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7) What do you understand by applied ethics. Discuss the factors behind the increased importance of the field of applied ethics.(250 words)

Topic- Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics in private and public relationships.

7) What do you understand by applied ethics. Discuss the factors behind the increased importance of the field of applied ethics.(250 words)


Directive word

Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to write in detail about the meaning and scope of applied ethics. It also wants us to write in detail about the factors that led to the growth of interest in field of applied ethics.

Structure of the answer

Introduction– write a simple definition of applied ethics. E.g ‘applied ethics’ refers to any use of philosophical methods to treat moral problems, practices, and policies in the professions, technology, government, and the like.


Discuss the meaning and scope of applied ethics in further detail. E.g The terms “applied ethics” and “practical ethics” are used interchangeably to indicate the application of ethics to special arenas of human activity, such as business, politics and medicine, and to particular problems, such as abortions.  As human beings, we act in different capacities and roles. Moral judgements are made and moral acts performed in different social contexts, such as health care, politics, work and school. In health care, the moral issues are related in particular to life and death and human well-being: In politics, judgements often concern value conflicts. The decision maker, for example, a politician or a civil servant, must choose an alternative that might promote one value at the expense of another: economic growth at the expense of sustainability, individual freedom at the expense of equality, etc. When we reflect on this type of decision making, we engage in applied ethics. Hence, applied ethics is concerned with crucial aspects of human life and social development.

Discuss the reasons which led to increased interest in the field of applied ethics. E.g

  1. In the early 1970s,Medicine saved the life of ethics; new and acute moral problems in medicine that had no ready-to-hand answers emerged.
  2. During the 20th century, “moral heteronomy”, whereby moral answers were provided by an authority, often the church, became “moral autonomy”, whereby individuals themselves had to formulate answers.
  3. Complementary explanation of the development of applied ethics relates to new moral problems facing society as a consequence of new technologies.
  4. Developments in the social sciences and the humanities often mirror social change. At the end of the 1960s and the beginning of 1970s, the student movement and the New Left challenged established society. Heated discussions took place on topics such as the Vietnam War, social injustices, poverty in the Third World, gender inequality and the maltreatment of animals. Many philosophers were engaged in these discussions. From this perspective, the development of applied ethics can be seen as a philosophical response to a new social environment.

Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.