Sample Essay

`Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, and John Stuart Mill all reject ethical relativism, i.e., the idea that a practice or action is morally right simply because ones society or culture says that it is morally right. Explain how Aristotle, Kant, and Mill would apply their ideas to an ethical criticism of female genital mutilation.

Female Genital Mutilation also known as female circumcision is a procedure which is performed on girls before puberty. In this procedure part of or the entire clitoris is removed in order to insure that the female has reduced or no sexual feelings. It is still practiced around the world mostly as a cultural custom rather than a religious one. The reasoning behind this action is that it is done in an effort to make girls into women, that it is the duty of the parents to insure they are circumcised and to ensure that they are eligible for marriage (

In order to consider how Kant, Mills and Aristotle would perceive this procedure we must consider the different social aspects attribute to the writings of each philosopher. According to Kant every single individual possesses the ability to discern right from wrong and that moral of the action should be decided from the intentions of the individual instead of the consequences. Kant also saw the moralistic centre of an action came from duty and not self interest.

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