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Formidable Ethical Research Paper Topics For You!

ethical research paper topics

Students in every course highly seek ethical research paper topics. Why may you ask? It is because every class, or rather, every career requires a particular set of ethical standards.

However, coming across some easy ethical research paper topics may not be that easy after all. Lucky for you, this splendid and reputable post will solve that in a moment.

Before that, how do you write an ethical research paper?

How To Write an Ethical Research Paper (Simply)

The following quick guidelines will give you an overview of how such a paper resembles and what you should do.

  • Choose a captivating topic on ethics
  • Formulate an outline
  • Start writing with a hook introduction
  • Proceed on with a descriptive body
  • Finish with a momentous conclusion
  • Proofread the final copy

Nothing more or less of that, and you will have your perfect ethical research paper. In this post, we will show some great moral issue research paper topics that you can choose from later.

Stay with me now as we explore these great ideas together. Remember to remain hawk-eyed lest you miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Prerequisite Steps to Choosing a Topic for an Ethics Research Paper

Before arriving at your topic, the following ideas will be useful:

  • Have a look at the available materials
  • Do critical thinking on the possible ideas
  • Choose one out of the many

It is vital to ensure that your topic is original to avoid running into plagiarism claims. Furthermore, a brief problem will attract readers at first sight. The word length of the topic matters. Very great topics are a huge turn off to most readers; therefore, keep it short and to the point.

50 Ethical Issues Topics for a Research Paper

We shall tackle them according to subcategories so that you do not get confused along the way. Here we go then.

Ethical Hacking Research Paper Topics

  • Goals of security in ethical hacking
  • World’s most significant data breaches
  • Viruses and malware to watch out for in 2023
  • Assessing an organization’s vulnerability to cyber attacks
  • How much time should an organization perform a backup every day?
  • A case study of the qualitative risk assessment methods
  • Disadvantages of black-box testing
  • Does ethical hacking exist?
  • How did ethical hacking come to be?
  • Ethical hacking: Is it worth it?

Ethical Leadership Research Paper Topics

  • Ethical leadership: The barriers to successful leadership
  • The place of moral leadership in corrupt countries
  • Rethinking ethical leadership in the 21st century
  • Impact of Leadership courses on ethical leading
  • How a teacher’s ethical behavior impacts students
  • Is ethical leadership practiced in universities?
  • Ethical leadership and employee relationships
  • A case study of companies practicing ethical leadership and their performance
  • Leadership lessons from Nelson Mandela: A case study
  • A review of the relationship between moral and relational leadership

Ethical Egoism Research Paper Topics

  • A comparison between ethical Egoism versus virtue ethics
  • Ethical Egoism: A philosophical position
  • Crime and Ethical Egoism
  • Contrast between Ethical Egoism and Psychological Egoism
  • Impact of ethical Egoism in business
  • Thoughtful commentary on ethical Egoism
  • Ethics and morality compared
  • What is Ethical Egoism and What it Is Not
  • A study of ethical egoism theories
  • Contribution of a song to ethical egoism theory

Controversial Ethical Topics for Research Paper

  • Is plastic surgery ethical?
  • The impact of capital punishment on primary human rights
  • Why genetic cloning is not to be pursued in the future
  • Is abortion legal or illegal?
  • Is human trafficking justified in any law?
  • How safe is animal testing for humans?
  • Is genetic cloning interfering with Mother Nature?
  • Impact of ethnic adoption on a child’s development
  • Are pills doing us more harm than good?
  • Is a person justified to take his or her life?

Interesting Ethical Issues Topics for Research Paper

  • What is the ethical impact of organ donation?
  • The view of Catholicism on homosexuality
  • Should we help strangers anywhere whenever we meet them?
  • Should there be rich and poor people in the same country?
  • Should newspapers and televisions show pictures of caskets?
  • Should people leave their contact information at entrances?
  • Who is responsible for the moral ethics of children: Parents or teachers?
  • Should you report a close family friend involved in crime?
  • Are politicians free to make campaigns in church?
  • Is assisted suicide not the same as murder?

Ethics focuses on the shades of gray rather than black and white. Students should choose a research topic bearing in mind the implications carefully. The language used in an ethical research paper should also be prudent enough to prevent lawsuits.

Ethics Research Topics Are Here!

Ethical issues are all around us, and we cannot be ignorant of them. However, good ethical topics for a research paper require a keen eye on the student’s part. Haphazardness is not entertained in such an essay as it would amount to gross misconduct.

In case you are stranded with your ethical essay assignment, you could use a hand from our professional writing help services today.

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177 Interesting Ethics Paper Topics For Your Thesis

ethics paper topics

Ethics is a branch of study in philosophy that studies the concept of morality—what is good or bad, what is acceptable or unacceptable. It’s a philosophical theory that looks into moral rules and codes, principles, value systems, and other related concepts. In academia, an ethical theory is used as one of the analytical tools in drawing analysis on several socio-cultural topics. Ethics can be applied to any particular subject matter in human society. And, on this, so many compelling, controversial or interesting ethical topics for academic essays and research papers have continued to spring up. For students writing either an essay or a research paper on ethics, there are some relevant things to note about a good essay/research topic and writing a dissertation . They include:

Brainstorm on different topics Always go for a topic you are familiar with Choose a topic that has enough “flesh”. This is important as interesting topics will help you develop your essay/research Define your subject of interest. It makes the writing easier Properly researching for topics that serve contemporary social relevance Outlining is important for your research topic

What following some of these processes does for your essay/research/thesis is that it enriches your work and affords you the ability to communicate ideas clearly to readers. Here are some topics in ethics you can use for your essay/research.

Interesting Top Level Ethics Paper Topics for All Students

Writing a paper on ethics makes for an interesting writing experience because they usually require that the writer make a case for a particular subject based on whether the subject is right or wrong. There are so many ethical topics for papers. As a student, there are several ethical questions to debate, and you can choose to model your topic using some of these samples:

  • Discuss what should be done concerning the rise in the ban on safe abortion
  • Is the right to safe abortion practice unethical?
  • Should abortion practice be promoted or championed for women in society?
  • Are humans truly the root source for the issues of climate change and global warming the world is currently experiencing?
  • Is it right to discriminate against the sexes?
  • Is there a defining difference between sexes and gender?
  • Is the practice of gender-based violence ethical?
  • Should safe sexual practices be promoted?
  • Sex: A Study of the growing practice of sexual relationships outside marriage
  • Domestic Violence and how it can be combated
  • Marijuana: The distinction to its health roles and health challenges it poses on individuals
  • Is it unethical to promote capitalism and capitalist concepts?
  • A Study of Racism and measures to ensure its decline
  • Is it ethical to be a millionaire while there are so many less privileged people?
  • A study of the ethical challenges that come with being in the academia
  • Is war an ethical practice?
  • Why LGBTQ+ people should not be discriminated against
  • What are the ways workplace ethics can address issues of homophobia and internalized sexism?
  • Is sexism in the workplace an ethical practice?
  • The issue of microaggression and how it can be addressed
  • A study of why workplaces need ethical conduct that monitors issues of workplace harassment
  • Should salaries be uneven?
  • How unethical are uneven salary payment structures?
  • Should start-up tech companies hire more men for starters?
  • How people can prioritize online privacy
  • Is bridging online privacy unethical?
  • Is the right to privacy unethical?

Engaging Ethical Dilemma Topics

As ethics deals with the debate on morals, one of the ways topics on ethics manifests is in the subject of dilemma. Topics like this focus on trying to find a suitable justification for one idea over another. There are several ethics topics to write about on this subject. Some of them include:

  • Should students be allowed to bring their phones to school?
  • Should parents police every social activity of their children?
  • Should teachers use the cane on students as a disciplinary measure?
  • Is flogging a good correctional practice?
  • Should you leave your partner if they are of opposing political views?
  • Should opposing religious beliefs be a deal-breaker in relationships?
  • Should capitalism be abolished completely?
  • Should a teacher maintain some level of friendship with their students?
  • Is there any lingering importance of capitalism to society?
  • Is revenge a viable option in a relationship if your partner cheats on you?
  • Is sharing your experiences online the same as showing off a lifestyle?
  • Should people from different religious beliefs and backgrounds partner?
  • Is checking the DNA of your children important or necessary?
  • Should parents enforce their children on behaviors to take up?
  • Can discipline properly correct the attitudes of a child?
  • Should eating junk foods be avoided completely?
  • Should Halloween Trick or Treat and Costume be prioritized over Thanksgiving Dinners?
  • Should children hold different religious beliefs from their parents while still young?
  • Does strict parenting serve as the best way to raise a child?
  • Is it important to reveal a secret to a friend or to keep one’s peace?
  • Should cooking at home be prioritized over eating out?
  • Is socialism a more suitable social practice than capitalism?
  • Is accepting financial assistance from your parents acceptable after a certain age?
  • Should school authorities seize phones brought to school?
  • Is sending a child to a mixed school better than same-sex schools?
  • Can afforestation alone save the world from global warming and the general climate change condition?
  • Does being educated equate with being intelligent?

Ethical Issues to Write about in Your College Essay

One important thing to note about ethical topics is that they touch across so many different subjects. As a college student preparing to write an essay on ethics, rest assured as there are so many ethics ideas to write about. Here are some ethical topics to write about:

  • Does Hiring female employees cover a company’s sexist motives?
  • Should Actors be paid more than teachers?
  • Taking medical decisions for a patient without their consent
  • How ethical is the interference of the judiciary by the legislative arm of government?
  • Is it ethical to fire someone due to their dress code?
  • Is it unethical to wear colored hair to work?
  • Is censorship ethical?
  • Where does media censorship draw the line?
  • Is it ethical for religious figureheads to meddle in state politics?
  • Should gender be the reason why a person is restricted access to certain social privileges?
  • Should sexuality be a discriminatory factor in society?
  • Should companies and places of work provide counseling and therapy services for their employees?
  • Can Children wear makeup on special occasions?
  • Is it unethical to make medical decisions for a patient without any recognizable relatives?
  • Does dress code need to affect how you are addressed?
  • Should implementing ethics in sports be recommended?
  • Is police brutality an ethical practice?
  • The impacts of the excessive consumption of media content?
  • Is the excessive use of social media healthy?
  • How can companies ensure paid maternal and paternal leave?
  • How can the inclusion of non-binary people in company policies promote growth?
  • Is exclusion on the grounds of sexuality ethical?
  • Is exclusion due to political beliefs unethical?
  • How to promote ethical work culture?
  • How can a company ensure that ethical practices are promoted in their companies?

Ethical Argument Topics to Write About

The best part about writing an ethical essay is that it is about anything that is of interest. An important aspect of the ethical argument topic is that it is supported with evidence. There are so many ethical topics to write about that fall within this category, and they include:

  • Is the having of ethical codes and conducts important in an organization?
  • Should people only implement progressive ideas to meet societal needs?
  • Why LGBTQ+ should not be discriminated against
  • Is it unethical to come to work late?
  • Is government-sanctioned execution an ethical practice?
  • Is the American incarceration system an effective corrective system?
  • Is corrective rape an ethical practice?
  • Should the issue of internalized homophobia be addressed?
  • Internalized patriarchy and internalized homophobia, which one births one
  • Should smoking weed be made legal?
  • Why do the less privileged need free healthcare services
  • A study of the effects of colonialism and internalized slavery
  • Must aspiring journalists only focus on journalism courses?
  • Addressing what it means to be of ethical behavior
  • Should students be given a take-home assignment?
  • Is there any academic relevance to assignments?
  • Is access to free healthcare important?
  • Does following the ethics code have abt social relevance?
  • What role should developed countries play for developing countries?
  • Is analysis writing an important aspect of literature?
  • What role does ethics play in schools
  • Should the address of global warming be continuous?
  • Is there room for possible positive developments in global warming?
  • Is the practice of ethics the same as moral teaching
  • Should schools create sex education into their education curriculum

Comprehensive Ethics Debate Topics for Anyone

Just like the argumentative ethics topic, a debate topic on ethics centers majorly on choosing a part to argue for or against. This argument also is wrapped with evidence to support it. Your ethic topics can be on any subject. You can choose moral topics or any other topic with relevance. Here are some lists of ethical debate topics anyone can write on:

  • Should the use of Contraceptives be promoted?
  • Does legalizing weed make it any healthier?
  • Should school children bring phones into school settings?
  • The health impact of excessive engagement on social media
  • Social relevance and importance of having ethical conducts
  • Do companies with ethical conduct grow ahead
  • Does ethics make a workplace safer?
  • Are there importance on why sex education should be added to student’s
  • Why safe abortion rights should be legalized
  • Why the discrimination based on sexuality is harmful
  • Why the practice of hedonism is important
  • Sexual pleasure: Is it morally good?
  • Is happiness dependent on an external factor?
  • Why Institutionalized racism is the root cause of racism and racist beliefs
  • Should the use of drugs be legalized?
  • Is there any progressive importance to having a conservative view on things?
  • Should social media apps allow explicit sexual content?
  • Should social app builders have access to individual account
  • Can homeschool match formal school training?
  • Should the government ensure censorship measures?
  • Is voting during elections the only form of patriotism?
  • Is voting a patriotic display
  • Are families allowed to have contradicting religious beliefs?
  • Should state governments have any interference with the federal government?
  • Should teenagers have access to contraceptives?

Good Ethical Research Papers for your Thesis or Dissertation

Writing either a thesis or a dissertation is a necessary part of academia. As a university student, you can’t graduate from only writing essays withiut writing your graduating thesis. There are so many areas your research paper about ethics can focus on. Here is a list of ethical topics:

  • The contemporary relevance of applied ethics
  • The psychological impacts of the proliferation of technology
  • A Case Study of the legality of weed
  • A multi-dimensional approach to the subject of marriage
  • An ethical approach to the killing of animals
  • A case study of the critical ethical debates on the use of contraception
  • An analytical study of the relevance of ethical conduct in the workplace
  • An investigation into the social relevance and importance of the beauty pageantry culture
  • A critical study of normative ethics
  • The role of applied ethics in the building of a healthy work culture
  • An overview of the barriers associated with good leadership practice
  • A Study of the importance of ethical practice in the healthcare system
  • The study of ethics in business social responsibility
  • An Overview on how Ethics promotes a saner working culture
  • A look into how ethics promotes healthy social relationships
  • The ethical relevance for Doctor and Patient Confidentiality
  • Malpractice and Negligence an ethically challenging issue within the healthcare system
  • The social and health relevance to access to free healthcare insurance
  • A Study of the social relevance of ethics
  • Violence: violence against animals is still abuse
  • A look into strategic approaches to managing cyber crimes
  • Ethic reasons for the separation of the church from politics
  • Ethical Conduct: How Organizations with practicable ethics produces a toxic work environment
  • A look into how Social media negatively impacts the IQ of a student
  • The role of self-awareness and professional responsibility impacts social ethics in the workplace

Good Ethical Questions for Discussion

Primarily, ethics asks and answers the question of wrong or good. There are so many social issues that will make for good ethical questions for discussion. Here is a list of ethical questions for students to form insights from:

  • How does ethics help to promote healthy workplace awareness?
  • Does the practice of abortion negate morality?
  • Is it right for a rape victim to be denied access to safe and free abortion?
  • How do homophobia, racism, misogyny, and ableist practices hinder social growth?
  • Should there be free access to condoms and contraceptive pills?
  • Is free access to contraceptives better than the provision of menstrual materials
  • How can racism be dismantled in an organization without consideration to institutionalized racism?
  • How does the continuous promotion of capitalist concepts hinder societal progress?
  • Does capitalism truly hinder social growth?
  • Why should there be free access to contraceptive materials especially for women?
  • What are the possible feasible solutions to the issue of climate change?
  • Is it unethical not to share the wealth?
  • Is engaging in warfare the right way to bring solutions?
  • Does the use of makeup contradict the concept of beauty?
  • Why are LGBTQ+ rights human rights?
  • Is the legalization of cannabis ethical?
  • Does the way you dress need to be the reason you are addressed a certain way?
  • Are there moral problems that come with job automation?
  • What can be done to combat the use of harmful substances
  • Why should companies stop discriminating based on sex?
  • What is the social relevance of providing workplace access?
  • Why should parents and teachers stop flogging students?
  • What is the distinction between discipline and strictness?
  • Should religious beliefs be a dealbreaker in any relationship?

