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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Simon Blackburn (born 1944) is a British academic philosopher known for his efforts to popularize philosophy. He attended Clifton College and went on to receive his bachelor's degree in Moral Sciences (i.e. philosophy) in 1965 from Trinity College, Cambridge. He is currently Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge's Faculty of Philosophy and Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina. He is also a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and has previously held teaching posts at Pembroke College, Oxford and the University of North Carolina as an Edna J. Koury Professor.

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