Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Proper role of Applied Ethics

There has been some argument in recent years about the proper role of Applied Ethics. Should the types of questions people in Applied Ethics confront be determined by the number of sentient beings currently (or potentially in future) affected by a given problem? Or should we aim to resolve particularly theoretically challenging questions, even if the answers to these questions would, if implemented, affect only very few sentient beings? Well... I have argued in a number of articles and editorials for an affirmative stance on the first as opposed to the latter proposition. Surely there is little utility in calling something applied ethics if it isn't applied to a real-world practical problem. What are your views?

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