Chris Brown Defines Ethics

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    • 00:12

      CHRIS J BROWN: Ethics is the nameof an area of moral behavior, which has is covereddifferent sorts of things.There's a danger with ethics that it'sthought of in two obviously moralistic terms, that ethicsis about telling people what they ought to do.

    • 00:32

      CHRIS J BROWN [continued]: It's about preaching to people.The concept of ethics that I would preferis something that goes back to the classical Greeks,and it's much more about the way in which we live our lives,what it is to be a good person, whatit is to lead to a good life.

    • 00:53

      CHRIS J BROWN [continued]: Now part of that, of course, is about behavior.It's about what we do, but it's alsoabout who we are, what kind of person we are.A lot of modern moral philosophy is based on the ideathat we should try to determine the ethical principlesof action.So for example, a utilitarian should

    • 01:16

      CHRIS J BROWN [continued]: say that we should always act in orderto maximize the welfare of everybody.A Kantian would say the categorical imperative tells usthat we should act without looking at consequences.We should just simply do the right thing.Now those are interesting propositionswhen we focus on ethics as simply about human behavior,

    • 01:41

      CHRIS J BROWN [continued]: decision-making, how to be moral in the way we make decisions.But as I've argued earlier, what I want to sayis that ethics ought to be understood much morewidely about how we live, how we relate to everybodyelse in a much wider sense, how we relate to our environment,to other animals, to nature.

    • 02:02

      CHRIS J BROWN [continued]: And I think that does build on a much older tradition of ethicsfrom the Kantian or the utilitarian tradition,a tradition that goes back to Aristotle, in particular,who it seems to me in his two books of ethicssets out the basis for this particular topic.

Chris Brown Defines Ethics

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Abstract

Professor Chris J. Brown defines ethics as the rules of moral behavior. He reflects upon the subject's societal and philosophical development.

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Chris Brown Defines Ethics

Professor Chris J. Brown defines ethics as the rules of moral behavior. He reflects upon the subject's societal and philosophical development.

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