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Ethical Research Paper Topics

12 May 2023

Ethical research paper topics cover various human, animal, and environmental rights issues. Research ethics aim to protect the well-being and rights of participants and ensure that research is conducted responsibly and accountable. In this context, ethical research paper topics can be crucial to academic inquiry and public debate.

In this text, you’ll find out about:

  • Choosing a topic that aligns with personal interests  and passions can make it easier to delve deeper into any moral or immoral problems. All this contributes to the ongoing conversation around ethics and its impact on society.
  • Tips for choosing ethical research paper topics include selecting a matter of personal interest. It's also important to note relevance to society, ethical problems in different fields, appropriate scope and depth, and thorough research and analysis.
  • Examples of ethical research paper topics include end-of-life issues, animal experimentation, ethics of gay marriage, ethical hacking, ethical leadership, ethical philosophy, and ethical concerns.

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Types of Ethics

Several areas can be explored when choosing a topic for an ethical research paper. But if you feel overwhelmed, you can buy APA research paper to get help with your assignment. People have different areas of interest when it comes to ethics. Some people have an interest in medical ethics. It talks about things like assisted suicide, organ donation, and the use of medical technology. Other people like business ethics, which looks at how companies can be responsible and honest in their marketing. Environmental ethics is another important area. It covers topics like climate change, animal rights, and sustainability. Whatever area you choose, picking something you care about is important.

How to Select the Best Ethical Research Paper Topics?

If you are a student looking to choose the best ethical research paper topic, it cannot be easy to decide. Remember that, if stuck, buying college research papers can help you get inspired. Here are some other tips that you can follow:

  • Personal Interest: It's important to ensure your chosen topic interests you. By doing so, you will keep yourself motivated throughout the process of writing. It will help you produce a paper that is not only well-written but also engaging.
  • Relevance to Society: Note to choose a topic that not only aligns with your values but is also relevant to society.
  • Ethical Issues in Different Fields: While choosing a topic, consider topics related to different fields, such as teaching ethics, global warming ethics, workplace ethics, nursing ethics, virtue ethics, religious ethics, and biomedical ethics topics. 
  • Scope and Depth: This is a point that students often overlook; it's important to choose a topic that is neither too narrow nor too broad. Ensure you can draft a meaningful conclusion in a research paper and that the topic is relevant enough. This will ensure that you have enough information to cover without feeling overwhelmed.
  • Thorough Research and Analysis: After shortlisting your topic, conduct thorough research and analysis. This encompasses gathering relevant information and credible sources.

Ethical Issues Topics

Ethical issues are prevalent and can arise in various fields and contexts. Understanding these issues' impact is crucial for promoting ethical behavior and decision-making. Here are some thought-provoking ethics essay topics that can spark discussion:

  • End of Life
  • Animal Experimentation
  • Ethics of Gay – Scientific and Ethical Criticism
  • The Psychology Behind the Ethical Dilemma Situations in Law Enforcement
  • The Value and Ownership of Human Tissue
  • Weighing the Benefits against the Ethical Costs of the Sale of Construction Equipment in Africa
  • The Use of Performance-Enhancing Drugs
  • Blind Obedience
  • Plagiarism Issues for Higher Education
  • Resolving Ethical Business Challenges

Ethical Conflicts Topics

An ethical dilemma arises when individuals or groups are faced with a decision requiring them to weigh conflicting values per the ethical rules. These conflicts can be challenging to navigate and require careful consideration and analysis. Here are some ethical conflicts topics that can help you explore the ethical implications.

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray Conflict
  • Organizational Structure and Corporate Social Responsibility
  • The Ethical Dilemma in Our Society
  • The Psychology Behind the Law Enforcement
  • Product Safety
  • The Use of Deception
  • Managerial Ethics & Social Responsibility
  • Ethical Consumerism
  • Business Ethics in the Government
  • Sexual Harassment: Why Is it Wrong

Medical Ethics Topics

Medical ethics is a required field that examines healthcare professionals' and patients' ethical dilemmas. With the advancement of medical technology and the changing landscape of healthcare, it is important to stay up-to-date on issues such as stem cell research. Here are some medical ethics topics that can help you understand the ethical responsibilities in healthcare.

  • Euthanasia Pros and Cons
  • Parents who want their Babies to be Deaf Through Genetic Modification and the Role of Genetic Counseling
  • Legalizing Physician-Assisted Suicide to Suffering/Terminally Ill Patients
  • Implanting the VeriChip Inside the Human Body
  • Informed Consent of Human Research
  • Abortion Issue, Ethics, and Philosophy
  • Medical Law & Ethics
  • The Ethics of the Gay Gene
  • Childhood Obesity: Global Epidemic and Ethical Concerns
  • Medical Marijuana

Environmental Ethics Topics

Environmental ethics is a branch of philosophy that explores the ethical responsibility of human interactions with the natural world and environmental protection. Examining these issues and our moral obligation through an ethical lens is important. Here are some environmental and ethical topics that can help you understand and explore a human's moral duties:

  • Saving an Endangered Species
  • Benefits of Adopting a Pet from an Animal Shelter
  • Organic Foods: a Better Option for Humans and the Environment
  • Environmental Racism against Native American
  • Positive Effect of Veganism on the Environment
  • Five Ways Immigration–Driven Population Growth Impacts Our Environment
  • Overpopulation Effects on Health and the Environment
  • Deforestation of Rainforests and its Effects on the Environment
  • Are Self-driving Cars Good for the People, the Environment, and the Future?
  • Fracking: an Environmental and Political Issue

Criminal Justice Ethics Topics to Write About

Criminal justice ethics is a field that examines the ethical dilemmas and challenges within the justice system. From the police force to the courts and prisons, many complex ethical principles must be considered. Here are some topics that can help you explore:

  • Why is it Necessary to Teach Ethics in Criminal Justice Law Business and Medical
  • Sexual Assault and Harassment in the Army
  • Corporal Punishment as the Main Cause Behind Serial Killers
  • Primary Justice Models in the American Legal System
  • The Racial Injustice Existed in our Judicial System
  • Winds of Change in America's Criminal Justice System
  • Sides Involved in Police Brutality
  • Racial Profiling Within the Criminal Justice System
  • Gender Equality and Crime
  • Domestic Terrorism in the Land of the Free

Top 10 Ethics Topics to Debate

Debating ethical problems is an effective way to explore different perspectives on complex ethical questions and moral issues. From personal values to societal norms, many ethical norms and ethical obligations can spark debates. Here are the top 10 topics worth debating and ethical analysis for your ethics essay:

  • Christian Ethics
  • Mandatory Organ Donation: Ethical or Unethical
  • Free Will and Ethics in the Catholic Church
  • Social and Ethical Implications of GMOs
  • The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
  • Using Animals for Medical Testing is both Ethical and Essential?
  • Taboos in Religion, Reincarnation, and Other Beliefs
  • Single Gender Schools: a Better Learning Environment?
  • Modern Society Limits
  • Abortion Issue, Ethics, And Philosophy

Social Responsibility Ethics Topics

Moral problems and moral Responsibility in society mean that everyone has a duty. They should act in the best interests of society and the environment. This concept has become increasingly important in modern business and society. This is because individuals and companies are being held accountable for poor ethical values. Here are some interesting ethics topics:

  • Different Perspectives on the Concept of Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Research Related to Responsibility to Protect and the Role of Major Powers
  • What is Responsibility, and why is it important
  • The Importance of Respect
  • Value transmission in Multinational Corporations
  • Freedom and Responsibility in Sartre
  • Adolf Hitler and Responsibility for the Holocaust
  • Understanding of Responsibility for Social and Economic Justice
  • The Global Responsibility for the Refugee Crisis
  • A Comprehensive Prison Reform to Help Reduce the Number of Inmates Detained in Prison

Business Ethics Research Paper Topics

Business ethics is the study of ethical principles and moral values in business. With the increasing focus on sustainability and corporate social responsibility, the importance of business ethics has increased. Here are some of the top business ethics topics that can help you analyze and understand the ethical dilemma topics in business:

  • A Review of Business Ethics in Chase
  • Business Ethics in Negotiations
  • Stability of Business Ethics in Organizations
  • Business Ethics Discussion at Walmart INC
  • Adherence to Generally Accepted Concepts of Business Ethics
  • Legal Aspects of Business Ethics
  • Business Ethics and Social Responsibility
  • Review on Businesses Without Values and Ethics
  • The Relevancy of Ethics for Business Decisions
  • Ethics and the Business Professional

Tech Ethical Problems Research Topics

The advancement of technology and the growth of tech companies has brought about many ethical challenges. Many ethical theories need to be addressed. From privacy concerns to using artificial intelligence, use of ethics boards, and computer crimes, it is important to examine these issues from an ethical standpoint. Here are some tech ethics paper topics for you:

  • Policies, Ethics, and Promises: Improving Techfite's Reputation and Morale
  • Education System and Educational Technologies
  • Steve Jobs and the Technological Revolution
  • An Issue of Social Media and Cyber Crimes
  • AI as the Future of Technology and a Big Asset for IBM
  • The Impact of Technology on our Daily Lives: Advancements and Challenges
  • Cybercrimes: an Unprecedented Threat to the Society
  • Is Technology Bringing Us Closer to the World of Big Brother
  • Home Depot's Technological Solution to Discrimination in the Workplace
  • Influence of Technologies on People

Sports Ethics Topics

Sports ethics is a field that explores the moral and ethical dimensions of sports and athletic competition. The topics can be related to an athlete's responsibility of ethics in conducting professional sports events. Here are some sports ethics research paper topics that can help you explore:

  • Inequality of Pay in Sports
  • Should Sports Betting Be Legal Everywhere
  • Compensation of College Athletes
  • Gender And Sexuality In Sport In the 21st Century
  • Wheelchair Basketball Game While Disabled
  • Gender Inequality In Athletic Sports
  • College And African American Male: Basketball Athletes
  • Gender Wage Gap Within Sports
  • The Way People View Women In Sports
  • The International Olympic Committee (IOC) And Its Impact On Women In Sports

Tips for Choosing a Good Ethics Research Paper Topic

Choosing a good topic is important, as it will impact the direction of your research and the quality of your paper. Here are some tips to help you choose a good moral ethics topic for your academic writing.

Choose a topic that interests you. Selecting a topic you are passionate about is important, as it will keep you motivated throughout the research and writing process. Consider your experiences, interests, or current events that spark your curiosity.

Narrow down your focus. Ethics is a broad field, and it can be overwhelming to tackle large ethical topics. Instead, focus on a specific aspect or issue within the field of ethics. This will allow you to produce a more comprehensive paper.

Consider the relevance and significance of the topic. Look for topics relevant to contemporary society or currently being debated. You can also consider issues that have not yet received much attention in research. Good ethical research papers help you explore a moral and immoral problem.

Ensure that there is enough information available on the topic. Make sure that your paper's format follows the guidelines; you can check how to cite an article to ensure that everything is on-point. Before you decide on a topic, conduct a preliminary search to ensure enough credible sources available on the subject matter.

Choose a topic that aligns with your research goals and objectives. Your research paper should have a clear purpose and intent. Thus, select a topic to enable you to achieve those goals. Also, note that the conclusion in research papers must be solid and comprehensive. Finally, it is important to ensure that the case aligns with the guidelines and requirements of your course.

To sum up, picking a topic for your ethics research paper can be difficult, but there are tips in this article that can help. Try looking into various fields. These include medical ethics, friendship ethics, pregnancy ethics, genetic engineering research, capital punishment, racial conflicts, etc. You can encourage critical thinking by examining ethical issues like these. You can also start conversations and make a big difference in the ongoing discussions about ethics and how it affects society.  

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  • Ethical Considerations in Research | Types & Examples

Ethical Considerations in Research | Types & Examples

Published on October 18, 2021 by Pritha Bhandari . Revised on June 22, 2023.

Ethical considerations in research are a set of principles that guide your research designs and practices. Scientists and researchers must always adhere to a certain code of conduct when collecting data from people.

The goals of human research often include understanding real-life phenomena, studying effective treatments, investigating behaviors, and improving lives in other ways. What you decide to research and how you conduct that research involve key ethical considerations.

These considerations work to

  • protect the rights of research participants
  • enhance research validity
  • maintain scientific or academic integrity

Table of contents

Why do research ethics matter, getting ethical approval for your study, types of ethical issues, voluntary participation, informed consent, confidentiality, potential for harm, results communication, examples of ethical failures, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about research ethics.

Research ethics matter for scientific integrity, human rights and dignity, and collaboration between science and society. These principles make sure that participation in studies is voluntary, informed, and safe for research subjects.

You’ll balance pursuing important research objectives with using ethical research methods and procedures. It’s always necessary to prevent permanent or excessive harm to participants, whether inadvertent or not.

Defying research ethics will also lower the credibility of your research because it’s hard for others to trust your data if your methods are morally questionable.

Even if a research idea is valuable to society, it doesn’t justify violating the human rights or dignity of your study participants.

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Before you start any study involving data collection with people, you’ll submit your research proposal to an institutional review board (IRB) .

An IRB is a committee that checks whether your research aims and research design are ethically acceptable and follow your institution’s code of conduct. They check that your research materials and procedures are up to code.

If successful, you’ll receive IRB approval, and you can begin collecting data according to the approved procedures. If you want to make any changes to your procedures or materials, you’ll need to submit a modification application to the IRB for approval.

If unsuccessful, you may be asked to re-submit with modifications or your research proposal may receive a rejection. To get IRB approval, it’s important to explicitly note how you’ll tackle each of the ethical issues that may arise in your study.

There are several ethical issues you should always pay attention to in your research design, and these issues can overlap with each other.

You’ll usually outline ways you’ll deal with each issue in your research proposal if you plan to collect data from participants.

Voluntary participation means that all research subjects are free to choose to participate without any pressure or coercion.

All participants are able to withdraw from, or leave, the study at any point without feeling an obligation to continue. Your participants don’t need to provide a reason for leaving the study.

It’s important to make it clear to participants that there are no negative consequences or repercussions to their refusal to participate. After all, they’re taking the time to help you in the research process , so you should respect their decisions without trying to change their minds.

Voluntary participation is an ethical principle protected by international law and many scientific codes of conduct.

Take special care to ensure there’s no pressure on participants when you’re working with vulnerable groups of people who may find it hard to stop the study even when they want to.

Informed consent refers to a situation in which all potential participants receive and understand all the information they need to decide whether they want to participate. This includes information about the study’s benefits, risks, funding, and institutional approval.

You make sure to provide all potential participants with all the relevant information about

  • what the study is about
  • the risks and benefits of taking part
  • how long the study will take
  • your supervisor’s contact information and the institution’s approval number

Usually, you’ll provide participants with a text for them to read and ask them if they have any questions. If they agree to participate, they can sign or initial the consent form. Note that this may not be sufficient for informed consent when you work with particularly vulnerable groups of people.

If you’re collecting data from people with low literacy, make sure to verbally explain the consent form to them before they agree to participate.

