Thought experiments have played a pivotal role in many debates within ethicsâ€”and in particular within applied ethicsâ€”over the past 30 years. Nonetheless, despite their having become a commonly used philosophical tool, there is something odd about the extensive reliance upon thought experiments in areas of philosophy, such as appliedethics, that are so obviously oriented towards practical life. Herein I provide a moderate defence of their use in applied philosophy against those three objections. I do not (...) defend all possible uses of thought experiments but suggest that we should distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate uses. Their legitimate uses are determined not so much by the modal content of any actual thought experiment itself, but by the extent to which the argument in which it is nested follows basic tenets of informal logic and respects the fundamental contingency of applied ethical problems. In pursuing these ideas, I do not so much provide a set of criteria for their legitimate use, but more modestly present two significant ways in which their use can go awry. (shrink)
A standard view in ethics is that ethical issues concern a different range of human concerns than does politics. This essay goes beyond the long-standing dispute about the extent to which appliedethics needs a commitment to ethical theory. It argues that regardless of the outcome of that dispute, appliedethics, because it presumes something about the nature of authority, rests upon and is implicated in political theory. After internalist and externalist accounts of applied (...)ethics are described, “mixed” approaches are considered that contain inevitable political dimensions. A feminist alternative, Walker’s metaethic of responsibility, shows that authority is best understood as relational and that situations of unequal power are therefore often the places where appliedethics arises. Furthermore, in a democratic society, commitments to democracy should shape the account of authority, and, thus, the nature of appliedethics as well. (shrink)
Every year in this country, some 10,000 college and university courses are taught in appliedethics. And many professional organizations now have their own codes of ethics. Yet social science has had little impact upon appliedethics. This book promises to change that trend by illustrating how social science can make a contribution to appliedethics. The text reports psychological studies relevant to appliedethics for many professionals, including accountants, college students (...) and teachers, counselors, dentists, doctors, journalists, nurses, school teachers, athletes, and veterinarians. Each chapter begins with the research base of the cognitive-developmental approach--especially linked to Kohlberg and Rest's Defining Issues Test. Finally, the book summarizes recent research on the following issues: * moral judgment scores within and between professions, * pre- and post-test evaluations of ethics education programs, * moral judgment and moral behavior, * models of professional ethicseducation, and * models for developing new assessment tools. Researchers in different professional fields investigate different questions, develop different research strategies, and report different findings. Typically researchers of one professional field are not aware of research in other fields. An important aim of the present book is to bring this diverse research together so that cross-fertilization can occur and ideas from one field can transfer to another. (shrink)
Appliedethics is relatively new on the philosophical scene, having grown out of the various civil rights movements of the 1950s and 1960s, as well as the student demand that college courses be relevant. Even today, there are those who think that there are no philosophically interesting practical ethical questions, and that appliedethics is not a branch of philosophy at all. This article rejects that view, both because some of the most interesting and respectable philosophers (...) in the world have worked in appliedethics and because appliedethics has been the source of many difficult conceptual questions in theoretical ethics and even metaphysics. These include the grounds for moral status, human identity, how to conceive rights in general and the right to life in particular, the question whether existence itself can be a harm (the nonidentity problem), and the nature of moral principles. (shrink)
This volume contains work by the very best young scholars working in AppliedEthics, gathering a range of new perspectives and thoughts on highly relevant topics, such as the environment, animals, computers, freedom of speech, human enhancement, war and poverty. For researchers and students working in or around this fascinating area of the discipline, the volume will provide a unique snapshot of where the cutting-edge work in the field is currently engaged and where it's headed.
