by Mill. This version of beneficence is more credible as it does not impose excessive demands upon an individual to develop any maximum beneficial outcome following utilitarian calculation of beneficence over cost, and it also strives to overcome the rigorous duty-based theory of Kantian deontology by appealing to the fundamental virtue of humanity. Finally, the credibility of this form of beneficence comes from the underlying transcendental humanism which is the chief feature of Indian tradition.
Keywords Beneficence  Benevolence  Utilitarianism  Deontology  Virtue Ethics  Virtue of Humanity  Inner Goodness
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s40961-021-00258-2
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Leviathan.Thomas Hobbes - 1651 - Harmondsworth, Penguin.
The Theory of Moral Sentiments.Adam Smith - 1759 - Dover Publications.
Utilitarianism.J. S. Mill - 1861 - Oxford University Press UK.
The Possibility of Altruism.Thomas Nagel - 1970 - Oxford Clarendon Press.

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Beneficence/Benevolence: WILLIAM K. FRANKENA.William K. Frankena - 1987 - Social Philosophy and Policy 4 (2):1-20.
Kant and the Demandingness of the Virtue of Beneficence.Paul Formosa & Martin Sticker - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (3):625-642.
Rescue, Beneficence, and Contempt for Humanity.Adam Blincoe - 2017 - Journal of Philosophical Research 42:95-114.
Virtue Ethics and Environs.James Griffin - 1998 - Social Philosophy and Policy 15 (1):56.
The Virtue Ethics of Levi Gersonides.Alexander Green - 2016 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.
Beneficence as a Principle in Human Research.Ian Pieper & Colin J. H. Thomson - 2016 - Monash Bioethics Review 34 (2):117-135.
Shareholder Theory and Kant’s ‘Duty of Beneficence’.Samuel Mansell - 2013 - Journal of Business Ethics 117 (3):583-599.
Corporate Beneficence and COVID-19.Daniel T. Ostas & Gastón de los Reyes - 2020 - Journal of Human Values 27 (1):15-26.


Added to PP index

Total views
32 ( #354,087 of 2,498,734 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
27 ( #32,432 of 2,498,734 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes