Talk:ethics

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

Definitions[edit]

No. Definition Note
1 The study of principles relating to right and wrong conduct. The current one.
2 A major branch of philosophy, encompassing right conduct and good life. The one from W:Ethics. The term "good life" is included, apart from "right conduct". The study of "right conduct" implies the study of "wrong conduct", as "wrong conduct" can be defined as "conduct that is not right".

I am adding a table of candidate definitions, to facilitate fine-tuning of definitions.

Wikipedia also says in the first paragraph:

... 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 satisfying, which is held by many philosophers to be more important than moral conduct.

My lay understanding of ethics was that ethics encompasses only right conduct, not good life, which I have learned was mistaken. My old understanding may still be one of the meanings of the word "ethics" in the popular mind.

--Daniel Polansky 10:57, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Some months later, I am as confused as before. Are there then two meanings of "ethics", one including the study of good life, the other excluding it? The google:define:ethics shows many definitions that do not include "good life". --Dan Polansky 11:59, 15 October 2008 (UTC)