- Applied ethics
Applied ethics is, in the words of Brenda Almond, co-founder of the Society for Applied Philosophy, "the philosophical examination, from a moral standpoint, of particular issues in private and public life that are matters of moral judgment". It is thus a term used to describe attempts to use philosophical methods to identify the morally correct course of action in various fields of human life. Bioethics, for example, is concerned with identifying the correct approach to matters such as euthanasia, or the allocation of scarce health resources, or the use of human embryos in research. Environmental ethics is concerned with questions such as the duties of humans towards landscapes or species. Business ethics concerns questions such as the limits on managers in the pursuit of profit, or the duty of 'whistleblowers' to the general public as opposed to their employers. As such, it is a study which is supposed to involve practitioners as much as professional philosophers. [ Brenda Almond, 'Applied Ethics', in Mautner, Thomas, Dictionary of Philosophy, Penguin 1996 ]
Applied ethics is distinguished from
normative ethics, which concerns what people should believe to be right and wrong, and from meta-ethics, which concerns the nature of moral statements.
Much of applied ethics is concerned with just three theories:
utilitarianism, where the practical consequences of various policies are evaluated on the assumption that the right policy will be the one which results in the greatest happiness, notions based on 'rules' and an assumption that there is an obligation to perform the 'right' action, regardless of actual consequences, epitomized by Kant's notion of the Categorical Imperative, and virtue ethics, derived from Aristotle's and Confucius's notions, which asserts that the right action will be that chosen by a suitably 'virtuous' agent.
One modern approach which attempts to overcome the seemingly impossible divide between deontology and utilitarianism is
case-based reasoning, also known as casuistry. Casuistry does not begin with theory, rather it starts with the immediate facts of a real and concrete case. While casuistry makes use of ethical theory, it does not view ethical theory as the most important feature of moral reasoning. Casuists, like Albert Jonsen and Stephen Toulmin("The Abuse of Casuistry" 1988), challenge the traditional paradigmof applied ethics. Instead of starting from theory and applying theory to a particular case, casuists start with the particular case itself and then ask what morally significant features (including both theory and practical considerations) ought to be considered for that particular case. In their observations of medical ethics committees, Jonsen and Toulmin note that a consensus on particularly problematic moral cases often emerges when participants focus on the facts of the case, rather than on ideologyor theory. Thus, a Rabbi, a Catholic priest, and an agnostic might agree that, in this particular case, the best approach is to withhold extraordinary medical care, while disagreeing on the reasons that support their individual positions. By focusing on cases and not on theory, those engaged in moral debate increase the possibility of agreement.
List of subfields of applied ethics
Medical ethics/ bioethics
Environmental ethics(e.g. global warming)
Human rightsissues (e.g. gender ethics/ sexism, classism, racism, Capital punishment)
Media ethics/ journalism ethics
* Education ethics
* Sports ethics
* Military ethics (e.g.
just war theory)
* International ethics (e.g.
List of ethics topics
* [http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/ET/home.html Ethics] (since 1890)
* [http://www.kluweronline.com/issn/1382-4554/contents The Journal of Ethics]
* [http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0264-3758 Journal of Applied Philosophy]
* [http://www.pdcnet.org/ijap.html International Journal of Applied Philosophy]
* [http://www.aspcp.org/ijpp/html/contents.html International Journal of Philosophical Practice]
* [http://rockethics.psu.edu/ Rock Ethics Institute at Pennsylvania State University]
* [http://www.cappe.edu.au Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at Australian National University, Charles Sturt University and University of Melbourne]
* [http://www.scu.edu/ethics Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University]
* [http://www.ethics.ubc.ca W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics at the University of British Columbia]
* [http://www.indiana.edu/~appe Association for Practical and Professional Ethics at the University of Indiana]
* Chris Young, [http://www.chrisyoung.net/writings/how-to-teach-intro-to-applied-ethics.html How to teach an introduction to applied ethics]
* [http://www.hospitalityethics.com HospitalityEthics.com ]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
applied ethics — noun The branch of ethics that examines questions of moral right and wrong arising in specific areas of practical concern, as, for example, in medicine or business … Wiktionary
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics — Established 1986 Director Kirk O. Hanson Admin. staff 14 Location Santa Clara, California, U.S.A … Wikipedia
Ethics — • Many writers regard ethics as any scientific treatment of the moral order and divide it into theological, or Christian, ethics (moral theology) and philosophical ethics (moral philosophy) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Ethics … Catholic encyclopedia
ethics — Ethics may be defined as the study of morality (though some, such as Bernard Williams, distinguish differently between the two). It is traditionally divided into three areas: (1) meta ethics, concerned with the meaning of moral terms ( good ,… … Christian Philosophy
ethics — /eth iks/, n.pl. 1. (used with a sing. or pl. v.) a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture. 2. the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics;… … Universalium
Ethics — For other uses, see Ethics (disambiguation). Philosophy … Wikipedia
Ethics in religion — Most religions have an ethical component, often derived from purported supernatural revelation or guidance. For many people, ethics is not only tied up with religion, but is completely settled by it. Such people do not need to think too much… … Wikipedia
Ethics of eating meat — Various types of meats In many societies, controversy and debate have arisen over the ethics of eating animals. Ethical objections are generally divided into opposition to the act of killing in general, and opposition to certain agricultural… … Wikipedia
Applied aesthetics — is the application of the branch of philosophy of aesthetics to cultural constructs.Film, television, and videoFilm combines many diverse disciplines, each of which may have their own rules of aesthetics. The aesthetics of cinematography are… … Wikipedia
Applied behavior analysis — (ABA) is the science of applying experimentally derived principles of behavior to improve socially significant behavior. ABA takes what we know about behavior and uses it to bring about positive change (Applied). Behaviors are defined in… … Wikipedia