Normative ethics

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Normative ethics is a branch of ethics, that looks to establish norms of how people ought to behave, and act in certain situations. It also looks at how norms and values are formed in a society. It looks at what is good, and right in a moral sense.

Philiospohers such as Aristotle and Saint Thomas Aquinas looked at the question what virtue really is; from this a branch called virtue ethics develped.

People like Immanuel Kant, with his categorical imperative, John Rawls with his contractualism, or John Locke with his theory of natural rights are seen as advocating deontological ethics today.

Utilitarianism says that an action is right, if it makes more people happy.

These are common branches of normative ethics.