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Encyclopedia > Ethics (philosophy)
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Ethics is the branch of axiology – one of the four major branches of philosophy, alongside metaphysics, epistemology, and logic – which attempts to understand the nature of morality; to define that which is right from that which is wrong. The Western tradition of ethics is sometimes called moral philosophy. Axiology = the study of value , from the Greek axia (αξια, value, worth), is the study of value or quality. ... Jump to: navigation, search Philosophy is a discipline or field of study involving the investigation, analysis, and development of ideas at a general, abstract, or fundamental level. ... Jump to: navigation, search Metaphysics (Greek words meta = after/beyond and physics = nature) is a branch of philosophy concerned with the study of first principles and being (ontology). ... Jump to: navigation, search Epistemology, from the Greek words episteme (knowledge) and logos (word/speech) is the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature, origin and scope of knowledge. ... Jump to: navigation, search Logic (from Classical Greek λόγος (logos), originally meaning the word, or what is spoken, but coming to mean thought or reason) is most often said to be the study of arguments, although the exact definition of logic is a matter of controversy amongst philosophers (see below). ... Jump to: navigation, search Morality, in the strictest sense of the word, deals with that which is innately regarded as right or wrong. ... Jump to: navigation, search A right is the power or privilege to which one is justly entitled or a thing to which one has a just claim. ... A wrong is a concept in law and ethics. ... Western philosophy is a line of related philosophical thinking, beginning in Ancient Greece, and including the predominant philosophical thinking of Europe and its former colonies, and continues to this day. ...

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The first social science

Assumptions about ethical underpinnings of human behaviour are reflected in every social science, including: anthropology because of the complexities involved in relating one culture to another, economics because of its role in the distribution of scarce resources, political science because of its role in allocating power, sociology because of its roots in the dynamics of groups, law because of its role in codifying ethical constructs like mercy and punishment, criminology because of its role in rewarding ethical behaviour and discouraging unethical behaviour, and psychology because of its role in defining, understanding, and treating unethical behaviour. Terms like SOSE (Studies of Society & the Environment) not only refer to social sciences but also studies of the environment. ... Jump to: navigation, search Anthropology (from the Greek word άνθρωπος, human) consists of the study of humankind (see genus Homo). ... Look up Culture on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Wikinews has news related to this article: Culture and entertainment Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Cultural Development in Antiquity Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Culture and Civilization in Modern Times Classificatory system for cultures and civilizations, by Dr. Sam Vaknin... U.S. Economic Calendar Economics at the Open Directory Project Economics textbooks on Wikibooks The Economists Economics A-Z Institutions and organizations Bureau of Labor Statistics - from the American Labor Department Center for Economic and Policy Research (USA) National Bureau of Economic Research (USA) - Economics material from the organization... The Politics Series Politics Politics Portal Politics by country Political campaigns Political science Political philosophy Related topics Ideology Democracy Democracy Representative democracy History of democracy Referenda Liberal democracy Representation Voting Voting systems Elections Elections Elections by country Elections by calendar Political parties Political party Parties by country Parties by name... Political power is a type of power held by a person or group in a society. ... Jump to: navigation, search Social interactions of people and their consequences are the subject of sociology studies. ... Aphorism Critical legal studies Jurisprudence Law (principle) Legal research Letter versus Spirit List of legal abbreviations Legal code Natural justice Natural law Philosophy of law Religious law External links Find more information on Law by searching one of Wikipedias sibling projects: Wikibooks Wikiversity has more about this subject: School... Mercy is a term used to describe the leniency or compassion shown by one person to another, or a request from one person to another to be shown such leniency or compassion. ... Punishment is the practice of imposing something unpleasant on a wrongdoer as a response to something unwanted that the wrongdoer has done. ... Criminology comprises the body of knowledge dealing with the causes and consequences of crime as a social phenomenon. ... Jump to: navigation, search Psychology (Classical Greek: psyche = soul or mind, logos = study of) is an academic and applied field involving the study of behavior and its relationship to the mind and brain. ...


Ethics has also been extended to the hard sciences, such as biology (as bioethics) and ecology (as environmental ethics). As these fields become more complex and deal with more situations, the application of ethics in those fields can also become more complex. Main articles: Life The most salient example of biological universality is that all living things share a common carbon-based biochemistry and in particular pass on their characteristics via genetic material, which is based on nucleic acids such as DNA and which uses a common genetic code with only minor... Jump to: navigation, search Bioethics is the ethics of biological science and medicine. ... Jump to: navigation, search (Ecology is sometimes used incorrectly as a synonym for the natural environment. ... Environmental ethics is the ethical relationship between human beings and the environment in which they live. ...


In analytic philosophy, ethics is traditionally divided into three fields: Meta-ethics, Normative ethics (including value theory and the theory of conduct) and applied ethics – which is seen to be derived, top-down, from normative and thus meta-ethics. Jump to: navigation, search Analytic philosophy is the dominant philosophical movement of English-speaking countries, although one of its founders, Gottlob Frege, was German, and another, Ludwig Wittgenstein, was Austrian. ... In philosophy, meta-ethics is that branch of ethics which seeks to understand the nature of ethical sentences, statements, attitudes and evaluations. ... Normative ethics (cf. ... Value theory concerns itself with the worth, utility, trading or economic value, moral value, legal value, quantitative or aesthetic value of people and things - or the combination of all these. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Applied ethics takes a theory of ethics, such as utilitarianism, social contract theory, or deontology, and applies its major principles to a particular set of circumstances and practices. ...


