Ethics is the major branch of philosophy, encompassing right conduct and good life. Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that secure the concepts of right and wrong conduct. The field of ethics,
along with aesthetics, that concern the matters of value, called axiology.
Ethics clarify the questions of human morality by defining the concepts of good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime. the word "ethics" is taken from Greek word ethikos which meaning is character of a person.
according to Rushworth Kidder ethics is the science of the ideal human character or 'the science of moral duty'.
Richard William Paul and Linda Elder define ethics as "a set of concepts and principles that guide us in determining what behavior helps or harms sentient creatures"
According to Bioethicist Larry Churchill "Ethics, understood as the capacity to think critically about moral values and direct our actions in terms of such values, is a generic human capacity." Ethics can also be used to describe a particular person's own idiosyncratic principles or habits.
Three major areas of study within ethics recognized today are
1- Meta-ethics, concerning the theoretical meaning and reference of moral propositions, and how their truth values can be determined. meta ethics can be divide into cognitivism and non-cognitivism; Non-cognitivism is the view that when we judge something as morally right or wrong, this is neither true nor false. We only express our emotional feelings about the things. Cognitivism based on the matters of fact, not on emotion
2- Normative ethics, concerning the practical means of determining a moral course of action. Normative ethics is the study of ethical action. It is the branch of ethics that investigates the set of questions that arise when considering how one ought to act, morally speaking. Normative ethics is distinct from meta-ethics because normative ethics examines standards for the rightness and wrongness of actions, while meta-ethics studies the meaning of moral language and the metaphysics of moral facts.
3- Applied ethics, concerning what a person is obligated or permitted to do in a specific situation or a particular domain of action. Applied ethics is a discipline of philosophy that attempts to apply ethical theory to real-life situations. The discipline has many specialized fields, such as engineering ethics, bioethics, geoethics, public service ethics and business ethics.
Descriptive ethics - Descriptive ethics is on the less philosophical end of the spectrum since it seeks to gather particular information about how people live and draw general conclusions based on observed patterns. Descriptive ethics offers a value-free approach to ethics, which defines it as a social science rather than a humanity
Ethics are very important in all aspects of life because it is an essential part of the foundation on which of a civilized society is build. A business or society that lacks ethical principles is bound to fail sooner or later.