Owl Header: Michelle Mathias
Choice is a heavy burden. Every moment presents a wide range of options from which to choose--to bike or drive; to cook at home or dine at a restaurant; to respond to a letter now or later; to keep the cash from a found wallet or return it all to the owner.
Some choices, like the wallet example, are clearly ethical issues; others, like one's transportation choices, are more ambiguous; and some, such as one's personal dining habits, seem far removed from ethical considerations. Yet each of these involves a conscious decision that, directly or indirectly, impacts other beings.
Ethics is an approach to decision-making that takes careful consideration of how the proposed action will affect others.
"What I must do, is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
Ethos: character, custom, habit (Ancient Greek ἦθος)
Techne: a branch of knowledge concerned with concrete results, contrasts with epistēmē (Ancient Greek τέχνη)