Meta-ethics

Main article: Meta-ethics

Meta-ethics is the investigation of the nature of ethical statements. It involves such questions as: Are ethical claims truth-apt, i.e., capable of being true or false, or are they, for example, expressions of emotion (see cognitivism and non-cognitivism)? If they are truth-apt, are they ever true? If they are ever true, what is the nature of the facts that they express? And are they ever true absolutely (see moral absolutism), or always only relative to some individual, society, or culture? (See moral relativism, cultural relativism.) Meta-ethics is one of the most important fields in philosophy. In philosophy, meta-ethics is that branch of ethics which seeks to understand the nature of ethical sentences, statements, attitudes and evaluations. ... In ethics, cognitivism is the view that ethical sentences express propositions. ... Non-cognitivism is the meta-ethical view that ethical statements (such as Killing is wrong) do not assert propositions; that is to say, they do not express factual claims or beliefs and therefore are neither true nor false (they are not truth-apt). ... Moral absolutism is the position that there are absolute standards against which moral questions can be judged, and that certain actions are right or wrong, regardless of the context of the act. ... Jump to: navigation, search In philosophy, Moral relativism is the position that moral or ethical propositions do not reflect absolute or universal truths but instead are relative to social, cultural, historical or personal references, and that there is no single standard by which to assess an ethical propositions truth. ... Cultural relativism is the principle that an individual humans beliefs and activities make sense in terms of his or her own culture. ... Jump to: navigation, search Philosophy is a discipline or field of study involving the investigation, analysis, and development of ideas at a general, abstract, or fundamental level. ...


Meta-ethics studies the nature of ethical sentences and attitudes. This includes such questions as what "good" and "right" mean, whether and how we know what is right and good, whether moral values are objective, and how ethical attitudes motivate us. Often this is derived from some list of moral absolutes, e.g. a religious moral code, whether explicit or not. Some would view aesthetics as itself a form of meta-ethics. Moral codes (see Morality) are often complex statements of right and wrong. ... Jump to: navigation, search Aesthetics (also esthetics and æsthetics) is the philosophy of beauty and art. ...


Meta-ethics also investigates where our ethical principles come from, and what they mean. Are they merely social inventions? Do they involve more than expressions of our individual emotions? Meta-ethical answers to these questions focus on the issues of universal truths, the will of God, the role of reason in ethical judgments, and the meaning of ethical terms themselves.


Normative ethics

Main article: Normative ethics

Normative ethics bridges the gap between meta-ethics and applied ethics. It is the attempt to arrive at practical moral standards that tell us right from wrong, and how to live moral lives. This may involve articulating the good habits that we should acquire, the duties that we should follow, or the consequences of our behavior on others. Normative ethics (cf. ...

  • One branch of normative ethics is theory of conduct; this is the study of right and wrong, of obligation and permissions, of duty, of what is above and beyond the call of duty, and of what is so wrong as to be evil. Theories of conduct propose standards of morality, or moral codes or rules. For example, the following would be the sort of rules that a theory of conduct would discuss (though different theories will differ on the merit of each of these particular rules): "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"; "The right action is the action that produces the greatest happiness for the greatest number"; "Stealing is wrong". Theories of moral conduct can be distinguished from etiquette by their concern with finding guidelines for action that are not dependent entirely on social convention. For example, it may not be a breach of etiquette to fail to give money to help those in poverty, but it could still be a failure to act morally.
  • Another branch of normative ethics is theory of value; this looks at what things are deemed to be valuable. Suppose we have decided that certain things are intrinsically good, or are more valuable than other things that are also intrinsically good. Given this, the next big question is what would this imply about how we should live our lives? The theory of value also asks: What sorts of things are good? What sorts of situations are good? Is pleasure always good? Is it good for people to be equally well-off? Is it intrinsically good for beautiful objects to exist? Or: What does "good" mean? It may literally define "good" and "bad" for a community or society. [Criticism: Theory of value is not a part of normative ethics, though normative ethics presupposes some theory of value. For example, there are aesthetic values which may be amoral, i.e., neutral in regard to conduct.]

This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Jump to: navigation, search Morality, in the strictest sense of the word, deals with that which is innately regarded as right or wrong. ... Moral codes (see Morality) are often complex statements of right and wrong. ... Etiquette is the code that governs the expectations of social behavior, the conventional norm. ... Theories of Value ask What sorts of things are good? Or: What does good mean? If we had to give the most general, catch-all description of good things, then what would that description be? When that question is answered with God, this is called Summum bonum. Many people believe...

