Ethic (etymology)
A Google etymological tree for the term "ethics", deriving from the Greek term "ethos", which means habit, custom, or character; and having some connection to Aristotle’s “Ta Ethika”; equivalent to Latin mores (see: Mor).
In sociology, ethics, from the Greek ethos meaning “character of a culture or person; underlying sentiments that informs the beliefs, customs, or practices of a group; moral element that determines a character’s actions” (Ѻ), refers to the principles of conduct governing an individual or group. Ethics, said another way, refers a system of moral values or to a guiding philosophy. It is often said to be the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation. [1]

In 320BC, Aristotle, in his “Rhetoric” (Ѻ)(Ѻ), outlined the first systematic ideas on “ethos”. (Ѻ)

In 1922, English physical chemist Frederick Soddy stated very clearly that one can understand what is ethical by studying the operation of the steam engine: [2]

“[The phenomenon of life] derives the whole of its physical energy or power not from anything self-contained in living matter, but solely from the inanimate world. It is dependent for all necessities of its physical continuance upon the principles of the steam engine. The principles of ethics of all human conventions must not run counter to those thermodynamics.”

In 1985, American educator Dick Hammond promoted an conceptual form of ethics based on entropy; the gist of which is as follows: [3]

“[After] religions [were expelled] form public schools, out went instructions in ethics too, creating a void that we now have: what the entropy ethic can do for education is help fill that void.”

Another example of this type of second law ethics logic is the work of American science educator Fred Fox. [4] The 1999 work of Italian philosopher Luciano Floridi argues along the same theme, albeit in the framework of information theory.

See also

1. Ethics – Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 2000.
2. Soddy, Frederick. (1922). Cartesian Economics. London: Hendersons.
3. Hammond, Dick K. (2005). The Human System from Entropy to Ethics. (pg. vii). Publisher: Dick Hammond.
4. Fox, Fred W. (1976). “The Recolored Mentality: Ethical Lessons From Science”, The Science Teacher, May, pgs. 25-30.
5. Floridi, Luciano and Sanders, J.W. (1999). “Entropy as Evil in Information Ethics”, Etica & Politica, special issue on Computer Ethics, 1.2. Oxford University, Computing Laboratory, Programming Research Group Technical Report TR-5-00.

Further reading
● Miller, Alan S. (1991). Gaia Connections: an Introduction to Ecology, Ecoethics, and Economics (section: Biological Ethics and Thermodynamics, pgs. 86-89). Rowman and Littlefield.

External links
Ethics – Wikipedia.

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