Philosophy International JournalISSN: 2641-9130MEDWIN PUBLISHERSCommitted to Create Value for ResearchersA Critical Study on the Concept of Ethics and Morality inComparative PhilosophySamitharathana W*Department of Philosophy, University of Peradeniya, Sri LankaPerspectiveVolume 3 Issue 4*Corresponding author: Wadigala Samitharathana, Undergraduate (BA Hons.); Royal Paṇḍit(O. S. S.), Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, Email:[email protected] Date: October 16, 2020Published Date: November 09, 2020DOI: 10.23880/phij-16000157AbstractEthics and Morality are a controversial study in comparative philosophy. In particular, both has recognized and conceptualizeda somewhat different way. Because as a succinct analysis on Ethics, it systematically appears that deals with the epistemologicalbackground and psycho-socio influence indeed. However, Morality can identify as a simultaneous occurrence of Ethics. It oftenreflects the personality features of human beings as a scientific and common sense of behavioural acts. On the contrary, thisconceptualized controversy has precisely built an excellent philosophic platform as a comparative way of thinking.Consequently, in this scholarly contribution, it has endeavoured to draw-up an analytic extent for the scope of Ethics andMorality. It has mainly worked here as a critical study of historiography, terminological differences, contrasted subject mattersand categorical evolution. Hypothetically, it can continuously say that if even it is theoretically different, both should engagemutually and co-dependently.Keyword: Ethics; Morality; Behavioural Acts; PersonalityIntroductionIn a normative sense it can often be identified as Ethics1in which science of the conduct of human beings living insocieties. As a provisional recognition on Ethics, it woulddefine as a systematic account of normative science andcoherent influence of science2. In particular, Ethical directions1 As a philosophical discipline of study, Ethics appears as a systematicachievement to realizing, analyzing, and differentiating matters of right andwrong, good and evil, and admirable and deplorable as they relate to thewell-being of and the relationships among sentient beings.Karen L Rich, Introduction to Ethics, Nursing Ethics: Across the Curriculumand Into Practice, (ed.) Janie B. Butts and Karen L. Rich, (Massachusetts:Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2013), pp: 4.2 “This definition says, first of all, that ethics is a science, and a sciencemaybe defined as a systematic and more or less complete body of knowledgeabout a particular set of related events or objects. In this account of science,the important word is systematic; scientific knowledge differs from theA Critical Study on the Concept of Ethics and Morality in Comparative Philosophyalways guide merely on individualistic characteristicsof human personality3. It indeed conceptualized as ahumanistic judgement for personal behavioural acts anddeeds in their sustainable lives. In contrast, the term Ethicsordinary, haphazard knowledge of uneducated people in being arranged ina definite coherent system.”William Lillie, An Introduction to Ethics, (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1948),pp: 2.3 Here it does hope to say that Ethics seems to be an intellectual discussionand intensive branch of philosophy as far as. So It does suggest somequotation here:“In ethics we are concerned with questions of right and wrong, duty andobligation, and moral responsibility. When ethicists use words like good orright to describe a person or action, they generally mean that the personor action confirms with some moral standard. A good person or action hasdesirable qualities or possess qualities desirable to humans.”Vincent Barry, Applying Ethics: A Text with Readings, (California: WadsworthPublishing Company, 1989), pp: 5-6.Philos Int J
Philosophy International Journal2has perhaps used synonymously with Morality. Whereas itcontextually appears some incompatible features and sharpdifferences also. Morality defines some traditional beliefs,behaviours, and different ways of being derived from Ethics4.Then Moral values would judge throughout scientific waysof Ethical analysis. The reverse of Morality is Immortality,which terminologically means that a person’s behaviouris in opposition to accepted societal, religious, cultural, orprofessional, ethical standards and principles5. So, however,it precisely seems that in between subject matter of Ethicsand Morality would have some idiosyncratic and contradictfeatures as a priori. Then in this writing, it does mind to studythe above controversial proposition briefly and analytically.DiscussionA Critical Overlook on History of Ethics andMoralityPrimitively when we concerning on its linguistic history,it seems that vital to differentiating between Ethics andMorality. Although the terminologies have the idiosyncraticmorphological meaning as their historical source on ancientphilological science. Here the morpheme Ethics has derivedfrom the Greek word ‘Ethos’ means character whilst themorpheme ‘Morality’ has descended from the Latin word‘Moralis’ which means custom or manner6.The chronological history of Ethics can identify asthree main evolutionary periods concerning their specificcharacteristics as follows7.