Applied ethics::Ethics


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Applied ethics {{#invoke:main|main}} Applied ethics is a discipline of philosophy that attempts to apply ethical theory to real-life situations. The discipline has many specialized fields, such as engineering ethics, bioethics, geoethics, public service ethics and business ethics.

Specific questions

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A more specific question could be: "If someone else can make better out of his/her life than I can, is it then moral to sacrifice myself for them if needed?" Without these questions there is no clear fulcrum on which to balance law, politics, and the practice of arbitration — in fact, no common assumptions of all participants—so the ability to formulate the questions are prior to rights balancing. But not all questions studied in applied ethics concern public policy. For example, making ethical judgments regarding questions such as, "Is lying always wrong?" and, "If not, when is it permissible?" is prior to any etiquette.

People in-general are more comfortable with dichotomies (two opposites). However, in ethics the issues are most often multifaceted and the best proposed actions address many different areas concurrently. In ethical decisions the answer is almost never a "yes or no", "right or wrong" statement. Many buttons are pushed so that the overall condition is improved and not to the benefit of any particular faction.

Particular fields of application


{{#invoke:main|main}} Bioethics is the study of controversial ethics brought about by advances in biology and medicine. Bioethicists are concerned with the ethical questions that arise in the relationships among life sciences, biotechnology, medicine, politics, law, and philosophy. It also includes the study of the more commonplace questions of values ("the ethics of the ordinary") that arise in primary care and other branches of medicine.

Bioethics also needs to address emerging biotechnologies that affect basic biology and future humans. These developments include cloning, gene therapy, human genetic engineering, astroethics and life in space,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> and manipulation of basic biology through altered DNA, XNA and proteins,e.g.- "three parent baby,where baby is born from genetically modified embryos, would have DNA from a mother, a father and from a female donor.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> Correspondingly, new bioethics also need to address life at its core. For example, biotic ethics value organic gene/protein life itself and seek to propagate it.<ref name="Bioethics">{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> With such life-centered principles, ethics may secure a cosmological future for life.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>

Business ethics

{{#invoke:main|main}} Business ethics (also corporate ethics) is a form of applied ethics or professional ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that arise in a business environment, including fields like Medical ethics. It applies to all aspects of business conduct and is relevant to the conduct of individuals and entire organizations.

Business ethics has both normative and descriptive dimensions. As a corporate practice and a career specialization, the field is primarily normative. Academics attempting to understand business behavior employ descriptive methods. The range and quantity of business ethical issues reflects the interaction of profit-maximizing behavior with non-economic concerns. Interest in business ethics accelerated dramatically during the 1980s and 1990s, both within major corporations and within academia. For example, today most major corporations promote their commitment to non-economic values under headings such as ethics codes and social responsibility charters. Adam Smith said, "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices."<ref>Smith, A (1776/ 1952) An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, p. 55</ref> Governments use laws and regulations to point business behavior in what they perceive to be beneficial directions. Ethics implicitly regulates areas and details of behavior that lie beyond governmental control.<ref>Berle, A. A., & Means, G. C. (1932). The Modern Corporation and Private Property. New Jersey: Transaction Publishers. In this book, Berle and Means observe, "Corporations have ceased to be merely legal devices through which the private business transactions of individuals may be carried on. Though still much used for this purpose, the corporate form has acquired a much larger significance. The corporation has, in fact, become both a method of property tenure and a means of organizing economic life. Grown to tremendous proportions, there may be said to have evolved a 'corporate system'—as there once was a feudal system—which has attracted to itself a combination of attributes and powers, and has attained a degree of prominence entitling it to be dealt with as a major social institution. ... We are examining this institution probably before it has attained its zenith. Spectacular as its rise has been, every indication seems to be that the system will move forward to proportions which stagger imagination today ... They [management] have placed the community in a position to demand that the modern corporation serve not only the owners ... but all society." p. 1.</ref> The emergence of large corporations with limited relationships and sensitivity to the communities in which they operate accelerated the development of formal ethics regimes.<ref>{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}</ref>