For participants with very limited English proficiency, you should always translate the study materials or work with an interpreter so they have all the information in their first language.

In research with children, you’ll often need informed permission for their participation from their parents or guardians. Although children cannot give informed consent, it’s best to also ask for their assent (agreement) to participate, depending on their age and maturity level.

Anonymity means that you don’t know who the participants are and you can’t link any individual participant to their data.

You can only guarantee anonymity by not collecting any personally identifying information—for example, names, phone numbers, email addresses, IP addresses, physical characteristics, photos, and videos.

In many cases, it may be impossible to truly anonymize data collection . For example, data collected in person or by phone cannot be considered fully anonymous because some personal identifiers (demographic information or phone numbers) are impossible to hide.

You’ll also need to collect some identifying information if you give your participants the option to withdraw their data at a later stage.

Data pseudonymization is an alternative method where you replace identifying information about participants with pseudonymous, or fake, identifiers. The data can still be linked to participants but it’s harder to do so because you separate personal information from the study data.

Confidentiality means that you know who the participants are, but you remove all identifying information from your report.

All participants have a right to privacy, so you should protect their personal data for as long as you store or use it. Even when you can’t collect data anonymously, you should secure confidentiality whenever you can.

Some research designs aren’t conducive to confidentiality, but it’s important to make all attempts and inform participants of the risks involved.

As a researcher, you have to consider all possible sources of harm to participants. Harm can come in many different forms.

  • Psychological harm: Sensitive questions or tasks may trigger negative emotions such as shame or anxiety.
  • Social harm: Participation can involve social risks, public embarrassment, or stigma.
  • Physical harm: Pain or injury can result from the study procedures.
  • Legal harm: Reporting sensitive data could lead to legal risks or a breach of privacy.

It’s best to consider every possible source of harm in your study as well as concrete ways to mitigate them. Involve your supervisor to discuss steps for harm reduction.

Make sure to disclose all possible risks of harm to participants before the study to get informed consent. If there is a risk of harm, prepare to provide participants with resources or counseling or medical services if needed.

Some of these questions may bring up negative emotions, so you inform participants about the sensitive nature of the survey and assure them that their responses will be confidential.

The way you communicate your research results can sometimes involve ethical issues. Good science communication is honest, reliable, and credible. It’s best to make your results as transparent as possible.

Take steps to actively avoid plagiarism and research misconduct wherever possible.

Plagiarism means submitting others’ works as your own. Although it can be unintentional, copying someone else’s work without proper credit amounts to stealing. It’s an ethical problem in research communication because you may benefit by harming other researchers.

Self-plagiarism is when you republish or re-submit parts of your own papers or reports without properly citing your original work.

This is problematic because you may benefit from presenting your ideas as new and original even though they’ve already been published elsewhere in the past. You may also be infringing on your previous publisher’s copyright, violating an ethical code, or wasting time and resources by doing so.

In extreme cases of self-plagiarism, entire datasets or papers are sometimes duplicated. These are major ethical violations because they can skew research findings if taken as original data.

You notice that two published studies have similar characteristics even though they are from different years. Their sample sizes, locations, treatments, and results are highly similar, and the studies share one author in common.

Research misconduct

Research misconduct means making up or falsifying data, manipulating data analyses, or misrepresenting results in research reports. It’s a form of academic fraud.

These actions are committed intentionally and can have serious consequences; research misconduct is not a simple mistake or a point of disagreement about data analyses.

Research misconduct is a serious ethical issue because it can undermine academic integrity and institutional credibility. It leads to a waste of funding and resources that could have been used for alternative research.

Later investigations revealed that they fabricated and manipulated their data to show a nonexistent link between vaccines and autism. Wakefield also neglected to disclose important conflicts of interest, and his medical license was taken away.

This fraudulent work sparked vaccine hesitancy among parents and caregivers. The rate of MMR vaccinations in children fell sharply, and measles outbreaks became more common due to a lack of herd immunity.

Research scandals with ethical failures are littered throughout history, but some took place not that long ago.

Some scientists in positions of power have historically mistreated or even abused research participants to investigate research problems at any cost. These participants were prisoners, under their care, or otherwise trusted them to treat them with dignity.

To demonstrate the importance of research ethics, we’ll briefly review two research studies that violated human rights in modern history.

These experiments were inhumane and resulted in trauma, permanent disabilities, or death in many cases.

After some Nazi doctors were put on trial for their crimes, the Nuremberg Code of research ethics for human experimentation was developed in 1947 to establish a new standard for human experimentation in medical research.

In reality, the actual goal was to study the effects of the disease when left untreated, and the researchers never informed participants about their diagnoses or the research aims.

Although participants experienced severe health problems, including blindness and other complications, the researchers only pretended to provide medical care.

When treatment became possible in 1943, 11 years after the study began, none of the participants were offered it, despite their health conditions and high risk of death.

Ethical failures like these resulted in severe harm to participants, wasted resources, and lower trust in science and scientists. This is why all research institutions have strict ethical guidelines for performing research.

If you want to know more about statistics , methodology , or research bias , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

  • Normal distribution
  • Measures of central tendency
  • Chi square tests
  • Confidence interval
  • Quartiles & Quantiles
  • Cluster sampling
  • Stratified sampling
  • Thematic analysis
  • Cohort study
  • Peer review
  • Ethnography

Research bias

  • Implicit bias
  • Cognitive bias
  • Conformity bias
  • Hawthorne effect
  • Availability heuristic
  • Attrition bias
  • Social desirability bias

Ethical considerations in research are a set of principles that guide your research designs and practices. These principles include voluntary participation, informed consent, anonymity, confidentiality, potential for harm, and results communication.

Scientists and researchers must always adhere to a certain code of conduct when collecting data from others .

These considerations protect the rights of research participants, enhance research validity , and maintain scientific integrity.

Research ethics matter for scientific integrity, human rights and dignity, and collaboration between science and society. These principles make sure that participation in studies is voluntary, informed, and safe.

Anonymity means you don’t know who the participants are, while confidentiality means you know who they are but remove identifying information from your research report. Both are important ethical considerations .

You can only guarantee anonymity by not collecting any personally identifying information—for example, names, phone numbers, email addresses, IP addresses, physical characteristics, photos, or videos.

You can keep data confidential by using aggregate information in your research report, so that you only refer to groups of participants rather than individuals.

These actions are committed intentionally and can have serious consequences; research misconduct is not a simple mistake or a point of disagreement but a serious ethical failure.

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Bhandari, P. (2023, June 22). Ethical Considerations in Research | Types & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved November 28, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/methodology/research-ethics/

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The Oxford Handbook of Professional Service Firms

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The Oxford Handbook of Professional Service Firms

6 Professional Ethics: Origins, Applications, and Developments

Hugh Gunz, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Sally Gunz is Professor of Business Law and Professional Ethics in the School of Accounting and Finance, University of Waterloo, Canada. Her primary research interests centre around the legal and ethical responsibilities of professionals and, increasingly, how professionals make ethical decisions, and what factors impact those decisions. She has studied professionals in both employed and private practice settings. She is the author of The New Corporate Counsel (Carswell: 1991) and several academic studies relating to in-house lawyers, lawyers in private practice, accountants and actuaries. She is a past-President of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business and the former director of the Centre for Accounting Ethics.

Ronit Dinovitzer is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, where she is cross appointed to the Institute for Management and Innovation. She is also a Faculty Fellow at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago, where she is Co-Director of the Research Group on Legal Diversity, and she is an Affiliated Faculty in Harvard’s Program on the Legal Profession. As a sociologist of the professions her research focuses on the social organization of lawyers, the role of labor markets, and the effects of culture on professional work. Recent projects include the “After the JD” study, the first national longitudinal study of law graduates in the US, the “Law and Beyond” Study, the first national study of law graduates in Canada, and a Canadian study on Ethics, the Professional Service Firm and Corporate Governance (with Hugh and Sally Gunz).

  • Published: 05 October 2015
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This chapter introduces professional ethics as a specific example of applied or practical ethics. The authors provide a short review of the literature on theoretical and applied ethics in order to give context for the subsequent discussion. They examine three foundational concepts of professional ethics: codes adopted by professional bodies, professional autonomy, and the contested role of gatekeeper. Next, the authors consider ethical pressures experienced by professionals in the non-professional organization (NPO), and then the Professional Service Firm (PSF). Here the authors compare the pressure exerted by employer and clients and examine how so-called “client capture” can become a complex phenomenon when both client and professional are corporate entities. Finally, the chapter considers the challenges for the study of ethics in the PSF highlighted by this account.

6.1 Introduction

The professions and ethics have had an ambiguous relationship with each other since professions were acknowledged as an identifiable occupational group ( Carr-Saunders and Wilson 1933 ). In this chapter we shall review the arguments and evidence surrounding professions and ethics, with particular reference to Professional Service Firms (PSFs). Research on ethics in the professions highlights a long-standing tension between formal and popular understandings of professionals. On the one hand, what we shall describe below as the classical model of the professions is premised on the concept of ethical codes of behavior that are used to reassure the professions’ clients that the arcane (to the layperson) arts of professionals are exercised in the public interest ( Carr-Saunders and Wilson 1933 ; Smigel 1964 ). On the other hand, there is abundant evidence that the public views the concept of the ethical behavior of professionals and their professional bodies with great skepticism; take for example the large body of lawyer jokes that focus on lawyers’ unethical behavior ( Galanter 2005 ). Professionals, in this latter view, are seen as no different from any other occupation, subject to the same self-serving pressures as anyone else, and as likely as anyone else to give in to them ( Heinz and Laumann 1982 ; Leicht and Fennell 2001 ). Of course ethical failures are, for the layperson, easier to identify than other failures in professional practice because professional work typically depends on a lengthy education and a certification process. So while it may be hard to know whether, for example, a lawyer has drafted a contract competently, it may be easier to observe that a lawyer has failed to inform a client adequately of risk, breached confidentiality inappropriately, acted in a conflict of interest, or lacked independence.

The ethical behavior of professionals demands even more attention when the scale of the problem is larger, as in the case of major economic failures or crises. Questions are asked about the behavior of the management of the organizations that play key roles in these crises ( Langevoort 2012 ). This was the case, for example, following the 2008 financial crisis when the financial service industries of the Western economies were held up to close scrutiny. But executives do not develop final versions of formal business agreements, nor do they prepare reports mandated by authorities. Any examination of corporate misbehavior inevitably turns to the role of the professionals and asks: “where were the accountants [or lawyers, or actuaries]?” ( Langevoort 2012 ). The audit opinion may only be provided by an accountant. Lawyers draft securities compliance documents. The actuary certifies the adequacy of pension funds to cover future liabilities. Managers in these situations are unable to undertake any significant action, proper or improper, without the work of the professional advisor who is mandated by law, or has the requisite skill set, to document the action. The focus thus turns to the ethical role of the professional when asked to facilitate actions that are illegal, border-line illegal (“gray”), or simply questionable in the sense that no laws are being broken, but the actions transgress the profession’s ethical code. The discipline of ethics, and applied ethics in particular, asks the questions that go beyond the bounds of what the law might prescribe.

It is useful to expand upon the distinction between legal and ethical obligations. Professionals at times act with willful negligence or actual fraud, actions that may have criminal or civil consequences. 1 The auditor for Madoff was charged with (and subsequently pleaded guilty to) securities fraud for his failure to apply any due diligence to the audits he provided ( US Securities and Exchange Commission 2009 ). While these events undoubtedly raise ethical questions, they are primarily concerned with the factors that might lead a highly skilled professional to turn, quite simply, “bad.” We focus here on the more subtle questions of unethical behavior; behavior where professionals comply with the technical constraints of the law, but for reasons that are not immediately obvious, ignore their broader ethical responsibilities.

As a first step in our analysis of ethics as applied to the PSF we turn to the literature on theoretical and applied ethics for some basic concepts, in order to trace the origins of the area of applied ethics known as professional ethics. We then consider three practical aspects of professional ethics: ethical codes, the significance of professional autonomy to the ability of the professional to behave in accord with ethical codes, and the controversial role of professional as gatekeeper. Next, we examine the ethical pressures faced by professionals first in the context of non-professional organizations, and then in professional service organizations. Finally, we consider the implications of these observations for future research on professional ethics.

6.2 Theoretical and Applied Ethics

The study of ethical theory is largely beyond the scope of this chapter. It would be disrespectful to perhaps the most ancient of intellectual disciplines to summarize millennia of thought in a matter of two to three pages. Nonetheless, it is important to place current debates within the framework of ethical theory so that we may then understand how ethics in the PSF relates to the broader context of ethical thought.

To begin, we distinguish between two fields of ethics: metaethics and normative ethics. Metaethics examines the nature of ethics, asking questions such as what is it actually to be good? In contrast, normative ethical theories are about how people ought to act. Another description of metaethics helps clarify the distinction:

the range of issues, puzzles and questions that fall within metaethics’ purview are consistently abstract. They reflect the fact that metaethics involves an attempt to step back from particular substantive debates within morality to ask about the views, assumptions, and commitments that are shared by those who engage in the debate. By and large, the metaethical issues that emerge as a result of this process of stepping back can be addressed without taking a particular stand on substantive moral issues that started the process. In fact, metaethics has seemed to many to offer a crucial neutral background against which competing moral views need to be seen if they are to be assessed properly. ( Sayre-McCord 2012 )

The three best-known normative ethics theories are virtue ethics, deontology, and consequentialism ( Chappell 2012 ; Moore 1903 ; Rawls 1971 ). Virtue ethics has ancient roots in Western culture going back to Plato and Aristotle and focuses upon moral character (virtues). Virtues are entrenched in a person’s character. Most people do not possess perfect virtues (e.g., courage, honesty) but tend towards them. The study of virtue ethics declined in comparison to the other forms of normative ethics from the nineteenth century until the 1950s ( Hursthouse 2013 ). While all three theories remain important to the study of professional ethics (see Cheffers and Pakaluk 2005 ), virtue ethics became a particularly popular basis for examining professional ethical obligations from at least the 1980s (e.g., Libby and Thorne 2004 ).

Deontology emphasizes duties or rules and owes much of its origins to the works of Immanuel Kant (1724–1804). In its most general sense it describes morally good behavior in terms of compliance with good moral norms. Again, very generally, deontological theories can be divided between those that are (a) agent-centered (the norms or rules which relate to each individual agent) or (b) victim- or patient-centered (theories presuming individuals’ rights) ( Alexander and Moore 2013 ).

If deontology assesses moral choices by compliance with prior established norms, consequentialist theories evaluate them in terms of, as the name suggests, outcomes or consequences of action ( Simnott-Armstrong 2013 ). Indeed, it is argued that the consequences or outcomes are the only measure by which the morality of choices should be assessed. While there are various forms of consequentialism, the classic presentation takes the form of utilitarianism as derived from the work of Jeremy Bentham and John Stewart Mill. Generally, utilitarianism talks in terms of assessing choices by what yields the greater good or pleasure over bad or pain (“the greatest good for the greatest number”).

A summary of the three approaches can be expressed in this manner:

[Virtue ethics] may, initially, be identified as the one that emphasizes the virtues, or moral character, in contrast to the approach which emphasizes duties or rules (deontology) or that which emphasizes the consequences of actions (consequentialism). Suppose it is obvious that someone in need should be helped. A utilitarian [one consequentialist approach] will point to the fact that the consequences of doing so will maximize well-being, a deontologist to the fact that, in doing so the agent will be acting in accordance with a moral rule such as “Do unto others as you would be done by” and a virtue ethicist to the fact that helping the person would be charitable or benevolent. ( Hursthouse 2013 )

Within the practical context of professional ethics, take the example of a lawyer who is assessing whether she should step down from an engagement because she believes that the client is not making adequate public disclosure of what she considers to be a material event even though the issue is not clear-cut (a “gray” area). A virtue ethics approach might have the lawyer assess her choice in terms of the qualities of her self-perception as a “good” lawyer. A deontological approach might seek guidance from general principles for the profession such as refusing to be associated with misleading reports. A utilitarian approach could include an assessment of the outcomes or consequences of staying versus stepping down as lawyer: for example, might greater good be derived from having a cautious lawyer remain in place should more serious challenges arise?

