Definition Of Ethics In Brief

Definition of Ethics In Brief


The Greek term "ethos," which implies character or conduct, is the root of the English word "ethics." The phrase can also be used to describe a person, group, or organization's moral principles. In order to achieve ultimate fulfilment, ethics is the methodical study of human activity from the standpoint of its rightfulness or wrongfulness. It is a subfield of philosophy that examines moral principles in contemporary culture. Public management requires a commitment to ethics. 

The Meaning of Ethics:

• The Greek term "ethos," which implies character or conduct, is the root of the English word "ethics."
• The phrase can also be used to describe a person, group, or organization's moral principles.
• The area of philosophy known as ethics is concerned with the moral principles and ideals that guide both individual and societal behavior.
• It requires thinking critically about what is right and wrong as well as the ideals and principles that should govern behavior.
• Ethics is concerned with issues like how we ought to live, what is proper in particular circumstances, and what sort of person we ought to aspire to be.
• It examines the good, evil, and right and wrong aspects of human nature and behaviors.
• For instance, the phrase "ethics" refers to the standards that place reasonable obligations to refrain from committing crimes including rape, theft, murder, assault, and fraud. Honesty, compassion, and loyalty are other values that are prescribed by ethical norms.
• The terms "ethics" and "moral philosophy" are occasionally used interchangeably.
• This morality has evolved into actions and conduct that are concerned with the "good" or "evil" of particular customs, groups, or people.
• The phrases "moral" and "ethical" are frequently used as synonyms meaning right or good, in contrast to "immoral" and "unethical."
• Although it does not imply moral excellence or rightness, it does make reference to morality.
• The term "ethics" refers to the rules that should govern human behavior, often speaking in terms of justice, obligations, fairness, and particular virtue.
• Given its concern for human existence and normative evaluation of human activity, ethics is inherently concerned with people.
• As a result, different philosophers have come up with unique definitions of ethics.
• According to Mackenzie, ethics is a comprehensive study of the principles guiding human behavior.
• Dewey contends that the goal of the study of ethics is to highlight morally upright and admirable behavior.
• Moore was a staunch supporter of non-naturalism. He claimed that doing so is a Naturalistic Fallacy and that we cannot connect moral and natural concepts.
These moral guidelines offer direction for moral judgment in many areas, such as politics, law, business, and healthcare.
• Environmental Ethics: Should people be held accountable for the damaging effects of their behavior on the environment?
• Business ethics: Should businesses put profits ahead of moral principles like social responsibility, openness, and treating employees fairly?
• Medical Ethics: Is it permissible for medical practitioners to help terminally ill patients terminate their lives?
• Animal Ethics: Is it moral to utilize animals for human needs like entertainment, food production, or medical research?
• Political ethics: If so, how should politicians be held accountable for their words and deeds?
• Cyber Ethics: Is it moral to gather and utilize someone else's personal information without their permission for commercial purposes?
• Sexual Ethics: What are the boundaries of acceptable sexual behavior, and how should they be established?
• Religious Ethics: How should religious ethics integrate ethical standards of today with religious doctrines and practices?

Descriptive Ethics:

• The investigation of moral convictions among humans is known as descriptive ethics. It entails empirical research.
• It provides us with a generalized pattern or way of life for people in many societies.
• The development and history of ethics are examined by descriptive ethics. It provides a history of particular taboos, traditions, or practices.
• It explains the background of certain institutions, such as marriage and the family, for instance.
• What is forbidden in a community or people's ethical convictions are the main topics of descriptive ethics.
• It aims to learn about people's values, beliefs, morally correct and wrong acts, and virtues of moral agents.
• Actual choices made in the real world by moral agents are intended to be explained by descriptive ethics.
• It makes an effort to look at the ethical standards that other societies adhere to. An ethical perspective that has no values is known as descriptive ethics. It investigates moral beliefs among people empirically. 
• Suppose a group of researchers conduct a study on the moral beliefs and behaviors of people from different cultures. They gather data through surveys, interviews, and observations, and then analyze the results to draw conclusions about how people in different cultures approach moral decision-making.
• One finding from the study might be that people from collectivist cultures tend to prioritize the needs of their family and community over their own individual desires, while people from individualistic cultures tend to place more value on personal autonomy and self-expression.
• This finding would be an example of descriptive ethics because it describes how people actually behave in moral situations, without making any normative claims about whether one cultural approach is better or worse than the other. The researchers are simply reporting what they observed, without making any judgments about what people "should" do.

