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comparative ethics

the empirical (observational) study of the moral beliefs and practices of different peoples and cultures in various places and times. It aims not only to elaborate such beliefs and practices but also to understand them insofar as they are causally conditioned by social, economic, and geographic circumstances. Comparative ethics, in contrast to normative ethics, is thus the proper subject matter of the social sciences (e.g., anthropology, history, sociology, and psychology).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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