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Moral Philosophy & Ethics

Among the many issues and concepts about which philosophers inquire, human behavior is at the top of the list. Philosophers inquire about this broad field, which they call ethics, moral philosophy, and the study thereof.

Ethics

Ethics is the philosophical study of morality and moral values. Ethics deals with the analysis and employment of ideas such as good, evil, right, wrong, and responsibility. Ethics is divided into three primary areas:

  • Meta-Ethics - Meta-ethics is the study of the concept of ethics itself. Meta-ethics is employed when philosophers seeks to comprehend the nature of ethical attitudes, statements, and judgments, as well as ethical properties.
  • Normative Ethics - Normative ethics is the study of how to determine ethical values.
  • Applied Ethics - Applied ethics is the study of the use of ethical values.

Moral Philosophy

Moral philosophy, or morality, refers to the concept of human ethics used within three contexts:

  • individual conscience
  • systems of principles and judgments shared within a culture or community
  • codes of behavior or conduct morality.

Since a single persons moral and ethical judgments are affected by that persons environment (e.g. how one was raised and what one was taught), personal morality distinguishes and defines intentions, motivations or actions as right or wrong. Thus, various individuals may disagree about a certain moral or ethic, even if they share many of the same morals and ethics. In contraposition, individuals may agree about a certain moral or ethic even if they subscribe to different moral codes.

Everyone has their own moral philosophy and their own morals. Philosophers probably want to keep this in mind when engaging in philosophy of ethics and philosophy of morality.