The Imperative Necessity of a New Assessment of Well-Being in Providing Aid and Assistance
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Traditional ethics seem to offer us a dichotomy between cleontological and teleological theories. These theories appear to be contradictory with no point of overlap or compatibility. In this essay I will examine these ethical theories, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and then describe how each ofthese theories seernS to need the other. Instead of being contradictory, I claim that they are in fact complementary aspects of a single theory that makes the concept of well-being as its fundamental notion. I first demonstrate the need to look for a way of reconciling teleology and deontology and then introduce Martin Seel as representing the most developed and sophisticated account of well-being that offers a reconciliation between teleology and deontology. In addition, I will present Seel;s ethical theory as providing the philosophical underpinnings of Amartya Sen's work on development arid foreign aid. He presupposes, but does not explicitly articulate, an ethical theory based upon a universal notion of well-being, and I rectify this deficit by showing it provides him with the necessary philosophical foundations for his work. Finally, I will provide case studies that prove that this particular interpretation of well-being yields positive results.