conscience

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conscience

 [kon´shens]
1. an inner moral sense that distinguishes right acts from wrong. Difficulties arise in how the conscience decides between good and bad. Conscience is not always an adequate justification for action.
2. the internalization of parental and social norms, related to the Freudian concept of superego; this conception of conscience has no role in ethical deliberation.
3. in bioethics, the exercise and expression of a reflective sense of integrity, constitutive of reflection about the relationship between a specific course of action and a particular idea of the self and one's integrity. Appeals to conscience presume a prior decision about the rightness or wrongness of an act. Justification is adequate if it is based on universalizable principles; if justification is founded on religious beliefs, personal ideas, or a particular way of life, others cannot be held to them.

conscience

/con·science/ (kon´shins) the nontechnical term for the moral faculty of the mind, corresponding roughly to the superego; differing in that the operations of the superego are often unconscious, unlike the ordinary conception of conscience.

conscience

(kŏn′shəns)
n.
1.
a. An awareness of morality in regard to one's behavior; a sense of right and wrong that urges one to act morally: Let your conscience be your guide.
b. A source of moral or ethical judgment or pronouncement: a document that serves as the nation's conscience.
c. Conformity to one's own sense of right conduct: a person of unflagging conscience.
2. The part of the superego in psychoanalysis that judges the ethical nature of one's actions and thoughts and then transmits such determinations to the ego for consideration.

con′science·less adj.

conscience

Etymology: L, conscientia, to be privy to information
1 the moral, self-critical sense of what is right and wrong.
2 (in psychoanalysis) the part of the superego system that monitors thoughts, feelings, and actions and measures them against internalized values and standards.
References in classic literature ?
A very few, as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men, serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it.
Lord Dawlish, if he had been able to diagnose correctly the almost paternal attitude which had become his host's normal manner these days, would have been equally embarrassed but less startled, for conscience had already suggested to him from time to time that he had been guilty of a feeling toward Elizabeth warmer than any feeling that should come to an engaged man.
His conscience, therefore, usually considered the surest witness to a man's integrity,--his conscience, unless it might be for the little space of five minutes in the twenty-four hours, or, now and then, some black day in the whole year's circle,--his conscience bore an accordant testimony with the world's laudatory voice.
An election is a very serious thing; at least it ought to be, and every man ought to vote according to his conscience, and let his neighbor do the same.
How- ever, even inquests went out of vogue at last, and ceased to torture Tom's conscience.
Not so, indeed; for, seriously speaking, I am very sure that conscience only kept Edward from Harley Street.
Yes, the conscience is clear and the song is clear, and so these little streams flow on, shining in the clear dawn of a golden past to which all poets and philosophers to come will turn with wistful eyes.
When from dark error's subjugation My words of passionate exhortation Had wrenched thy fainting spirit free; And writhing prone in thine affliction Thou didst recall with malediction The vice that had encompassed thee: And when thy slumbering conscience, fretting By recollection's torturing flame, Thou didst reveal the hideous setting Of thy life's current ere I came: When suddenly I saw thee sicken, And weeping, hide thine anguished face, Revolted, maddened, horror-stricken, At memories of foul disgrace.
Of all the ingenious modes of torture that have ever been invented, that of solitary confinement is probably the most cruel--the mind feeding on itself with the rapacity of a cormorant, when the conscience quickens its activity and feeds its longings.
I may say not guilty, with a clean conscience,” returned Natty; “for there’s no guilt in doing what’s right; and I’d rather died on the spot, than had him put foot in the hut at that moment.
Nor with such a man could you expect the appeal to conscience to be effective.
The pious atmosphere of the vicarage and the religious tone of the school had made Philip's conscience very sensitive; he absorbed insensibly the feeling about him that the Tempter was ever on the watch to gain his immortal soul; and though he was not more truthful than most boys he never told a lie without suffering from remorse.