Applied ethics

Main article: applied ethics

One form of applied ethics applies normative ethical theories to specific controversial issues. In these cases, the ethicist adopts a defensible theoretical framework, and then derives normative advice by applying the theory. Applied ethics takes a theory of ethics, such as utilitarianism, social contract theory, or deontology, and applies its major principles to a particular set of circumstances and practices. ...


However, many persons and situations, notably traditional religionists and lawyers, find this approach either against accepted religious doctrine or impractical because it does not conform to existing laws and court decisions. Casuistry is a completely different form of applied ethics that is widely used in these cases and by these groups. Casuists compare moral dilemmas to well established cases (sometimes called paradigms). The well-established methods for coping with the well-established cases are then adapted to the case at hand. Jump to: navigation, search Casuistry (argument by cases) is an attempt to determine the correct response to a moral problem, often a moral dilemma, by drawing conclusions based on parallels with agreed responses to pure cases, also called paradigms. ... Since the late 1800s, the word paradigm (IPA: ) has referred to a thought pattern in any scientific discipline or other epistemological context. ...


The special virtue of casuistry over applied moral theory is that groups and individuals often disagree about theories, but may nonetheless have remarkably similar paradigms. Thus, they may be able to achieve substantial social agreement about actions, even though their theories are incompatible. This may be why casuistry is the foundation of many legal systems.


The ethical problems attacked by applied ethicists (of whatever sort) often bear directly on public policy. For example, the following would be questions of applied ethics: "Is getting an abortion ever moral?"; "Is euthanasia ever moral?"; "What are the ethical underpinnings of affirmative action policies?"; "What are human rights, and how do we determine them?"; "Do animals have rights?" Jump to: navigation, search Affirmative action (U.S. English), or positive discrimination (British English), is a policy or a program providing access to systems for people of a minority group who have traditionally been discriminated against, with the aim of creating a more egalitarian society. ... Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ...


Without these questions there is no clear fulcrum on which to balance law, politics, and practice of arbitration – in fact no common assumptions of all participants – so the ability to formulate the questions are prior to rights balancing. Aphorism Critical legal studies Jurisprudence Law (principle) Legal research Letter versus Spirit List of legal abbreviations Legal code Natural justice Natural law Philosophy of law Religious law External links Find more information on Law by searching one of Wikipedias sibling projects: Wikibooks Wikiversity has more about this subject: School... Look up Politics on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Politics (disambiguation) Democracy History of democracy List of democracy and elections-related topics List of years in politics List of politics by country articles Political corruption Political economy Political movement Political parties of the world Political party Political psychology Political sociology Political... Arbitration, in the context of law, is a form of alternative dispute resolution — specifically, a legal alternative to litigation whereby the parties to a dispute agree to submit their respective positions (through agreement or hearing) to a neutral third party (the arbitrator(s) or arbiter(s)) for resolution. ...


But not all questions studied in applied ethics concern public policy. For example: Is lying always wrong? If not, when is it permissible? The ability to make these ethical judgments is prior to any etiquette. A lie is a statement made by someone who believes or suspects it to be false, in the expectation that the hearers may believe it. ...


There are several sub-branches of applied ethics examining the ethical problems of different professions, such as business ethics, medical ethics, engineering ethics and legal ethics, while technology assessment and environmental assessment study the effects and implications of new technologies or projects on nature and society. Technology assessment (TA, German Technikfolgenabschätzung) is the study and evaluation of new technologies. ... Jump to: navigation, search An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is an assessment of the likely human environmental health impact, risk to ecological health, and changes to natures services that a project may have. ...


Each branch to characterize common issues and problems that arise in the ethical codes of the professions, and define their common responsibility to the public, e.g. to preserve its natural capital, or to obey some social expectations of honest dealings and disclosure. Ethical codes are specialized and specific codes of ethics. ...

Ethics has been applied to economics, politics and political science, leading to several distinct and unrelated fields of applied ethics, including Business ethics and Marxism. The morality and legality of abortion are controversial topics. ... Jump to: navigation, search The Great Ape Project is campaigning for a Declaration on Great Apes. ... Jump to: navigation, search Bioethics is the ethics of biological science and medicine. ... // General definition Business ethics is the branch of ethics that examines ethical rules and principles within a commercial context; the various moral or ethical problems that can arise in a business setting; and any special duties or obligations that apply to persons who are engaged in commerce. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Environmental ethics is the ethical relationship between human beings and the environment in which they live. ... Jump to: navigation, search Feminism is a diverse collection of social theories, political movements, and moral philosophies, largely motivated by or concerning the experiences of women, especially socially, politically, and economically. ... The gay rights movement is a collection of loosely aligned civil rights groups, human rights groups, support groups and political activists seeking acceptance, tolerance and equality for non-heterosexual, (homosexual, bisexual), and transgender people - despite the fact that it is typically referred to as the gay rights movement, members also... Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ... Jump to: navigation, search Lachy hyuts everyday. ... Medical ethics is the discipline of evaluating the merits, risks, and social concerns of activities in the field of medicine. ... Utilitarian ethics was formulated first by Jeremy Bentham in 1781, and later championed and elaborated by the philosopher John Stuart Mill. ... Utilitarian Bioethics is a very controversial branch of Utilitarian ethics that espouses directing medical resources where they will contribute most to the sum of the number of happy people in the world. ... U.S. Economic Calendar Economics at the Open Directory Project Economics textbooks on Wikibooks The Economists Economics A-Z Institutions and organizations Bureau of Labor Statistics - from the American Labor Department Center for Economic and Policy Research (USA) National Bureau of Economic Research (USA) - Economics material from the organization... Look up Politics on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Politics (disambiguation) Democracy History of democracy List of democracy and elections-related topics List of years in politics List of politics by country articles Political corruption Political economy Political movement Political parties of the world Political party Political psychology Political sociology Political... The Politics Series Politics Politics Portal Politics by country Political campaigns Political science Political philosophy Related topics Ideology Democracy Democracy Representative democracy History of democracy Referenda Liberal democracy Representation Voting Voting systems Elections Elections Elections by country Elections by calendar Political parties Political party Parties by country Parties by name... // General definition Business ethics is the branch of ethics that examines ethical rules and principles within a commercial context; the various moral or ethical problems that can arise in a business setting; and any special duties or obligations that apply to persons who are engaged in commerce. ... Jump to: navigation, search Marxism is the political practice and social theory based on the works of Karl Marx, a 19th century German philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary, along with Friedrich Engels. ...


