Ethics are moral principles that govern a person’s or entity’s behavior. Ethics is the philosophy of virtue, morals, and justice. It seeks an empirical answer beyond its metaphysical roots.

To me, as one who is philosophically inclined, ethics is hands down the most important subject of academics. It is the keystone of EVERYTHING, this is because it is (like Plato infers) the keystone of the state and the soul. This is because it is [loosely speaking; note the ideal words haven’t yet been said by anyone] the art of moderation and temperance (the art of guiding all things via the highest virtue; the arete of virtues).

Ethics to the philosopher is the greatest happiness, yet, much to the detriment of all eras, to the miser (the one who desires wealth and power first) it is the greatest enemy.

This is why, again as Plato says, society should be structured in such a way that it values knowledge more than wealth. If the state is like the soul, then ethics speaks to a theory of justice which says the greatest happiness is the highest happiness for the most. Thus, the state and soul must be balanced toward this end to be just. This means moderation is needed and rulers must seek higher-order happinesses over lower-order pleasure seeking vices.

Meanwhile, the miser says, “but this stands in the way of my accumulation of capital, what nonsense”.

Again, this is why wise and benevolent rulers with ethical virtues and goals are the most desirable leaders. So, in sum, the past 20,000 years have been about trying to prove this argument and convey it to the masses. Plato did good, so did all his students from Livy, to Aquinas, to Machiavelli, to Locke, to Mill, Rawls… but as any Caesar, Khan, Mussolini, or Hitler will tell you, a minority of academics knowing isn’t always enough.

What is Reason?

Reason is the application of “pure logic”, empirical evidence, experiment, and skepticism to find truths, facts, and theories (AKA “critical thinking”).