Estates & Interests in Land

This video covers various estates and interests in land. We look at both legal and equitable interests. The video starts with freeholds, exploring 5 restrictions on such an interests – covenants, easements, nuisances, statutory restraints and licenses. We then explore leaseholds and commonholds. Three types of equitable interests are then explored: licenses, agreements and trusts.

Deontological and Teleological Ethics

Deontology and Teleology are two specialist terms used to separate ethical theories. They difference between deontology and teleology, is in essence, the same as the difference between absolutist and relativist theories.

Deontology: This means the same as absolute. The ethical systems are based on some form of a rule system. Following a deontological system such as Kant, Natural Law or some forms of Christian ethics means that the moral thing to do is one that does not change from situation to situation. For example, according to Kantian ethics it will always be wrong to lie even if it saves someone’s life. This is because consequences are not taken into account and the universal law does not change.

Teleology: Teleological theories are the same as relativist theories. They state that the moral thing to do is one which will change from situation to situation because the consequence of an action is sovereign. Ethical systems like Utilitarianism and Situation ethics voice this belief. They suggest that lying can only be moral if it results in the most pleasure for the most people (Act Utilitarianism) or the most love towards the most people (Situation Ethics).

Below is a video outlining this and some key strengths and weaknesses:

Aristotle’s Idea of Purpose & Eudaemonia

This is a quick note on Aristotle’s ideas on purpose:
  • He believed that something is good if it fulfils its purpose. For example, a plate is ‘good’ if it fulfils its purpose to serve food.
  • This is based on Aristotle’s ideas of causality.
  • As everything has a Final Cause, it is possible to determine what is ‘good’ by examining the organism’s apparent purpose.
  • The basis of the Roman Catholic morality is Natural Law which was put forward by Aquinas. Aquinas married that ideas of Aristotle to Christian Theology.
  • Aristotle spoke of eudaemonia, ‘greatest good’ or spiritual satisfaction. This good comes about through self-realisation and fulfilment of human potential.
  • The eudaemonia is achieved through exercising the virtues, which would not only seek pleasure but knowledge and spiritual satisfaction.
Personally, I think that these are good values to base an ethical theory on because they are logically. However, in the gist of mixing it with Christian theology I believe Aquinas lost the logical sense it made. This is because with Natural Law, there can be a lot of ‘hypocrisy’ e.g. it was OK for Mother Teresa to devote her life to the poor and not get married and have kids and people like her are exempt from the law but for an average person they must fulfil the law of getting married and having kids.

Kantian Ethics

Kantian Ethics is summarised in the video tutorial below:



The strengths & weaknesses of the theory can be summarised as follows:

Strengths and weaknesses to Kant’s deontological theory of ethics

  1. The clear distinction between ‘emotions’ and ‘duty’ is important, it ensures that decisions are made out of something more than ‘urges of the moment’. For example, if you see someone hurt on the street, rather than acting just out of compassion, it is better to act of duty. This is gives something extra to the action taken.
  2. The theory can be applied to everyone, regardless of culture, race, religion etc.
  3. The appeal to innate human reason establishes a clear criteria for what constitutes a moral action. This makes it easier to deduce right actions to take.
  4. It respects human life without exception. Kant’s deontological of theory goes against suicide, abortion, murder etc. Even killing out of love is seen as unmoral.
  5. This respect in time demonstrates that human beings have rights e.g. they have a right to be told the truth.
  6. It is wholly secular which means it does not rely on the assumption that there is a God.
  1. It works only if everyone agrees to it especially when fulfilling the maxim of Kingdom of Ends.
  2. There can be conflicts of duty e.g. we have a duty to protect human life as well as we have duty not to lie but what if lying is the only way to save someone’s life? Kant’s reply to this criticism is interesting, he says that there is no such thing as a conflict in duty we need to identify which one of the two is not a duty.
  3. Kant’s theory falls into making a naturalistic fallacy – can ‘ought’ really imply ‘can’ and if this fails so does Kant’s ethical system.
  4. Can we really say that the action itself is really more important than the consequences?
  5. Does this theory really apply to everyone – what if someone is not capable of rational decision- making like a baby or someone with a disability.
  6. There is not a mutual consensus between everyone tat ‘my duty in one situation is my duty in every situation’
  7. Can this theory really be used in real life e.g. to be moral does everyone really need to try and fulfill their potential or give others happiness, can they not just be happy in themselves without causing others harm.
  8. Is Kant correct in saying that happiness is a by-product of leading a moral life not the intention behind it.
  9. For Kant, ‘rationality’ is extremely important, but just following the above point is it really realistic for Kant to overlook ‘fellowship’ because emotions, concerns, hopes etc are not part of his moral equation. I mean after all we are mortals.
  10. Obviously, for some theist the fact that God is excluded from the moral exclusion is a definite negative.