Virtue Ethics And Utilitarianism In Dr. Seuss Horton Hears A Who?

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Pop culture often illustrates different philosophical ideas. These ideas can be portrayed in movies, television shows, plays, music, etc. Deontology, which claims that the ethics and morality of one’s actions are based solely on those actions, not their consequences, is shown in Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who. Utilitarianism, which emphasizes that the best actions are the ones that benefit the greater good, is illustrated in The Last Supper. Finally, Virtue ethics, which says that, in regards to morality, a person’s character is more important than their actions, is depicted in South Park’s episode “The List”. Through these three films, the philosophical topics of deontology, utilitarianism, and virtue ethics are brought to the attention of their audiences. Many of Dr. Seuss’s works have philosophical undertones and moral lessons in them. This is especially true for Horton Hears a Who. This film highlights deontological issues and the importance of one’s actions in achieving a moral end, no matter what the consequences are. Horton, an elephant, find a dust speck that the Who’s are living on. However, no one else in the jungle believes him and he is ostracized. Horton continues with his attempts to save the Who’s even when he gets tied up and caged. In …show more content…
Horton Hears a Who illustrates deontology through Horton’s actions to save the Who’s, even though they cannot be seen and despite everyone else’s objections. The Last Supper demonstrates utilitarianism through Mark’s hypothetical of having the chance to kill Hitler before he can do the world any harm. Lastly, South Park’s episode “The List” portrays virtue ethics through Kyle’s realization that one’s character is more important in producing a good outcome rather than one’s popularity or looks. These films are significant because they give their audience a philosophical lesson to learn, instilling values of morality and goodness into

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