Ethics has been applied to family structure, sexuality, and how society views the roles of individuals; leading to several distinct and unrelated fields of applied ethics, including feminism. Jump to: navigation, search Feminism is a diverse collection of social theories, political movements, and moral philosophies, largely motivated by or concerning the experiences of women, especially socially, politically, and economically. ...


Moral Ethics has been applied to war, leading to the fields of pacifism and nonviolence. Vereschagins painting Apotheosis of War (1871) came to be admired as one of the earliest artistic expressions of pacifism. ... [[[[Media:--84. ...


Ethics has been applied to analyze human use of Earth's limited resources. This has led to the study of environmental ethics and social ecology. A growing trend has been to combine the study of both ecology and economics to help provide a basis for sustainable decisions on environmental use. This has led to the theories of ecological footprint and bioregional autonomy. Political and social movements based on such ideas include eco-feminism, eco-anarchism, deep ecology, the green movement, and ideas about their possible integration into Gaia philosophy. Environmental ethics is the ethical relationship between human beings and the environment in which they live. ... Jump to: navigation, search Social ecology is, in the words of its leading exponents, a coherent radical critique of current social, political, and anti-ecological trends as well as a reconstructive, ecological, communitarian, and ethical approach to society. Social Ecology is a radical view of ecology and of social/political... Ecofeminism is a biocentric environmental movement with cultural and social concerns. ... Eco-anarchism argues that small eco-villages (of no more than a few hundred people) are a scale of human living preferable to civilization, and that infrastructure and political systems should be re-organized to ensure that these are created. ... Jump to: navigation, search Deep ecology is a recent philosophy or ecosophy based on a shift away from the anthropocentric bias of established environmental and green movements. ... The Green movement encompasses the Green parties of various countries, and rely on the ideals of the larger ecology movement, peace movement, conservation movement, environmental movement and general trend towards environmentalism. ... Gaia philosophy (named after Gaia, the Greek goddess of the Earth) is a broadly inclusive term for related concepts that living organisms on a planet will affect the nature of their environment – to make it more suitable for life. ...


Ethics has been applied to criminology leading to the field of criminal justice. Criminology comprises the body of knowledge dealing with the causes and consequences of crime as a social phenomenon. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...


There are several sub-branches of applied ethics examining the ethical problems of different professions, such as business ethics, medical ethics, engineering ethics and legal ethics, while technology assessment and environmental assessment study the effects and implications of new technologies or projects on nature and society. Each branch characterizes common issues and problems that may arise, and define their common responsibility to the public, e.g. to preserve its natural capital, or to obey some social expectations of honest dealings and disclosure. // General definition Business ethics is the branch of ethics that examines ethical rules and principles within a commercial context; the various moral or ethical problems that can arise in a business setting; and any special duties or obligations that apply to persons who are engaged in commerce. ... Medical ethics is the discipline of evaluating the merits, risks, and social concerns of activities in the field of medicine. ... Legal ethics refers to an ethical code governing those in the practice of law. ... Technology assessment (TA, German Technikfolgenabschätzung) is the study and evaluation of new technologies. ... Jump to: navigation, search An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is an assessment of the likely human environmental health impact, risk to ecological health, and changes to natures services that a project may have. ...


Ethics in religion

Main articles: Ethics in religion, Ethics in the Bible

Ethics is a branch of philosophy dealing with right and wrong in human behaviour. ... Western philosophical works on ethics were written in a culture whose literary and religious ideas were based in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the New Testament. ...

