Professional Ethics Notes Program BCV Subject code CEE 205 Nazia Bashir Lecture :2 Ethics The word "ethics" in English refers to several things. It can refer to philosophical ethics or moral philosophy—a project that attempts to use reason in order to answer various kinds of ethical questions. As the English philosopher Bernard Williams writes, attempting to explain moral philosophy: "What makes an inquiry a philosophical one is reflective generality and a style of argument that claims to be rationally persuasive." And Williams describes the content of this area of inquiry as addressing the very broad question, "how one should live"Ethics can also refer to a common human ability to think about ethical problems that is not particular to philosophy. As bioethicist Larry Churchill has written: "Ethics, understood as the capacity to think critically about moral values and direct our actions in terms of such values, is a generic human capacity." Ethics can also be used to describe a particular person's own idiosyncratic principles or habits. For example: "Joe has strange ethics." The English word ethics is derived from an Ancient Greek word êthikos , which means "relating to one's character". The Ancient Greek adjective êthikos is itself derived from another Greek word, the noun êthos meaning "character, disposition. Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct . The term ethics derives from the Ancient Greek word θικός ἠ ethikos , which is derived from the word θος ἦ ethos ( habit , "custom"). The branch of philosophy axiology comprises the sub-branches of ethics and aesthetics , each concerned with values . As a branch of philosophy, ethics investigates the questions "What is the
best way for people to live?" and "What actions are right or wrong in particular circumstances?"