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Ethics.101, Scope of ethics

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Hello all,

With preliminary exams getting over, we enter into the next phase of exams, i.e. mains. As we shift gears, I thought this would be the best time to share some thoughts on how and what of ethics, i.e., Paper IV of mains examination.

An update, I have created a new handle on Instagram, Ethics.101, to engage in a dialogue and to connect with you all. As I write this, the handle is almost two weeks old, and in that limited time, we had some decent discussion of concepts and cases.

The first step in studying ethics is to understand and come to grips with the scope and content of ethics. UPSC syllabus starts with the essence of ethics, which implies, an understanding of the meaning of the word ethics, its relationship with the law, religion and other means that regulate our conduct.

In the first few days on Ethics.101, we discussed the relevance of ethics, its relationship with law and religion. Moving forward, today (5th October), I intend to initiate a discussion on the scope of ethics by using some questions posed by Iris Murdoch in her book The Sovereignty of Good.

When we say scope, we try to understand the central questions that ethics grapple with, the subject matter of ethics or the boundaries of the discipline. As we saw in an earlier discussion, ethics attempts to understand human actions in terms of right, wrong, good, evil etc. It focuses on conduct or rules of conduct. Issues of character is another central concern of ethics.

Iris Murdoch has posed three questions:

  1. What is a good man like?

  2. How can we make ourselves morally better?

  3. Can we make ourselves morally better?

I will be available from 8 pm on-wards till 10 pm on Instagram Ethics.101 to respond to your comments.

A post shared by Ethics (@ethics.101) on Oct 5, 2020 at 3:59am PDT

Look forward to your responses…


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