Ethics – [gr. tá ēthiká ‘treatise on customs’, ḗthos ‘moral nature’, ‘character’], a term used in the 4th century BC by Aristotle in the title of his work Nicomachean Ethics to denote the descriptive and critical study of what concerns ethos as human character, custom, i.e. an established way of behaviour in the living environment, home. In the colloquial sense, ethics is the totality of moral norms recognised at a certain time by a social group as a reference point for the evaluation and regulation of behaviour in order to integrate the group around certain values, a synonym for morality; in the philosophical sense, ethics is the science of morality, considered separately in its normative aspect as the science of morality (the so-called normative ethics or proper ethics) and the descriptive and explanatory aspect as the science of morality (the so-called descriptive ethics or ethology).
Source: Encyklopedia PWN