Ethics in health care

Main articles: bioethics, medical ethics

One of the major areas where ethicists practice is in the field of health care. This includes medicine, nursing, pharmacy, genetics, and allied health professions. Example issues are euthanasia, abortion, medical experiments, vaccine trials, stem cell research, truth telling, patient rights and autonomy, rationing of health care (such as triage). Jump to: navigation, search Bioethics is the ethics of biological science and medicine. ... Medical ethics is the discipline of evaluating the merits, risks, and social concerns of activities in the field of medicine. ... Jump to: navigation, search Health care or healthcare is the prevention, treatment, and management of illness and the preservation of mental and physical well-being through the services offered by the medical and allied health professions [1]. The healthcare industry is one of the worlds largest and fastest-growing... Medicine on the Web NLM (National Library of Medicine, contains resources for patients and healthcare professionals) Virtual Hospital (digital health sciences library by the University of Iowa) Online Medical Dictionary Collection of links to free medical resources Categories: Medicine | Health ... Nursing is a discipline focused on assisting individuals, families and communities in attaining, re-attaining and maintaining optimal health and functioning. ... Jump to: navigation, search the Caduceus Pharmacy (from the Greek φάρμακον = drug) is the profession of compounding and dispensing medication. ... Jump to: navigation, search Genetics (from the Greek genno γεννώ= give birth) is the science of genes, heredity, and the variation of organisms. ... Jump to: navigation, search Euthanasia (Greek: ευθανασία - ευ good, θανατος death) is the practice of killing a person or animal, in a painless or minimally painful way, for merciful reasons, usually to end their suffering. ... A vaccine trial is a scientific experiment that uses one or more groups of test subjects to statistically judge the efficacy of a vaccine. ... Jump to: navigation, search Mouse embryonic stem cells. ... Typical triage tag used for emergency mass casualty decontamination. ...


Ethics in psychology

By the 1960s there was increased interest in moral reasoning. Psychologists such as Lawrence Kohlberg developed theories which are based on the idea that moral behaviour is made possible by moral reasoning. Their theories subdivided moral reasoning into so-called stages, which refer to the set of principles or methods that a person uses for ethical judgment. The first and most famous theory of this type was Kohlberg's theory of moral development.. Jump to: navigation, search The 1960s in its most obvious sense refers to the decade between 1960 and 1969, but the expression has taken on a wider meaning over the past twenty years. ... Moral reasoning is a study in psychology that overlaps with moral philosophy. ... Jump to: navigation, search Psychology (Classical Greek: psyche = soul or mind, logos = study of) is an academic and applied field involving the study of behavior and its relationship to the mind and brain. ... Lawrence Kohlberg, sire of Cognitive Moral Development theory. ... Jump to: navigation, search Kohlbergs stages of moral development were developed by Lawrence Kohlberg to explain the development of moral reasoning. ...


Carol Gilligan, a student of Kohlberg's, argued that women tend to develop through a different set of stages from men. Her studies inspired work on a so-called ethic of care, which particularly defines itself against Rawlsian-type justice- and contract-based approaches. Jump to: navigation, search Carol Gilligan (1936– ) is an American feminist ethicist best known for her work with and against Lawrence Kohlberg on ethical community and ethical relationships, and certain subject-object problems in ethics. ...


Another group of influential psychological theories with ethical implications is the humanistic psychology movement. One of the most famous humanistic theories is Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Maslow argued that the highest human need is self-actualization, which can be described as fulfilling one's potential, and trying to fix what is wrong in the world. Carl Rogers's work was based on similar assumptions. He thought that in order to be a 'fully functioning person', one has to be creative and accept one's own feelings and needs. He also emphasized the value of self-actualization. A similar theory was proposed by Fritz Perls, who assumed that taking responsibility of one's own life is an important value. Jump to: navigation, search Humanistic psychology is a school of psychology that emerged in the 1950s in reaction to both behaviorism and psychoanalysis. ... Abraham Maslow (April 1, 1908 – June 8, 1970) was a psychologist. ... Jump to: navigation, search Maslows hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology that Abraham Maslow proposed in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation, which he subsequently extended. ... According to Maslow, self actualization (usu. ... Jump to: navigation, search Carl Rogers Carl Ransom Rogers (January 8, 1902–February 4, 1987) was an influential American psychologist. ... Frederick S. (Fritz) Perls (1893 - 1970) was a noted German-born psychologist and psychotherapist. ...


R.D. Laing developed a broad range of thought on interpersonal psychology. This deals with interactions between people, which he considered important, for an ethical action always occurs between one person and another. In books such as The Politics of Experience, he dealt with issues concerning how we should relate to persons labeled by the psychiatric establishment as "schizophrenic". He came to be seen as a champion for the rights of those considered mentally ill. He spoke out against (and wrote about) practices of psychiatrists which he considered inhumane or barbaric, such as electric shock treatment. Like Wittgenstein, he was frequently concerned with clarifying the use of language in the field -- so, for example, he suggested that the effects of psychiatric drugs (some of which are very deleterious, such as tardive diskensia) be called just that: "effects", and not be referred to by the preferred euphemisms of the drug companies, who prefer to call them "side effects". Laing also did work in establishing true asylums as places of refuge for those who feel disturbed and want a safe place to go through whatever it is they want to explore in themselves, and with others. Jump to: navigation, search R.D.Laing. ...