This short discussion introduces the complexity of normative theory. We now turn to applied ethics, or, as it is increasingly becoming known, practical ethics. As we noted above, this approach allows us to examine the practical ethical issues that face professionals and members of PSFs in particular. We have so far used the term “applied ethics” as if it is a subset of normative ethics, although this is subject to debate. Those opposed to its use do so because it implies that this is a sub-discipline that literally applies existing theoretical principles to practical circumstances ( LaFollette 2003 ). “[P]‌hilosophical principles cannot be applied in any straightforward way to particular problems and policies. In the face of concrete dilemmas, we need to revise philosophical principles as much as we rely on them for justification” ( Thompson 2007 ). For pure convenience here we use the more common expression “applied ethics” but we will return to the discussion of the relationship to ethical theory shortly. We first consider the modern origins of applied ethics.

While many philosophers, ancient and modern, have applied ethical thought to practical problems, applied ethics as a distinct field of inquiry owes its modern roots to the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Put formally, “[a]‌pplied ethics is a general field of study that includes all systematic efforts to understand and to resolve moral problems that arise in some domain of practical life” ( Winkler 2012 : 174). Alternatively, applied ethics addresses everyday problems in real-life contexts. It has grown as a field of study around particular areas of interest. While early work in applied ethics dealt with issues such as the Vietnam War or abortion, today, medical/bioethics, business and professional ethics, and environmental ethics are the largest categories of applied ethics. Yet the many monographs or journals about applied (or practical) ethics demonstrate a lengthy collection of social problems or contexts to which ethicists turn their attention.

As applied ethics evolved so too did the debate about its connection to ethical theory. Initially it was popular to reject traditional theory ( Winkler 2012 ), which is perhaps not surprising given the modern origins of applied ethics in a time of social turbulence. Increasingly, however, it became an accepted position that it would be improbable that a generalized normative theory could provide the basis for more applied discussion ( Winkler and Coombs 1993 ). Instead, LaFollette (2003) talks of its theoretical basis in a different manner: how thinking about practical issues leads to reflection that “reveals the connections between particular cases, isolates the contrasts between competing theoretical perspectives, and [makes us become] aware of tensions between what we were taught and what experience and reflection reveal. These require us to step back from our preconceptions to examine an issue more abstractly” ( LaFollette 2003 : 8). Included among the examples he gives are those of corporate responsibility and whistle blowing, evaluation of which also require thinking about the “moral status of corporations” ( LaFollette 2003 : 8). In the context of the professions, medical and bioethics have attracted the most attention. In accounting or law, issues of independence and conflict of interest have also generated considerable debate.

Professional ethics is one form of applied ethics. Within the scope of professional ethics is the further application of ethics in the context of the PSF. The organizational context of the professional matters, of course, because it sets up a particular type of relationship between professionals and those with whom they interact, with resulting implications for their ethical behavior.

6.3 Professional Ethics: Codes, Autonomy, and Gatekeepers

Professional ethics—“the ethics of the professionals who are members of a given profession” ( Airaksinen 2012 : 616)—is a form of applied or practical ethics. In Thompson’s (2007) view, “[p]‌ractical ethics tries to relate professional rules and clinical experience to the broader social context in which professionals practice, and to the deeper moral assumptions on which professions depend.” Further, professional ethics must be considered not only in terms of individual professional–client/patient relationships but also the institution in which decisions are made: “the moral life that dwells among the structures of society” (ibid.). The discussion of professional ethics that follows is centered on three key interrelated concepts: codes, autonomy, and gatekeepers. As the discussion will show, codes are an expression of the profession’s own values; autonomy underlies many of the assumptions regarding ethics in practice; and the role of gatekeeper challenges the extent of the ethical responsibility.

Koehn (1994) provides a helpful starting point to this discussion by focusing on the notion of the trust that users of professional services are required to place in the individual members of the profession:

We should not forget that professions represent the only mechanism we have for collectively providing ourselves with the goods of health, legal justice, and spiritual peace. If professionals are not trustworthy, whom should we trust? This question must be confronted. We cannot simply hope that the sick, the accused or the injured, and the spiritually needy will provide adequately for themselves. Clients grant, or at least permit, professionals access to something of value (e.g., their bodies) precisely because they are unable to secure or promote a desired state of affairs (e.g., a return to health) by themselves or are better able to do so with assistance. Given that the critics are not proposing any alternative source of help, we will be left without recourse if we cease to believe that professionals merit trust under some conditions. ( Koehn 1994 : 5–6)

This is a familiar description. Suddaby and Muzio (Chapter 2 , this volume) introduce the historic significance of ethics both to how the term “profession” is defined and to the role of professions in society. In seeking a definition of profession that captures its unique qualities vis-à-vis occupations in general, the trait or attribute approach—identifying the unique characteristics of a profession—typically included some sense of a higher calling or unique talent and identified the code of ethics as a common feature across professions ( Greenwood 1957 ). The social bargain (Suddaby and Muzio, Chapter 2 , this volume) implicit in professions being given monopoly power over their activities, as often happens for professions in Anglo-Saxon societies, typically results in obligations being imposed on them to act in the manner described above by Koehn: “The rationale behind such an arrangement is that if it is a good bargain, then both society and those in the occupation will benefit from it; society, by obtaining expert service in these learned occupations, and the practitioners by gaining status, control, and some protection against political scrutiny” ( Barker 1992 : 92).

6.3.1 Codes of Ethics

Codes may be interpreted as the means by which the professions themselves define their ideal of professional conduct (or, to return to the earlier metaphor, their “contractual obligations”). It is not that codes equate to professional ethics, but rather that they help explain the common agreement amongst members of professions as to their collective standards of appropriate behavior ( Adler and Kwon 2013 ). If codes reflect the agreed values, from an individual perspective they should ideally encourage self-reflection: “The ethic of the professional is to be found in the dialectical interaction between the conscience of the individual professional and the collective conclusions of the profession as a whole, and the formulations of the ‘Professional Code,’ always provisional and continually being revised, are the medium of that dialectical process” ( Newton 1982 : 40). This is the ideal.

The ethics literature addresses the issues of codes and economic self-interest. For example, “[p]‌rofessional associations serve many functions, but they always look after their power base.” ( Airaksinen 2012 : 617). Codes are certainly the means by which the self-interest of the professions is maintained and boundaries are established against “imposters” ( Fisher et al. 2001 ), a particularly important perspective when considering professions in terms of their power in society ( Newton 1982 ). Barker challenges this position by focusing on the “ethical ideal of service to society” as a means of “curb[ing] their selfish impulses” ( Barker 1992 : 89) and defends this position in normative terms. This is the position to which members of the profession ought to aspire, and that they do not is a matter for self-discipline within the profession and not a reason to throw away such an ethical ideal ( Barker 1992 ). Indeed he goes further by arguing that such an aspiration is a way of understanding professions themselves. Similarly:

At the heart of the career concept is a certain attitude toward work which is peculiarly professional. A career is essentially a calling, a life devoted to “good works.” Professional work is never viewed solely as a means to an end; it is the end itself. ( Greenwood 1957 : 53)

While trait approaches have, for many years, had their critics (e.g., Cogan 1953 ), there remains intact the notion that there is an ethical ideal to which we expect professionals to aspire.

Further, codes are, of course, there to be enforced and there is mixed evidence as to how this process enhances overall ethical standards. Enforcement of ethical obligations is most often in terms of violations of relatively technical provisions in the code (e.g., failure to maintain competence, committing a criminal act, or bringing the profession into disrepute) or neglect of clients ( Levin and Mather 2012 ) and seldom in terms of violations of the more aspirational goals such as placing client or public interest ahead of that of the individual professional. Large firm lawyers often escape disciplinary sanctions ( Wilkins 1992 ). Rarely, if ever, is there serious examination by the professions of the more subtle ethical issues that will be the focus later in this chapter. It turns out that it takes particularly egregious behavior for a case to be made, such as that against David Duncan of the accounting firm, Arthur Andersen.

This approach to enforcement is not a new phenomenon. Abel (1989 : Chapter 7 ) examines a broad range of research on the way that the American legal profession regulates itself. He demonstrates that the profession has proven itself over the years to be reluctant to take complaints against its members seriously. First, lawyers themselves demonstrate remarkably poor understanding of their profession’s ethical code. For example, Abel (2008 : 349) recounts the case of a lawyer who did not have a written retainer agreement with his client, even though written agreements are part of the rules of professional conduct. The lawyer in question retained a client’s tax refund as payment for his services. While the lawyer was indeed entitled to substantial fees he was ultimately suspended. Had he only understood the rules and implemented a retainer agreement, he would have received his fees and avoided suspension. Second, “[d]‌isciplinary procedures still dismiss more than 90% of complaints with little or no investigation. There is reason to believe that this expresses the solicitude practicing lawyers feel for each other” ( Abel 1989 : 147). Abel also finds prosecution uneven across types of practitioners. For example, complaints against inexperienced solo practitioners were significantly more likely than others to be prosecuted ( Arnold and Hagan 1992 ). The lawyers and judges dealing with these cases were “extremely solicitous of excuses for misbehavior” ( Abel 1989 : 148), and those who were convicted were typically dealt with leniently. Finally, of the very small proportion of those who were actually disbarred, most were subsequently readmitted either to the bar that sanctioned them or to another one ( Abel 1989 ). A similar pattern is found within accounting. Fisher et al. (2001) identify instances of enforcement apparently solely in defense of the private interests of the (accounting) profession and not the more expected interests of both the profession and the public interest.

A discussion of codes of ethics must also reference their relationship with the fiduciary, a key quality of all professions (Suddaby and Muzio, Chapter 2 , this volume) The legal concept of the fiduciary in common law jurisdictions, “[t]‌he relationship of one person to another, where the former is bound to exercise rights and powers in good faith for the benefit of the latter” ( Osborn 1964 ), imposes broad responsibilities that might also generally be described as ethical and which exist over and above the strictly contractual (in civil law jurisdictions equivalent provisions for specific contexts may be found in the Code). Generally, fiduciary duties cannot be avoided and arise in all cases where a member of a specific profession is acting in that capacity in exchanges with others. The duties require the professional to put client interests ahead of their own; they must avoid conflicts of interest, avoid abuse of power, not use confidential information for personal advancement, etc. In practical terms, this is perhaps the closest example of the law imposing ethical responsibilities on the professional (Suddaby and Muzio, Chapter 2 , this volume) and in interpreting the requisite standards to which individual professions must adhere in order to fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities, courts are most commonly influenced by the rules of the profession itself as expressed in its particular code of ethics (e.g., Hodgkinson v. Simms , 1994).

The purpose of this discussion is not to equate fiduciary duties with the ethical responsibilities of the professional; at best there is a partial overlap. Nor is it to suggest that a trait approach allows for an adequate definition of profession or professional ethics. It does not, and its critics abound ( Abbott 1988 ; Macdonald 1995 ). As Koehn (1994) suggests, such an approach is purely descriptive and avoids examination of what the norms of a profession should be:

We must also bear in mind that it is a normative matter to assert that a profession has no inner meaning but rather consists of the sum total of what a majority of its members happen to be doing at a certain time. Taken at its extreme, this position will yield mind-boggling claims of the sort that Adolf Eichmann’s lawyer offered in defense of that war criminal’s actions: Eichmann was innocent of the killings by gas because gassing “was indeed a medical matter, since it was prepared by physicians; it was a matter of killing, and killing too, is a medical matter.” Unless one is willing to say that doctors and mass murderers belong to the same profession and are equally good and worthy of respect, our practice of holding persons responsible for their actions will eventually force us to confront the question with which I propose to begin: what do professionals do, and what, if anything, legitimates their practice? ( Koehn 1994 : 7)

The purpose of the above accounts is instead to raise questions about the appropriateness of the self-regulating nature of professions—that is, professional bodies being assigned the role of protecting clients through enforcement of codes and justifying the trust placed in professionals. Functionalist accounts of the professions argue that such rights are justified because of the need to ensure that clients receive uniformly high levels of service ( Sutton 2001 ). The Weberian view, by contrast, regards professions as occupations that are particularly successful at fending off competition, and sees ethical codes as part of their armory intended to demonstrate to the world that their professional monopoly is being operated in the interests of the clients ( Sutton 2001 ). As Sutton (2001) points out, the evidence that we briefly reviewed above supports the Weberian view; if it were otherwise, then one would expect a great deal more interest in the professions in dealing with transgressors. From this perspective, ethical codes allow a profession to show, so long as nobody inquires too closely into how things happen in practice, that it has a well-constructed code of behavior designed to ensure that its practitioners act in the interests of their clients and the broader public, and that if they do not the profession will protect the client (public).

6.3.2 Autonomy

The self-regulating nature of professions and the enforcement of their ethical codes is in fact one instance of the expression of the broader concept of autonomy (see Empson and Langley, Chapter 8 , this volume) as it relates to professions and professional ethics. Within self-regulating professions, the expression “autonomous” implies that the individual or firm practice their art in a manner that is independent of both self-interest and partisan client interest. It also references the fact that the state (the regulator) has delegated jurisdiction over the rules of practice and the conditions of membership of the profession to the professional body. In order to determine why such a condition may be deemed to be necessary we must return to the notions of service and trust discussed earlier.

For each profession, there exists a broader social responsibility that again varies by context. These responsibilities are a condition of their regulated authority to practice and, using the contractual analogy, the quid pro quo for the monopoly rights provided by self-regulation. For example, in the case of the auditor, the values imposed are expressed as objectivity and independence: “The principle of objectivity imposes the obligation to be impartial, intellectually honest, and free of conflicts of interest. Independence precludes relationships that may appear to impair a member’s objectivity in rendering attestation services” ( American Institute of Certified Public Accountants 2014 ). For the actuary, although most rules of conduct relate directly to the protection of the client, there is also a residual obligation to society: “An actuary shall perform professional services with integrity, skill and care. He [ sic ] shall fulfil his professional responsibility to his client or employer and shall not act against the public interest” ( GCAAPCE 2014 ). For lawyers, there is some version of the following rule that imposes overriding responsibility not to the client but to society: the lawyer must maintain “respect for the rule of law and the fair administration of justice” ( CCBE 2013 ) even where to do so runs counter to the interests of their own client (duty as “officer of the court” or as “minister of justice”).

The notion of the autonomous professional in practical terms is derived from the traditional model of the self-employed professional or the professional in the PSF who might maintain independence through a large portfolio of clients. No one individual client could then be significant enough to compromise the duty of the professional to wider social (professional) obligations. This, of course, is not always a safe assumption for much of professional practice, for example that of corporate law, and we return to it in section 6.4 . Before doing so, we examine the third of the three concepts underpinning professional ethics: the role of the professional as gatekeeper.

6.3.3 Gatekeepers

The legal profession uses the term “gatekeeper” in a sense that is somewhat different from that found in the organizational literature. Coffee (2006 : 2) defines it as “an agent who acts as a reputational intermediary to assure investors as to the quality of the ‘signal’ sent by the corporate issuer. The reputational intermediary does so by lending or ‘pledging’ its reputational capital to the corporation, thus enabling investors or the market to rely on the corporation’s own disclosures or assurances where they otherwise might not.” Coffee is writing post-Enron and the language of this definition clearly fits that of the auditor in particular.