Normative Ethics

• The process of creating moral laws that define what behavior is appropriate and inappropriate is known as normative ethics.
• In some aspects, it resembles the pursuit of the ideal litmus test for proper conduct. Normative ethics is often referred to as prescriptive ethics.
• How people should act is determined by the study of ethical views. It examines whether certain actions are morally right or bad.
• Punishing someone for upsetting the social and moral order is justified.
• It makes an effort to construct particular theories based on the regulations of particular conventions. Normative ethics offers moral guidelines for making difficult moral decisions.
• Aristotle's virtue ethics, Kant's deontological ethics, Mill's consequentialism (utilitarianism), and the Bhagavad Gita's Nishkam Karma Yoga are the theories of Normative Ethics.
• Suppose a group of philosophers are debating whether it is morally permissible to lie in certain situations. One philosopher argues that lying is always wrong, regardless of the circumstances, because it violates the principle of honesty and undermines trust in interpersonal relationships.
• Another philosopher argues that lying can be morally justified in some cases, such as when it is done to protect someone from harm or to prevent a greater evil from occurring. This debate is an example of normative ethics because the philosophers are not just describing how people actually behave in moral situations, but they are also making normative claims about what people ought to do.
• They are trying to establish a moral standard or principle that can guide ethical decision-making in situations where lying may be a possible option. In this case, the philosophers are debating the normative question of whether lying is morally acceptable or not, and trying to develop a moral principle that can provide guidance for ethical decision-making in situations where lying may be considered.


• Meta ethics is the study of the philosophical underpinnings and significance of ethical ideas. It also goes by the name ethics of ethics.
• The word "meta" means "beyond" or "beyond," hence the idea of Meta ethics implies an objective perspective of the total ethical endeavor.
Definition of Ethics In Brief
• Metaethics frequently asks two questions: first, philosophical concerns about whether morality exists independently of humans, and second, psychological questions concerning the mental underpinnings of our moral judgments and actions.
• In other words, meta ethics is the study of how ethical notions and conceptions actually connect to one another. It establishes if concepts from normative ethics are valid.
• The study of ethical concepts is known as meta ethics. It looks into the metaphysics of moral facts as well as the semantics of moral language.
• Understanding the nature of ethical attributes and evaluations is the goal of meta ethics.
• Suppose a group of politicians are debating whether it is morally permissible to use drone strikes to target suspected terrorists in foreign countries. One politician argues that such strikes are justified because they are necessary to protect national security and prevent future terrorist attacks. Another politician argues that drone strikes are immoral because they violate international law and human rights, and may result in the killing of innocent civilians.
• This debate raises important meta-ethical questions about the nature of moral judgments and how we evaluate the morality of actions. For instance, one might ask whether the morality of drone strikes depends on their actual consequences or on the intentions of those who authorize them.
• Alternatively, one might question whether there are objective moral principles that can guide our judgments about the use of force in international affairs. By engaging in this debate, the politicians are implicitly exploring these meta-ethical questions and assumptions that inform ethical thinking.
• They are questioning the meaning and validity of moral claims, and attempting to arrive at a shared understanding of what constitutes a morally justified use of force.

Applied Ethics

• The field of ethics known as "applied ethics" is focused on analyzing particular, divisive moral dilemmas including euthanasia, animal rights, and abortion.
• Presenting moral norms as being difficult to understand is helpful. A freshly established lifestyle results in some difficulties.
• Issues like "Is having an abortion immoral?" are addressed by applied ethics. "Is euthanasia morally acceptable?" and so forth.
• A problem needs to meet two requirements in order to be classified as an "applied ethical concern."
• In order for a topic to be considered controversial, there must be sizable constituencies of people on both sides of the argument.
• It must also be a clearly moral concern rather than merely a social issue in order for an issue to be classified as an applied ethical issue. 
• Suppose a group of medical professionals are faced with the ethical dilemma of whether to withdraw life support from a terminally ill patient. The patient has been on life support for several months and is not expected to recover.
• The medical team is unsure whether to continue life support, which is causing the patient pain and suffering, or to withdraw it, which may hasten the patient's death. The medical professionals would need to consider a number of ethical principles and values in order to make an informed decision. For instance, they may need to consider the principle of autonomy, which requires respecting the patient's wishes and preferences.
• They may also need to consider the principle of beneficence, which requires acting in the patient's best interests, as well as the principle of non-maleficence, which requires avoiding harm to the patient.
• This scenario is an example of applied ethics because the medical professionals are grappling with a real-life ethical issue and trying to apply ethical principles and theories to make a decision that is in the best interests of the patient. They are not just discussing abstract ethical theories, but are trying to make a practical decision that has real-world consequences for the patient and their loved ones.

