Portal:Ethics

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Ethics

Ethics (via Latin ethica from the Ancient Greek ἠθική [φιλοσοφία] "moral philosophy", from the adjective of ἤθος ēthos "custom, habit"), a major branch of philosophy, is the study of values and customs of a person or group. It covers the analysis and employment of concepts such as right and wrong, good and evil, and responsibility. It is divided into three primary areas: meta-ethics (the study of the concept of ethics), normative ethics (the study of how to determine ethical values), and applied ethics (the study of the use of ethical values).

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The concept of free will is whether, and in what sense, rational agents exercise control over their actions and decisions. Addressing this question requires understanding the relation between freedom and cause, and determining whether or not the laws of nature are causally deterministic. The various philosophical positions taken differ on whether all events are determined or not - determinism versus indeterminism - and also on whether freedom can coexist with determinism or not - compatibilism versus incompatibilism. So, for instance, hard determinists argue that the universe is deterministic, and that this makes free will impossible.

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Immanuel Kant (painted portrait).jpg
Immanuel Kant (22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German philosopher from Königsberg in East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia). He is regarded as one of the most influential thinkers of modern Europe and the last major philosopher of the Enlightenment.

Kant created a new widespread perspective in philosophy which influenced philosophy through to the 21st Century. He also published important works of epistemology, as well as works relevant to religion, law, and history. One of his most prominent works is the Critique of Pure Reason, an investigation into the limitations and structure of reason itself. It encompasses an attack on traditional metaphysics and epistemology, and highlights Kant's own contribution to these areas. The other main works of his maturity are the Critique of Practical Reason, which concentrates on ethics, and the Critique of Judgment, which investigates aesthetics and teleology.

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