Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality — that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime, etc.
Major branches of ethics include:
- Meta-ethics, about the theoretical meaning and reference of moral propositions and how their truth values (if any) may be determined;
- Normative ethics, about the practical means of determining a moral course of action;
- Applied ethics, about how moral outcomes can be achieved in specific situations;
- Moral psychology, about how moral capacity or moral agency develops and what its nature is;
- Descriptive ethics, about what moral values people actually abide by.
Within each of these branches are many different schools of thought and still further sub-fields of study.
- 1 Meta-ethics
- 2 Normative ethics
- 2.1 Greek philosophy
- 2.2 Chinese philosophy
- 2.3 Modern ethics
- 2.4 Postmodern ethics
- 3 Applied ethics
- 4 Moral psychology
- 5 Descriptive ethics
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
Meta-ethics is a field within ethics that seeks to understand the nature of normative ethics. The focus of meta-ethics is on how we understand, know about, and what we mean when we talk about what is right and what is wrong.
Meta-ethics came to the fore with G.E. Moore's famous work Principia Ethica from 1903. In it he first wrote about what he called the naturalistic fallacy. Moore was seen to reject naturalism in ethics, in his Open Question Argument. This made thinkers look again at second order questions about ethics. Earlier, the Scottish philosopher David Hume had put forward a similar view on the difference between facts and values.
Studies of how we know in ethics divide into cognitivism and non-cognitivism; This is similar to the contrast between descriptivists and non-descriptivists. Non-cognitivism is the claim that when we judge something as right or wrong, this is neither true nor false. We may, e.g. be only expressing our emotional feelings about these things.. Cognitivism can then be seen as the claim that when we talk about right and wrong, we are talking about matters of fact.
The ontology of ethics is about value-bearing things or properties, i.e. the kind of things or stuff referred to by ethical propositions. Non-descriptivists and non-cognitivists believe that ethics does not need a specific ontology, since ethical propositions do not refer. This is known as an anti-realist position. Realists on the other hand must explain what kind of entities, properties or states are relevant for ethics, how they have value, and why they guide and motivate our actions.
Traditionally, normative ethics (also known as moral theory) was the study of what makes actions right and wrong. These theories offered an overarching moral principle one could appeal to in resolving difficult moral decisions.
At the turn of the 20th century, moral theories became more complex and are no longer concerned solely with rightness and wrongness, but are interested in many different kinds of moral status. During the middle of the century, the study of normative ethics declined as meta-ethics grew in prominence. This focus on meta-ethics was in part caused by an intense linguistic focus in analytic philosophy and by the popularity of logical positivism.
Virtue ethics describes the character of a moral agent as a driving force for ethical behavior, and is used to describe the ethics of Socrates, Aristotle, and other early Greek philosophers. Socrates (469 BC – 399 BC) was one of the first Greek philosophers to encourage both scholars and the common citizen to turn their attention from the outside world to the condition of humankind. In this view, knowledge having a bearing on human life was placed highest, all other knowledge being secondary. Self-knowledge was considered necessary for success and inherently an essential good. A self-aware person will act completely within his capabilities to his pinnacle, while an ignorant person will flounder and encounter difficulty. To Socrates, a person must become aware of every fact (and its context) relevant to his existence, if he wishes to attain self-knowledge. He posited that people will naturally do what is good, if they know what is right. Evil or bad actions are the result of ignorance. If a criminal were truly aware of the mental and spiritual consequences of his actions, he would neither commit nor even consider committing those actions. Any person who knows what is truly right will automatically do it, according to Socrates. While he correlated knowledge with virtue, he similarly equated virtue with happiness. The truly wise man will know what is right, do what is good, and therefore be happy.
Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) posited an ethical system that may be termed "self-realizationism." In Aristotle's view, when a person acts in accordance with his nature and realizes his full potential, he will do good and be content. At birth, a baby is not a person, but a potential person. To become a "real" person, the child's inherent potential must be realized. Unhappiness and frustration are caused by the unrealized potential of a person, leading to failed goals and a poor life. Aristotle said, "Nature does nothing in vain." Therefore, it is imperative for persons to act in accordance with their nature and develop their latent talents in order to be content and complete. Happiness was held to be the ultimate goal. All other things, such as civic life or wealth, are merely means to the end. Self-realization, the awareness of one's nature and the development of one's talents, is the surest path to happiness.
