An Ethical Compass for Quarterlifers
Chapter 5. A Glossary of Ethics Terms for the Non-Specialist
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A GLOSSARY OF ETHICS TERMS FOR THE NON-SPECIALIST
Think of this chapter as our humble attempt to translate some of the abstract language of ethics into usable everyday English. We present a glossary of selective technical terms that are basic to our Four Moral Languages. Note that we use the adjective humble in our opening sentence. We do this because we greatly respect the efforts of moral philosophers and applied ethicists through the centuries to construct a specialized ethics terminology. However, we have found in our teaching that a highly abstract, academic vocabulary is a turnoff to quarterlife students who are struggling valiantly to understand the important insights of ethics and to apply these to their everyday lives.
Our general approach in trying to bridge any type of theory-to-practice is to respect the specialized words of the disciplines at all times but, as important, to translate them whenever possible into useful down-to-earth “tools.” We do this, sometimes, by delving into the evolving etymologies of the original terms, which our students seem to enjoy. But we always try to re-phrase and, when necessary, to update excessively specialized language that tends to confound more than it does to clarify. Please understand that we are not trying to oversimplify the study of ethics. Instead, we are trying to enrich it by making its ideas comprehensible to a new generation of learners. ← 61 | 62 →
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