- The Greek Period (500 BC-500 AD)- The Medieval Period (500 AD-1500 AD)- The Modern Period (1500 AD Onwards)Here each period has its characteristic ethical institution4 Nevertheless, here has some contradictory argumentation presentedby William K. Frankena (University of Michigan, 1963). According to hiscritique, Ethics is a branch of philosophy, and it is the Moral philosophyor philosophical thinking about Morality, Moral judgements, and Moralproblems. For many fuller details, it can see the book below.William Frankena, Ethics, (USA: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1963), pp: 3-4.5 Vincent Barry, Applying Ethics: A Text with Readings, (California:Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1989), pp: 5.6 According to this historical linguistic analysis, Ethics often refers torules, principles, norms and values that are external to the individuals,whereas Ethics often refers to an individual’s stance, principles and valuesof what is right and wrong.Gӧran Fransson, Understanding Morality and Ethics: Maneuvering EthicalDilemmas in Digital Educational Contexts, (Pennsylvania: IGI GlobalPublisher, 2017), pp: 73.7 This categorization was done by William Lillie (1948) while consideringsharp attention on its earlier beginning, chronic evaluation to up today. Formuch details, also refer to this source below.William Lillie, An Introduction to Ethics, (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1948),pp: 92-98.and qualitative ethical conceptualizations too. According tothis historical derivation of Ethics, it has been determined bymajor twofold influences8:- The Free Reflection that arose in the Greek City-States- The Moral Tradition of Jews and Christians that was taughtby the Church in the Middle AgesThe observation of Ethics seems like an ordinarycircumstance of the developing concept of conscience sincesignificantly earlier history in Western philosophic tradition9.Because the conscience has been the fundamental root or allencompassing element for Ethics unavoidably, it denotes thatevery individual can be perceived the necessary judgementsof ethical perspectives such as right or wrong, good or bad,virtue or non-virtue and so much on10.When it does scrutinize towards on Morality, it shouldalso derive parallel to the history of Ethics. The Moralphilosophy is also descending from Socrates (469 C-399BCE), Plato (429 C-347 BCE), and Aristotle (384 C-322BCE) mainly11. That precisely clarifies that the teachingsof Morality also have undoubtedly correlated with ancientGreek philosophy and its evolutionary three chronologicalperiods too.Here especially as the middle age (476 CE) this view ofMorality was continued and sustained with intellectualism8Ibid, 92.9 “Different values, worldviews, and ways of moral reasoning have evolvedthroughout history and have had different points of emphasis in varyinghistorical periods. In regard to some approaches to reasoning about moralissues, what was old becomes new again, as in the case of the renewedpopularity of virtue ethics-the concept of reasoning as would a person withgood character.”Karen L. Rich, Introduction to Ethics, Nursing Ethics: Across the Curriculumand Into Practice, (ed.) Janie B. Butts and Karen L. Rich, (Massachusetts:Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2013), pp: 8-9.10 According to Gӧran Fransson (University of Gӓvle, Sweden, 2017), theunderstanding of moral and ethical issues in teaching, it should be regardedas a social, relational, and moral endeavour and discussed the moral andethical dimensions of teaching and learning. Classical ethical frames, suchas consequentialism, deontology, and virtue ethics, are described andproblematized as guiding frames for the process of moral decision-making.Gӧran Fransson, Understanding Morality and Ethics: Maneuvering EthicalDilemmas in Digital Educational Contexts, (Pennsylvania: IGI GlobalPublisher, 2017), pp: 72.11 “In Western history, much of what is known about formal moralreasoning generally began with the ancient Greeks, especially with thephilosophers Though there are no primary texts of the teachings ofSocrates (what we have of his teachings were recorded by Plato), it is knownthat Socrates was an avid promotor of moral reasoning and critical thinkingamong the citizens of Athens. Socrates is credited with the statement that“the unexamined life is not worth living”, and he developed a method ofreasoning called the Socratic Method, which is still used today ”Karen L. Rich, Introduction to Ethics, Nursing Ethics: Across the Curriculumand Into Practice, (ed.) Janie B. Butts and Karen L. Rich, (Massachusetts:Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2013), pp: 9.Samitharathana W. A Critical Study on the Concept of Ethics and Morality in Comparative Philosophy.Philos Int J 2020, 3(4): 000157.Copyright Samitharathana W.