Aristotle asserted that man had three natures: vegetable (physical/metabolism), animal (emotional/appetite) and rational (mental/conceptual). Physical nature can be assuaged through exercise and care, emotional nature through indulgence of instinct and urges, and mental through human reason and developed potential. Rational development was considered the most important, as essential to philosophical self-awareness and as uniquely human. Moderation was encouraged, with the extremes seen as degraded and immoral. For example, courage is the moderate virtue between the extremes of cowardice and recklessness. Man should not simply live, but live well with conduct governed by moderate virtue. This is regarded as difficult, as virtue denotes doing the right thing, to the right person, at the right time, to the proper extent, in the correct fashion, for the right reason.
The Stoic philosopher Epictetus posited that the greatest good was contentment and serenity. Peace of mind, or Apatheia, was of the highest value; self-mastery over one's desires and emotions leads to spiritual peace. The "unconquerable will" is central to this philosophy. The individual's will should be independent and inviolate. Allowing a person to disturb the mental equilibrium is in essence offering yourself in slavery. If a person is free to anger you at will, you have no control over your internal world, and therefore no freedom. Freedom from material attachments is also necessary. If a thing breaks, the person should not be upset, but realize it was a thing that could break. Similarly, if someone should die, those close to them should hold to their serenity because the loved one was made of flesh and blood destined to death. Stoic philosophy says to accept things that cannot be changed, resigning oneself to existence and enduring in a rational fashion. Death is not feared. People do not "lose" their life, but instead "return", for they are returning to God (who initially gave what the person is as a person). Epictetus said difficult problems in life should not be avoided, but rather embraced. They are spiritual exercises needed for the health of the spirit, just as physical exercise is required for the health of the body. He also stated that sex and sexual desire are to be avoided as the greatest threat to the integrity and equilibrium of a man's mind. Abstinence is highly desirable. Epictetus said remaining abstinent in the face of temptation was a victory for which a man could be proud.
Hedonism posits that the principle ethic is maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain. There are several schools of Hedonist thought ranging from those advocating the indulgence of even momentary desires to those teaching a pursuit of spiritual bliss. In their consideration of consequences, they range from those advocating self-gratification regardless of the pain and expense to others, to those stating that the most ethical pursuit maximizes pleasure and happiness for the most people.
Founded by Aristippus of Cyrene, Cyrenaics supported immediate gratification or pleasure. "Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die." Even fleeting desires should be indulged, for fear the opportunity should be forever lost. There was little to no concern with the future, the present dominating in the pursuit for immediate pleasure. Cyrenaic hedonism encouraged the pursuit of enjoyment and indulgence without hesitation, believing pleasure to be the only good.
Epicurus rejected the extremism of the Cyrenaics, believing some pleasures and indulgences to be detrimental to human beings. Epicureans observed that indiscriminate indulgence sometimes resulted in negative consequences. Some experiences were therefore rejected out of hand, and some unpleasant experiences endured in the present to ensure a better life in the future. To Epicurus the summum bonum, or greatest good, was prudence, exercised through moderation and caution. Excessive indulgence can be destructive to pleasure and can even lead to pain. For example, eating one food too often will cause a person to lose taste for it. Eating too much food at once will lead to discomfort and ill-health. Pain and fear were to be avoided. Living was essentially good, barring pain and illness. Death was not to be feared. Fear was considered the source of most unhappiness. Conquering the fear of death would naturally lead to a happier life. Epicurus reasoned if there was an afterlife and immortality, the fear of death was irrational. If there was no life after death, then the person would not be alive to suffer, fear or worry; he would be non-existent in death. It is irrational to fret over circumstances that do not exist, such as one's state in death in the absence of an afterlife.