The use of the term "appliedethics" to denote a particular field of moral inquiry (distinct from but related to both normative ethics and meta-ethics) is a relatively new phenomenon. The individuation of appliedethics as a special division of moral investigation gathered momentum in the 1970s and 1980s, largely as a response to early twentieth- century moral philosophy's overwhelming concentration on moral semantics and its apparent inattention to practical moral problems that arose in (...) the wake of significant social and technological transformations. The field of appliedethics is now a well established, professional domain sustained by institutional research centers, professional academic appointments, and devoted journals. As the field of appliedethics grew and developed, its contributors predominantly advocated consequentialist and deontological approaches to the problems they address; but lately a significant number of moral philosophers have begun to bring the resources of virtue ethics to bear upon the ever-evolving subject matters of appliedethics. (shrink)
The current process of globalization has produced an increase in the societal role played by companies, in their power and consequently in their responsibility. Any ethical reflection on companies must therefore be able to rise to the challenge of justifying a critical approach which enables us to rethink the role and thus the legitimacy of companies in modern society, and at the same time provide a universalist approach able to explain moral judgments and the problems of the moral validity of (...) business activity within global economic contexts. This paper sets out to present the essential characteristics of a business ethics which unifies these two approaches. It puts forward a proposal for an integrative business ethics which applies the Discourse Ethics developed by J. Habermas to the business environment. It is defined as integrative since it takes the internal connection between ethics and business as its starting point and because it knows that as an appliedethics, it must combine strictly normative approaches with descriptive ones. As with all proposals, many questions remain open and many issues have yet to be resolved. Despite this, this paper sets out to show that discourse ethics provides a sound platform on which to consider questions of the legitimacy of and consequently trust in our organizations in plural and global contexts. (shrink)
Animal suffering and moral character -- Kant's strategic importance for environmental ethics -- Moral and legal arguments for universal health care -- The scope of patient autonomy -- Subjecting ourselves to capital punishment -- Same-sex marriage as a means to mutual respect -- Consent, mail-order brides, and the marriage contract -- Individual maxims and social justice -- The decomposition of the corporate body -- On becoming a person -- Conclusion: emerging from Kant's long shadow.
This collection examines how the field of ethics has developed over the past fifty years, by bringing together those articles that have been seminal in the development of the subject. Each of the six volumes carries an introduction presenting the historical context of the material, and a new index is provided to identify key philosophical themes and trends within the collection. The volumes are organized thematically, and include: * Vol.1: Nature and Scope * Vol. 2: Ethical Issues in Medicine, (...) Technology and the Life Sciences * Vol. 3: Ethical Issues in Medicine, Technology and the Life Sciences II * Vol. 4: Environment * Vol. 5: Business/Economics * Vol. 6: Politics. (shrink)
African ethics in the world -- The primacy of ubuntu in African ethics -- African ethics and Christianity -- African bioethics -- African business ethics -- African ethics and the environment -- African ethics and political transformation.
This volume collects a wealth of articles covering a range of topics of practical concern in the field of ethics, including active and passive euthanasia, abortion, organ transplants, capital punishment, the consequences of human actions, slavery, overpopulation, the separate spheres of men and women, animal rights, and game theory and the nuclear arms race. The contributors are Thomas Nagel, David Hume, James Rachels, Judith Jarvis Thomson, Michael Tooley, John Harris, John Stuart Mill, Louis Pascal, Jonathan Glover, Derek Parfit, R.M. (...) Hare, Janet Radcliffe Richards, Peter Singer, and Nicholas Measor. (shrink)
This article reports on a collective effort to position ethics policies within the context of a specific discipline – Applied Language Studies (ALS). Through a discussion of challenges to ALS-specific pedagogical and research practices, this article highlights (1) the need for consistency across institutional Research Ethics Boards in the application of general principles of ethics review, and (2) the recognition of local considerations that are informed by disciplinary approaches not envisioned in current ethics policies. (...) class='Hi'>Ethics policies that are driven by substantive ethical intent will recognize pedagogical practices, research methodologies, and epistemological values and traditions that mark a discipline. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore the concept of applied Islamic ethics, the facts, its challenges, and its future. I aim to highlight some of the deep-rooted issues that Muslims have faced historically and continue to experience today as they apply religious guidance to their daily lives. I consider the causes and rationale behind the current situation and look beyond to suggest ways in which this may evolve, calling for a radical reform. Muslims throughout the world are experiencing a (...) deepening crisis of identity and confusion about their faith's principles and practices. I suggest how improvements might be achieved, in order to gain more coherence and understanding. This approach recognizes the importance of inviting an in-depth, deliberate analysis of relevant dialogues between religious experts of the text (scholars) and practitioners, those working at the grassroots. This approach remains faithful to the fundamental principles of the Islamic sources but also considers our present context. I recommend a shift in authority from scholars alone to a more inclusive, critical engagement of practitioners. Through this more comprehensive methodology of applied Islamic ethics, I suggest that Muslim communities, organizations, and individuals can remain faithful to their religious principles while, at the same time, actively participating in and contributing to our evolving societies. While I recognize that this will be a long process, I am confident that with applied Islamic ethics, the current feelings of confusion, self-doubt, and even apathy, given the previous failed processes of adaptation and reform, will give way to a new confidence in knowing how to address contemporary challenges. (shrink)
Given a reasonable coherentist view of justification in ethics, appliedethics, as here conceived of, cannot only guide us, in our practical decisions, but also provide moral understanding through explanation of our moral obligations. Furthermore, appliedethics can contribute to the growth of knowledge in ethics as such. We put moral hypotheses to crucial test in individual cases. This claim is defended against the challenges from moral intuitionism and particularism.
