A description of the nature of ethics

Many of the improvements in the world have come about because people opposed the prevailing ethical view - moral relativists are forced to regard such people as behaving "badly" Any choice of social grouping as the foundation of ethics is bound to be arbitrary Moral relativism doesn't provide any way to deal with moral differences between societies Moral somewhere-in-between-ism Most non-philosophers think that both of the above theories have some good points and think that there are a few absolute ethical rules but a lot of ethical rules depend on the culture.

That's the sort of question that only a philosopher would ask, but it's actually a very useful way of getting a clear idea of what's going on when people talk about moral issues.

Aristotle's analysis of the nature of pleasure is not meant to apply to every case in which something seems pleasant to someone, A description of the nature of ethics only to activities that really are pleasures.

Research into descriptive ethics may also investigate people's ethical ideals or what actions societies reward or punish in law or politics. In some circumstances, there may be clashes or conflicts between these duties and a decision must be made whereby one duty may "trump" another, although there are no hard and fast rules and no fixed order of significance.

Meta-Ethics Back to Top Meta-Ethics is concerned primarily with the meaning of ethical judgments, and seeks to understand the nature of ethical properties, statements, attitudes, and judgments and how they may be supported or defended.

It asks questions like "How should people act. It is strange if someone thinks that politics or practical wisdom is the most excellent kind of knowledge, unless man is the best thing in the cosmos.

His project is to make ethics an autonomous field, and to show why a full understanding of what is good does not require expertise in any other field. Rule Consequentialism, which is a theory sometimes seen as an attempt to reconcile Consequentialism and Deontologythat moral behavior involves following certain rules, but that those rules should be chosen based on the consequences that the selection of those rules have.

Ethics: a general introduction

It was indirectly to treat of several problems which are psychological, philosophical, sociological and political in nature. Aquinas does not hold that knowledge of morality is always effective: So, something is good because God says it is, and the way to lead a good life is to do what God wants.

It was first advocated by Plato and is particularly associated with Aristotleand became the prevailing approach to ethical thinking in the Ancient and Medieval periods. Somehow, the overwhelming prospect of some great pleasure seems to obscure one's perception of what is truly good.

And the act-consequentialist J. A defense of his position would have to show that the emotions that figure in his account of the virtues are valuable components of any well-lived human life, when they are experienced properly.

Terms to Know Commingling: Aristotle observes in Book X that what all things aim at is good b35—a1 ; significantly, he falls short of endorsing the argument that since all aim at pleasure, it must be the good.

We will discuss these chapters more fully in section 10 below. Why such a restricted audience. Such people Aristotle calls evil kakos, phaulos.

Those who belong to the natural law tradition also hold that reason endorses acting morally.


This sounds like subjectivism, but in emotivism a moral statement doesn't provide information about the speaker's feelings about the topic but expresses those feelings.

Hare, in his earlier books, regarded moral judgments as those judgments that override all nonmoral judgments and that would be universalized by the person making the judgment. Moral Realism and Moral Anti-Realism: Perhaps the most telling indication of this ordering is that in several instances the Nicomachean Ethics develops a theme about which its Eudemian cousin is silent.

Once we see that temperance, courage, and other generally recognized characteristics are mean states, we are in a position to generalize and to identify other mean states as virtues, even though they are not qualities for which we have a name.

Ethics III 3 Although virtue is different from intelligence, then, the acquisition of virtue relies heavily upon the exercise of that intelligence. Pleasure is not a good in itself, he argued, since it is by its nature incomplete. Indeed, hypocrisy is simply a matter of advocating a code one does not accept.

What ought to be noted is that culture is generational and not static. Mill, John Stuart, [], Utilitarianism, edited by G. As a result, when the guide to conduct put forward by, for example, a religious group conflicts with the guide to conduct put forward by a society, it is not clear whether to say that there are conflicting moralities, conflicting elements within morality, or that the code of the religious group conflicts with morality.

If they accept the conflicting guide of some other group to which they belong often a religious group rather than the guide put forward by their society, in cases of conflict they will regard those who follow the guide put forward by their society as acting immorally.

Nicomachean Ethics is a philosophical inquiry into the nature of the good life for a human being. Aristotle begins the work by positing that there exists some ultimate good toward which, in the final analysis, all human actions ultimately aim.

The third statement, from analytic ethics, draws yet a further conclusion based upon the previous two and is the very nature of morality itself. Instead of arguing, as in the previous example, that morals are all relative, this one makes a claim about the purpose of morals -. Because ethics is a practical rather than a theoretical science, Aristotle also gave careful consideration to the aspects of human nature involved in acting and accepting moral responsibility.

Moral evaluation of an action presupposes the attribution of responsibility to a human agent. Dec 15,  · Ethics are a system of moral principles and a branch of philosophy which defines what is good for individuals and society.

At its simplest, ethics is a system of moral principles. They affect how. The province or scope of Ethics is the range of its subject-matter. Ethics, as a normative science, seeks to define the moral ideal. It is not concerned with the nature, origin or development of human conduct, it is concerned with the ideal or standard to which our conduct should conform.

But in. Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct.

The field of ethics, along with aesthetics, concern matters of value, and thus comprise the branch of philosophy called axiology.

A description of the nature of ethics
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