Philosophy International Journal3and contemporary cultural progress in Western Europe12.At this movement, Morality extremely collaborated withinmonotheistic Christianity. Then Morality formativelydiffered from descendent Greek polytheism of course.Here It does suppose there were a couple of Catholic saintscalled St. Augustine (354 AD-430 D) and St. Tomas Aquinas(1225 AD-1274 AD) who provided the significant ethicalinfluence during this revolutionary middle age on behalfof the remarkable religious renaissance13. Briefly the Moralphilosophy co-mixed and then co-operated with ancienttheology and obscure dogmatic slumber as it feels here.The period of the modern age (1543 AD) the theoreticalconcept of Morality engaged with scientific innovations likemainly Copernican Theory, Theory of Gravitation, Theoryof Relativity, and Atomic Theory. At this movement, Moralattitudes could struggle with Church dogma and rules14.In particular, during the 18th century Enlightenment era,it worked to gaining the glistening illumination of actualknowledge and ultimate perception of wisdom. Here thesignificant philosophers David Hume (1711 AD-1776 AD),George Berkeley (1685 AD-1753 AD) and Baruch Spinoza12 “In its broadest and most familiar sense, Morality is concerned withmany forms of belief about right and wrong human conduct. These beliefs areexpressed through terms such as “good”, “bad”, “virtuous”, “praiseworthy”,“right”, “wrong”, “ought” and “blameworthy”. But several disciplines usethese terms to evaluate human endeavors, and these disciplines sometimesinvolve Morality. Religion, law, etiquette, economics, and politics areexamples, because they involve the evaluation of conduct and use a similarvocabulary of acting-directing term”.Tom. L. Beauchamp, Philosophical Ethics: An Introduction to MoralPhilosophy, (New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1991), pp: 5.13 Here it does hope to mention some quotation from one of the articleswritten by William K. Frankena (University of Michigan, 1999). Becausehe also interprets the concept of Morality as the same way in drawing-upa synonymous correlation with teachings of Ethics via multi-disciplinarydistinctive aspects:“This is one of the uses of “morality” that concerns us here. Notice that ina sense, there are many moralities (or ethics): Greek Morality, bourgeoisMorality, my Morality, new Morality, professional Morality, and so far. In thissense,Morality is not one thing; different moralities prevail in different timesand places, as there are different etiquettes, laws, or religions, and thesemoralities may change. We can speak a morality in this sense, but not of“morality”.William K. Frakena, The Concept of Morality, Great Traditions in Ethics, (ed.)Theodore C. Denise and Others, (USA: Wadsworth Publishing Company,1999), pp: 379.14 “Dewey attacks two extremes in ethics: radical empiricism andrationalism. In the former, moral values are identified with subjectiveexperiences of liking and disliking. Dewey regards experiences of this kindas providing only the possibilities of values. Values as such emerge onlyafter examination of the condition under which liking and disliking occur,and of the results to which they lead. The distinction between an experienceas much and a valuable experience is given careful and detailed attention.”John Dewy, Scientific Method in Ethics, Great Traditions in Ethics, (ed.)Theodore C. Denise and Others, (USA: Wadsworth Publishing Company,1999), pp: 249.(1632 AD-1677 AD) who mostly contributed continentally.After the scientific hegemony of the enlightenmentera, the concepts of Ethics and Morality began makingscepticism at all survivals of human beings. That defined as‘Postmodernism’ (around 1950 AD, after the end of WorldWar II) and then science and reason improved as an impact ofhumanistic movements of moral thinking15. The postmodernethical period found out a pluralistic view, or diversity ofintellectual and cultural influences. It alw