ethics


Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

eth·ic

 (ĕth′ĭk)
n.
1.
a. A set of principles of right conduct.
b. A theory or a system of moral values: "An ethic of service is at war with a craving for gain" (Gregg Easterbrook).
2. ethics(used with a sing. verb) The study of the general nature of morals and of the specific moral choices to be made by a person; moral philosophy.
3. ethics(used with a sing. or pl. verb) The rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession: medical ethics.

[Middle English ethik, from Old French ethique (from Late Latin ēthica, from Greek ēthika, ethics) and from Latin ēthicē (from Greek ēthikē), both from Greek ēthikos, ethical, from ēthos, character; see s(w)e- in Indo-European roots.]

ethics

(ˈɛθɪks)
n
1. (Philosophy) (functioning as singular) the philosophical study of the moral value of human conduct and of the rules and principles that ought to govern it; moral philosophy. See also meta-ethics
2. (functioning as plural) a social, religious, or civil code of behaviour considered correct, esp that of a particular group, profession, or individual
3. (functioning as plural) the moral fitness of a decision, course of action, etc: he doubted the ethics of their verdict.
ˈethicist, eˈthician n

eth•ics

(ˈɛθ ɪks)

n.
1. (used with a sing. or pl. v.) a system or set of moral principles.
2. (used with a pl. v.) the rules of conduct governing a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics.
3. (usu. used with a sing. v.) the branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of actions and the goodness and badness of motives and ends.
4. (used with a pl. v.) moral principles, as of an individual: His ethics forbade cheating.
[1400–50; modeled on Greek tàēthiká]
eth•i•cist (ˈɛθ ə sɪst) e•thi•cian (ɛˈθɪʃ ən) n.

Ethics

See also philosophy; values

the state or quality of being without morality or of being indifferent to moral standards. — amoralist, n. — amoral, adj.
the branch of philosophy dealing with values, as those of ethics, aesthetics, or religion. — axiologist, n. — axiological, adj.
1. a person who studies and resolves questions of right and wrong in conduct.
2. an oversubtle or specious reasoner. — casuistic, adj.
1. the branch of ethics or theology that studies the relation of general ethical principles to particular cases of conduct or conscience.
2. a dishonest or oversubtle application of such principles.
the branch of philosophy concerned with ethics, especially that branch dealing with duty, moral obligation, and right action. — deontologist, n. — deontological, adj.
the ethical doctrine that the basis of morality lies in the tendency of right actions to produce happiness, especially in a life governed by reason rather than pleasure. eudemonist, eudaemonist, n.
a branch of philosophy concerned with the foundations of ethics and especially with the definition of ethical terms and the nature of moral discourse.
the practice of morality, as distinct from religion. — moralist, n. — moralistic, adj.
sensualism. — sensationalist, n.
the doctrine that the good is to be judged only by or through the gratifleation of the senses. Also called sensationalism.
the belief or doctrine that the conscience is the repository of the laws of right and wrong. See also health.
the ethical doctrine that virtue is based upon utility and that behavior should have as its goal the procurement of the greatest happiness for the greatest number of persons. — utilitarian, n., adj.

ethic

ethicsethical
1. 'ethic'

A particular ethic is an idea or moral belief that influences the behaviour and attitudes of a group of people.

...the ethic of public service.
...the Protestant work ethic.
2. 'ethics'

Ethics are moral beliefs and rules about right and wrong. When you use ethics with this meaning, it is a plural noun. You use a plural form of a verb with it.

Such action was a violation of medical ethics.

Ethics is also the study of questions about what is morally right or wrong. When ethics has this meaning, it is an uncount noun. You use a singular form of a verb with it.

We are only too ready to believe that ethics is a field where thinking does no good.
3. 'ethical'

Ethic is never an adjective. The adjective that means 'relating to ethics' is ethical.

