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Should you return money you find or can you keep it?

Imagine that you run a charitable organization that provides clothing, eyeglasses, toys and after-school tutoring for poor children. There is never enough money to provide for the needs of your clients. One day, you are leaving a shopping mall and notice an expensive billfold on the pavement. You pick up the wallet and find that it contains $10,000 and several platinum credit cards. You look for identification and are stunned to discover that the billfold belongs to Microsoft multi-millionaire Bill Gates. Are you morally bound to return the wallet? (yes) What would Kant's Categorical Imperative require? How would Kant's guidance compare with the reasoning of ONE of these: a utilitarian, a social contractarian or rights theorist, or a feminist care ethicist? How would your own reasoning and conclusion compare with any or all of these ethical theories?

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Imagine that you run a charitable organization that provides clothing, eyeglasses, toys and after-school tutoring for poor children. There is never enough money to provide for the needs of your clients. One day, you are leaving a shopping mall and notice an expensive billfold on the pavement. You pick up the wallet and find that it contains $10,000 and several platinum credit cards. You look for identification and are stunned to discover that the billfold belongs to Microsoft multi-millionaire Bill Gates.

Are you morally bound to return the wallet? (yes)
Kant's idea of morality was that morality was good for its own sake. One was expected ...

Solution Summary

This is a case study of finding a wallet with money in it. The solution discusses if it is right to keep the money or do you have an ethical obligation to return it if the wallet has ID in it. This scenario is analyzed from a Kantian point of view compared with the perspective of a utilitarian philosopher. Over 450 words of original text.

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