References and Further Reading 1. We may define metaethics as the study of the origin and meaning of ethical concepts. When compared to normative ethics and applied ethics, the field of metaethics is the least precisely defined area of moral philosophy. It covers issues from moral semantics to moral epistemology.
Back to Top Ethics or Moral Philosophy is concerned with questions of how people ought to act, and the search for a definition of right conduct identified as the one causing the greatest good and the good life in the sense of a life worth living or a life that is satisfying or happy.
The word "ethics" is derived from the Greek "ethos" meaning "custom" or "habit". Ethics differs from morals and morality in that ethics denotes the theory of right action and the greater good, while morals indicate their practice. It asks questions like "How should people act?
See below for more discussion of these categories. He asserted that people will naturally do what is good provided that they know what is right, and that evil or bad actions are purely the result of ignorance: So, in essence, he considered self-knowledge and self-awareness to be the essential good, because the truly wise i.
According to Aristotle"Nature does nothing in vain", so it is only when a person acts in accordance with their nature and thereby realizes their full potential, that they will do good and therefore be content in life. He encouraged moderation in all things, the extremes being degraded and immoral, e.
Virtue, for Aristotledenotes doing the right thing to the right person at the right time to the proper extent in the correct fashion and for the right reason - something of a tall order. Cynicism is an ancient doctrine best exemplified by the Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinopewho lived in a tub on the streets of Athens.
He taught that a life lived according to Nature was better than one that conformed to convention, and that a simple life is essential to virtue and happiness.
As a moral teacher, Diogenes emphasized detachment from many of those things conventionally considered "good". Hedonism posits that the principal ethic is maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain.
This may range from those advocating self-gratification regardless of the pain and expense to others and with no thought for the future Cyrenaic Hedonismto those who believe that the most ethical pursuit maximizes pleasure and happiness for the most people.
Somewhere in the middle of this continuum, Epicureanism observed that indiscriminate indulgence sometimes results in negative consequences, such as pain and fear, which are to be avoided. According to Epictetusdifficult problems in life should not be avoided, but rather embraced as spiritual exercises needed for the health of the spirit.
Pyrrhothe founding figure of Pyrrhonian Skepticismtaught that one cannot rationally decide between what is good and what is bad although, generally speaking, self-interest is the primary motive of human behavior, and he was disinclined to rely upon sincerity, virtue or Altruism as motivations.
Humanismwith its emphasis on the dignity and worth of all people and their ability to determine right and wrong purely by appeal to universal human qualities especially rationalitycan be traced back to ThalesXenophanes of Colophon - B.
These early Greek thinkers were all instrumental in the move away from a spiritual morality based on the supernatural, and the development of a more humanistic freethought the view that beliefs should be formed on the basis of science and logic, and not be influenced by emotion, authority, tradition or dogma.
Normative Ethics Back to Top Normative Ethics or Prescriptive Ethics is the branch of ethics concerned with establishing how things should or ought to be, how to value them, which things are good or bad, and which actions are right or wrong. It attempts to develop a set of rules governing human conduct, or a set of norms for action.
Normative ethical theories are usually split into three main categories: Consequentialism, Deontology and Virtue Ethics: Thus, a morally right action is one that produces a good outcome or consequence.
Consequentialist theories must consider questions like "What sort of consequences count as good consequences?Ethics are the standard of what is right and wrong, and they are based on our values. Being ethical requires making a moral judgment, and that’s not always easy.
Ethical behavior takes courage and has to be practiced. Right vs Wrong and Good vs Evil are just similar terms that refer to the sliding scale for the degree to which individual human behaviours or actions are considered acceptable or unacceptable within a .
Normative Ethics (or Prescriptive Ethics) is the branch of ethics concerned with establishing how things should or ought to be, how to value them, which things are good or bad, and which actions are right or wrong. Making Decisions About Right and Wrong Margaret R. McLean On occasion I ask students in my undergraduate ethics course at Santa Clara University to relate their first ethical memory--what was their first choice about right or wrong, good or bad?
Ethics (from the Ancient Greek "ethikos", meaning "theory of living") is one of the major branches of philosophy, one that covers the analysis and employment of concepts such as right, wrong, good, evil, and responsibility.
Now right and wrong are matters for debate. The end of the Second World War was a turning point. And while the morality of the ’30s was not perfect, Cleeve noted that “to exchange a false morality for no morality at all is not necessarily an .