International institutions such as the International Labour Organization (ILO) have been examined from various industrial relations viewpoints. This article seeks to discuss the ILO from the standpoint of moral philosophy. Traditionally, philosophy has not been concerned with industrial relations (IR) and IR writers have not engaged with ethics either. Nonetheless, all IR agents and institutions, international or otherwise, are moral agents. Being part of the United Nations (UN), the ILO follows the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). In philosophical (...) terms, the ILO carries connotations of the German moral philosopher Kant's (1724-1084) concept of universalism. Ethical universalism is also the core of American psychologist and philosopher Laurence Kohlberg's developmental model that allows an assessment of moral values and ethical behaviours. To ascertain the ILO's morality, an empirical study (n=121) was conducted at a regional University. The study indicated that most respondents (68%) saw the ILO as a reflection of the morality of " defending everyone's right to justice and welfare, universally applied while applying well-thought principles and being ready to share and debate these openly and non-defensively with others". In line with the ILO's self-understanding, survey respondents also viewed it as a thoroughly moral agent committed to the advancement of humanity as a whole. Respondents also thought that the ILO goes beyond the confinements of the standard industrial relations framework, actively engaging with the universality of all people. The overall conclusion is that the way the ILO is perceived to act along the scale of Kohlberg's text matches the ILO's actual existence and work. For the first time, the ILO's moral status has been tested using Kohlberg's scale of morality. This provides a significant contribution to our understanding of the morality of a very important universal institution that has virtually all countries as members. (shrink)
This article explores the connections between analytic philosophy and appliedethics — both historical and substantive. Historically speaking, appliedethics is a child of analytic philosophy. It arose as the result of two factors in the 1960s: the re-emergence of normative ethics on the one hand, and urgent social and political challenges on the other. But is there a significant substantive link between appliedethics and analytic philosophy? I argue that applied (...) class='Hi'>ethics inherited important ‘analytic’ ideals such as clarity and argumentative rigour. At the same time these ideals are not the exclusive preserve of analytic philosophy and appliedethics. Moreover, they are under threat from various trends within appliedethics. In this context I rebut the allegation that the anti-revisionist reliance on pre-theoretical moral judgements (aka ‘intuitions’) is less rational than their revisionist dismissal. The article ends with a plea for an analytic approach within appliedethics. (shrink)
Abstract: If, like Hegel and Dewey, one takes a historicist, anti-Platonist view of moral progress, one will be dubious about the idea that moral theory can be more than the systematization of the widely-shared moral intuitions of a certain time and place. One will follow Shelley, Dewey, and Patricia Werhane in emphasizing the role of the imagination in making moral progress possible. Taking this stance will lead one to conclude that although philosophy is indeed relevant to appliedethics, (...) it is not more relevant than many other fields of study (such as history, law, political science, anthropology, literature, and theology). (shrink)
This paper explores the relationships that various appliedethics bear to each other, both in particular disciplines and more generally. The introductory section lays out the challenge of coming up with such an account and, drawing a parallel with the philosophy of science, offers that appliedethics may either be unified or disunified. The second section develops one simple account through which appliedethics are unified, vis-à-vis ethical theory. However, this is not taken to (...) be a satisfying answer, for reasons explained. In the third section, specific appliedethics are explored: biomedical ethics; business ethics; environmental ethics; and neuroethics. These are chosen not to be comprehensive, but rather for their traditions or other illustrative purposes. The final section draws together the results of the preceding analysis and defends a disunity conception of appliedethics. (shrink)
A number of different uniquenessclaims have been made about computer ethics inorder to justify characterizing it as adistinct subdiscipline of appliedethics. Iconsider several different interpretations ofthese claims and argue, first, that none areplausible and, second, that none provideadequate justification for characterizingcomputer ethics as a distinct subdiscipline ofapplied ethics. Even so, I argue that computerethics shares certain important characteristicswith medical ethics that justifies treatingboth as separate subdisciplines of appliedethics.