Public Administration And Morality

• Maximizing Reasonability and Legality: A manager will follow by the laws and standards that have been set to regulate and direct different kinds of policies and decisions.
• When a manager takes complete ownership of his decisions and actions, responsibility and accountability are maximized.
• He would be morally responsible for his actions and the ethical application of his judgments in making decisions.
• Maxim of Excellence: A manager would uphold the highest standards possible in all administrative decisions and actions, refusing to budge on standards for the sake of comfort or complacency.
• Maxim of Fusion: To assist in the formation of ideals, an administrator would rationally bring about a fusion of personal, organizational, and social goals and would infuse this fusion into his actions.
• The maxim of justice states that those in charge of formulating and enforcing policy should ensure that the ideals of equality, equity, fairness, impartiality, and objectivity are upheld and that no one is given a preferential advantage based on their status, wealth, gender, class, caste, or place in society.
• Transparency: An administrator will make and carry out decisions in a transparent manner so that people who will be impacted by the decisions and those who want to examine their rationale can understand the justifications for such judgments and the information sources on which these decisions were based.
• The maxim of integrity states that an administrator should make decisions based on honesty rather than abusing his or her power, position, or judgment to further personal or nefarious goals of other people or organizations.

Morality And Ethics

• Contrary to ethics, morality is independent of social consensus. The self-realization process involves other individuals thanks to ethics.
• It is possible to be moral without being ethical, but not to be moral without being ethical.
• Morality is a subjective determination of what is right and bad, whereas ethics is a collective appraisal of what is.
• For instance, a moralist may concur that the death penalty is unjust, yet his neighborhood may nonetheless practice it.
• Since social ethics are unaffected by individual thoughts, society's values ultimately determine whether the death penalty is morally acceptable or not. 
• Man was dubbed a "social animal" by Aristotle. It implies that human interaction is necessary to maintain sociability.
• And he is constantly forced to wrestle with the conflict between selfishness and altruism by their divergent instincts for supremacy and survival.
• Ethics has therefore served as a tool for moral development of the person in order to create harmonious interactions with others in the present and the future.






  • Ethics is a discipline of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and advocating conceptions of good and bad action.
  • Morality may be defined as a set of norms or principles generated from a code of behavior drawn from a certain philosophy, religion, or culture.
  • Ethics are influenced by the perspectives of others.
  • Morality is viewed from an individual's point of view.
  • If the settings are different, the ethics may change. Hence there is some degree of flexibility in ethics.
  • The difference in an individual's views determines moral change.
  • Ethics is practiced because society has determined that it is the best course of action.
  • Morality is followed because the individual considers it to be the best path of action.
  • A person who follows ethical principles does not have to have strong moral beliefs; in fact, it is possible that he might not have any morals at all.
  • There may be instances where a moral person compromises ethics in order to retain his moral ideals.
  • Ethics is typically connected with the fields of law, medicine, and business. Ethics is not associated with religion.
  • Morality is associated with religion.

Ethics And Law

• When an offence is committed, the law becomes operative. Ethics enters the scene from the moment the crime is committed. Hard evidence is required by law to establish an offender's guilt.
• In ethics, a person's bad intentions are enough to convict them nevertheless, ethics cannot be gotten around by identifying grammatical or procedural errors because it leaves a permanent imprint that lasts a lifetime.
• Immanuel Kant once said, "A man is criminal in law when he violates another person's rights, he is guilty in ethics if he simply considers doing so."

Religion And Ethics

• A religious person is bound by a prescribed set of concepts, obligations, and points of view.
• Any religion's three main tenets are justice, compassion, and the truth.
• A person gains inner purity and a moral awareness of what is good, bad, right, and wrong through religion. Morality is frequently aided by religion.
• Although most religions promote and call for high ethical standards, ethics is not a religion.
• Even though many people are atheists, ethical concepts are true for all people, regardless of their place in the religion spectrum. Furthermore, ethical behavior is possible even if a person is not religious.

An Ethical Science

• Unlike natural and factual sciences, ethics is a normative science. Each science is focused on a certain body of knowledge.
• As a result, ethics has its own field of study within science. It is focused with particular conclusions we draw regarding the behaviors of people.
• According to Muirhead, "Ethics is not only concerned with temporal behavior, it also serves as the foundation for legal decision-making."
• As a guide to a specific goal, ethics is not a science of application. Its route differs from that of applied science, which serves as a tool to achieve a goal or ideal.
• For instance, medical science enables us to treat the underlying causes of disease. Ethics therefore aims to ascertain what the ultimate goal of life is and how to accomplish it.


Ethics is the study of what is right and wrong in human action. This is a branch of philosophy that studies moral principles. Because of this, Ethics is also known as Moral Philosophy. In order to assess whether a person's actions are good or bad, moral or immoral, against a set of rules, norms, principles, or directives known as ethics. If human intentions and goals are good or wicked, it can also be determined using ethical standards. As a result, ethics is the area of philosophy that deals with right and wrong. It examines the moral foundations and how people ought to live their lives in connection to one another.

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