In terms of the ethical duties of professionals, the issue implied by imposing a gatekeeper duty is whether ethical responsibilities extend to intervention when the client is perceived to be acting improperly. From the perspective of users of such services—for example, those who might rely on the audit assurance for investment decisions—it is often assumed that this is the case. If professionals are not responsible for preventing their clients from embarking on a harmful course of action, why are they there? The response from professions has been largely a reluctance to extend responsibility to this territory. The audit profession, for example, once talked of an expectations gap, a divergence between the expectations of the profession and the public as to the responsibility, say, to identify management fraud (e.g., McEnroe and Martens 2001 ). This “gap” is to be narrowed, not by extending the auditor’s responsibility but by better educating the public and lowering its expectations.

In fairness to accountants, these issues were overshadowed by ever-present threats of litigation. Further, the corporate failures of the turn of the century led in the USA to significantly increased responsibilities imposed by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The legal profession has resisted the notion of gatekeeper vigorously. For example, they successfully defended against an extension of responsibility in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act that would have required what is known as a “noisy withdrawal” where they were unable to prevent a client from engaging in significant violations of the law; that is, they would have been required not only to resign from the engagement but also report the events to regulators as auditors in the USA are obliged to do ( Kim 2011 ). Kim (2011) explores the arguments against the lawyer-gatekeeper and carefully documents the solid resistance from the profession to such an approach:

Official comments in the SEC administrative rulemaking process complained that the proposed rules could “eviscerate the attorney’s traditional role as advocate, confidant and advisor” and “risk destroying the trust and confidence many issuers have up to now placed in their legal counsel.” They worried that the proposals would “drive a wedge between client and the counsel who advised it on a matter” and decried that “the Commission would be using the attorney as the Commission’s eyes and ears to build a case against the client.” Lawyers maintained that by “requiring attorneys to police and pass judgment on their clients,” lawyers for corporations would slide down the slippery slope from trusted counselor to policeman. ( Kim 2011 : 132–133)

Kim concludes, however, that it is in the best interests both of the profession and public for lawyers to assume such a role.

Coffee (2006 : 3–4) notes that “one problem overshadows all others”: even where the professionals are acting as gatekeeper, they are also paid by the entity that hires them. And the term “pay’’ can be used broadly to include any form of economic dependency. The securities lawyer who allows a generous interpretation of a corporate event being below the threshold for disclosure may be influenced not only by the fees for this particular service but also the promise of a continued revenue stream to come. The logical response to this concern is to return to the concept of autonomy ( Adler and Kwon 2013 : 935–936). It is an ethical obligation to retain independence from client pressure, economic self-interest, or firm revenue demands, and it is that that allows the public to retain trust that the professional will act in its best interests rather than their own.

We have hinted at more than one point in this chapter that there are exigencies in professional practice which affect the way in which professionals interpret their ethical responsibilities. We now examine this issue in greater depth, beginning with situations in which it has been posited that professionals are under inherent stress because of their structural position ( Gunz and Gunz 1994b ), namely where they are employees of non-professional organizations. This section will lay an important foundation for the following discussion of the role of professionals within PSFs.

6.4 The Autonomous Professional in Non-Professional Organizations

If the ideal of the autonomous professional evolved from the notion of the wise counselor operating unfettered by messy commercial pressures, it is one we would be hard pressed to find in today’s society. A very high proportion of professionals are employed in non-professional organizations (NPOs: business or public corporations that are not PSFs; Leicht and Fennell 1997 ). Discussion of employed professionals provides a useful context for introducing influences that affect the way in which ethical matters are handled by professionals, influences that can also, as we show later, be identified in the PSF. More importantly, it may well be that as PSFs have become larger and more bureaucratic, there is more in common between the world of employed professionals in the NPO and that of their counterparts in the PSF than was traditionally assumed.

Suddaby and Muzio (Chapter 2 , this volume) discuss the literature on organizational professional conflict from the perspective of the theory of professions (see also Kirkpatrick and Noordegraaf, Chapter 5 , this volume). There are, however, also important ethical concerns. If, as many researchers have found, there is little evidence amongst professionals of perceived organizational professional conflict ( Adler and Aranya 1984 ; Bamber and Iyer 2002 ; Benson 1973 ; Davies 1983 ; Gunz and Gunz 1994a ; Shafer 2002 ; Wallace 1993 ), what are the inferences that should be drawn about professional ethical decision-making? Several possible explanations suggest themselves ( Gunz and Gunz 1994b ): (1) managers in NPOs may side-step professionals when considering difficult ethical issues; (2) the professional simply does not recognize an ethical conflict when presented with it; or (3) professionals may find a means of resolving issues without great effort thereby, for them, downgrading the intensity of the dilemma ( Zohar 2005 ).

The first option—that managers may routinely avoid involving employed professionals when something occurs about which they know the professionals will raise a problem—is beyond the scope of this chapter. The second and third options imply that the issue either lacks, for the professional, the necessary salience or vividness for it to be recognized as an ethical dilemma ( Jones 1991 ; Rest 1986 ), or, if it is, the judgment process invoked ( May and Pauli 2002 ) does not give the professional great difficulty. Why might these be the case; what might they tell us about how the professional resolves ethical dilemmas?

The proletarianization literature on professionals ( Bourgeault et al. 2011 ; Derber 1982 ; Murphy 1990 ; Oppenheimer 1973 ), based on the precept that “professionals have become subject to new forms of control that are eroding their status as professionals” ( Wallace 1995 : 229), provides a useful entry point. Wallace (1995) shows that professionals’ organizational commitment—an indication of the extent to which this proletarianization might be taking effect—“is highly dependent on perceived opportunities for career advancements and the criteria used in the distribution of rewards” ( Wallace 1995 : 228). The key here is that organizational commitment may in fact have implications for ethical decision-making. Evidence supporting this interpretation comes from a study of Canadian corporate lawyers ( Gunz and Gunz 2007 ), which showed that the more salient an organizational identity was to these counsel, the more likely it was that they would adopt an approach to an ethical dilemma in a manner consistent with that of a non-professional employee, as opposed to that of a lawyer (for a discussion of professional identity conflict see Alvesson et al., Chapter 18 , this volume).

The NPO literature, then, provides evidence to suggest that the orientation of professionals to the organization in which they practice, and consequentially their approach to handling ethical dilemmas, is contingent on the way that the organization rewards and promotes them. PSFs are, of course, different from NPOs in the sense that their dominant cultures tend more to the professional ( Faulconbridge and Muzio 2008 ). But they, too, are subject to strong commercial pressures, and we address the implications for ethical decision-making in such organizations next.

6.5 Professional Ethics in Professional Service Firms

PSFs have, as has been widely observed, increasingly become large bureaucracies, and many authors have commented on the impact of this trend on the manner in which their members practice ( Brock 2006 ; Malhotra and Morris 2009 ; Muzio and Faulconbridge 2013 ). It could be argued that the professional ethos of the PSF ( Faulconbridge and Muzio 2008 ) will be more supportive of an approach to professional ethics aligned with that prescribed by the profession itself. Indeed there is evidence that lawyers working in law firms feel a greater commitment to their profession than do solo practitioners, perhaps because the latter are under greater pressure to run their businesses ( Wallace and Kay 2008 ). Yet many writers have pointed to the commercial pressures faced by professionals ( Brint 1994 ; Hanlon 1998 ; Malhotra and Morris 2009 ; Rittenberg and Covaleski 2001 ). More specifically, recent work on client capture ( Leicht and Fennell 2001 ) suggests that professionals working in PSFs can be subject to pressures that do have implications for ethical decision-making.

The greater the (usually economic) power of clients over professionals, the greater the potential challenge to professional autonomy. Professionals find it harder to defend their ethical position when being pressed by their client to act expediently. Furthermore the shift to expert ( Brint 1994 ) or commercialistic ( Hanlon 1998 ) professionalism implies that professionals with such orientations are more likely to be in sympathy with the client’s aims ( Dinovitzer et al. 2014a ). In the 1990s the key professional services (audit in particular) in the major accounting firms were subsumed to the interests of business interests (e.g., consulting). The argument was made (e.g., Boyd 2004 ; Wyart 2004 ) that as a consequence individuals were not always able or willing to defend their professional values when faced with the enormous economic power of the client and firm. Arguably, that trend continues today at least in some of the very large international professional partnerships. By way of illustration, take the following example from the “About Us” page of one of the largest law firms in the world:

Baker and McKenzie defined the global law firm in the 20th century, and we are redefining it to meet the challenges of the global economy in the 21st … Ours is a passionately collaborative community of 60 nationalities. We have the deep roots and knowledge of the language and culture of business required to address the nuances of local markets worldwide. And our culture of friendship and broad scope of practice enable us to navigate complexity across issues, practices and borders with ease. ( Baker and McKenzie 2015 )

Much as with the major international accounting firms at least in the 1990s, the average reader would be hard pressed to catch that these highly skilled members of a “passionately collaborative community” are actually professionals, let alone autonomous professionals, and indeed lawyers. On the “Our People” page is found: “Every day our more than 4,000 lawyers, economists, tax advisors and other professionals share insights and best practices across borders and practices” ( Baker and McKenzie 2015 ), a practice world far removed from that in which the traditional professional ideal evolved.

Baker and McKenzie appears to have chosen to define itself at one extreme of the range of business-focused law firms. However, all major commercial law practices share common characteristics with major accounting firms: they are large, they have complex bureaucratic structures, their focus is upon the needs of commerce, and individuals usually succeed or fail on their individual ability to generate revenue. So while a partnership’s legal structure retains the focus on the individual for performance measurement purposes, the individual must be influenced by both the structure of the firm and others within it and in a manner not envisaged in Brint’s (1994) model of social trustee professionalism.

How do these pressures towards a commercial approach manifest themselves in the ethical behavior of professionals? At the core of the issue of ethics in PSFs is that of the power of the client. Professionals working in NPOs can be used as a limiting case, in which the power of the client, as the professional’s employer, is perhaps at its greatest. Leicht and Fennell (2001) introduce the label “client capture” in the PSF to describe this:

some professional groups have faced a situation whereby the consumers (clients) or new ways of performing work (technologies) will undermine professional prerogatives and status. We refer to these trends under the heading of professions “captured” by clients or technologies. Under client capture the consumers of professional work gain the ability to control the activities, timing, and costs of professional work. In effect the “consumer becomes sovereign” much as consumers search for (and price) other consumer goods and services. ( Leicht and Fennell 2001 : 105–106)

Evidence for client capture comes from the accounting profession. Macey and his co-authors have persuasively argued that client capture is more commonly found among accounting firms than, for example, legal firms because, although a large firm may have many clients, often individual partners have only one, giving that client great power over the partner in question ( Macey and Sale 2003 ). Furthermore, the size of client firm makes a difference as well. In a sample of large US firms it was shown that the larger the client firm, the more likely it was to restate its financial results (an indication of accounting error), suggesting that larger firms have greater power to persuade their auditors to approve erroneous or misleading financial statements ( Eisenberg and Macey 2004 ). Similar evidence comes from the actuarial profession ( Armstrong et al. 2012 ).

Client capture and its consequent impact on ethical decision-making is complex ( Dinovitzer et al. 2014b ). In its most obvious form it is the direct demand of a client exerting economic power over the professional; arguably the case of Enron pressuring David Duncan, its auditor. It may, however, also be indirect and more subtle. Dinovitzer et al. (2014b) point out that commercial law typically involves a relationship not between two individuals, professional and client, but between two organizations, meaning that client capture may be a far more complex phenomenon than a simple matter of one actor exerting influence over another. Indirect client capture might occur when a powerful member of the PSF (perhaps the partner responsible for the client relationship) imposes pressure on the individual professional to please the client in contravention to their own beliefs. It is also well documented ( Gunz and Gunz 2008 ) that others in the firm with an economic interest in the client may exert pressure in defense of their own economic interests. The professional may have no direct client contact at all—they may, for example, be brought in solely for a specific task (finance or tax expertise)—but the pressure to compromise integrity and satisfy the client may occur through peers. Finally and not uncommonly is what has been described as “misdirected” client capture ( Dinovitzer et al. 2014b ). As noted above, the actual client to which a professional owes their ethical responsibility is, most often, a person in law only; it is a corporation. The professional interacts with, is hired by, paid, and pressured by, a human manager ( Coffee 2006 ). The potential then exists for the professional to meet the desires of that manager at the expense of their ethical responsibilities to the actual client (the corporation). A particularly egregious example of this effect was described by the Enron bankruptcy examiner, referencing the actions of those in the outside law firms. As he noted, Enron’s outside counsel were given instructions from certain Enron officers that “if carried out, constituted a breach of a legal duty to Enron (such as a breach of fiduciary duty) or a violation of law (such as inadequate disclosure)” ( Batson 2003 : 28).

The organizational complexity of PSFs not only leads to varied forms of client capture, it is also related to the ways in which lawyers construct their own identities that in turn impact the manner in which ethical dilemmas might be resolved. As we have seen in the previous section, much of this work has been conducted in the context of the NPO, although recently there have been extensions to the PSF (e.g., Dinovitzer et al. 2014a ). The Dinovitzer et al. study found evidence not only of distinct identities, but also some evidence of the impact of certain of those identities on the way ethical dilemmas are resolved. For example, lawyers whose identity was more strongly influenced by the law than by their personal experience and who showed little tendency to regard themselves as members of a collectivity (even though they were partners in large law firms) were found to be more likely to bend to the pressure of a client manager, even when to do so compromised an ethical responsibility to elevate an issue within the true client (the corporation and not the manager; that is, the misdirected client capture referenced above).

Understanding ethics within the PSF thus requires attention, first and foremost, to the organizational context of the professional. While at first glance professionals in the PSF are thought to be technically independent of their client, as our discussion shows, this independence is fraught with commercial and collegial pressures. The issues raised earlier—of codes, gatekeeping, and autonomy—take on a particular valence when analyzed within the PSF, and demonstrate that scholars must take into account the exigencies in professional practice in order to understand the ethical responsibilities of professionals.

6.6 Conclusions

The study of ethics in the PSF is today largely empirical. While there is an extensive and continuing literature on professional ethics in general and a lively debate about the normative elements of professional ethics in particular, for the most part these are based on a generic understanding of the professional—for example a lawyer, an actuary, or an accountant who is understood to perform certain highly skilled tasks—without consideration of the context in which their art is practiced. For example, Martin (2000 : 4) talks of the dominant perspective as focusing upon “the moral requirements attached to a profession and imposed on all its members, together with the ethical dilemmas created when the requirements conflict or are too vague to provide guidance.”

Yet this ignores the very real pressures experienced by professionals in PSFs resulting from phenomena such as the client capture we describe above and the overriding commercial pressures and increasingly competitive environment faced by PSFs more generally that are responsible for much of these pressures. It is, in other words, naïve to assume that professionals are able to maintain a level of autonomy that places them above the temptations of the commercial world, particularly since PSFs themselves are increasingly—and probably always were—deeply embedded in and an integral part of that world. Autonomy is encroached on from many directions: from the client, who may want the professional to act in a way convenient to them but not in accord with the ethical standards of the profession; and from colleagues and senior management in the firm who also have an interest, for their own reasons, in the same client. The complexity of relationships between PSFs and their large corporate clients can mean that professionals fail to recognize who the real client is (the client corporation), potentially leading to a form of goal displacement in which the professionals’ actions are focused on the needs of their contact within the client firm rather than the interests of the actual client, sometimes with disastrous results ( vide Enron).

