Morality is understanding the distinction between right and wrong and living according to that understanding, and ethics is the philosophy of how that morality guides individual and group behavior. The two are closely related, with morality being the foundation of ethics.Continue Reading
Morality is defined as having and living according to a moral code, or principles of right and wrong. Basic morality condemns murder, adultery, lying and stealing. However, morality evolves with the evolution of society, differing noticeably in different cultures. For instance, whereas one culture finds a man with several wives to be perfectly moral, another culture sees this as immoral and wrong. Time also noticeably affects the idea of morality. Once, women were considered the property of men, which is now considered outdated and immoral.
The philosophy of morality is ethics, which explores the idea of morality and its place in society and addresses questions about morality. Both Kant and Aristotle were famous for their approach to ethics. Kant believed ethics were based on duty and obligation, while Aristotle based his ideas on virtue. Ethics are now a large part of life. Businesses have certain ethical lines they must toe, schools require students to keep to codes of conduct and people in society are expected to abide by both moral and legal laws.Learn more about Philosophy
The line between individualism and group behavior in humans is not distinct, but people with individual qualities exhibit less cohesive behavior, have more responsibility for their actions and have different opinions from peers and colleagues in preferred outcomes and plans in group settings, according to Northwestern University. To measure individual characteristics, researchers generally look at how much one person's thoughts and actions deviate from collective group ideologies.Full Answer >
Legalism emphasizes the proscribing of laws in order to ensure public order, whereas Confucianism is more concerned with instilling morality. Both philosophies are very concerned with how to effectively govern a state, but they take very different approaches. Legalism favors a complex system of rewards and punishments to control human behavior, while Confucianism places importance on virtuous rulers who teach the people by example.Full Answer >
Rights-based ethics is centered around the idea that people possess certain rights merely by virtue of being born human. Examples of rights-based ethics at work include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Conventions and the United States' Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and Constitution.Full Answer >
Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that studies knowledge, including how human beings know, the extent of what they can know, the certainty of human knowledge and the differences between human knowledge and animal knowledge. Major philosophers in the field of epistemology include Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas and Descartes.Full Answer >