Ptah-Hotep's Ethical Criteria

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Garaneisha McDowell
Professor R.G. Moses
Professional Ethics
1 September 2012
Ptah-Hotep: Ethical Criteria
Ptah-Hotep gives a clear understanding of how he perceives living an ethical life. Ptah-Hotep tells us to “lower the hands, bend the back, do not get into a passion” with those who are superior of us. Ptah’s teaching is telling us that living an ethical life means bagging down from fights and disagreements with superior and remaining calm and under control even if you feel you are on the right side of the argument. Ptah goes further to say that you will be respected more if you remain calm in situations; this shows that Ptah believes that if you follow his guidelines to an ethical lifestyle you will win in the end, even if to the superior figure you are looked upon as wrong. Ptah explains that “the better of the two is he who is impassive”. Living by Ptah’s teachings in this type of situation teaches you to remain calm in the midst of adversity while also gaining respect from peers. Ptah also appears to be telling us that an ethical lifestyle means putting "yourself in unison with the ways of your master”. Ptah is teaching us that our actions should be in alignment with our superior. Also, Ptah goes to say that if we are living an ethical life according to his teachings we will speak only positive things and do what our superior asks of us because if we follow the directions of our master we will become better in return. Ptah teaches us to think much and say little and we will be up there with the great. References

"Ancient History Sourcebook: The Precepts of Ptah-Hotep, C. 2200 BCE." Internet History Sourcebooks. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Sept. 2012. <>.
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