The first in a series of 4 articles, this article provides an overview of the concepts and methods developed by a team of researchers concerned with preventing harm and promoting ethical discourse in the helping professions. In this article we introduce conceptual, research, analytical, and action frameworks employed to promote the centrality of ethical discourse in mental health practice. We employ recursive processes whereby knowledge gained from case studies refines our emerging conceptual model of appliedethics. Our participatory (...) conceptual framework differs markedly from the restrictive model typically used in appliedethics. Our research relies on lived experiences of ethics, while our analytical framework draws attention to the multiple levels and contexts in which ethical dilemmas take place. Finally, our action framework is designed to collaborate with research participants and practitioners in making use of our data and interpretations. We demonstrate how the various frameworks inform each other in an integrative fashion. The article sets the stage for 2 case studies presented in subsequent articles. (shrink)
This article presents a response to Richard Rorty's paper "Is Philosophy Relevant to Business Ethics?" The author questions Rorty's views on the depreciation of the role of philosophy in appliedethics, and outlines four reasons why philosophy retains its relevance. The author addresses the role of moral reasoning in the development of the moral imagination. The author also concludes that humans have the means necessary to make moral progress and are capable of moral reasoning, and need only (...) to develop a strong moral imagination. (shrink)
Tom Carson’s recent paper on “Deception and Withholding Information in Sales” contains a critique of my contribution to sales ethics. In this response I outline the approach I develop in two earlier papers and address the four criticisms Carson makes. These criticisms are largely based on a misunderstanding of my position. I suggest that our fundamentally different approaches to appliedethics may lie at the root of Carson’s misunderstanding. Carson uses what I call a theory-application model in (...) which the search for justification interms of fundamental rules is central, while I attempt to contextualize ethical judgments and consider alternative ways of structuring social roles. In contrasting these approaches I raise the question of which way of doing appliedethics is likely to be more fruitful. (shrink)
InTowards a Canadian Research Strategy ForApplied Ethics, I put forward proposals to advance Canadian research in appliedethics. I focus on the assessment made of Canadian teaching, consulting, and research in business and professional ethics and then on the strategy proposed for advancing work in these areas. I argue for research which is  oriented to the ethical needs of those in business and the professions,  interdisciplinary, and  involves the creation of national and international (...) networks. I then offer some preliminary observations on the first two years of the new research strategy''s operation. (shrink)
This article is the second one in a series dealing with mental health ethics in Cuba. It reports on ethical dilemmas, resources and limitations to their resolution, and recommendations for action. The data, obtained through individual interviews and focus groups with 28 professionals, indicate that Cubans experience dilemmas related to (a) the interests of clients, (b) their personal interests, and (c) the interest of the state. These conflicts are related to power differentials among (a) clients and professionals, (b) professionals (...) from various disciplines, and (c) professionals and organizational authorities. Resources to solve ethical dilemmas include government support, ethics committees, and collegial dialogue. Limitations include minimal training in ethics, lack of safe space to discuss professional disagreements, and little tolerance for criticism. Recommendations to address ethical dilemmas include better training, implementation of a code of ethics, and provision of safe space to discuss ethical dilemmas. The findings are discussed in light of the role of power in appliedethics. (shrink)
As part of a project on professionals' lived experience of ethics, this article explores the guiding concepts and values concerning ethics of mental health professionals in Cuba. The data, obtained through individual interviews and focus groups with 28 professionals, indicate that Cubans conceptualize appliedethics in terms of its central role in professional practice and its connection to the social context and subjective processes. Findings also show that Cuban professionals are guided not only by a set (...) of professional values but by a specific set of civic values as well. The former are subdivided into other-oriented values and self-oriented values. The study of ethics in another culture such as Cuba offers a unique point of view from which to critique the social construction of our own conceptions of appliedethics in North America. (shrink)
All too often in appliedethics debates, there is a danger that a lack of analytical clarity and precision in the use of key terms serves to cloud and confuse the real nature of the debate being undertaken. A particular area of concern in my analysis of the bioethics literature has been the uses to which the key terms "suicide," "assisted suicide," and "euthanasia" are put. The modest aim of this article is to render a contribution to the (...)appliedethics debate on these topics by seeking to delimit the scope and meaning of these terms. The criteria of specificity, non-arbitrariness, consistency (between various terms), and the avoidance of strong pejorative presuppositions, supply the main standards guiding my adoption of usages. (shrink)
Liberal Utilitarianism and AppliedEthics explores the foundations of early utilitarianism as well as the theoretical basis of social ethics and policy in modern Western welfare states. Matti Hayry shows how philosophers have misunderstood the very nature of utilitarianism since the turn of the 19th century and identifies the resulting problems in contemporary utilitarianism. Hayry argues that when the classical utilitarian principles of happiness, hedonism and impartiality are combined, the ensuing ethical theory may demand that we act (...) immorally or unjustly. This is because the scope of the utilitarian theory has been extended too far. Hayry develops a more limited utilitarian theory based on the ethos of early British universal altruism. He argues that a limited version of liberal utilitarianism and the methods of appliedethics should be employed to define our moral duties and rights. This is an important book in current discussions on social ethics and policy. Hayry's accomplished defense of utilitarian morality is certain to provoke debate. (shrink)
