Normative Ethics: Ethical Theory And Applied Ethics

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“In philosophy, meta-ethics is the branch of ethics that seeks to understand the nature of ethical properties, statements, attitudes, and judgments. Meta-ethics is one of the three branches of ethics generally recognized by philosophers, the others being ethical theory and applied ethics. Ethical theory and applied ethics make up normative ethics.” Applied ethics concerns itself with moral questions regarding particular, individual issues, such as whether or not it is wrong to have an abortion, whether or not the death penalty should be enforced, and so on. Normative ethics is interested with questions in regard to the underlying principles that are the guiding light of the applied ethicist. For example, should only the consequences or our duties or our character matter? While normative ethics attempts to evaluate individual choices as being better or worse, good or good, metaethics does not, although it may have profound implications in regards to the validity and meaning of claims made in normative ethics. Metaethics, however, tries to understand and comment on what is going on in the situation itself, it does not attempt to make any rules. Thus, it takes a step back from ethical practice and tries to make sense of what is going on when we use moral speech. This is why metaethics is truly meta, and a second order discipline. While normative ethics asks “What should I do, to be good?”, metaethics asks “What does it mean to be good, what is goodness? What is the
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