Mohist consequentialism, also known as state consequentialism, is an ethical theory which evaluates the moral worth of an action based on how much it contributes to the social harmony of a state. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy describes Mohist consequentialism, dating back to the 5th century BC, as "a remarkably sophisticated version based on a plurality of intrinsic goods taken as constitutive of human welfare." Unlike utilitarianism, which views pleasure as a moral good, "the basic goods in Mohist consequentialist thinking are... order, material wealth, and increase in population". During Mozi's era, war and famines were common, and population growth was seen as a moral necessity for a harmonious society. The "material wealth" of Mohist consequentialism refers to basic needs like shelter and clothing, and the "order" of Mohist consequentialism refers to Mozi's stance against warfare and violence, which he viewed as pointless and a threat to social stability. Stanford sinologist David Shepherd Nivison, in the The Cambridge History of Ancient China, writes that the moral goods of Mohism "are interrelated: more basic wealth, then more reproduction; more people, then more production and wealth... if people have plenty, they would be good, filial, kind, and so on unproblematically." In contrast to Bentham, Mozi did not believe that individual happiness was important, the consequences of the state outweigh the consequences of individual actions.What is the purpose of houses? It is to protect us from the wind and cold of winter, the heat and rain of summer, and to keep out robbers and thieves. Once these ends have been secured, that is all. Whatever does not contribute to these ends should be eliminated.—Mozi, Mozi (5th century BC) Ch 20
In the modern era, ethical theories were generally divided between the consequentialist theories of utilitarian philosophers such as Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, and deontological ethics as epitomized by the work of Immanuel Kant. This is also the era associated with the origin of pragmatic ethics, especially in the work of John Dewey.
Consequentialism refers to moral theories that hold that the consequences of a particular action form the basis for any valid moral judgment about that action (or create a structure for judgment, see rule consequentialism). Thus, from a consequentialist standpoint, a morally right action is one that produces a good outcome, or consequence. This view is often expressed as the aphorism "The ends justify the means".
The term "consequentialism" was coined by G.E.M. Anscombe in her essay "Modern Moral Philosophy" in 1958, to describe what she saw as the central error of certain moral theories, such as those propounded by Mill and Sidgwick. Since then, the term has become common in English-language ethical theory.
The defining feature of consequentialist moral theories is the weight given to the consequences in evaluating the rightness and wrongness of actions. In consequentialist theories, the consequences of an action or rule generally outweigh other considerations. Apart from this basic outline, there is little else that can be unequivocally said about consequentialism as such. However, there are some questions that many consequentialist theories address:
- What sort of consequences count as good consequences?
- Who is the primary beneficiary of moral action?
- How are the consequences judged and who judges them?
One way to divide various consequentialisms is by the types of consequences that are taken to matter most, that is, which consequences count as good states of affairs. According to hedonistic utilitarianism, a good action is one that results in an increase in pleasure, and the best action is one that results in the most pleasure for the greatest number. Closely related is eudaimonic consequentialism, according to which a full, flourishing life, which may or may not be the same as enjoying a great deal of pleasure, is the ultimate aim. Similarly, one might adopt an aesthetic consequentialism, in which the ultimate aim is to produce beauty. However, one might fix on non-psychological goods as the relevant effect. Thus, one might pursue an increase in material equality or political liberty instead of something like the more ephemeral "pleasure". Other theories adopt a package of several goods, all to be promoted equally. Whether a particular consequentialist theory focuses on a single good or many, conflicts and tensions between different good states of affairs are to be expected and must be adjudicated.
Deontological ethics or deontology (from Greek δέον, deon, "obligation, duty"; and -λογία, -logia) is an approach to ethics that determines goodness or rightness from examining acts, or the intentions of the person doing the act, as it adheres to rules and duties. This is contrast to consequentialism, in which rightness is based on the consequences of an act, and not the act by itself. In deontology, an act may be considered right even if the act produces a bad consequence, if it follows the rule that “one should do unto others as they would have done unto them”, and even if the person who does the act lacks virtue and had a bad intention in doing the act. According to deontology, we have a duty to act in a way that does those things that are inherently good as acts ("truth-telling" for example), or follow an objectively obligatory rule (as in rule utilitarianism). For deontologists, the ends or consequences of our actions are not important in and of themselves, and our intentions are not important in and of themselves.
Immanuel Kant's theory of ethics is considered deontological for several different reasons. First, Kant argues that to act in the morally right way, people must act from duty (deon). Second, Kant argued that it was not the consequences of actions that make them right or wrong but the motives of the person who carries out the action.
Kant's argument that to act in the morally right way, one must act from duty, begins with an argument that the highest good must be both good in itself, and good without qualification. Something is 'good in itself' when it is intrinsically good, and 'good without qualification' when the addition of that thing never makes a situation ethically worse. Kant then argues that those things that are usually thought to be good, such as intelligence, perseverance and pleasure, fail to be either intrinsically good or good without qualification. Pleasure, for example, appears to not be good without qualification, because when people take pleasure in watching someone suffering, this seems to make the situation ethically worse. He concludes that there is only one thing that is truly good:
Nothing in the world—indeed nothing even beyond the world—can possibly be conceived which could be called good without qualification except a good will.
