The Study of Ethics• Ethics is derived from theGreek word ETHOS which means –Characteristic way of actingLatin word mos, mores which means-Tradition or custom
Major Branches of Ethics• Meta-Ethics– the theoretical meaning and reference of moralpropositions and how their truth-values may bedetermined.– seeks to understand the nature of ethicalproperties, statements, attitudes, and judgments– Question: What does right even mean?
• Normative ethics– the practical means of determining a moral courseof action– Standards of rightness and wrongness– investigates the set of questions that arise whenconsidering how ought one to act– Question: How should people act?
• Applied Ethics– about how moral outcomes can be achieved inspecific situations– identify the morally correct course of action invarious fields of human life– Question: How do we take moral knowledge andput it into practice?
• Descriptive ethics– about what moral values people actually abide by.– peoples beliefs about morality– research into the attitudes of individuals or groupsof people– Question: What do people think is right?
• Moral Psychology– about how moral capacity or moral agencydevelops and what its nature is.– Moral development focuses on the emergence,change, and understanding of morality frominfancy to adulthood.
The ethos of man is revealed in thefollowing:• He is able to distinguish between good andevil, right and wrong, moral and immoral• He feels within himself an obligation to dowhat is good and to avoid what is evil.• He feels himself accountable for his actions,expecting reward or punishment for them.
What is Ethics?• Ethics is the practical science of the morality of humanconduct• Ethics is said to be the study of human motivation, andhuman rational behaviorMORALITY - is that quality of human acts by which we call some ofthis acts good and some evil.HUMAN ACTS are those actions performed by man: knowinglyand freely, deliberate or intentional actions, or voluntary.ACTS OF MAN which are instinctive and involuntary
Principles of Ethics• Personal Ethics – might also be called morality, since theyreflect general expectation of any person in any society, actingand any capacity.Principles of Personal Ethics include:1. Concern for the well-being of others2. Respect for the autonomy of others3. Trustworthiness and honesty4. Willing compliance with the law5. Basic justice; being fair6. Benevolence; doing good7. Preventing harm
• Global Ethics – are most controversial of the threecategories, and the least understood.1. Global Justice2. Society before self3. Environmental stewardship– Protection of water and soil– Prevention of erosion and water pollution– Flood management– Wildlife conservation– Protect archaeological sites and historic features– Provide public access to the countryside– Conserve rare traditional livestock breeds and varieties4. Interdependence and responsibility for the whole5. Reverence– the acknowledgement of the legitimacy of the power of ones superior orsuperiors
• Professional Ethics - the rules governing theconduct, transactions, and relationships within aprofession and among its publics– Honesty - truthfulness– Integrity – consistency / accuracy– Transparency - openness– Accountability – liable / responsible– Confidentiality - accessibility– Objective – meeting conditions– Respectful - honour– Within the law
How good is a set of principles?• They serve as landmarks – generic indicators to beused as compelling guides for an active conscience• They are not absolute rules or values• They are more like rough measurement where an exactone is not possible• They often conflict with each other in practice andsome will trump others under certain circumstances• They are compatible with the argument that weshould simply follow our intuition and rely on the innervoice