In contrast to traditional ethical theory—concerned with purely theoretical problems such as, for example, the development of a general criterion of rightness—applied ethics takes its point of departure in practical normative challenges. Along with general overviews and journals, nine central branches of applied ethics are added, with four or five references in connection to each branch.
There are generally two approaches taken in applied ethics. The first is to apply ethical principles such as utilitarianism and deontological ethics to each issue or question; the second is to generate a situation-based discourse that uses multiple ethical theories.
Challenges Ethics and other philosophical fields Ethical questions in practical fields often lead to questions beyond ethics. For example, euthanasiaan issue in medical ethicsleads to questions regarding lifedeathaging, happinesssuffering, and human existence.
In the history of philosophy, however, philosophers have tried to establish ethical theories independent of other philosophical fields, particularly metaphysics. To avoid stepping into unsettled disputes on fundamental philosophical questions outside of ethics, philosophers often attempt to find practical, agreeable, solutions.
Some philosophers who take a case-based reasoning approach called casuistry set aside even ethical theories altogether in order to find a mutually agreeable, plausible, and practical solution.
Interdisciplinary collaboration Applied ethics requires knowledge of specific fields and, oftentimes, multiple fields.
For example, in order to address the ethical questions concerning global warming, a central issue in environmental ethicsphilosophers often have to consider social, economic, and political implications.
Furthermore, applied ethics often require not only a theoretical analysis but also practical, feasible solutions. For this reason, a team of professionals from different disciplinary fields often collaborate as a team. Approaches There are basically two approaches in applied ethics: Application of the principles of ethical theories The first approach is to find ways to apply the principles of ethical theories.
Philosophers attempt to revise classic formulations of ethical principles in order to apply them to current ethical questions. Two major ethical theories that are used today are utilitarianism and deontological ethics ; other ethical theories include virtue ethicssuch as Aristotelianism Applied ethics, Confucianismand religion based ethical theories.
This approach, however, has its own difficulty. Each ethical theory is established upon distinct principles and has a certain plausibility, yet no one theory can comprehensively cover all aspects of a problem; at the same time, combining different theories requires a tremendous mind and is nearly impossible.
Situation based approach 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. 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, for example, 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 ideology or 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. Major subfields Applied ethics can be found in almost all kinds of professional fields or social practices.
While medical ethicsenvironmental ethicsbusiness ethicsand legal ethics are major subfields, applied ethics is found in human rights, warmediacommunicationsportsacademic research, publication, and other areas.
Business ethics Business ethics examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that arise in a business environment or economic activities. In the increasingly conscience-focused marketplaces of the twenty-first century, the demand for more ethical business processes and actions known as ethicism is increasing.
Simultaneously, pressure is applied on industry to improve business ethics through new public initiatives and laws e. As a corporate practice and a career specialization, the field is primarily normative. In academia, descriptive approaches are also taken.
The range and quantity of business ethical issues reflects the degree to which business is perceived to be at odds with non-economic social values.
Historically, interest in business ethics accelerated dramatically during the s and s, both within major corporations and within academia. For example, today most major corporate websites lay emphasis on commitment to promoting non-economic social values under a variety of headings e. In some cases, corporations have redefined their core values in the light of business ethical considerations e.
Business ethics also discusses ethical question in marketing, accounting, labor including child labor and abusive labor practices, human resource management, political contributions, business acquisitions such as hostile take-overs, production, use of toxic material, intellectual property, information management including information leak, and others.
Legal ethics Legal ethics refers to an ethical code governing the conduct of people engaged in the practice of law. In the United Statesfor example, the American Bar Association has promulgated model rules that have been influential in many jurisdictions.
The model rules address the client-lawyer relationship, duties of a lawyer as advocate in adversary proceedings, dealings with persons other than clients, law firms and associations, public service, advertising, and maintaining the integrity of the profession.
Respect of client confidences, candor toward the tribunal, truthfulness in statements to others, and professional independence are some of the defining features of legal ethics. American law schools are required to offer a course in professional responsibility, which encompasses both legal ethics and matters of professionalism that do not present ethical concerns."Applied ethics" has proved difficult to define, but the following is a widely accepted account: Applied ethics is the application of general ethical theories to moral problems with the objective of .
Applied ethics is a branch of ethics devoted to the treatment of moral problems, practices, and policies in personal life, professions, technology, and government. In contrast to traditional ethical theory—concerned with purely theoretical problems such as, for example, the development of a general criterion of rightness—applied ethics takes its point of departure in practical normative challenges.
Applied ethics is a branch of ethics devoted to the treatment of moral problems, practices, and policies in personal life, professions, technology, and government. In contrast to traditional ethical theory—concerned with purely theoretical problems such as, for example, the development of a general criterion of rightness—applied ethics takes its .
Applied ethics is the branch of ethics which consists of the analysis of specific, controversial moral issues such as abortion, animal rights, or euthanasia. In recent years applied ethical issues have been subdivided into convenient groups such as medical ethics, business ethics, environmental ethics, and sexual ethics.
Applied Ethics at Ursinus College is an interdisciplinary minor that explores ethical issues in every area of life. Let me explain in brief what corporate ethics is, it is "a form of applied ethics or professional ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that arise in a business environment.