Ethics Glossary

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  • Created by: -haleema
  • Created on: 22-04-16 17:25


the principles by which people live


Concerned with which actions are right and wrong, rather than the character of the person

Ethical theory

Covers religious and philosophical systems or methods for making moral decisions or analysing moral statements

Practical (or applied) ethics

Focuses on debates about specific dilemmas such as abortion or euthanasia

Normative ethics

Decides how people ought to act, how moral choices should be made and how the rules apply

Descriptive ethics

Looks at how different people and societies have answered moral questions

Metaethics/Philosophical ethics

Explores the meaning and function of moral language

Definism/ethical naturalism

The theory that ethical facts are known in the same way as mathematical or scientific facts


Disagrees with definism, stating that moral properties cannot be reduced to entirely non-ethical properties; they are not like mathematical facts


A.J Ayer’s theory which argues that moral choices are based on emotional


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