What is descriptive theory in ethics

Morals and ethics

The terms "ethics" (from Greek: ethos = habit, character, custom) and "morality" (from Latin: mores = customs) are often used differently.


Morality is understood to be the moral norms, principles or values ​​and moral dispositions, attitudes or character traits that we recognize as right and important or that are valid in a society.


By contrast, ethics is understood to be the theoretical preoccupation with the phenomenon of morality. Ethics can then be understood as one Theory of morality. It is a philosophical or also theological (theological ethics) discipline. As a scientific discipline, it deals, among other things, with the theoretical reflection of lived morality.


Ethics include those descriptive ethics, but above all the normative ethics and theMetaethics:


The descriptive ethics has, as the name suggests, to do with the description of ethical issues. For example, one can examine and show which ethical values, moral norms or virtues are or were valid in a certain society at a certain point in time.

The normative ethics on the other hand, it deals with normative questions by making normative claims or analyzing claims made by others and asking for the respective justifications for such claims. The also deals with normative claims and their justification applied ethics. The focus here is on specific areas and types of action, which is why some also speak of "area ethics". Applied ethics include science and technology ethics, medical ethics, environmental ethics, animal ethics, economic and legal ethics, among others.

TheMetaethics Finally examines the meaning of moral words (for example, "good") and moral judgments. In addition, theoretical justifications for normative statements are developed in it.