INTRODUCTION TO NATURE AND SCOPE OF ETHICS UNIT STRUCTURE 1. Learning Objectives 2. Introduction 3. Definition of Ethics 4. Nature of Ethics 5. Scope of Ethics 6. Let Us Sum Up 7. Further Readings 8. Answers to check your progress 9. Possible Questions LEARNING OBJECTIVES
After going trough this unit you will be able to Define ‘What is Ethics’? Explain the nature of Ethics. Discuss the scope of ethics Define and differentiate pure ethics from applied ethics. INTRODUCTION What morality requires from us is often seen as the core question that ethics has to answer. However, there are other questions of similar importance, such as: Why be moral? How moral can we be in a non-ideal world? Are we moral by nature? Are moral judgments true? Such questions cannot be avoided when we confront the problems of life particularly in a non-moral world. But the questions themselves are relevant in our contemporary life style. This unit makes an attempt to analyse Ethics its definition, nature and scope. DEFINITION OF ETHICS
The word “ethics” is derived from the Greek word ethos (character), and from the Latin word ‘mores’ (customs). Derived from the Greek word “ethos”, which means “way of living”, ethics is a branch of philosophy that is concerned with human conduct. It consists in a code of conduct of human beings living in a society. Ethics examines the rational justification for our moral judgments; it studies what is morally right or wrong, just or unjust. Together, they combine to define how individuals choose to interact with one another. In philosophy, ethics defines what is good for the individual and for society and establishes the nature of duties that people owe to themselves and to one another. It aims at individual good as well as social good, the good of mankind as a whole. Ethics is am attempt to guide human conduct and it is also an attempt to help man in leading good life by applying moral principles. Ethics refers to well based standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues. Ethics is related to issues of propriety, rightness and wrongness. What is right is ethical and what is wrong is unethical. The words ‘proper’,’ fare’ and ‘just’ are also used in place of right ‘and ‘ethical’. If it is ethical, it is right, proper, fair and just. Ethics is a matter of practical concern. It tries to determine the good and right thing to do; choices regarding right and wrong, good and evil; questions of obligation and value. Ethics is to consider the practice of doing right actions or what we may call the art of living the good life. It is also defined as the science of the highest good. Mackenzie defines ethics as “the study of what is right or good in human conduct” or the “science of the ideal involved in human life”. So, it is clear that ethics is the study which determines rightness or wrongness of actions.
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- Winter '18