I wanted to place a tag equivalent to "moral philosophy" on my question, but there was none. I used "practical-ethics", but I do not feel ethics is the same as moral philosophy. Though it is similar, I do not feel moral philosophy can be crammed or reduced into ethics.

  • The terms "morality" and "ethics" are often used interchangeably, so that's why we simplify everything to one tag. Can you describe how you envision them beings used separately? What would be the difference between the two? – stoicfury Jan 20 '15 at 17:30
  • There are various moral models for instance. These may be historical, cultural, or philosophical denoting a named philosopher. Ethics on the other hand has a contemporary connotation and what are accepted or reasonable standards today, possibly in the West. For instance people do not talk about "historical ethics", much. Also, what about Sharia law? That is a different moral model not covered by ethics. Also, values represented by the religious right in the USA are not covered by ethics. Ethics can only be a subset of moral thought; a very small subset. – subjectivist Jan 20 '15 at 17:38
  • Ethics also has the connotation of workplace morality or professional morality, being a special class of morality. – subjectivist Jan 20 '15 at 17:41
  • yourdictionary.com/ethics "Although the terms ethics and morality may sometimes be used interchangeably, philosophical" "In particular, in general usage ethical is used to describe standards of behavior between individuals, while moral or immoral can describe any behavior." "The study of the effects of moral principles and standards on human conduct. Business ethics deal with ethics in business, and with the constant process of optimizing profitability in the context of what is right and what is wrong." – subjectivist Jan 20 '15 at 17:47
  • It would be difficult to coerce betterment, a moral concept, into ethics. I'm sure this can be done through semantics, but there is much more to moralism than ethics. – subjectivist Jan 20 '15 at 18:05

I'm not sold on the difference you outline in the comments, it seems like you're begging to find the tiniest difference when none really exists in common usage. And even if there is in fact some notable difference between the two, I feel like it would be too minor to warrant the use of a separate tag. The point of the tag system is to organize questions into categories and make questions of the same topic easier to find. But I feel like a tag of "morality" in the way you describe would have an esoteric meaning and most people would be using the term in the "normal" way, yet when they clicked on your tag they'ed be taken to questions only of this very specific idea you outlined, probably not what they really want.

I am for changing the tag synonyms, however. Right now we have "morality" as a tag synonym with ethics, so if anyone uses the term "morality" it is automatically changed to "ethics". Since there is some portion of people who see morality as the overarching concept and ethics as just a portion of it, we should probably make "ethics" the tag synonym with "morality".

That said, this is just my opinion, I do not make the rules here, the community does in accordance with principles outlined by the admins. If a lot of people agree with your change we can make it so. Hopefully we can get a few other people to chime in on the discussion. :)

  • 1
    Thanks for your consideration! – subjectivist Jan 21 '15 at 3:18
  • Quick thoughts: ethics is related etymologically to ethology, the study of animal behavior; and it is one of the classical sub-disciplines of philosophy. Morality is much more closely associated with theology, and honestly questions about specific moral wisdom traditions really should be the purview of the various religious SEs (Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, etc.) – Joseph Weissman Jan 24 '15 at 14:59
  • I'd be in favor of adjusting some of the synonyms too; they're definitely overdue for a review-refresh – Joseph Weissman Jan 24 '15 at 15:01

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