Associated with the pragmatists, Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, and especially John Dewey, pragmatic ethics holds that moral correctness evolves similarly to scientific knowledge: socially over the course of many lifetimes. Thus, we should prioritize social reform over attempts to account for consequences, individual virtue or duty (although these may be worthwhile attempts, provided social reform is provided for). 
The 20th century saw a remarkable expansion of critical theory and its evolution. The earlier Marxist Theory created a paradigm for understanding the individual, society and their interaction. The Renaissance Enlightened Man had persisted up until the Industrial Revolution when the romantic vision of noble action began to fade.
Modernism, exemplified in the literary works of Virginia Woolf and James Joyce, questioned traditional religious views. Then antihumanists such as Louis Althusser and Michel Foucault and structuralists such as Roland Barthes presided over the death of the author and man himself.[clarification needed] As critical theory developed in the later 20th century, post-structuralism problematized our relationship to knowledge and 'objective' reality. Jacques Derrida argued that access to meaning and the 'real' was always deferred, demonstrating via recourse to the linguistic realm, that "There is nothing outside the text"; at the same time, Jean Baudrillard theorised that signs and symbols or simulacra masked reality (and eventually an absence of reality), particularly in the consumer world.
Post-structuralism and postmodernism also argue that the world is relational; therefore, ethics must study the complex situation of actions. A simple alignment of ideas of right and particular acts is not possible. There will always be a remainder that is a part of the ethical issue and that cannot be taken into account in a relational world. Such theorists find narrative (or, following Nietzsche and Foucault, genealogy) to be a helpful tool for understanding ethics because narrative is always about particular life stories in all their lived complexity rather than consist of the assignment of an idea or norm to an action.
David Couzens Hoy says that Emmanuel Levinas's writings on the face of the Other and Derrida's meditations on the relevance of death to ethics are signs of the "ethical turn" in Continental philosophy that occurs in the 1980s and 1990s. Hoy clarifies post-critique ethics as the "obligations that present themselves as necessarily to be fulfilled but are neither forced on one or are enforceable" (2004, p. 103).
This aligns with Australian philosopher Peter Singer's thoughts on what ethics is not. He firstly claims it is not a moral code particular to a sectional group. For example it has nothing to do with a set of prohibitions concerned with sex laid down by a religious order. Neither is ethics a "system that is noble in theory but no good in practice" (2000, p. 7). For him, a theory is good only if it is practical. He agrees that ethics is in some sense universal but in a utilitarian way it affords the "best consequences" and furthers the interests of those affected (2000, p. 15).
Hoy's post-critique model uses the term ethical resistance. Examples of this would be an individual's resistance to consumerism in a retreat to a simpler but perhaps harder lifestyle, or an individual's resistance to a terminal illness. Hoy describes these examples in his book Critical Resistance as an individual's engagement in social or political resistance. He provides Levinas's account as "not the attempt to use power against itself, or to mobilize sectors of the population to exert their political power; the ethical resistance is instead the resistance of the powerless"(2004, p. 8).
Hoy concludes thatThe ethical resistance of the powerless others to our capacity to exert power over them is therefore what imposes unenforceable obligations on us. The obligations are unenforceable precisely because of the other's lack of power. That actions are at once obligatory and at the same time unenforceable is what put them in the category of the ethical. Obligations that were enforced would, by the virtue of the force behind them, not be freely undertaken and would not be in the realm of the ethical. (2004, p.184)
In present day terms the powerless may include the unborn, the terminally sick, the aged, the insane, and non-human animals. It is in these areas that ethical action will be evident. Until legislation or state apparatus enforces a moral order that addresses the causes of resistance these issues will remain in the ethical realm. For example, should animal experimentation become illegal in a society, it will no longer be an ethical issue. Likewise one hundred and fifty years ago, not having a black slave in America may have been an ethical choice. This later issue has been absorbed into the fabric of a more utilitarian social order and is no longer an ethical issue but does of course constitute a moral concern. Ethics are exercised by those who possess no power and those who support them, through personal resistance.
In Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong, Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen conclude that issues in machine ethics will likely drive advancement in understanding of human ethics by forcing us to address gaps in modern normative theory and by providing a platform for experimental investigation. The effort to actually program a machine or artificial agent to behave as though instilled with a sense of ethics requires new specificity in our normative theories, especially regarding aspects customarily considered common-sense. For example, machines, unlike humans, can support a wide selection of learning algorithms, and controversy has arisen over the relative ethical merits of these options. This may reopen classic debates of normative ethics framed in new (highly technical) terms.
Applied ethics is a discipline of philosophy that attempts to apply ethical theory to real-life situations. The discipline has many specialized fields, such as Engineering Ethics, bioethics, public service ethics and business ethics.
Applied ethics is used in some aspects of determining public policy. The sort of questions addressed by applied ethics include: "Is getting an abortion immoral?" "Is euthanasia immoral?" "Is affirmative action right or wrong?" "What are human rights, and how do we determine them?" "Do animals have rights as well?" and "Do individuals have the right of self determination?"
A more specific question could be: "If someone else can make better out of his/her life than I can, is it then moral to sacrifice myself for them if needed?" Without these questions there is no clear fulcrum on which to balance law, politics, and the practice of arbitration — in fact, no common assumptions of all participants—so the ability to formulate the questions are prior to rights balancing. But not all questions studied in applied ethics concern public policy. For example, making ethical judgments regarding questions such as, "Is lying always wrong?" and, "If not, when is it permissible?" is prior to any etiquette.
People in-general are more comfortable with dichotomies (two opposites). However, in ethics the issues are most often multifaceted and the best proposed actions address many different areas concurrently. In ethical decisions the answer is almost never a "yes or no", "right or wrong" statement. Many buttons are pushed so that the overall condition is improved and not to the benefit of any particular faction.
Particular fields of application
Relational ethics are related to an ethics of care. They are used in qualitative research, especially ethnography and authoethnography. Researchers who employ relational ethics value and respect the connection between themselves and the people they study, and "between researchers and the communities in which they live and work" (Ellis, 2007, p. 4). Relational ethics also help researchers understand difficult issues such as conducting research on intimate others that have died and developing friendships with their participants.
Military ethics is a set of practices and philosophy to guide members of the armed forces to act in a manner consistent with the values and standards as established by military tradition, and to actively clarify and enforce these conditions rigorously in its administrative structure. The Department of Defense 5500.7-R (DoD 5500.7-R), serves as the primary regulatory source of ethical standards and conduct to members of the Armed Services (DoD, pg 1). Since this is the only order used, all changes must be made by revision.[neutrality is disputed]
Military ethics is evolutionary and the administrative structure is modified as new ethical perspectives consistent with national interests evolve.
Some ethical issues involving a country's military establishment, such as:
- justification for using force
- race (loss of capability due to race bias or abuse)
- gender equality (loss of capability due to gender bias or abuse)
- age discrimination (authority based upon age)
- nepotism (unfair control by family members; also known as "empire building")
- political influence (military members having a political position or political influence)
Public Service Ethics
Public service ethics is a set of principles that guide public officials in their service to their constituents, including their decision-making on behalf of their constituents. Fundamental to the concept of public service ethics is the notion that decisions and actions are based on what best serves the public's interests, as opposed to the official's personal interests (including financial interests) or self-serving political interests.
Moral psychology is a field of study that began, like most things, as an issue in philosophy and that is now properly considered part of the discipline of psychology. Some use the term "moral psychology" relatively narrowly to refer to the study of moral development. However, others tend to use the term more broadly to include any topics at the intersection of ethics and psychology (and philosophy of mind). Such topics are ones that involve the mind and are relevant to moral issues. Some of the main topics of the field are moral responsibility, moral development, moral character (especially as related to virtue ethics), altruism, psychological egoism, moral luck, and moral disagreement.
Evolutionary ethics concerns approaches to ethics (morality) based on the role of evolution in shaping human psychology and behavior. Such approaches may be based in scientific fields such as evolutionary psychology or sociobiology, with a focus on understanding and explaining observed ethical preferences and choices.
