Ethics are often based on logic and emotions, but was there any effort to remove the emotional part and systematize ethics? What are some of the systems derived from such efforts?

  • First start by asking what 'objectivity' means, in terms of ethical systems. Is it about feedback.. does behaviour X damage activity Y? – Richard Feb 26 '19 at 11:30
  • The most prominent system would be that of the perennial philosophy. A systematic ethics requires a systematic metaphysics, so there may be no other example. . . – PeterJ Feb 26 '19 at 13:26


I'm not sure that objectivity has degrees but won't argue that point. One ethical system that is intellectualist in the sense you are looking for is Plato's ethical theory in the Republic. Here morality is purely cognitive and depends on the intellectual apprehension of the Forms, which are transcendent, eternal, unchanging entities. This apprehension is possible only for those who have undergone a long process of education which includes the training and control of the emotions. But emotions are no part of morality; training and control of them is merely necessary in order to prevent their distracting us from the intellectual route march that ends in our apprehending the Forms.

Plato's ethical theory is full of problems. But such as it is, it appears to satisfy your 'removal of the emotional part'. Plato's theory is also necessarily systematic because the Forms stand in organised relations to the ultimate reality, the Form of the Good. (Not that 'Good' precisely corresponds to Plato's Greek - (auto to agathon - but if we immerse ourselves in this issue here we will never resurface.)


Legalism (a Chinese philosophy) is probably what you mean. It enforces strong laws and harshly punishes those that don't follow them. It is very objectives and not "touchy-feely". All it is is laws.

I hope this answer helps you!

  • The old testament laws as well. – Lexipaichnidi Feb 26 '19 at 1:37
  • true; basically anything based on laws – Math Bob Feb 26 '19 at 2:55

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