Ethics term papers

What is the Study of Ethics

Ethics is a branch of philosophy that involves the examination of right and wrong behavior.  Ethics is a very broad subject that covers multiple areas, but is essentially divided into three main categories: Applied Ethics (where a specific situation is examined and a moral outcome is applied); Normative Ethics (examining which practical means can be applied to a moral course of action); and,  Meta Ethics (examining how the truth values of moral propositions can be determined).   Ethics is also known as moral philosophy.

The History of Ethics

Since ancient times, man has been examining concepts of right and wrong, and as culture developed, we are able to see how each nation came up with its own concepts of moral philosophy and examined right and wrong behavior. The Ancient Greeks, through their great thinkers such as Socrates and Aristotle, battled to define ideas in ethics such as injustice, happiness, courage and purity.  Ideas of ethical behavior are also found throughout the bible, from the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament to the messages of Jesus and his disciples in the New Testament.  Later on in history, great philosophers such as Immanuel Kant, Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill discussed their own ideas of moral philosophy and code of ethics. Reflections on major events in history, such as the Holocaust, have given rise to more moral philosophy theories by thinkers such as Hannah Arendt.

Studying for a Degree in Ethics

Most large educational institutions offer a major in ethics which focuses on the systematic study of the theory of moral good and how it can be applied to various problems - both theoretical and practical.  An ethics major will cover issues such as ethical theory, the history of ethics, different belief and value systems, and how ideas of moral philosophy can be applied to special topics and problems.  The courses offered towards an ethics major differ greatly from school to school, but the majority of them will offer courses in law, history and ethical theories.

Career in Ethics

Because the field of ethics is one which is so diverse, those who major in this field are able to combine it with a number of other career opportunities. It is a popular course for those wanting to teach ethics in the future, as well as among seminary students.  An ethics major is sometimes used as a base for law students, or those wanting to focus on more specific fields such as corporate ethics, or medical ethics in institutions such as hospitals.  Many ethics majors go on to post graduate studies in order to hone in on a specific field.

Recently published Ethics essays