...an ethical problem.
He had no real ethical objection to drinking.

ethics

The philosophical study of morality in human conduct, and of the rules which ought to govern it.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ethics - motivation based on ideas of right and wrong
motivation, motive, need - the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and direction to behavior; "we did not understand his motivation"; "he acted with the best of motives"
hedonism - the pursuit of pleasure as a matter of ethical principle
conscience, moral sense, scruples, sense of right and wrong - motivation deriving logically from ethical or moral principles that govern a person's thoughts and actions
Christ Within, Inner Light, Light Within, Light - a divine presence believed by Quakers to enlighten and guide the soul
2.ethics - the philosophical study of moral values and rules
egoism - (ethics) the theory that the pursuit of your own welfare in the basis of morality
philosophy - the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics
bioethics - the branch of ethics that studies moral values in the biomedical sciences
casuistry - moral philosophy based on the application of general ethical principles to resolve moral dilemmas
endaemonism, eudemonism - an ethical system that evaluates actions by reference to personal well-being through a life based on reason
hedonism - an ethical system that evaluates the pursuit of pleasure as the highest good
descriptivism - (ethics) a doctrine holding that moral statements have a truth value
prescriptivism - (ethics) a doctrine holding that moral statements prescribe appropriate attitudes and behavior

ethics

plural noun moral code, standards, principles, morals, conscience, morality, moral values, moral principles, moral philosophy, rules of conduct, moral beliefs Such an action was a violation of medical ethics.
Quotations
"True ethics begin where the use of language ceases" [Albert Schweitzer Civilization and Ethics]
Translations
آداب، أخْلاقعِلْم الأخْلاق
etika
etikmoralmorallære
erkölcserkölcstanetika
siîfræîisiîfræîi, siîareglur
倫理学
etikaetikosetinisetiškaietiškas
ētikaētikas principi
etika
ahlâketiktöre/ahlâk bilimi

ethics

[ˈeθɪks]
A. NSING (= subject) → ética fsing
B. NPL (= honourableness) → moralidad f

ethics

[ˈɛθɪks]
n (= moral beliefs) → éthique f
a code of ethics → un code d'éthique medical ethics
npl (= morality) → moralité f

ethics

n
sing (= study, system)Ethik f
pl (= morality)Moral f; the ethics of abortiondie moralischen or ethischen Aspekte plder Abtreibung

ethics

[ˈɛθɪks] n (sg, study) → etica; (pl, principles, system) → morale f

ethics

(ˈeθiks) noun singular
the study or the science of morals.
noun plural
rules or principles of behaviour.
ˈethical adjective
1. of or concerning morals, justice or duty.
2. (negative unethical) morally right.
ˈethically adverb

eth·ics

n. ética, normas y principios que gobiernan la conducta profesional.
References in classic literature ?
It is a question, not of grammar, but of ethics," I answered.
At one time in my life," he continued, after another pause, "I dreamed that I might some day talk with men who used such language, that I might lift myself out of the place in life in which I had been born, and hold conversation and mingle with men who talked about just such things as ethics.
The Politics of Aristotle is the second part of a treatise of which the Ethics is the first part.
Tell them what you think about them and their ghetto ethics.
Tyler sent him to college he had never heard the word ethics, and yet I am equally sure that in all his life he never has transgressed a single tenet of the code of ethics of an American gentleman.
The Muirhead Library of Philosophy was designed as a contribution to the History of Modern Philosophy under the heads: first of Different Schools of Thought--Sensationalist, Realist, Idealist, Intuitivist; secondly of different Subjects--Psychology, Ethics, Aesthetics, Political Philosophy, Theology.
Of the same nature are these other maxims in ethics and politics, that there cannot be an effect without a cause; that the means ought to be proportioned to the end; that every power ought to be commensurate with its object; that there ought to be no limitation of a power destined to effect a purpose which is itself incapable of limitation.
With the two former ethics were the end-with the two latter the means.
That was the day when 'Adam Bede' was a new book, and in this I had my first knowledge of that great intellect for which I had no passion, indeed, but always the deepest respect, the highest honor; and which has from time to time profoundly influenced me by its ethics.
Like the ancient Sophists, he relegates the more important principles of ethics to custom and probability.
She had never seen her husband in this mood before; and her gentle system of ethics seemed to bend like a reed in the surges of such passions.
The cursory remarks of the large-minded stranger, of whom he knew absolutely nothing beyond a commonplace name, were sublimed by his death, and influenced Clare more than all the reasoned ethics of the philosophers.