Descriptive ethics is a value-free approach to ethics, which defines it as a social science (specifically sociology) rather than a humanity. It examines ethics not from a top-down a priori perspective but rather observations of actual choices made by moral agents in practice. Some philosophers rely on descriptive ethics and choices made and unchallenged by a society or culture to derive categories, which typically vary by context. This can lead to situational ethics and situated ethics. These philosophers often view aesthetics, etiquette, and arbitration as more fundamental, percolating "bottom up" to imply the existence of, rather than explicitly prescribe, theories of value or of conduct. The study of descriptive ethics may include examinations of the following:
- Ethical codes applied by various groups. Some consider aesthetics itself the basis of ethics– and a personal moral core developed through art and storytelling as very influential in one's later ethical choices.
- Informal theories of etiquette that tend to be less rigorous and more situational. Some consider etiquette a simple negative ethics, i.e., where can one evade an uncomfortable truth without doing wrong? One notable advocate of this view is Judith Martin ("Miss Manners"). According to this view, ethics is more a summary of common sense social decisions.
- Practices in arbitration and law, e.g., the claim that ethics itself is a matter of balancing "right versus right," i.e., putting priorities on two things that are both right, but that must be traded off carefully in each situation.
- Observed choices made by ordinary people, without expert aid or advice, who vote, buy, and decide what is worth valuing. This is a major concern of sociology, political science, and economics.
- Outline of ethics (list of ethics-related articles, arranged by sub-topic)
- Index of ethics articles (alphabetical list of ethics-related articles)
- ^ http://www.iep.utm.edu/non-cogn/
- ^ Miller, C. (2009). The Conditions of Moral Realism. The Journal of Philosophical Research, 34, 123-155.
- ^ Sahakian, William S. & Sahakian, Mabel Lewis. Ideas of the Great Philosophers. pp 32-33. Barnes & Noble Books (1993). ISBN 978-1-56619-271-2.
- ^ Sahakian, William S. & Sahakian, Mabel Lewis. Ideas of the Great Philosophers. pp 33-35. Barnes & Noble Books (1993). ISBN 978-1-56619-271-2.
- ^ Sahakian, William S. & Sahakian, Mabel Lewis. Ideas of the Great Philosophers. pp 35-37. Barnes & Noble Books (1993). ISBN 978-1-56619-271-2.
- ^ Sahakian, William S. & Sahakian, Mabel Lewis. Ideas of the Great Philosophers. pp 38-41. Barnes & Noble Books (1993). ISBN 978-1-56619-271-2.
- ^ a b Sahakian, William S. & Sahakian, Mabel Lewis. Ideas of the Great Philosophers. pg 37. Barnes & Noble Books (1993). ISBN 978-1-56619-271-2.
- ^ Sahakian, William S. & Sahakian, Mabel Lewis. Ideas of the Great Philosophers. pp 37-38. Barnes & Noble Books (1993). ISBN 978-1-56619-271-2.
- ^ a b Ivanhoe, P.J.; Van Norden, Bryan William (2005). Readings in classical Chinese philosophy. Hackett Publishing. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-87-220780-6. ""he advocated a form of state consequentialism, which sought to maximize three basic goods: the wealth, order, and population of the state"
- ^ Fraser, Chris, "Mohism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy , Edward N. Zalta.
- ^ a b c Loewe, Michael; Shaughnessy, Edward L. (1999). The Cambridge History of Ancient China. Cambridge University Press. p. 761. ISBN 978-0-52-147030-8.
- ^ a b Van Norden, Bryan W. (2011). Introduction to Classical Chinese Philosophy. Hackett Publishing. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-60-384468-0.
- ^ Anscombe, G. E. M. (1958). "Modern Moral Philosophy". Philosophy (1958) 33 (124): 1–19. doi:10.1017/S0031819100037943. http://www.philosophy.uncc.edu/mleldrid/cmt/mmp.html.
- ^ Mackie, J. L. (1990). Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong. London: Penguin. ISBN 0-14-013558-8.
- ^ a b Stanford.edu
- ^ Olson, Robert G. 1967. 'Deontological Ethics'. In Paul Edwards (ed.) The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Collier Macmillan: 343.
- ^ Orend, Brian. 2000. War and International Justice: A Kantian Perspective. West Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press: 19.
- ^ Kelly, Eugene. 2006. The Basics of Western Philosophy. Greenwood Press: 160.
- ^ Kant, Immanuel. 1780. 'Preface'. In The Metaphysical Elements of Ethics. Translated by Thomas Kingsmill Abbott
- ^ a b Kant, Immanuel. 1785. 'First Section: Transition from the Common Rational Knowledge of Morals to the Philosophical', Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals.