A third group of psychological theories that have implications for the nature of ethics are based on evolutionary psychology. These theories are based on the assumption that the behaviour that ethics prescribe can sometimes be seen as an evolutionary adaptation. For instance, altruism towards members of one's own family promotes one's inclusive fitness. Evolutionary psychology (or EP) proposes that human and primate cognition and behavior can be better understood in light of human and primate evolutionary history. ... Jump to: navigation, search Inclusive fitness encompasses conventional Darwinian fitness with the addition of behaviors that contribute to an organism’s individual fitness through altruism. ...


Ethics in politics

Often, such efforts take legal or political form before they are understood as works of normative ethics. The UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights of 1948 and the Global Green Charter of 2001 are two such examples. However, as war and the development of weapon technology continues, it seems clear that no non-violent means of dispute resolution is accepted by all. Normative ethics (cf. ... The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (also UDHR) is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/217, December 10, 1948), outlining basic human rights. ... Jump to: navigation, search 1948 is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Global Greens Charter is a document that 800 delegates from the Green parties of 70 countries decided upon a first gathering of the Global Greens in Canberra, Australia in April 2001. ... Jump to: navigation, search 2001: A Space Odyssey. ... War is a state of widespread conflict between states, organisations, or relatively large groups of people, which is characterised by the use of lethal violence between combatants or upon civilians. ... The term technological escalation describes the fact that whenever two parties are in competition, each side tends to employ continuing technological improvements to defeat the other. ...


The need to redefine and align politics away from ideology and towards dispute resolution was a motive for Bernard Crick's list of political virtues. Bernard Crick (born 16 December 1929) is a political theorist whose views are often summarised as politics is ethics done in public. He seeks to arrive at a politics of action, as opposed to a politics of thought or of ideology. ... The political virtues were listed by Bernard Crick In Defense of Politics, 1982. ...


Ethics by cases

A common approach in applied ethics is to deal with individual issues on a case-by-case basis.


Casuistry is one such application of case-based reasoning to applied ethics. Almost all American states have tried to discourage dishonest practices by their public employees and elected officials by establishing an Ethics Commission for their state. Jump to: navigation, search Casuistry (argument by cases) is an attempt to determine the correct response to a moral problem, often a moral dilemma, by drawing conclusions based on parallels with agreed responses to pure cases, also called paradigms. ... Case-based reasoning (CBR), broadly construed, is the process of solving new problems based on the solutions of similar past problems. ...


Bernard Crick in 1982 offered a socially-centered view, that politics was the only applied ethics, that it was how cases were really resolved, and that "political virtues" were in fact necessary in all matters where human morality and interests were destined to clash. This and other views of modern universals is dealt with below under Global Ethics. Bernard Crick (born 16 December 1929) is a political theorist whose views are often summarised as politics is ethics done in public. He seeks to arrive at a politics of action, as opposed to a politics of thought or of ideology. ... Jump to: navigation, search 1982 (MCMLXXXII) is a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Look up Politics on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Politics (disambiguation) Democracy History of democracy List of democracy and elections-related topics List of years in politics List of politics by country articles Political corruption Political economy Political movement Political parties of the world Political party Political psychology Political sociology Political... The political virtues were listed by Bernard Crick In Defense of Politics, 1982. ...


The lines of distinction between meta-ethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics are often blurry. For example, the issue of abortion is an applied ethical topic since it involves a specific type of controversial behavior. But it also depends on more general normative principles, such as the right of self-rule and the right to life, which are litmus tests for determining the morality of that procedure. The issue also rests on metaethical issues such as, "where do rights come from?" and "what kind of beings have rights?"


Descriptive ethics

Some philosophers rely on descriptive ethics and choices made and unchallenged by a society or culture to derive categories, which typically vary by context. This leads to situational ethics and situated ethics. These philosophers often view aesthetics and etiquette and arbitration as more fundamental, percolating 'bottom up' to imply, rather than explicitly state, theories of value or of conduct. In these views ethics is not derived from a top-down a priori "philosophy" (many would reject that word) but rather is strictly derived from observations of actual choices made in practice: Descriptive ethics deal with what the population actually believes to be right and wrong, and holds up as ideals or condemns or punishes in law or politics, as contrasted to normative ethics which deals with what the population should believe to be right and wrong, and such concepts as sin... For the song by the California punk band Pennywise, see Society (song). ... Look up Culture on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Wikinews has news related to this article: Culture and entertainment Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Cultural Development in Antiquity Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Culture and Civilization in Modern Times Classificatory system for cultures and civilizations, by Dr. Sam Vaknin... Jump to: navigation, search Situational ethics (also known as Situationism) refers to a particular view of ethics, that states: (J. Fletcher, Situation Ethics (Westminster, Philadelphia, 1966). ... Situated ethics, often confused with situational ethics, is a view of applied ethics in which abstract standards from a culture or theory are considered to be far less important than the ongoing processes in which one is personally and physically involved, e. ... Jump to: navigation, search Aesthetics (also esthetics and æsthetics) is the philosophy of beauty and art. ... Etiquette is the code that governs the expectations of social behavior, the conventional norm. ... Arbitration, in the context of law, is a form of alternative dispute resolution — specifically, a legal alternative to litigation whereby the parties to a dispute agree to submit their respective positions (through agreement or hearing) to a neutral third party (the arbitrator(s) or arbiter(s)) for resolution. ...