The last few decades have seen a dramatic increase in concern with matters of ethics in all areas of public life. This ‘applied turn’ in ethics raises important issues not only of focus, but also of methodology. Sometimes a moral end or moral feature is designed into an institution or technology; sometimes a morally desirable outcome is the fortuitous, but unintended, consequence of an institutional arrangement or technological invention. If designing-in ethics is the new methodological orientation (...) for appliedethics, globalisation is providing many of the practical ethical problems upon which to deploy this methodology. (shrink)
Abstract Appliedethics is commonly carried out on the assumption that moral decisions can be handled by experts. This involves a failure to recognize that being morally serious means recognizing that one cannot hand over responsibility for certain decisions to anyone else. The idea of moral expertise is shown to be based on a misconstrual of the nature of moral discourse, one that can be overcome by following Wittgenstein's exhortation to philosophers to pay heed to the actual uses (...) of language. The sense of a moral judgment cannot be considered in isolation from what the speaker is doing in the context of utterance. The author concludes by suggesting that this discussion can provide the basis for a new reading of Anscombe's essay ?Modern Moral Philosophy? (shrink)
Insights from social science are increasingly used in the field of appliedethics. However, recent insights have shown that the empirical branch of business ethics lacks thorough theoretical grounding. This article discusses the use of the Rawlsian methods of wide reflective equilibrium and overlapping consensus in the field of appliedethics. Instead of focussing on one single comprehensive ethical doctrine to provide adequate guidance for resolving moral dilemmas, these Rawlsian methods seek to find a balance (...) between considered judgments and intuitions concerning particular cases on the one hand and general principles and theories on the other. In business ethics this approach is promissing because it enables decision-making in a pluralist context with different stakeholders who often endorse different or even conflicting cultural and moral frameworks without giving priority to any of them. Moreover, the method is well founded in political theory. A taxonomy of different kinds of applications is developed, and classified according to the purpose, the content, and the type of justification. On the basis of this taxonomy an inventory of 12 recent applications is made. In terms of the purpose and content of the method the applications are rather diverse. Two conceptual obstacles for applying Rawlsian methods are identified, viz. inclusiveness and the communitarian objection that people have to become detached from their personal life. It is found that methodological questions, such as the question how to retrieve the relevant empirical data, are scarcely addressed in the literature. To advance the use of empirical approaches in general, and that of Rawlsian approaches in particular, it is important not only to use empirical data but to use methodological insights from social sciences in order to further advance the field of empirical ethics. It is recommended that stakeholders be given a more active role in the assessment and justification of these methods. (shrink)
This paper criticizes the conception of appliedethics as the top-down application of a theory to practical issues. It is argued that a theory such as utilitarianism cannot override our intuitive moral perceptions. We cannot be radically mistaken about the kinds of considerations which count as practical reasons, and it is the task of theoretical ethics to articulate the basic kinds of considerations which we appeal to in practical discussions. Dworkin's model of doing ethics is used (...) to illustrate the appropriate role for theory in a broader sense. In conclusion, some sceptical questions are raised about how far theoretical ethics can contribute to public policy, especially if this requires a consensus. (shrink)
Philosophers sometimes think that philosophical ethics can be utilized in solving practical queries such as the abortion issue. They are most probably right, in principle. But they often tend to over-emphasize the importance of moral theories at the expense of the obvious diversity of ethics in practice. Practical or appliedethics cannot be reduced to the mere application of ready-made theories to practical problems.In the abortion issue the theoretical attitude leads many philosophers to think that there (...) is one and only one right solution in the matter. In the present paper it is argued that there are, in fact, many 'right-consistent and intuitive-solutions for this and for any other practical issue. Whether or not a solution will, ultimately, be the right one for us, is a matter of the intuitive acceptability of the rules the solution implies for our practical life as a whole. (shrink)
What is at stake when students sell the highly sought-after basketball tickets they receive for free through a university’s lottery system? This article discusses a case in appliedethics taken from the experience of college students and extrapolates from that to the distribution of other scarce resources using lotteries. By examining an event relevant to the actual experience of students, we challenge them to see how normative moral theory may be used and what values are central to moral (...) decision-making. The case includes four analyses from different perspectives and a teaching note. (shrink)
(2013). The Science of AppliedEthics at Edinburgh University: Dugald Stewart on Moral Education and the Auxiliary Principles of the Moral Faculty. Intellectual History Review: Vol. 23, No. 2, pp. 207-224. doi: 10.1080/17496977.2012.725554.