Relational ethics

Relational ethics are related to an ethics of care.<ref name="GILLIGAN2009">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>:62–63 They are used in qualitative research, especially ethnography and autoethnography. Researchers who employ relational ethics value and respect the connection between themselves and the people they study, and "between researchers and the communities in which they live and work" (Ellis, 2007, p. 4).<ref>Ellis, C. (2007). Telling secrets, revealing lives: Relational ethics in research with intimate others. Qualitative Inquiry, 13, 3-29.</ref> Relational ethics also help researchers understand difficult issues such as conducting research on intimate others that have died and developing friendships with their participants.<ref>Ellis, C. (1986). Fisher folk. Two communities on Chesapeake Bay. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.</ref><ref>Ellis, C. (1995).Final negotiations: A story of love, loss, and chronic illness. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.</ref> Relational ethics in close personal relationships form a central concept of contextual therapy.

Machine ethics

{{#invoke:main|main}} In Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong, Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen conclude that issues in machine ethics will likely drive advancement in understanding of human ethics by forcing us to address gaps in modern normative theory and by providing a platform for experimental investigation.<ref name=Wallach2008>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> The effort to actually program a machine or artificial agent to behave as though instilled with a sense of ethics requires new specificity in our normative theories, especially regarding aspects customarily considered common-sense. For example, machines, unlike humans, can support a wide selection of learning algorithms, and controversy has arisen over the relative ethical merits of these options. This may reopen classic debates of normative ethics framed in new (highly technical) terms.

Military ethics

Military ethics are concerned with questions regarding the application of force and the ethos of the soldier and are often understood as applied professional ethics.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> Just war theory is generally seen to set the background terms of military ethics. However individual countries and traditions have different fields of attention.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>

Military ethics involves multiple subareas, including the following among others:

  1. what, if any, should be the laws of war
  2. justification for the initiation of military force
  3. decisions about who may be targeted in warfare
  4. decisions on choice of weaponry, and what collateral effects such weaponry may have
  5. standards for handling military prisoners
  6. methods of dealing with violations of the laws of war

Political ethics

Political ethics (also known as political morality or public ethics) is the practice of making moral judgements about political action and political agents.<ref>Thompson, Dennis F. "Political Ethics." International Encyclopedia of Ethics, ed. Hugh LaFollette (Blackwell Publishing, 2012).</ref>

Public sector ethics

Public sector ethics is a set of principles that guide public officials in their service to their constituents, including their decision-making on behalf of their constituents. Fundamental to the concept of public sector ethics is the notion that decisions and actions are based on what best serves the public's interests, as opposed to the official's personal interests (including financial interests) or self-serving political interests.<ref>See, for example, work of Institute for Local Government, at</ref>

Publication ethics

Publication ethics is the set of principles that guide the writing and publishing process for all professional publications. In order to follow the set of principles, authors should verify that the publication does not contain plagiarism or publication bias.<ref name="Publication ethics">{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> As a way to avoid misconduct in research these principles can also be applied to experiments which are referenced or analyzed in publications by ensuring the data is recorded, honestly and accurately.<ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref>

Plagiarism is the failure to give credit to another author’s work or ideas, when it is used in the publication.<ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> It is the obligation of the editor of the journal to ensure the article does not contain any plagiarism before it is published.<ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> If a publication which has already been published is proven to contain plagiarism, then the editor of the journal can proceed to have the article retracted.<ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref>

Publication bias occurs when the publication is one-sided or "prejudiced against results".<ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> In best practice, an author should try to include information from all parties involved, or affected by the topic. If an author is prejudiced against certain results, than it can "lead to erroneous conclusions being drawn.”<ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref>

Misconduct in research can occur when information from an experiment is falsely recorded or altered.<ref name="">{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> Falsely recorded information occurs when the researcher "fakes" information or data, which was not used when conducting the actual experiment.<ref name=""/> By faking the data, the researcher can alter the results from the experiment to better fit the hypothesis they originally predicted. When conducting medical research, it is important to honor the healthcare rights of a patient by protecting their anonymity in the publication.<ref name="Publication ethics"/>

Ethics sections
Intro  Defining ethics  Meta-ethics  Normative ethics  Applied ethics  Moral psychology  Descriptive ethics  See also  Notes  References  Further reading  External links  

Applied ethics
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