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Ethical Affordances, Awareness, and Actions

Ethical Affordances, Awareness, and Actions

Chapter:
(p.3) Introduction: Ethical Affordances, Awareness, and Actions
Source:
Ethical Life
Author(s):
Webb Keane
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691167732.003.0001

This introductory chapter provides a definition of some key terms: ethics, morality, reflexive awareness, and affordance. Studies that focus on virtues, values, and ways of life tend to fall under the rubric of ethics. Those that focus on obligations, prohibitions, general principles, systematicity, and momentary decisions are treated as morality. There is a great deal of overlap and interaction between these. Cutting across the distinction between ethics and morality is another one, that between the tacit and the explicit—those background assumptions, values, and motives that go without saying or are difficult to put into words, on the other hand, and those that easily lend themselves to conscious reflection, on the other. Meanwhile, ethical affordance is any aspects of people's experiences and perceptions that they might draw on in the process of making ethical evaluations and decisions, whether consciously or not.

Keywords:   ethics, morality, reflexive awareness, ethical affordance, virtues, general principles, momentary decisions, ethical evaluations

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