Indeed the tensions between what users expect of professionals and what professionals are willing and able to deliver have threatened, and may continue to threaten, the continued existence of professions if the extent of the ethical lapses that result destroy the trust of the public in the profession in question. This was the case with accountants in 2002. More importantly, a continued drip of ethical failures will feed a popular cynicism about the worth of professionals. What then are the challenges for the study of ethics in the PSF?

First, it is evident that in order to understand the ethical pressures at work on professionals in PSFs we need to know more about the PSFs themselves. Are some professions more vulnerable than others to pressures like the various forms of client capture that we describe above? How might variation in the organizational form and governance of PSFs (Leblebici and Sherer, Chapter 9 , this volume) affect the relationship between the professionals and their client? To what extent is professionals’ ethical judgment protected, in the sense that they feel able to act strictly in accord with their profession’s code, by the professional culture ( Faulconbridge and Muzio 2008 ), or lack thereof, of the firm? How might different kinds of careers affect ethical judgment (see Cohen, Chapter 16 , this volume)? For example, something as simple as increased evidence of lateral moves by professionals ( Henderson 2014 ) may well have a profound impact on ethical decision-making, because newcomers to the firm may well be more concerned about the need to establish themselves with their colleagues and thus be more vulnerable to phenomena such as client capture. The classic perspectives on the influence of the firm as guardian of ethical mores ( Smigel 1964 ) may be moot if we no longer assume that the individual professional is committed to the PSF itself but is instead more focused on personal career advancement and job (in)security (e.g. Clay and Seeger 2012 ; Galanter and Henderson 2008 ). Such changes might impact all aspects of the firm and increase competitive pressures between and within PSFs, which in turn can increase ethical pressures ( Dinovitzer et al. 2014a ).

Further, the focus of the study of ethics in the PSF has been mostly limited in its context to large firms and, in particular, large accounting and law firms (but see Levin and Mather 2012 ). However, the largest proportions of lawyers in the USA, for example, practice in small firms or as sole practitioners ( Harvard Law School 2007 ), and it is known that ethical challenges are not only just as rife there but may be more difficult to resolve than in larger firms that have conflicts or opinion committees to provide an internal check against unethical behavior ( Gunz et al. 2002 ; Levin and Mather 2012 ). In addition, this discussion has largely been confined to the legal and accounting professions, especially the former, which reflects the attention these two have received in the literature. There is plenty of scope for extending this work to other professions, for example engineering, the actuarial profession, or indeed the investment advising industry, the work of all of which can destroy the lives of their clients, sometimes literally.

Cross-cultural ethical issues form yet another area into which this work could be extended. As PSFs increasingly operate internationally either as firms themselves or through the offshoring of aspects of professional work (Boussebaa and Morgan, Chapter 4 , this volume), a broad range of critical ethical issues arise. For example, is there common agreement as to ethical obligations between countries in which firms operate? What is the effectiveness of international ethical codes, and should they exist? Ought clients in one jurisdiction be made aware that their work is being conducted in quite a different jurisdiction? These raise complex ethical issues and there is little evidence of any rigorous approach to date as to how they should be addressed.

There is, evidently, a large and rich potential for scholarly work devoted to ethics in the PSF. One important caution should be noted: empirical ethical work is difficult, which no doubt explains why there is such a dearth of existing work in this field. Traditional social science methodologies such as those of self-report or direct observation are problematic for many reasons. Ethical problems are comparatively rare events, making observational studies largely impractical: the researcher has no way of knowing when such an event may happen, and therefore has little, if any, chance of being there to observe it. Retrospective studies are complicated by issues of confidentiality: it is not easy to persuade people to tell you about things they have done which might, if revealed, get them into trouble. Self-report hypothetical studies are affected by social desirability bias, and instead of providing a “true” answer (that might indicate an lapse in ethical judgment for example), respondents will instead provide one which is socially acceptable ( King and Bruner 2000 ); and so on.

Ethical issues are (fortunately) rare for professionals, and even when encountered, probably fall into the category described by Zohar (2005) as low intensity, in other words the minor, everyday issues that involve minor ethical judgments which do not, on the whole, have the potential to land a transgressor in court or before a professional disciplinary tribunal. But every so often ethical lapses become large enough that they hit society hard, and the more we can understand the pressures leading to these lapses, the greater our chance of preventing their recurrence. This research, in other words, may be difficult, but its potential payoff makes it exceedingly worthwhile.

The terminology here is kept deliberately generic: descriptive rather than necessarily legally precise—while the authors work in a common law jurisdiction, the same issues apply to all legal systems.

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609 Ethics Essay Topics & Examples

Ethics is a branch of philosophy that studies human behavior in terms of right and wrong. It has a high practical value since it guides professionals in engineering, military, environmental, and other fields on how to solve ethical issues and dilemmas they encounter in their work.

If you’re searching for engaging ethics essay topics for your assignments, StudyCorgi is here to help you. On this page, you’ll find plenty of medical, engineering, and business ethics research paper topics and questions for your presentation, research proposal, or essay. Read on to get inspired!

