Ethics

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Ethics studies what is a moral act is and how it rationally justifies a moral system. It also focuses on how to apply this moral system on an individual and social level. An ethical doctrine elaborates and verifies certain affirmations. An ethical sentence will contain qualifying terms of the "good", "bad", "correct", "incorrect" ... referring to an act, decision or intention. When a person uses an ethical sentence, it’s morally rate a situation, person or act. An example of a moral judgment: "Killing is bad."

Introduction

Philosophical discipline who studies good and evil and its relations with morality and human behavior. Set of customs and norms that direct or value human behavior in a community.

Definition

Ethics has had multiple definitions since the time of the Greeks. The word comes from the Latin ethĭcus, and this from ancient Greek ἠθικός transliterated as ēthikós. According to some authors, it’s correct to differentiate êthos, meaning 'character', from ethos, which means 'habit', because 'ethics' follows that meaning and is not this one. Aristotle considered that good could only be obtained by developing the essence itself, and, concretely in the case of man, developing his rational faculties. In the Middle Ages Descartes keep on that man has a free will and for that reason he is responsible for his way of life in front of God. The concept of ethics and its meaning has been changing over the years, now approaching different ethical types today.

Disciplines

Ethics is allied to other currents such as anthropology, law, law and the empirical sciences that study behavior, such as sociology or psychology. A very important difference of ethics is that this one is not coercive, that means what it does not impose normative or legislative sanctions. However, in one of the branches of ethics such as professional ethics, can be present in codes of ethics that regulate professional activity. Deontology is part of normative ethics and contrary to the previous, does present a series of principles and norms that are obligatory. Ethics should not be confused with these disciplines despite their closeness or even relationship, as it may have with morality, values, duty or equity.

Branches

Meta-ethics

Interested in the analysis of moral language.

The problem of being and should be

Ethics oriented towards ends and not assumptions.

The naturalistic fallacy

granting moral properties since that something has a natural property. For example, to say that to see cinema is good because it is pleasant, from the point of view of George Edward Moore, is not valid since it would have to affirm that all the pleasant acts are good.

Normative ethics

Theories of ethical or moral philosophy can be distinguished according to the criteria of their bases for the determination of moral good.

Consequentialism

He argues that morality only depends on its consequences. Quoting Machiavelli: The end justifies the means.

Deontology

He maintains that there are acts that must be performed and others that do not, regardless of their consequences.

Ethics of Virtue

It goes back to Plato and says that if an act makes you a more virtuous person, then you are ethical.

Applied Ethics

This branch of ethics deals with studying concrete and controversial moral questions, such as abortion, euthanasia, or animal rights.