  • Ethical codes applied by various groups. Some consider aesthetics itself the basis of ethics – and a personal moral core developed through art and storytelling as very influential in one's later ethical choices.
  • Informal theories of etiquette which tend to be less rigorous and more situational. Some consider etiquette a simple negative ethics, i.e. where can one evade an uncomfortable truth without doing wrong? One notable advocate of this view is Judith Martin ("Miss Manners"). In this view, ethics is more a summary of common sense social decisions.
  • Practices in arbitration and law, e.g. the claim by Rushworth Kidder that ethics itself is a matter of balancing "right versus right", i.e. putting priorities on two things that are both right, but which must be traded off carefully in each situation. This view many consider to have potential to reform ethics as a practice, but it is not as widely held as the 'aesthetic' or 'common sense' views listed above.
  • Observed choices made by ordinary people, without expert aid or advice, who vote, buy and decide what is worth fighting about. This is a major concern of sociology, political science and economics.

Those who embrace such descriptive approaches tend to reject overtly normative ones. There are exceptions, such as the movement to more moral purchasing. Ethical codes are specialized and specific codes of ethics. ... The moral core of all religions, all ethics and all right behaviour is the following: Do not do unto others what you would not have done unto you. ... Etiquette is the code that governs the expectations of social behavior, the conventional norm. ... Judith Martin (born Judith Perlman on September 13, 1938), better known by the pen name Miss Manners, is an American writer and etiquette authority. ... Arbitration, in the context of law, is a form of alternative dispute resolution — specifically, a legal alternative to litigation whereby the parties to a dispute agree to submit their respective positions (through agreement or hearing) to a neutral third party (the arbitrator(s) or arbiter(s)) for resolution. ... Aphorism Critical legal studies Jurisprudence Law (principle) Legal research Letter versus Spirit List of legal abbreviations Legal code Natural justice Natural law Philosophy of law Religious law External links Find more information on Law by searching one of Wikipedias sibling projects: Wikibooks Wikiversity has more about this subject: School... Rushworth M. Kidder founded the Institute for Global Ethics in 1990, and is the author of Moral Courage and How Good People Make Tough Choices: Resolving the Dilemmas of Ethical Living. ... Jump to: navigation, search Voting is a method of decision making wherein a group such as a meeting or an electorate attempts to gauge its opinion—usually as a final step following discussions or debates. ... Look up Trade in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Trade centers on the exchange of goods and/or services. ... Jump to: navigation, search Social interactions of people and their consequences are the subject of sociology studies. ... The Politics Series Politics Politics Portal Politics by country Political campaigns Political science Political philosophy Related topics Ideology Democracy Democracy Representative democracy History of democracy Referenda Liberal democracy Representation Voting Voting systems Elections Elections Elections by country Elections by calendar Political parties Political party Parties by country Parties by name... U.S. Economic Calendar Economics at the Open Directory Project Economics textbooks on Wikibooks The Economists Economics A-Z Institutions and organizations Bureau of Labor Statistics - from the American Labor Department Center for Economic and Policy Research (USA) National Bureau of Economic Research (USA) - Economics material from the organization... Ethical consumerism is the practice of boycotting products which a consumer believes to be associated with unnecessary exploitation or other unethical behaviour. ...


The analytic view

The descriptive view of ethics is modern and in many ways more empirical. But because the above are dealt with more deeply in their own articles, the rest of this article will focus on the formal academic categories, which are derived from classical Greek philosophy, especially Aristotle. Classical (or early) Greek philosophy focused on the role of reason and inquiry. ... Jump to: navigation, search Aristotle, marble copy of bronze by Lysippos. ...


First, we need to define an ethical sentence, also called a normative statement. An ethical sentence is one that is used to make either a positive or a negative (moral) evaluation of something. Ethical sentences use words such as "good," "bad," "right," "wrong," "moral," "immoral," and so on. Here are some examples:

  • "Sally is a good person."
  • "People should not steal."
  • "The Simpson verdict was unjust."
  • "Honesty is a virtue."
  • "One ought not to break the law."

In contrast, a non-ethical sentence would be a sentence that does not serve to (morally) evaluate something. Examples would include: Jump to: navigation, search O.J. Simpsons mugshot Orenthal James Simpson (born July 9, 1947 in San Francisco, California), publicly known by the initials O.J., and nicknamed The Juice, was a Hall of Fame former college and professional football player and film actor. ...

  • "Someone took the stereo out of my car."
  • "Simpson was acquitted at his trial."
  • "Many people are dishonest."
  • "I dislike it when people break the law."