🏆 Best Essay Topics on Ethics

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  • The Code of Ethics in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice The Texas Department of Criminal Justice adheres to an elaborate code of conduct and code of ethics. The paper analyzes the standards from various perspectives.
  • Ethical Issues in Animal Research The purpose of this paper is to analyze a specific example of a research study involving animals that had ethical issues.
  • Technical Writing Ethics This paper analyses technically the “516 Words” article through applying rules and quotes on ethical writing techniques.
  • Is Animal Testing Ethical: Essay Example This paper will explore the issue of experimentation on animals and a conclusion will be arrived at in the concluding part of the paper.
  • The Evolution of Business Ethics Drastic changes have occurred in the last few years in the position and duties of the leaders of the company or business establishments.
  • Stem Cell Research Essay: Research Ethics, Pros and Cons, and Benefits Looking at the benefits and shortcomings presented by stem cell research, one is left in a dilemma whether to support it or advocate for its discontinuity.
  • Ethics of Working Environment Ethics are a set of principles that are founded on work and diligence, which helps mould the character of the employees in the workplace.
  • Bio Ethics and Stem Cell Research Stem Cell Research, when started, sprung with controversies since the start as it proved to be unethical when seen through the religious perspective.
  • Making Decisions That Are Legal and Ethical The situation with Enoch Thomson at the White Arch Casino requires consideration of contractual law and its legal applicability in this case.
  • The Issue of Global Climate Change and the Use of Global Ethic Modern technologies such as “the use of satellites have made it easier for scientists to analyze climate on a global scale”.
  • Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility: When Corporate Values Must Be Upgraded a Few Notches Even though the principles of ethical behavior in business have been in use for quite a while, there are still debates concerning the definition of the term.
  • Financial Reform Ethics: Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Passed by the Congress, Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform is a landmark legislative alteration to financial supervision which was signed into law by President Barack Obama.
  • Immanuel Kant’s Philosophy About Ethics Immanuel Kant has extensively written on the topic of ethics. Even today, Kant’s work on the highest moral principles is adequate to outline the truth and essence of life.
  • Ethical Issues: Euthanasia Debate Voluntary euthanasia occurs due to permission from the patient. Active euthanasia happens when a third party carries out a deliberate act which causes death of a patient.
  • Engineering Professionalism and Ethics This essay analyses the situations in engineering profession in which ethics are considered. Risks, which are part of engineering, are also analyzed in this essay.
  • College Sport Ethical Issues Ethics plays an important role in college sports. Ethics is what stands between sportsmanship and gamesmanship and prevents the leaders, educators, and athletes.
  • Business Ethics and Dilemmas in the Film ‘Michael Clayton’ The movie “Michael Clayton” addresses a wide range of ethical issues faced by corporations and advocates. One of the ethical issues addressed entails the impacts of capitalism on morality.
  • Ethics of Using Animals in Medical Researches This paper explores how the principles of the deontological ethics can be applied to the discussion of using animals in the medical research and laboratory experiments.
  • Scientific Experiments on Animals from Ethical Perspectives This paper discusses using animals in scientific experiments from the consequentialist, Kantian deontological and Donna Yarri’s Christian character-based perspectives.
  • Companies Ethics: Concepts and Cases Many companies exploit their employees by paying them poorly. Some companies also fail to provide their employees with the best working conditions.
  • American Nurses Association’s Code of Ethics: Overview and Analysis American Nurses Association provides with a code of ethics that help nurses understand how training promotes client care. The paper explains special importance of ANA Provision 2.
  • Aristotle’s Views on Ethics Ethics for people’s lives viewed in Aristotle’s argument stating that all humans share a certain function in life. This paper will present an objection to Aristotle’s function argument.
  • International Legal and Ethical Issues in Business The ethical issues and their influence on business operation are discussed, as well as the incidences that have occurred in the Shell and BP companies.
  • Business Questions: Ethical Conduct This paper will evaluate the effects that ethical or unethical conduct is likely to have on an engineering company.
  • Embryo Harvesting Ethical Implications The main ethical challenge is whether potential lives should be destroyed at the expense of improving the wellbeing of human beings.
  • Truth Concepts in Mathematics, the Arts and Ethics To many, truth means reality hence, depending on what one takes to be right or prevailing conditions truth varies.
  • Professionalism and Ethics: Impacts of Computers, Ethical Obligations and Information Awareness One of the first negative impacts of computers and their related software that will be discussed can be seen in the arguments of Nicholas Carr in his book “The Shallows”.
  • Euthanizing Handicapped People: Ethical and Moral Concerns While arguing whether to euthanize handicapped people or not, it should not escape our minds that they are human beings.
  • Code of Federal Regulations: Definition of Ethics Research ethics is a doubtlessly significant part of any scientific project, especially when the project in question is carried out within the realm of the biomedical or behavioral studies.
  • Ethics Issues: Personal Responsibility The enthusiasm for admitting the significance of values that societies set for personal behavior is referred to as personal responsibility.
  • British Petroleum: Corruption Involving Ethics Economists rate BP previously referred to as British Petroleum as the third-largest oil company in the world. Its locality in London. It merged with Amoco and changed its name to BP.
  • Patient’s Violence and the Use of Doctor Force – Medical Ethics The essay discusses, on the example of one ill girl’s case, whether to use force or not when the child as a patient shows violence during the treatment.
  • History of Assessment and Ethical Issues – Psychology Personality assessment involves the study of the characteristics which constitute the social, behavioral, emotional, and cognitive functioning.
  • Aristotle and Virtue Ethics Aristotle holds that virtues originate from actions that human beings perform because one can either be a good or bad person based on actions.
  • Medical Ethics: Pet Euthanasia Pet-owners desire that their ailing pets have painless and stress-free deaths. This eliminates trauma for both a pet and its owner.
  • Medical Ethics Dilemma: Ethical Theories and Law Health care provision is increasingly becoming complicated. In modern-day health care provision, certain ethical issues have to be addressed.
  • Kant’s Deontological Ethical Theory Immanuel Kant’ deontological ethics perceives morality as an inherent attribute of an action, which contrasts with teleological ethics that perceivethe morality from the consequences of actions.
  • Samsung and Child Labor: Business Ethics Case To make sure that no factory exploits child labor, Samsung claims to have compelled all the factories to install a hi-tech facial detection device.
  • Aristotle Theory About Euthanasia – Ethics The paper explains the virtue theory from an Aristotelian perspective and demonstrates how virtuous doctors can use the theory to judge euthanasia patients.
  • Jackson Hospital in Miami: Legal and Ethical Environment This paper examines the legal and ethical environment restrictions and opportunities affecting health care provision at the Jackson Hospital in Miami.
  • Nightingale Pledge: Medical Ethics Perspectives The Nightingale pledge was developed as an oath students graduating from the Farrand Training School for Nurses. The pledge was created in 1893 and revised in 1935 to improve its scope.
  • Ethical and Moral Philosophy: Opinions Difference Idea of virtue ethics was based on the set of personal traits or virtues that shaped a good individual with proper morals. This understanding is different from the other opinions.
  • Pharmacare Company Ethic and Corporate Responsibility This paper evaluates the ethical and corporate responsibility issues that arise in the scenario presented involving Pharmacare: ethical treatment of employees and whistle blowing.
  • Ethical Aspect of Corporate Social Responsibility Corporate social responsibility is a company’s awareness of its impact on society and reducing negative effects. It includes legal, economic, ethical and philanthropic components.
  • Cryonics and Its Ethical Side Humanity looks up to cryonics because of its fear of death and willing to live. However, moral beliefs don’t keep pace with scientific innovations.
  • The Code of Ethics of the American Nurses Association The paper examines the provisions of the Code of Ethics developed by the American Nurses Association that guide the behavior and decisions of nursing professionals.
  • Medical Ethics: Implications of a Confidentiality Breach The violation of the patients’ right to secrecy of their private data can be viewed from ethical standpoints. The therapists should acknowledge their responsibility for the issue.
  • Obamacare and Healthcare Reform Ethical Challenges The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act involves several ethical issues connected with failing to protect some of the most fundamental rights.
  • Terri Schiavo Medical Ethics Case The case of Terri Schiavo raised major medical, legal and ethical issues in history. Most importantly, it brought about the relevance of individual autonomy and liberty interests.
  • Life Philosophy in “Nicomochaen Ethics” and “Exodus” “Nicomochaen Ethics” is a piece of work consisting of ten books written by Aristotle. “Exodus” is the book included in the Old Testament of the Bible. Both works explore the purpose of human life.
  • PharmaCare Company Ethical Issues This paper presents a case study of PharmaCare, which is one of those companies that have been victims of ethical issues. It will consider the emerging marketing strategy.
  • Sea Dumping: Legal and Ethical Issues The paper explores legal and ethical issues regarding the sea dumping and examines the approaches used by cruise lines to increase the social responsibility.
  • Patient Confidentiality – Medical Ethics This paper considers patient confidentiality basing on Nathanson’s article “Bioethics on NBC’s ER: Betraying Trust or Providing Good Care? When Is It Ok to Break Confidentiality?”.
  • Engineering Competence and the Code of Ethics Risk is part of engineering and technological progress. This means that for growth to be witnessed, various risks have to be taken.
  • Circumcision: Medical, Ethical and Human Rights Issues Human genitals is a matter that is to be treated with utmost care. Genital mutilations are mainly referred to as “a cultural practice”.
  • A Defense on Abortion: Ethical Issues Abortion is considered the intended action to expel a fetus from the womb of a woman. The expulsion of a fetus leads to death, the intentional expulsion of a fetus is murder.
  • Ethical, Legal, Moral Dilemmas of Terminal Illness The moral behavior of nurses has often been described as grounded in commitment to, and receptivity for, the experience of patients, and directed towards alleviating suffering.
  • Nursing Legal and Ethical Issues Case The paper studies a case of a woman with Alzheimer’s disease and her family who have to decide whether it is correct to provide her with machines to support life.
  • Ethical, Legal, and Moral Dilemmas in Nursing The nurse may be faced with challenge of deciding whether to respect the autonomy of patient or report to relevant authorities about the intention of patient to end own life.
  • Utilitarian Ethical Problems and the Utility Common Good Test According to utilitarianism, an organization is said to be ethical if it engages in actions that aim at bringing satisfaction to the majority.
  • Apple Company’s Business Ethics This paper reviews Apple Corporation with regard to the way it handles its ethics and social responsibilities. It also looks at the role of suppliers and their effects on Apple Corporation.
  • Medical Intervention: Ethical, Legal, and Moral Dilemmas The main ethical task of a nurse who knows about the patient’s plans to commit suicide is to prevent the realization of the client’s intentions.
  • Apple Corporation Ethical and Social Responsibility The report aims at finding out whether practicing strong business ethics and good corporate social responsibility has an impact on the operations of Apple.
  • American Nurses Association’s Code of Ethics American Nurses Association’s code of ethics ensures nurses relate professionally with their clients and maintain health facilities to promote the provision of health services.
  • Chevron Company Ethical Analysis Businesses implement codes of ethics to promote honesty, integrity, and organizational success. Chevron is a company with a code of conduct that guarantees success.
  • Underweight Products and Deontological Ethics Business firms have the moral obligation to ensure that they deliver quality goods to their customers. This paper explores the case of non-compliance moral ethics in business.
  • Business Ethical Standards and Processes The ethics program explains some of the applicable standards and procedures that define how employees of Company X should behave and identifies unacceptable elements.
  • Cultural Ethics in Regulatory Risks Management The research has helped me to better understand the importance of cultural ethics in managing regulation risks.
  • “The Padding that Hurt”: Human Resource and Ethics The case scenario “The padding that hurt” does appear to contain a number of ethical issues, which call to be resolved in one way or another.
  • PharmaCARE Company: Workplace Ethical Considerations PharmaCARE is a drug manufacturing company situated in New Jersey, but it has a production plant in Colberia. The company is surrounded by numerous ethical issues.
  • Ethics of Obamacare and Trumpcare This paper discusses conflicts that exist between ethics and healthcare reform that has been brought upon the execution of the affordable care act aka Obamacare/Trumpcare.
  • Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment: Ethical Controversy Tuskegee case set the background for the reconsideration of healthcare ethics, which means that the ethical value of the given case deserves reconsideration.
  • Teleological Ethics Examples in Business This paper discusses three forms of teleological ethics, namely utilitarianism, ethical egoism and virtue ethics, and how they can be applied to business situations.
  • Abortion: Legal, Ethical and Professional Evidence Some members of society strongly recent abortion. In this paper, the researcher will evaluate the ethical arguments for abortion.
  • Ethical and Cultural Issues in Group Work The targeted scenario for this analysis is a group composed of students in a learning institution. The members of the group are from different social, cultural, racial, and religious backgrounds.
  • Microsoft Company’s Marketing Ethics Microsoft is an example of an ethical business because it enhances responsibility, commitment through a network of partners like businesses, nonprofits, and governments.
  • Online Counseling: Ethical and Legal Issues This paper discusses the ethical and legal issues associated with online or technology-assisted counseling and advises how to address the issues of online counseling.
  • Health Care Fraud, Abuse and Ethics The necessity of preventing fraud and abuse is evident. Medical institutions should take responsibility for their actions to ensure the principal mission of health care.
  • Understanding Ethics and How We Approach Ethical Decisions The chapter Understanding Ethics and How We Approach Ethical Decisions of the book Health Care Ethics discusses aspects that influence the making of moral decisions.
  • Ethical Approaches in Career Choice This paper discusses some of the ethical choices that a people should consider when deciding their occupations.
  • Biomedical Ethics Study in the Christian Narrative The case study at hand contains several controversial issues that can be called pressing if regarded in the context of the Christian narrative and Christian vision.
  • The Ethics of Abortion: Women’s Rights The argument about the legitimacy of abortion has been in existence for quite a while. The proponents of prohibiting abortions are nowadays labeled as the pro-life movement.
  • Nestlé Animal Testing and Business Ethics Business organizations should embrace the best ethical practices. The essay gives a detailed analysis of the ethical issues arising from Nestle’s animal testing practices.
  • Ethics and Business in Finland In this paper, the ethical behaviors of business organizations in Finland will be analyzed since they have an influence on the living conditions of the locals.
  • Canada’s Oil Sands as Ethical Oil Sources This paper argues that Canada’s oil sands are more ethical than oil from Nigeria. It considers the political and socio-economic issues of the country.
  • Religion and Ethics in Healthcare Provision Religion is often a major factor in the provision of health care to a patient. All major religions imply cherishing one’s health and making efforts to prevent harming life.
  • The Internet and Ethical Debate on Information Privacy The internet has become a vital tool for obtaining information, trading, learning, politics administration, socialisation, and entertainment in the world.
  • Fair Trade: Ethics in the UK Garment Industry This paper will aim at understanding the code of conduct that is voluntarily disclosed by the UK apparel companies.
  • 1st and 4th Tenets in the Nursing Code of Ethics This paper analyzes two tenets of the Code of Ethics for Nurses to retrieve their purpose, to describe an application to practice, and to provide several examples of their use.
  • Ethics and Issues of Male and Female Circumcision Circumcision is an operation that can be performed on both men and women. Male circumcision is part of the traditions of some ethnic groups, such as Jews and Muslims.
  • Obesity in Afro-Americans: Ethics of Intervention Nowadays, black people in the United States of America face the problem of obesity. Approximately forty percent of Afro-American citizens have significant overweight issues.
  • Ethical Issues in Healthcare Delivery The United States has recorded unprecedented demographic changes within the past three decades. The number of elderly people in the country is on the rise.
  • Executive Compensation Ethical Controversy The boundary between just and excessive compensation is vague, and this paper contains an attempt at demonstrating the roots of the problem as well as its possible solutions.
  • Indian Creek Foundation: Ethics of Change The paper discusses the professional code of ethics necessary for the work on a new strategy through implementing change to the Indian Creek Foundation.
  • Hiring a Hacker: Ethical Issue and Solution This paper set out to address the ethical issues that a manager charged with hiring staff faces when hiring a person with a record for illegal activities.
  • Biomedical Ethics in Christian Narrative The case study demonstrates how religious beliefs, in this case, Christian beliefs have a negative influence on the treatment of a patient.
  • Counseling, Its Ethical Standards and Principles Since counseling is a significant activity in psychology, it should be performed in compliance with the applicable ethical standards and principles.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Ethical, Social, Legal Issues The field of artificial intelligence indeed brings numerous ethical, social, professional and legal issues; but are those so disturbing as some people claim?
  • Integrity as a Concept in the Ethical Dictionary This paper gives an extended definition of integrity. Integrity is a concept that is applied in many codes of ethics and evaluated using different perspectives.
  • Ethical Obligations for International Companies The paper discusses ethical obligations for the United States companies that operate in other countries. It considers a living wage and paying a bribe.
  • Ethical Codes and Competitive Intelligence The paper discusses 6 steps to the adoption of the ethical norms and formulating codes in the organization and the methods of regulation for competitive intelligence.
  • Abortion: Judith Thomson’s Ethical Perspective This work looks into the issue of abortion, a situation will be discussed based on what has been said about abortion with much emphasis on Judith Thomson’s perspective.
  • Counseling Depression: Ethical Aspects This paper explores the ethical aspects required to work with a widower who diminished passion for food, secluding himself in the house, portraying signs of depression.
  • Lee and Li Law Firm’s Ethical Misconduct The present case involves the actions of one of the workers of Lee and Li. Having discovered his malfeasance, the officials creates a strategic plan to solve the problems.
  • Virtue Ethics as an Army Officer’s Moral Code The paper discusses and compares utilitarianism, deontological ethics, virtue ethics in application to the moral decisions of army officers and soldiers.
  • Nursing Ethics in “Invisible Patients” Documentary Invisible Patients is a documentary that describes the work of a nurse practitioner who helps the most vulnerable patients to live and struggle with their illnesses.
  • Health Care Ethics Instructional Design Plan The learning and training sessions on health care ethics are often time-consuming, and the contemporary approach is important to organize the instruction effectively.
  • Law and Ethics in the Nursing Profession This paper aims to explore the conflicts between ethics and the law in nursing and how they influence professional practice.
  • Communication and Social Media Ethics in United Arab Emirates The delivery of strategic information to the public through social media in United Arab Emirates must be evaluated for relevance and abuse.
  • Economic Rationality and Ethical Behaviour This paper analysis the idea that businesses promote the common good through the pursuit of their economic interests. Profits are ethical according to the perspectives of corporate institutions.
  • Informatics Ethical Principles: Nursing Organizations This paper seeks to carry out an assessment of the various ethical principles applicable to nursing and non-nursing organizations before identifying the advantages and disadvantages in each case.
  • Worksite Health Promotions and Ethical Issues In nursing, ethics is one of the most important aspects of practice. This paper examines an article that focused on worksite health promotions and ethical considerations.
  • Chile’s Copper Mining Industry and Business Ethics This paper discusses the ethical aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility in Chile’s copper mining industry as these companies can profit if they respect the environment.
  • Fetal Abnormality and Ethical Dilemms of Abortion In the case study “Fetal Abnormality,” four characters face the same problem: an abnormal condition of a fetus and the necessity to decide if to save a child or consider abortion.
  • Enron’s Corporate Culture and Ethics Failure Enron’s corporate culture had little regulators and system monitors to balance the goals of the company and expected behavior when handling business environment risks.
