“Personal ethics” has any clear meaning. The term “Personal” is used in a number
of ways, which makes it impossible to set out one de nition. It seems that atleast
three senses can be distinguished. Firstly, Personal ethics is any ethical system or
doctrine that has been chosen in some way as a moral guide in the particular life
of an agent. Personal ethics in this sense is built upon an individual commitment
to a moral life and contrasts with any ethics, no matter how much it is recognized
or justi ed, that is not the object of such a choice. Personal ethics means, in this
case “committed ethic” or “active ethics”. In the second sense, personal ethics is any
situationist ethics opposing the universal and impartial ethics embrace in the principle
of universalization. Personal is in this case tantamount to ‘particular’ or ‘contextual’.
In the third sense, a personal ethics is any ethical system that focuses on the role of
agents and their moral dispositions, in opposition to any ethics centered on impersonal
values, God, rules, principles, rights, etc. Although in practice all three senses of
ethics can intertwine in one and the same doctrine, they are perfectly distinguishable
logically and historically.