Ethical Theory

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Title: Ethical Theory
Authors: O'Connor, Brian
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Date: 30-Jun-2014
Online since: 2019-03-28T10:43:17Z
Abstract: The word “ethics” is commonly taken to be a synonym for morality. In more formal contexts it serves as the name for codified conduct that governs individuals by virtue of their voluntary membership of particular institutions or professions. Although both of these significances are encompassed within Hegel’s conception of ethics he intends a yet broader meaning for it. The German word Hegel uses is Sittlichkeit, a word that is sometimes translated into English as morality as well as ethics. The stem of Sittlichkeit is Sitte, meaning customs and suggesting practices that partly form ongoing ways of life. In Hegel’s philosophy the sphere of ethics concerns both the actions of the individual moral agent and the normative environment that gives those actions their moral value. Considerations of ethics in its moral philosophical and its political institutional contexts cannot therefore be adequately treated in isolation from each other. It is of crucial importance in understanding Hegel’s ethics that his claim about the inextricability of the moral agent from its ethical environment runs much deeper than the notion that the community simply furnishes the agent with sets of approved or disapproved options. It says that we are constitutively communal beings whose judgments about the preferability of one choice over another are already influenced by our communal situation.
Type of material: Book Chapter
Publisher: Routledge
Copyright (published version): 2014 Routledge
Keywords: EthicsHegel's philosophyMoralityRationalityAutonomyPhilosophy of Right
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Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Is part of: Baur, M. (ed.). G.W.F. Hegel (Key Concepts)
ISBN: 978-1844657957
Appears in Collections:Philosophy Research Collection

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