ethics vs morality what difference

what is difference between ethics and morality

English

Etymology

From Middle English etik, from Middle French ethique, from Late Latin ethica, from Ancient Greek ἠθική (ēthikḗ), from ἠθικός (ēthikós, of or for morals, moral, expressing character), from ἦθος (êthos, character, moral nature).

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ˈɛθ.ɪks/

Noun

ethics (countable and uncountable, plural ethics)

  1. (philosophy) The study of principles relating to right and wrong conduct.
  2. Morality.
  3. The standards that govern the conduct of a person, especially a member of a profession.

Usage notes

  • Although the terms ethics and morality are often used interchangeably, philosophical ethicists sometimes distinguish them, using ethics to refer to theories and conceptual studies relating to good and evil and right and wrong, and using morality and its related terms to refer to actual, real-world beliefs and practices concerning proper conduct. In this vein, the American philosopher Brand Blanshard wrote concerning his friend, the eminent British ethicist G. E. Moore: “We often discussed ethics, but seldom morals. . . . He was a master in ethical theory, but did not conceive himself as specially qualified to pass opinions on politics or social issues.”

Synonyms

  • moral philosophy

Derived terms

Related terms

  • ethic
  • ethical
  • ethos

Translations

See also

  • aretaics
  • etiquette

Further reading

  • ethics at OneLook Dictionary Search

References

Anagrams

  • cis-het, cishet, itches, theics, tiches


English

Etymology

From Anglo-Norman moralité, Middle French moralité, from Late Latin mōrālitās (manner, characteristic, character), from Latin mōrālis (relating to manners or morals), from mōs (manner, custom). equivalent to moral +‎ -ity.

Pronunciation

  • (UK) IPA(key): /məˈɹælɪti/
  • Rhymes: -ælɪti

Noun

morality (countable and uncountable, plural moralities)

  1. (uncountable) Recognition of the distinction between good and evil or between right and wrong; respect for and obedience to the rules of right conduct; the mental disposition or characteristic of behaving in a manner intended to produce morally good results.
    • 1841, Thomas Carlyle, Heroes and Hero Worship, ch. 3:
      Without morality, intellect were impossible for him; a thoroughly immoral man could not know anything at all! To know a thing, what we can call knowing, a man must first love the thing, sympathize with it: that is, be virtuously related to it.
    • 1911, G. K. Chesterton, Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens, ch. 16:
      Science and art without morality are not dangerous in the sense commonly supposed. They are not dangerous like a fire, but dangerous like a fog.
    • 1965, “King Moves North,” Time, 30 Apr.:
      It may be true that you cannot legislate morality, but behavior can be regulated.
  2. (countable) A set of social rules, customs, traditions, beliefs, or practices which specify proper, acceptable forms of conduct.
    • 1912, George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion, act 5:
      I have to live for others and not for myself: that’s middle class morality.
    • 1917, William MacLeod Raine. The Yukon Trail, ch. 14:
      He smiled a little. “Morality is the average conduct of the average man at a given time and place. It is based on custom and expediency.”
  3. (countable) A set of personal guiding principles for conduct or a general notion of how to behave, whether respectable or not.
    • 1781, Samuel Johnson, “Sheffield” in Lives of the Poets:
      His morality was such as naturally proceeds from loose opinions.
    • 1994, “Man Convicted of Murder in ’92 Bludgeoning,” San Jose Mercury News, 4 Nov., p. 2B:
      Deputy District Attorney Bill Tingle called Jones “the devil’s right-hand man” and said he should be punished for his “atrocious morality.”
  4. (countable, archaic) A lesson or pronouncement which contains advice about proper behavior.
    • 1824, Sir Walter Scott, St. Ronan’s Well, ch. 16:
      “She had done her duty”—”she left the matter to them that had a charge anent such things”—and “Providence would bring the mystery to light in his own fitting time”—such were the moralities with which the good dame consoled herself.
    • 1882, William Makepeace Thackeray, “Vanitas Vanitatum” in Ballads, p. 195:
      What mean these stale moralities,
      Sir Preacher, from your desk you mumble?
  5. (countable) A morality play.
  6. (uncountable, rare) Moral philosophy, the branch of philosophy which studies the grounds and nature of rightness, wrongness, good, and evil.
    • 1953, J. Kemp, “Review of The Claim of Morality by N.H.G. Robinson,” The Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 3, no. 12, p. 278:
      Robinson sums up the conclusion of the first part of his book as being “that the task of the moralist is to set in their proper relation to one another the three different types of moral judgment . . . and so reveal the field of morality as a single self-coherent system”.
  7. (countable, rare) A particular theory concerning the grounds and nature of rightness, wrongness, good, and evil.
    • 1954, Bernard Mayo, “Ethics and Moral Controversy,” The Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 4, no. 14, p. 11:
      Hume’s morality which ‘implies some sentiment common to all mankind’; Kant’s morality for all rational beings; Butler’s morality with its presupposition of ‘uniformity of conscience’.

Usage notes

  • Although the terms morality and ethics may sometimes be used interchangeably, philosophical ethicists often distinguish them, using morality and its related terms to refer to actual, real-world beliefs and practices concerning proper conduct, and using ethics to refer to theories and conceptual studies relating to good and evil and right and wrong. In this vein, the American philosopher Brand Blanshard wrote concerning his friend, the eminent British ethicist G. E. Moore: “We often discussed ethics, but seldom morals. . . . He was a master in ethical theory, but did not conceive himself as specially qualified to pass opinions on politics or social issues.”

Synonyms

  • (recognition of / obedience to the rules of right conduct): decency, rectitude, righteousness, uprightness, virtuousness
  • (personal guiding principles): morals
  • (set of customs, traditions, rules of conduct): conventions, morals, mores
  • (lesson or pronouncement which contains advice): homily
  • (branch of philosophy): ethics, moral philosophy
  • (particular theory concerning the grounds and nature of rightness, wrongness, etc.): ethics, moral philosophy

Antonyms

  • (recognition of / obedience to the rules of right conduct): amorality, immorality

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

Further reading

  • morality in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • morality in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
  • morality at OneLook Dictionary Search

References

Anagrams

  • molarity

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