Definition of ethics in English:


plural noun

  • 1usually treated as plural Moral principles that govern a person's behaviour or the conducting of an activity.

    ‘medical ethics also enter into the question’
    ‘a code of ethics’
    • ‘I'm curious to know what your ethics committee and university thought of your proposal to do this work?’
    • ‘The trial was approved by the four local ethics committees.’
    • ‘If they let this one slide by, it means that they have no morals and no ethics.’
    • ‘The local research ethics committee approved our study.’
    • ‘The movie raises a lot of legitimate questions about the ethics and philosophical ramifications of cloning.’
    • ‘It is right here that morals and ethics can and often do go out the door.’
    • ‘Conflicting loyalties pose a problem for perioperative nurses dealing with the ethics of advocacy.’
    • ‘In view of these new possibilities, science sees dogmatic ethics and the moral burdens of history as obstacles on the road to progress.’
    • ‘Some of the new regulations currently in effect are aimed at raising the moral ethics of our people.’
    • ‘An essential characteristic of a profession is the need for its members to abide by a code of ethics.’
    • ‘Needless to say, careful review of all clinical trials by properly constituted ethics committees must continue.’
    • ‘Our own ethics committee has an important role in guiding us.’
    • ‘He also links to some info on a new study being done on the ethics and moral foundations of capitalism.’
    • ‘The study was performed in accordance with the regulations laid down by the hospital's ethics committee.’
    • ‘Problems of both personal and company ethics are often a concern within the field of business, business management, marketing, international business and other areas taught within the School of Business.’
    • ‘These questions are subjective and involve our personal and professional ethics and philosophies.’
    • ‘Now the couple have been told the private clinic in England is willing to put their case to its ethics committee.’
    • ‘Ethical approval was obtained from 11 local research ethics committees.’
    • ‘I'm not saying that ethics committees that question research proposals are always being pedantic.’
    • ‘Admittedly, many doctors fret about the ethics of sponsorship deals.’
    • ‘Science cannot establish the dignity of human soul, nor can it promote ethics and morality in a society.’
    moral code, morals, morality, moral stand, moral principles, moral values, rights and wrongs, principles, ideals, creed, credo, ethos, rules of conduct, standards, standards of behaviour, virtues, dictates of conscience
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    1. 1.1 The moral correctness of specified conduct.
      ‘many scientists question the ethics of cruel experiments’
      • ‘This includes the whole of Buddhist philosophy and ethics.’
      • ‘Kantian ethics abstracts from the fact that as moral agents we are situated in the context of a history which is both unique and irreversible.’
      • ‘In Kantian ethics, we are moral agents insofar as we have practical reason (an autonomous will).’
      • ‘Secular moralists canonized the ethics of Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Mill, and others.’
      • ‘Here in this sentence is the heart of Christian philosophical ethics and metaphysics.’
      • ‘I assess the moral legitimacy of sanctions in the contexts of just war doctrine, Kantian ethics, and utilitarianism.’
  • 2usually treated as singular The branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles.

    Schools of ethics in Western philosophy can be divided, very roughly, into three sorts. The first, drawing on the work of Aristotle, holds that the virtues (such as justice, charity, and generosity) are dispositions to act in ways that benefit both the person possessing them and that person's society. The second, defended particularly by Kant, makes the concept of duty central to morality: humans are bound, from a knowledge of their duty as rational beings, to obey the categorical imperative to respect other rational beings. Thirdly, utilitarianism asserts that the guiding principle of conduct should be the greatest happiness or benefit of the greatest number

    ‘neither metaphysics nor ethics is the home of religion’
    • ‘Arnold Geulincx, a Flemish philosopher, produced a treatise on ethics along Cartesian lines in 1655.’
    • ‘From its beginning, ontology has always intimately related to ethics and politics.’
    • ‘He has published more than a dozen articles, chiefly on ancient philosophy and ethics.’
    • ‘He also taught classes on ethics and ancient philosophy.’
    • ‘We all know, without the help of philosophy or ethics that we should, in normal circumstances, pay our debts and keep our promises.’
    • ‘Either way the technical difference between moral philosophy and ethics is so minimal as to be irrelevant.’
    • ‘This is why they devote so much of their time to philosophy, theology and ethics.’
    • ‘Surely they're old enough to learn about ethics and moral philosophy, tailored to their age.’
    • ‘When it came to a philosophy of politics and ethics, again Archytas based his ideas on mathematical foundations.’
    • ‘The great theological battles are all built on the philosophical foundations of ethics.’
    • ‘They thought that fundamental principles of ethics could be seen to be true by the natural light of reason.’
    • ‘Like Marx, he developed not only a theory of economics, but a theory of history, philosophy, and ethics.’
    • ‘Within this context, philosophy and ethics still have a crucial role to play.’
    • ‘Can the scientific theories of Charles Darwin really contribute to our philosophical understanding of ethics?’
    • ‘Much more important were al-Tusi's contributions to philosophy and ethics.’
    • ‘Such questions lie more properly within the realm of ethics and philosophy.’
    fairness, justness, fair play, fair-mindedness, equity, equitableness, even-handedness, egalitarianism, impartiality, impartialness, lack of bias, objectivity, neutrality, disinterestedness, lack of prejudice, open-mindedness, non-partisanship
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