See also


Moral absolutism is the position that there are absolute standards against which moral questions can be judged, and that certain actions are right or wrong, regardless of the context of the act. ... In moral philosophy, deontology is the view that morality either forbids or permits actions, which is done through moral norms. ... Jump to: navigation, search The categorical imperative is the philosophical concept central to the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant and to modern deontological ethics. ... A philosophy of modified Kantianism, originated by R. M. Hare, who believes that our moral judgments should be of the form I ought to do X in Y situation, whenever all of the relevant, universal properties of the facts that obtain in any similar situation are the same. ... Jump to: navigation, search In philosophy, the phrase virtue ethics refers to ethical systems that focus primarily on what sort of person one should try to be. ... Consequentialism is the belief that what ultimately matters in evaluating actions or policies of action are the consequences that result from choosing one action or policy rather than the alternative. ... Jump to: navigation, search Utilitarianism (from the Latin utilis, useful) is a theory of ethics based on quantitative maximization of some good for society or humanity. ... Evolutionary psychology studies how our behavior evolved. ... Jump to: navigation, search The divine command theory is the metaethical theory that moral values are whatever is commanded by a god or gods. ... Jump to: navigation, search The Objectivist ethics is a subset of the Objectivist philosophy formulated by Ayn Rand. ... W. D. Ross was a philosopher, known for work in ethics. ... Jump to: navigation, search Situational ethics (also known as Situationism) refers to a particular view of ethics, that states: (J. Fletcher, Situation Ethics (Westminster, Philadelphia, 1966). ... Moral relativism is the position that moral propositions do not reflect absolute or universal truths. ... This article is in need of attention. ... Jump to: navigation, search Gods death or nonexistence is a quintessential nihilistic concern. ... In meta-ethics, moral skepticism is a theory which maintains either that ethical claims are generally false, or else that we cannot sufficiently justify any ethical claims, and must therefore maintain doubt about whether they are true or false. ... Altruism is either a practice or habit (in the view of many, a virtue) as well as an ethical doctrine. ... Altruism is a well-documented animal behaviour, which appears most obviously in kin relationships but may also be evident amongst wider social groups. ... Ethical egoism is belief that one ought to do what is in ones own self-interest. ... Jump to: navigation, search For political policies of the same name see Bob Raes Social Contract (Ontario) and Harold Wilsons Social Contract (Britain) Social contract (or contractarianism) is a phrase used in philosophy, political science and sociology to denote a real or hypothetical agreement within a state regarding... Jump to: navigation, search Bioethics is the ethics of biological science and medicine. ... In moral philosophy, deontology is the view that morality either forbids or permits actions, which is done through moral norms. ... Theories of Value investigate how people positively and negatively value things and concepts, the reasons they use in making their evaluations, and the scope of a legitimate evaluation across the social world. ... Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ... In meta-ethics, the is-ought problem was raised by David Hume (Scottish philosopher and historian, 1711-1776), who noted that many writers make claims about what ought to be on the basis of statements about what is. ... Jump to: navigation, search Kohlbergs stages of moral development were developed by Lawrence Kohlberg to explain the development of moral reasoning. ... List of ethicists including religious or political figures recognized by those outside their tradition as having made major contributions to ideas about ethics, or raised major controversies by taking strong positions on previously unexplored problems. ... This list of ethics topics puts articles relevant to well-known ethical (right and wrong, good and bad) debates and decisions in one place - including practical problems long known in philosophy, and the more abstract subjects in law, politics, and some professions and sciences. ... In philosophy, meta-ethics is that branch of ethics which seeks to understand the nature of ethical sentences, statements, attitudes and evaluations. ... Jump to: navigation, search Morality, in the strictest sense of the word, deals with that which is innately regarded as right or wrong. ... George E. Moore The naturalistic fallacy is an alleged logical fallacy, identified by British philosopher G.E. Moore in Principia Ethica (1903), which Moore stated was committed whenever a philosopher attempts to prove a claim about ethics by appealing to a definition of the term good in terms of one... Jump to: navigation, search The ethic of reciprocity, which is stated in the Bible as Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, is a philosophical principle that long predates Christianity. ... Jump to: navigation, search In philosophy, the phrase virtue ethics refers to ethical systems that focus primarily on what sort of person one should try to be. ...

References

  • Blackburn, S (1996). Dictionary of Philosophy, Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0192831348
  • Cornman, James et al (1992). Philosophical Problems and Arguments - An Introduction 4th ed., Indianapolis: Hackett. ISBN 0872201244
  • MacIntyre, A (2002). A Short History of Ethics, Routledge. ISBN 0415287499
  • Singer, P., Ed. (1993). A Companion To Ethics, Massachusetts: Blackwell. ISBN 0631187855

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Ethics (11206 words)
Ethics is pre-eminently practical and directive; for it orders the activity of the will, and the latter it is which sets all the other faculties of man in motion.
Ethics is distinguished from the other natural sciences which deal with moral conduct of man, as jurisprudence and pedagogy, in this, that the latter do not ascend to first principles, but borrow their fundamental notions from ethics, and are therefore subordinate to it.
Philosophy and, by means of it, theology reaped abundant fruit from the works of Aristotle, which had until then been a sealed treasure to Western civilization, and had first been elucidated by the detailed and profound commentaries of St. Albert the Great and St. Thomas Aquinas and pressed into the service of Christian philosophy.
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