Definitions of Values, Ethics and Character

Values

Something intrinsically valuable or desirable.
     Merriam-Webster

The principles that guide ethical behavior.
     Ethics Resource Center

Modes of conduct … means by which … human enterprises should be conducted.
     James MacGregor Burns, Transforming Leadership: The Pursuit of Happiness (2003)

Enduring beliefs … Values influence the decisions that we make and impact the courses of action that we take.
     Susan S. and Thomas D. Kuczmarski,  Values-Based Leadership (1994)

Standards and patterns of choice that guide persons and groups toward satisfaction, fulfillment and meaning.
     Richard Morrill, Chancellor and Distinguished University Professor of Ethics and Democratic Values at the University of Richmond

What an individual wants or desires or ascribes worth to.
     Kevin Ryan and Karen Bohlin,  Building Character in Schools: Practical Ways to Bring Moral Instruction to Life

Ethics

The discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation.
     Merriam-Webster

What is good, right or how we ought to behave.
     Ethics Resource Center

The conditions necessary to elicit the best from the human spirit ….
     Washington Ethical Society

Character

 The complex of mental and ethical traits marking and often individualizing a person, group or nation … moral excellence and firmness.
     Merriam-Webster

Good character consists of under-standing, caring about and acting upon core ethical values.
    Character Education Partnership

Enduring beliefs … Values influence the decisions that we make and impact the courses of action that we take.
     Susan S. and Thomas D. Kuczmarski,  Values-Based Leadership (1994)

The disposition to live ethically in a coherent way over time.
     Harvard Center for Ethics and the Professions

 

Good character demands more from us than an intellectual commitment, heartfelt desire, or mechanical fulfillment of responsibilities. It requires virtues, those habits of the head, heart, and hand that enable us to know the good, love the good, and do the good.
    Kevin Ryan and Karen Bohlin,  Building Character in Schools: Practical Ways to Bring Moral Instruction to Life