Ethics and etiquette: what is the difference?
Many people identify the concepts of ethics and etiquette. Such a perception occurs not only because of the consonance of these two words, but also because they have much in common with each other. However, the difference between the norms still exists. What unites these two phenomena, and how they differ significantly from each other, we will try to understand this article.
The concept of ethics and etiquette
The ethics of the science of morality. It refers to philosophical disciplines, and the term itself has ancient Greek roots. It was first used and introduced by Aristotle. Morality is a fundamental way of regulating human behavior in society, is a system of norms and principles of a correct lifestyle. Any moral norm teaches people humanity and life together. Ethics applies to all spheres of human life and society as a whole, is based on the manifestation of mercy and justice in relation to everything around.
The main objectives of ethics as a science are the following:
- the study of the history of morality and its principles, norms and all that relates to moral culture;
- explanation of the concept of morality from the side of what it should be and what it really is;
- the study of moral values, which is good and evil.
Etiquette is a code of conduct accepted in a particular society. The idea of etiquette existed even in the days of ancient civilizations, which observed certain rituals and had their own hierarchy. The use of this term was first noted during the court ceremonial during the reign of the French king Louis XIV. Guests in the palace were given cards (labels) on which the rules of conduct during the ceremony were painted.
The word of French origin hides a huge number of customs, politeness and respect for the aesthetics of behavior in society, many of which originate in antiquity. However, one and the same etiquette rule can be perceived differently in different historical eras or among residents of different countries.
Etiquette teaches not only courtesy, but also the correct presentation of oneself - it dictates conventions in clothing and behavior. And although for the most part the established rules of behavior are not coercive, but only recommended, their gross violation can lead to condemnation by society or even rejection of ignorance.
Etiquette is conditionally divided into several types:
- secular etiquette - accepted norms of behavior at the palace, in the modern world it is used in monarchical countries;
- official or business etiquette - is used in professional activities, depending on the standards adopted for a particular field of activity;
- diplomatic - generally accepted rules for holding meetings between diplomats and other officials at the interstate level;
- military - a set of rules of conduct and treatment of military personnel both in the performance of official duties and in public places;
- general etiquette or rules of conduct in public places are applicable for communication between private individuals of a particular society.
In addition to these types, the rules of behavior at the table, the established rules of farewell to the deceased, the professional etiquette of doctors and teachers and other varieties of rules of behavior are often used.
The correlation of moral standards and etiquette rules allows us to see that their provisions have common components.
- Many consider these two concepts to be an inseparable pair, since they include etiquette in ethics as a science. Often, in the process of mastering and accepting the norms of etiquette by a person, a person involuntarily correlates this or that norm with his ethical considerations, can accept or reject it, and try to adjust it to his own conscience.
- Existing canons of ethics and etiquette can be divided into two groups. The first includes the rules governing the treatment of a person with other representatives of society. The second group contains regulations on the behavior of individuals in society that do not imply communication.
- Both of these sciences are called upon to determine the rules for the interconnection of people in society, and teach them to coexist peacefully. Both ethics and etiquette are an integral part of the personality, its moral identity.
- Both of these phenomena are reflected in human actions and behavior, as well as in opinions from the outside. Conclusions and conclusions about the assimilation and application of ethics and etiquette are made on the basis of observations, but the assessment can be subjective due to different moral ideas.
The rules of conduct in society may also differ in different societies, but within the framework of one society they are the same for everyone.
The differences between the two concepts
Despite the close relationship, features are distinguished that allow you to distinguish between the concepts of ethical standards and etiquette.
- Etiquette rules are usually documented in the form of a job description or code, contract. In addition, they can be the result of verbal agreements drawn up by centuries-old traditions or stereotypes. In any case, etiquette implies the existence of rules that people are forced to follow in order to appear polite. At the same time, ethical principles, in contrast to etiquette, are the main feature of human morality. Each person has his own acceptable set of ethical standards that make up the moral system of a particular person and are called conscience.
- For the most part, actions prompted by ethical considerations are important for evaluating oneself and remain something intimate. The rules of etiquette are often associated with intentionally demonstrated, sometimes even pretentious behavior.
- Violators of the norms of behavior will be considered a maximum rude person. The one who has crossed the border of morality may even be held accountable.
Certain moral principles are fundamental and determine the possibility of the existence of society, therefore they are protected by law and severely punished.
- Ethics affects the internal, moral and motivational side of a person, and etiquette refers to the external, socio-economic component of a person.
- Etiquette differs from ethics in that it is private. So, there are a large number of varieties of rules of behavior according to the type of society for which certain norms are effective. In addition, etiquette can be classified by scope. For different peoples, rules of behavior in society, which are often contradictory, are also considered acceptable. The moral standards taught by ethics are the same for all people.
- Etiquette, in contrast to ethics, involves the observance of certain rituals. Such ceremonialism is obligatory for execution, has a constant form and is generally accepted.
- Another distinguishing feature is that etiquette is pragmatic. The level of seriousness of the event, and how different the social status of the participants is, the observance of certain norms will depend.
- In some situations, ethical standards and etiquette may not match. For example, a man who stood up for a woman who called offenders uncultured words violated the rules of conduct in a public place. But at this moment he acted in accordance with his conscience, which did not allow the girl to be left in trouble.
In the next video, etiquette specialist Larisa Revazova talks about the basic rules of social and business etiquette and explains why they are needed in everyday life.