Outline of ethics

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The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to ethics:

Ethics – major branch of philosophy, encompassing right conduct and good life. It is significantly broader than the common conception of analyzing right and wrong. A central aspect of ethics is "the good life", the life worth living or life that is simply satisfying, which is held by many philosophers to be more important than moral conduct.[1]

What type of thing is ethics?

Ethics can be described as:

Essence of ethics

Branches of ethics

The following examples of questions that might be considered in each field illustrate the differences between the fields:

Applied ethics

Applied ethics – using philosophical methods, attempts to identify the morally correct course of action in various fields of human life.


  • Meta-ethics or moral epistemology– concerns the nature of moral statements, that is, it studies what ethical terms and theories actually refer to.
  • Moral nihilism – the meta-ethical view that nothing is intrinsically moral or immoral (see also nihilism)
  • Moral syncretism – the attempt to reconcile disparate or contradictory moral beliefs, often while melding the ethical

practices of various schools of thought.





Normative ethics

Normative ethics – concerns what people should believe to be right and wrong.

Descriptive ethics

Related areas

History of ethics

Main article: History of ethics

General ethics concepts

Single principles

Rights and legal concepts

Guidelines and basic concepts

Human experience

Practical ethics


Government agencies



Persons influential in the field of ethics





See also


  1. Singer, P. (1993) Practical Ethics, 2nd edition (p.10), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  2. Bynum, Terrell Ward. "A Very Short History of Computer Ethics". Southern Connecticut State University. Archived from the original on 2008-04-18. Retrieved 2011-01-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links