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Philosophy And Ethics: Home

The basics of ethics in philosophy, focusing on classic philosophers and their works on ethics.

What is Ethics in Philosophy?

The field of ethics in philosophy looks at concepts of right and wrong behaviour. Philosophers defend, or recommend certain behaviours. There are three different subject areas: metaethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics.

Metaethics looks at our ethical principles – where did they come from? It also looks at things like universal truths, the will of God, and society rules – do we make them or does society construct the rules for us? 

Normative ethics is more about our habits, our duties towards others or ourselves, and consequences of our behaviours towards others. Applied ethics focuses more on social issues such as abortion, war, animal rights, environmental issues as well as other issues.

These three different subject areas focus heavily on our ethics in society. What does it mean to be ethical? What does it mean to treat each other well or badly? Should we be punished for doing the wrong thing? What is the wrong thing according to ourselves and to others? Philosophers focus on these topics, debating and arguing what is right and what is wrong. 

Many famous philosophers focused on ethics in philosophy, such as Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, and others. What they believed and debated and put forth helped shape philosophy, and the idea of ethics in our society. 

Ethics Defined: Moral Philosophy