Applied ethics

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-L005-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved May 23, 2024, from

9. Institutions

Many research centres have been created in recent decades. Their function is usually to conduct research, to produce publications and to arrange lectures, seminars and conferences on practical issues of ethical concern.

North America has the best-established institutional network. First in the field was the Hastings Center, New York (1969), then the Center for Philosophy and Public Affairs, University of Maryland and the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions at the Illinois Institute of Technology (1976), the Center for the Study of Values, University of Delaware (1977), and the Social Philosophy and Policy Center, Bowling Green State University, Ohio (1981). There are now many other centres in universities in the USA and elsewhere, including, in the UK, the Centre for Philosophy and Public Affairs at the University of St Andrews, the Centre for Medical Law and Ethics at King’s College London, and the Social Values Research Centre at the University of Hull. The Netherlands has Bioethics Centres in Utrecht and Maastricht and work in applied ethics in the Scandinavian countries is increasing, with a strong interest in reproductive ethics in Aarhus, Denmark and in animal welfare issues in Copenhagen. The European Business Ethics Network (EBEN) began with an initiative from Switzerland, and business ethics is also well-established in Spain and Germany. Apart from university-based units, the Society for Applied Philosophy (1982) has general interests in most areas of applied ethics and has a broad membership not confined to professional philosophers.

Australia has been a pioneer in many fields of applied ethics: Peter Singer, together with Helga Kuhse, founded the Centre for Human Bioethics (1980) at Monash University, and there are now several other applied ethics centres in Australasia; it is worth noting the particular degree of interest there in environmental ethics, where the issues of species preservation, wilderness, and ecological threats such as damage to the ozone layer are of direct concern to residents.

The creation of a Chair of Environmental Ethics at Warsaw University represents the strong interest, partly political in origin, in environmental ethics in the former communist countries of Eastern Europe. Other countries where applied ethics is of growing interest are parts of Southeast Asia, including Thailand and Hong Kong, India, and several African countries.

Citing this article:
Almond, Brenda. Institutions. Applied ethics, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-L005-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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