J^T: John Thywissen's personal pages


Ethics is the branch of philosophy that provides principles for human action. (Some people draw a distinction between morality and ethics, and define ethics as simply cultural norms. I reject that usage.)

Ethics depends upon two other branches of philosophy: metaphysics, the nature of reality, and epistemology, the nature of knowledge.

Thywissen, John A. Ethics [Web page]. Plano (TX): c2007 [revised 2007 Aug 05; cited 2023 Mar 22]. Available from: http://john.thywissen.org/ethics.html



J^T Thoughts

Interestingly, ethical statements don't apply to inanimate objects or non-volitional beings. Hammers or dogs are not good or evil. Neither are money, guns, or the Internet good or evil. Only human's use of them can be assigned a value judgement. This simple point could save a lot of useless, noisy debate.

Ethics are inescapable for volitional beings. Even claiming to be amoral is, ironically, a moral statement!

All organizations of people have structures and behaviors that assume and facilitate a set of ethical judgments. Depending on the scope of the organization, the value system could be simple or very comprehensive.

Did I just contradict myself? I said inanimate objects are amoral, but said organizations have value systems. I don't think so. More later....

Ethics for leadership in business: Objective Leadership (A five-word summary: rationality, independence, integrity, honesty, justice)