Hodgson’s Magnificent Seven Universal General Principles

Hodgson produces a similar list of values to Guy’s which he refers to as ‘The Magnificent Seven Universal General Principles.’

There is also parallel thinking with Ross’s prima facie duties.

Hodgson’s Magnificent Seven Universal General Principles (1992)

1 Dignity of human life: The lives of persons are to be respected.
Example: not intending or doing harm to others.

2 Autonomy: All persons, including ourselves, are intrinsically valuable and have a right to self-determination.
Examples: acting in ways that demonstrate each person’s worth; acting for one’s own legitimate needs.

3 Honesty: The truth should be told to those who have a right to know it.
Examples: speaking and acting in ways that reflect the way things are in reality.

4 Loyalty: Promises, contracts, and commitments should be honoured.
Examples: honouring confidentiality and keeping proprietary information secret; honouring written and oral contracts; doing what one says one will do.

5 Fairness: People should be treated justly.
Examples: one’s right to life’s necessities and the duty to ensure them for others; the right of all to fair treatment under work contracts, company policies, and the law; duty to help those in deep need, those in danger, and those who are helpless.

6 Humaneness: (1) Our actions should accomplish good; (2) our actions should avoid evil. Actions should be of benefit to ourselves and others.
Examples: performing good acts, not evil ones; acting and speaking to be of benefit to others; acting and speaking in ways that benefit one’s own valid self-interest.

7 The common good: Actions should accomplish the ‘greatest good for the greatest number’ of people.
Examples: speaking and acting, whenever possible, for the welfare for the most people, as long as individual rights are not violated.


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