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The tag (34 questions) has the following tag wiki excerpt:

For questions about philosophical or moral reasoning relating to veg*n practices. Try to avoid asking questions that invite primarily opinion-based answers

The tag (16 questions) has no tag wiki excerpt, and it includes questions like What is a flexitarian?

What is the difference between these two tags? Should they be merged/synonymised?

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  • I think that both terms are unfortunately used quite loosely away from academia and possibly even more loosely here on Veganism and Vegetarianism :). My own (very rough and ready) definitions would be: Ethics is a more narrow field that is comprised of a series of moral guidelines; Philosophy is a wider field that is comprised of a more overarching set of beliefs. Using these definitions it could be argued that the existing 'ethics' excerpt is in fact incorrect. My own view is there is room for both tags here, once suitable wiki excerpts are in place...
    – user3977
    Aug 21, 2022 at 4:13
  • @andrew.46 But would that distinction be generally enough recognised that people would actually use the two tags separately? Not everyone reads wiki excerpts, and if people keep using the tags interchangeably when there's supposed to be a difference, then we'd need to keep retagging.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Aug 21, 2022 at 7:59
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    My suspicion is that regardless of any fine details placed in a wiki tag excerpt the tags would be used interchangeably as you have suggested :). I see the Philosophy people have a nice tag for ethics: philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/ethics . My suspicion is that while there is a difference between the two words in this place there is actually only room for one tag. Perhaps the narrower (ethics) merged into the broader (philosophy)?
    – user3977
    Aug 22, 2022 at 2:05
  • @andrew.46 Would you like to draft up a tag wiki excerpt and post an answer here? If enough people vote on it (admittedly there's only one vote on the question so far; it's a quiet little meta), then we can call it a consensus to be enacted, perhaps by the new mod :-)
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Aug 22, 2022 at 6:30
  • I agree with the suggestion in your last comment @andrew.46
    – Zanna Mod
    Aug 22, 2022 at 9:20

1 Answer 1

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So after some discussion in the comments my own thoughts can be encapsulated as follows:

  1. In academic circles there is considerable difference in the usage of the terms 'ethics' and 'philosophy', but both terms are used interchangeably here on Veganism & Vegetarianism. My own take on the terms themselves:
    • Ethics: a more narrow field that is comprised of a series of moral guidelines.
    • Philosophy: a wider field that is comprised of a more overarching set of beliefs.
  2. These niceties are really not relevant on Veganism & Vegetarianism where realistically a single tag could be effectively used to cover all needs.

I suspect that the better choice would be to merge the narrower field (ethics) into the broader one (philosophy). This would be a merge of the ethics tag into the philosophy tag with or without the formation of a synonym. Details on those choices can be seen here:

What's the difference between merging a tag and creating a synonym?
Moderator Cheat Sheet

I have created an example wiki tag excerpt here as well as an example full tag; cannibalizing unashamedly from the existing ethics tag:

Philosophy wiki tag excerpt:

For questions about philosophical, ethical or moral areas relating to veg*n practices. Aim to ask questions that do not invite primarily opinion-based answers.

Philosophy full tag:

Many people follow veg*n diets and/or lifestyles for philosophical, ethical or moral reasons.

This tag should be used for either broader questions about about the overarching philosophy of veg*nism or more narrowly focused questions about the ethics or morality of veg*nism.

For a useful debate on how this site should handle questions about the issue of the philosophy, ethics and morality of veg*nism see this Area 51 post:

Should Ethics be Allowed?

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Well, those are my thoughts on the subject, feel free to completely disagree or suggest corrections :)

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