- ^ Lafollette, Hugh, ed (February 2000). The Blackwell Guide to Ethical Theory. Blackwell Philosophy Guides (1 ed.). Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-0631201199. http://www.hughlafollette.com/papers/pragmati.htm.
- ^ Wallach, Wendell; Allen, Colin (November 2008). Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong. USA: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195374049.
- ^ Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different Voice: Pscychological theory and women's development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
- ^ Ellis, C. (2007). Telling secrets, revealing lives: Relational ethics in research with intimate others. Qualitative Inquiry, 13, 3-29.
- ^ Ellis, C. (1986). Fisher folk. Two communities on Chesapeake Bay. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.
- ^ Ellis, C. (1995).Final negotiations: A story of love, loss, and chronic illness. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
- ^ See, for example, work of Institute for Local Government, at www.ca-ilg.org/trust.
- ^ See, for example, Lapsley (2006) and "moral psychology" (2007).
- ^ See, for example, Doris & Stich (2008) and Wallace (2007). Wallace writes: "Moral psychology is the study of morality in its psychological dimensions" (p. 86).
- ^ See Doris & Stich (2008), §1.
- ^ Doris Schroeder. "Evolutionary Ethics". http://www.iep.utm.edu/evol-eth/. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- Hoy, D. (2005), Critical resistance from poststructuralism to postcritique, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Massachusetts.
- Lyon, D. (1999), Postmodernity, 2nd ed, Open University Press, Buckingham.
- Singer, P. (2000), Writings on an ethical life, Harper Collins Publishers, London.
- Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
- The London Philosophy Study Guide offers many suggestions on what to read, depending on the student's familiarity with the subject: Ethics
- Encyclopedia of Ethics. Lawrence C. Becker and Charlotte B. Becker, editors. Second edition in three volumes. New York: Routledge, 2002. A scholarly encyclopedia with over 500 signed, peer-reviewed articles, mostly on topics and figures of, or of special interest in, Western philosophy.
- Blackburn, S. (2001). Being good: A short introduction to ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- De Finance, Joseph, An Ethical Inquiry, Rome, Editrice Pontificia Università Gregoriana, 1991.
- De La Torre, Miguel A., "Doing Christian Ethics from the Margins," Orbis Books, 2004.
- Derrida, J. 1995, The Gift of Death, translated by David Wills, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
- Fagothey, Austin, Right and Reason, Tan Books & Publishers, Rockford, Illinois, 2000.
- Levinas, E. 1969, Totality and infinity, an essay on exteriority, translated by Alphonso Lingis, Duquesne University Press, Pittsburgh.
- Perle, Stephen (March 11, 2004). "Morality and Ethics: An Introduction". http://www.chiroweb.com/archives/22/06/16.html. Retrieved 2007-02-13. , Butchvarov, Panayot. Skepticism in Ethics (1989).
- Solomon, R.C., Morality and the Good Life: An Introduction to Ethics Through Classical Sources, New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1984.
- Vendemiati, Aldo, In the First Person, An Outline of General Ethics, Rome, Urbaniana University Press, 2004.
- John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, 6-8-1993.
- D'Urance, Michel, Jalons pour une éthique rebelle, Aléthéia, Paris, 2005.
- An Introduction to Ethics by Paul Newall, aimed at beginners.
- Ethics, 2d ed., 1973. by William Frankena
- Ethics Bites Open University podcast series podcast exploring ethical dilemmas in everyday life.
- National Reference Center for Bioethics Literature World's largest library for ethical issues in medicine and biomedical research
- Ethics entry in Encyclopædia Britannica by Peter Singer
- The Philosophy of Ethics on Philosophy Archive
- Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics Resources, events, and research on a range of ethical subjects from a Christian perspective.
Plato · Aristotle · Confucius · Mencius · Mozi · Augustine of Hippo · Thomas Aquinas · Baruch Spinoza · David Hume · Immanuel Kant · Georg W. F. Hegel · Arthur Schopenhauer · Jeremy Bentham · John Stuart Mill · Søren Kierkegaard · Henry Sidgwick · Friedrich Nietzsche · G. E. Moore · Karl Barth · Paul Tillich · Philippa Foot · John Rawls · Bernard Williams · J. L. Mackie · Alasdair MacIntyre · Peter Singer · Derek Parfit · Thomas Nagel · more...
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