  • Health Promotion and Autonomy-Based Ethical Concerns Health promotion initiatives are associated with ethical concerns that affect their implementation and effectiveness.
  • Gay Marriage and Ethical Theories Despite being supported by some ethical theories, gay marriages are not good for the marriage institution and should not be supported.
  • Data Integrity: Legal and Ethical Implications Data encompass structured ideas and facts that can be used to generate important information capable of being communicated and interpreted in a series of processes.
  • Ethical and Legal Considerations in Modern Nursing Every hospital case is different, yet nurses should always put patients’ wellbeing at the top of their priorities. Dealing with mentally unfit patients may be ethically challenging.
  • Nursing Legal and Ethical Principles There are many principles according to which nurses and patients can develop their relations. Each principle is a unique combination of ethical and legal aspects.
  • Medical Ethics in the Christian Narrative The case study presents a medical dilemma. Joanne and Mike encounter a unique problem arising from their son’s health condition. James has been diagnosed with acute glomerulonephritis.
  • Making Moral and Ethical Decisions in Nursing The profession of a nurse is associated with several obligations since a nurse is responsible for the lives of the patients.
  • Reproductive Technology in Ethical Debates Advocates and opponents of surrogacy appealed to cultural and social tradition, law, psychophysiology, religious belief, without coming close to a definitive conclusion.
  • Communication and Media Ethics This paper will establish an argument to narrate whether the contents shared through social media expose the public to improper contents or misinformation.
  • Autism Ethics: Accept or Cure? The paper considers the debate on whether autistic people should be accepted by the community as a diversity of the society or a cure should be found out and developed.
  • Ethical, Legal, Multicultural Challenges in Crisis A crisis that is not properly managed draws negative ideas or perceptions from different stakeholders such as community members, government officials, employees, suppliers.
  • Sections 2.3a, 3.9a-b in Engineering Ethical Code Engineering ethical principles are guidelines that define expected rules of engagement for professionals in the dynamic engineering field.
  • Medical Treatment in Religious Beliefs and Ethics This essay analyzes a clinical situation that involved an ethical dilemma, in particular, the patient’s refusal to proceed with medical treatment due to his religious beliefs.
  • Kant’s and Mill’s Ethical Philosophies Human beings have always been troubled by various ethical and moral issues. These issues are associated with the major principles that define what is wrong or right.
  • Debate on Circumcision: Is It Unethical and Unlawful? Studies have established that circumcision is more than a medical issue because they are both ethical and human issues that influence its application.
  • Ethical Issues and Strategies in Nursing Practice The paper reviews a study by Park that identifies the most common ethical issues in nursing practice and the respective strategies used to resolve them effectively.
  • Childhood Obesity Research and Ethical Concerns Since the present study is focused on the exploration of a problem that affects children, it is logical that the sample is comprised mainly of children and their parents.
  • Early Feature Films and Ethical Considerations The essay discusses the early feature films that brought social considerations regarding ethics as they were devoted to gangsters, crime, and imprisonment horrors.
  • Negotiating Ethical Conflicts in Nursing Negotiating ethical conflicts is part of a nurse’s everyday duties. However, this does not mean that all nurses can make effective ethical decisions.
  • Chernobyl Disaster and Engineering Ethics The disaster of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant was the largest nuclear power accident in world history. This paper examines ethical Issues in its engineering.
  • Nurse Educator’s Legal and Ethical Implications This paper will examine the due process for students and new nurses concerning any practice deemed unsafe in the clinical setting.
  • Circumcision: Ethical and Human Issues Some researchers suggest that circumcision provides medical benefits for both genders while others consider that it is ethically unacceptable and should be forbidden.
  • Animal Research in Medical Studies and Ethics The necessity of animal research in medical studies is among the most controversial topics discussed by healthcare specialists and those specializing in medical ethics.
  • Gift Marketing and Ethics in Healthcare Over the years, ethical standards of healthcare marketing changed for worse because of the increased demand for healthcare services as well as companies’ goal to earn more.
  • Health Promotion and Ethical Considerations Sometimes a nurse might wish to manipulate a patient’s fears to achieve the goal. However, it is not appropriate to use manipulation, even for the benefit of a patient.
  • Nursing Code of Ethics, Human Dignity and Commitment Code of Ethics for Nurses describes suitable nurses` behavior and cultivate a specific ethical climate beneficial for the enhanced connection between a health worker and a patient.
  • Employee Conflicts Resolution and Ethical Dilemmas Any workplace is an environment in which many people have to interact with each other; as a result, there is a possibility of conflicts between employees.
  • Healing by Faith Ethics and Organ Transplantation This paper examines the issue if the healing by faith over proven medical methods is ethical with regards to the eight-year-old boy in need of an organ transplant.
  • Debate on Abortion: Ethics and Principals This paper relooks at the debate surrounding the topic of abortion to the extent that when views on either side are considered, then whose right should be used to make a ruling.
  • US Healthcare Sector: ObamaCare and Ethical Problems ObamaCare includes the programs according to which a practice of bundled payments is introduced. It means that hospitals receive a certain sum for treating a certain disease.
  • Ethical and Legal Issues of the Physician Physicians have to focus on the ethical guidelines and legal requirements before making a decision in response to the patient’s non-compliant nature.
  • Ethical Business: Essential or Optional? Companies by inheritance are interested in doing business in accordance with ethical principles, which is the main condition for their competitiveness.
  • Ethical Regulations in the Workplace It is necessary for the companies to conform to ethical regulations if they want to sustain respectable relations with their customers and within an organization.
  • Ethical Eating in Daily Food Practices “Good food, good people” by Johnston et al. explains how consumers from diverse class environments understand ethical eating and reinforce these ideas into routine food practices.
  • Theories of Ethics: Consequentialism and Ethical Relativism The ethical relativism and consequentialism schools of thought highlight the basis upon which decisions can be made when face with ethical dilemmas that require moral solutions.
  • Indian Tea Plantation’s Business Ethics This paper is aimed at examining the investigation provided by BBC that revealed shocking working and living conditions of tea plantation workers in Assam, India.
  • McDonald’s Company: Business Ethics Case McDonald’s provides exhaustive information about the amount of nutrients in every product. The company washes its hands of any accusations in failing to perform its obligations to customers.
  • The Ethics of Moving Jobs Overseas Research has established that the concept of moving jobs overseas has created a huge ethical dilemma between its proponents and opponents.
  • Society’s View About Ethics Ethics and morality are notions that have been studied widely to influence human behaviours and relationships.
  • Role of Ethics in Healthcare Leadership Healthcare administrators use the principle of nonmaleficence to resolve challenges associated with service delivery.
  • Global Ethics and Ethical Compliances Promotion People who face moral issues try to limit the attention paid to them to avoid their development, which is not right. Ethics is critical at every instance in various contexts.
  • Commercial Ethics, Its History and Modern Problems In his book “Ethics at work: Creating virtue at an American corporation”, Terris deliberates the history of commercial ethics in the United States since the late 1800s.
  • Honda Company’s Defective Airbags and Ethical Issues In 2015, Honda Company was fined for failing to respond to safety issues that affected its cars, which were fitted with defective airbags.
  • Cloning Research Ethics: Ethical Dispute and Issues Cloning research is one of the most discussed issues in the health care system development. While admitting its benefits, the specialists scrutinize its legal and ethical aspects.
  • Cicero’s Views on Citizenship and Ethics Cicero argued that political action is the only way of putting virtue to use. However, if politics was devoid of virtue, people could not engage in analysis of the world.
  • Case of the Killer Robot: Ethical and Legal Issues
  • History of the Affordable Care Act and Ethics
  • SJ&D Incorporated: Code of Ethics and Training
  • Scientology Religious Beliefs, Rituals, Ethics
  • Nursing: Qualitative Research and Ethical Considerations
  • The Affordable Care Act: Healthcare and Ethics
  • Journalistic Ethics: The Guardian and Edward Snowden’s Case
  • The Choctaw Three: Criminal Ethics Case
  • Virtue Ethics in Stanford and Milgram’s Experiments
  • Doctors’ Ethics of ‘Cherry-Picking’ Patients
  • Ethical-Legal Controversy in Decision-Making
  • Ethics in Information and Communications Technology
  • Circumcision’s Ethical and Medical Implications
  • Bidco Oil Refinery Ltd.’s Performance and Ethics
  • Disaster Triage and Nursing Utilitarian Ethics
  • Instructional Plan of Healthcare Ethics
  • Deontology and Ethical Relativism in “The Founder” Film
  • Soren Kierkegaard Views on Ethics, Morals and Religion
  • Behavioral and Ethical Concepts
  • Racial Profiling: Trust, Ethics, Police Legitimacy
  • Ethics as Learned and Not Natural Behavior
  • Revenge and Its Historical and Ethical Consequences
  • Ethical Issues in Professional Nursing Practice
  • Body Modifications: Reasons, Consequences, Ethical Issues
  • Biomedical Ethics in the Christian Narrative
  • Business Ethics in “Merchants of Cool” Documentary
  • Machinery Accident from an Ethical Standpoint
  • Conjugal Visits and Castration Punishment Ethics
  • Social Work Values and Ethics
  • BP Oil Company’s Ethical Leadership
  • Engineering Ethics, Patent and Legal Issues
  • Nurse Robaczynski’s Ethics of Treatment Withdrawal
  • Biomedical Ethics: Saving Life vs. Christian Narrative
  • Healthcare Ethics: Ethinomics and the Commonwealth Fund
  • Assisted Suicide in Utilitarian Ethics
  • Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal and Ethical Theories
  • Apple Inc.’s Corporate Strategy and Global Ethics
  • The Issue of Abortion: Ethics Challenges
  • Quantitative Research Critique and Ethical Considerations
  • Affordable Care Act and Related Ethical Conflicts
  • Healthcare Reform and Ethics: Obamacare Act
  • Ethical Standards in Wal-Mart Company’s Auditing
  • Behavioral Health Data and Ethical Considerations
  • New Technologies in Nursing and Ethical Issues
  • Ethical and Legal Issues in Nursing
  • New Leadership Theories: Servant, Spiritual, Authentic and Ethical Leaderships
  • Nursing Ethics in Patient Advocacy
  • Ethics, Policy, and Finance in Healthcare
  • Nursing Shared Governance and Ethics
  • Building an Ethics-Based Workplace Culture
  • Religious Ethics and Health Legislation in Nursing
  • US Soldier’s Ethics and Deontology
  • Ethics in Winkler County Nurse Whistleblower Case
  • Social Responsibility Attitude and Business Ethics
  • Company’s Utilitarian Ethics and Utility Test Steps
  • The Space Shuttle Challenger Engineering Ethics
  • Civil and Ethical Work Environments for Nurses
  • Pressure Ulcers and Ethics in Nursing Practice
  • Ethics of Abortion and Over-the-Counter Drugs
  • The Science and Ethics of Nuclear Transplantation
  • The Ethical Dilemma With the Transplant
  • Maintaining Ethical Standards in Fashion
  • Ethics and the Affordable Care Act’s Conflicts
  • Ethical Decision-Making Process
  • Ethics of Organisational Whistleblowing
  • Value Judgment Ethics and Access to Information
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  • Genetic and Genomic Healthcare: Nurses Ethical Issues
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  • Mattel Inc.’s Code of Conduct and Virtue Ethics
  • Trinity Hospital’s Ethical Standards in Informatics
  • Withdrawing Life-Sustaining Treatment and Its Ethics
  • Final Scene in “Gone Baby Gone” and Kantian Ethics
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  • Ethical Decision-Making Framework, Steps for Making Ethical Decisions and Implementation Phase
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  • Philosophical Framework Based on Kantian Ethics
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  • Accounting, Social Media, Workplace Ethical Issues
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  • Friendly Digits Company’s Ethical and Legal Complication
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  • Group Problem-Solving Techniques and Ethical Law
  • Ethics in Reporting: Globalization and Media
  • Ethical Issues in Information Technology
  • Comparison of Three Codes of Ethics
  • MG Rover Group’s Car Production and Business Ethics
  • Manager’s Changing Environment and Ethical Duties
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  • Ethics and Supportive Systems in Organizations
  • Corporate Social Responsibility and Work Ethics
  • Walmart Company’s Ethical Issues
  • Professionalism and Ethics in a Team
  • Professional Ethics and Legal Responsibility
  • Ethical Issues: Edward and Susan’s Case
  • Business Ethics and Corporate Responsibilities
  • Business Ethics Role in the Organization
  • Management Challenges: Managerial Ethics and Unethical Tactics
  • Chemical Pollution and Loans in Business Ethics
  • Business World Image in the Film “Michael Clayton”
  • Handling Ethical Issues in Data Analysis
  • Happy Life: Critical Thinking and Ethics
  • Ethical Standards for Human Service Professionals
  • A Breakup Problems: Psychological Support and Ethical Principles
  • Edward Snowden and the Ethics of Whistleblowing
  • Standards of the Ethical Code: Children and Poverty
  • Corporate Governance and Business Ethics
  • How Personal Can Ethics Get?
  • Ethical Trade in the UK Garment Industry
  • Professionalism and Ethics in Technologies
  • Ethical Behavior: Human Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Professionalism and Ethics in Environment
  • Social Work Profession: Principles and Ethics
  • Philosophy and Business Ethics Role
  • Ethics for Policy Planners and Analysts
  • Social Worker’s Ethical Dilemma of Confidentiality
  • Ethical Conduct in Psychology Research
  • Ethical Leadership and Philosophy in Practice
  • Are Autonomous Weapons an Ethical Technology?
  • Ethics Scenarios in the Healthcare Workplace
  • Ethics of Computer Technology in the London Riots
  • Ethical Concerns of Advertising
  • Engineering Ethics and Professionalism
  • Ethical Leadership Model in Organizations
  • Issues of Biomedical Ethics in the Christian Narrative and Christian Vision
  • Ethical Issues: Privacy, Confidentiality and Human Protection
  • The Worker’s Behavior: Ethics and Privacy
  • Large Profit Margins and Utilitarian Business Ethics
  • Ethically Questionable Incident at Workplace
  • Artificial Intelligence and Ethical Implications
  • Cash Door Prize and Ethics of Its Receiving
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  • Death Penalty and Utilitarian Ethics
  • Animal Research and Ethical Treatment
  • Childhood Obesity and Parent Education: Ethical Issues
  • Ethics in Project Management
  • New Orleans Police Department’s Ethics and Leadership
  • Ethical and Legal Issues in Education
  • Virtue Ethics: Altering Testimony on Global Warming
  • The Ethical Policies of TechFite
  • Professional Ethics and Consequentialism
  • Social Media Manipulation from an Ethical Side
  • “The Ethics of Belief” by William Clifford
  • Information Technology, Its Impacts on the Family, and the Ethical Issues of Using Social Media
  • Ethics: Tellico Dam Construction vs. Snail Darter Fish
  • Critical Thinking and Ethics Today
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  • Helping Others: Examining an Ethical Dilemma
  • The Concept of Research Integrity and Research Ethics
  • Role of Ethics Within Leadership
  • Ethics in Human Services: Counseling Agency
  • Informed Consent and Code of Ethics in Counseling
  • Ethics in Business: Child Labor in Chocolate Industry
  • Election Ethics: Voting vs. Maintaining Neutrality
  • Ethics: Formerly Incarcerated Substance Addicts
  • “My Sister’s Keeper” Ethics Essay
  • Federal Express Corporation’s Ethical Perspective
  • Corporate Social Responsibility & Business Ethics
  • Is Google Evil According to Catholic Social Teachings and Ethics?
  • Ethics and Social Responsibility in Organizations
  • Prevention of Ethical Implications
  • American Red Cross: Organizational Culture Ethics
  • Staffing and Code of Ethics in Nursing
  • Nursing: Formation & Everyday Ethical Comportment
  • Persuasive Arguments to Maintain Ethical Standards
  • Ethical Communication and Its Principles
  • Pressure Injury Point Prevalence: Research Ethics
  • American Nurses Association Code of Ethics
  • Mill’s and Kant’s Moral and Ethical Concepts for Rescue Efforts
  • Ethical Challenges in Advanced Heart Failure
  • Ethics in Nursing: Addressing Hypothetical Dilemmas
  • The Pressure Ulcers Clinical Problem: Ethical Considerations
  • Ethics in Healthcare: Addressing a Complex Dilemma
  • Ethical Principles in a Psychiatric Facility
  • Childhood Vaccination: Ethical Case Study
  • Death & Dying Ethics in Christianity and Buddhism
  • Death & Dying Ethics in Hinduism and Christianity
  • Death & Dying Ethics in Buddhism and Christianity
  • Euthanasia for Terminally Ill and Religious Ethics
  • Empirical and Normative Theories in Business Ethics
  • Ethical Issues in Oncology Nurses’ Practice
  • Healing and Autonomy: Four Medical Ethics Principles
  • Ethics in Evidence-Based Practice
  • Ethical, Legal, and Regulatory Considerations in Health Care: Shared Decision-Making
  • Deontological and Consequential Ethical Conflict
  • The Coca-Cola Company’s Ethical Communication Plan
  • Nonconsequential Theory of Ethics: Case Analysis
  • Ethical Theories and Principles
  • Social, Legal, And Ethical Issues in the Modern Database Era
  • Abnormal Fetus, Its Moral Status and Abortion Ethics
  • Medical and Christian Ethics: Ill Child and Parents
  • Biomedical Ethics in the Christian Context
  • Culturally Competent Nursing and Medical Ethics
  • Virtue Ethics in the Wrong-Operation Doctor Case
  • Virtue Ethics: Surgeon’s Ministry in Practice
  • Medical and Christian Ethics in Pediatric Settings
  • Biomedical Ethics and Christian Health Beliefs
  • Aversive Punitive-Based Intervention Strategy: Ethical Scenario
  • Aristotle’s Teleological Understanding of Ethics as Virtue in Modern Society
  • Ethical Leadership in Business Engagement
  • Philosophy. Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics
  • Ethics and Morality as Philosophical Concepts: Definitions According to Aristotle, Dante, and Kant
  • Addressing Ethical Conflict in Healthcare
  • Discussion of Ethical Considerations
  • Pastan’s “Ethics” and Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz” Poems
  • Profit Maximization Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Applied Ethics: Moral Standards of Alcoholic Parents
  • Afro Ethic Studies. Racialism and Its Implications
  • Making Ethical Choices: Mill vs. Bentham
  • Code of Ethics Necessarity Within the Industry or Field
  • Kant’s Deontological Ethics in a Real-Life Example
  • “Virtue Ethics and Confucianism”: Article Analysis
  • Ethics, Value and Decision Making
  • Social Work Ethics: Issues and Critical Debates
  • Health Services Administration: Legal and Ethical Issues
  • Pressure Ulcers Elimination: Ethical Issues
  • Ethics vs. Healthcare Reform from Nursing Perspective
  • Healthcare Reform and Ethics in Nursing Viewpoint
  • Ethical Theories & Applications in Public Schools
  • Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Healthcare Services
  • Ethical Values & Decision-Making in Nursing
  • Ethical Principles and Practices
  • Pre-Natal Sex Determination and Ethical Issues
  • Criminal Justice Ethics: Police Corruption & Drug Sales
  • Kant’s and Aristotle’s Ethical Philosophy
  • Moral Character in “Principles of Biomedical Ethics“ by Beauchamp and Childress
  • Ethics and Audit Risks of Auditing Fraudulent Financial Statements
  • Aristotle’s Ethical Theory and Its Influences
  • Advertising Ethics: Truth in Commercials
  • Accounting Ethics. IMA Standards and Support
  • Ethics in Target Marketing
  • Dynamics of Ethics, Ethical Principles and the Technology of Ethics
  • Importance of Corporate Responsibility and Ethics
  • The Accounting Profession and Ethics: Analysis
  • Plato’s and Aristotle’s Ideas of Ethics
  • Ethical Decisions in Business: Affirmative Action
  • Criminal Justice Ethics Analysis
  • American Institute of Architects’ Code of Ethics
  • Mrs. Lowell: Legal and Ethical Environment of Business
  • Business Ethics in Real Estate
  • “Hiding Humanity: Verbal and Visual Ethics in Accident Reports” by Sam Dragga and Dan Voss
  • Professionalism to Me: Legal and Ethical Considerations
  • Public Accountability and Ethical Conduct
  • Effective Leadership and Ethical Approach
  • Ethics in Society. Abortion Debates: Different Sides
  • Ethics and Environmental Situation in China
  • Construction Companies and Ethics
  • “Ethics of Emergencies” by Ayn Rand
  • Ethics in Sports Medicine
  • The Significance of the Ethical Pillars of Jainism
  • Environmental Ethical Issues: History, Current Events, and Significance
  • Martha Stewart: Problem of Corporate Ethics
  • An Army Officer’s Role: Ethical & Social Prospects
  • Dynamics of Biomedical Ethics and Autonomy
  • Marketing Ethics. Consumer vs. Corporate Responsibility
  • Business Ethics and Employees as Stakeholders
  • Ethical Theory and Public Officials
  • Ethics Management: Key Aspects
  • Personal Values and Ethical Standards
  • Blue Star Inc.: The Legal and Ethical Environment of Business
  • Obscenity and Computer Ethics
  • Gentiva Home Health Company Positive Ethical Behavior
  • Business Ethical Issues Definition
  • U.S. v. Microsoft Corporation: An Ethical Analysis
  • Ethical and Moral Principles in the Literature
  • Ethics Within the Organization
  • Truth in Mathematics, Ethics and Arts
  • The U.S.A v. Jeffery Skilling – An Ethical Analysis
  • Plagiarism: Definition and Plagiarism Ethics
  • Energy Saving Light Bulb Manufactures Ethical Issue
  • Ethics in Business Leadership
  • Martha Stewart: The Ethical and Legal Challenges With Respect to ImClone Shares
  • Ethical Issue in Global and Local Marketing
  • Global Business Ethics: Ethical and Unethical Behaviors in Various Regions of the World
  • Managing Ethics: Methods and Results
  • Commercial Fishing: Environmental Ethics Case Study
  • Ethical Issues in Social Research
  • Grimshaw vs. Ford Motor Company: Ethical Analysis
  • Environmental Issues and Ethics: The Questions
  • Nike’s Example of Business Ethics
  • Wartime Ethical Decisions Are Justifiable
  • Young People’s View on Physical Activity: Research Ethics
  • Lee Valley’s Advertising Technique Analysis in Terms of Business Ethics
  • Ethical Issues in Business: Professional Code of Ethics
  • Ethics Awareness Inventory Analysis
  • The Importance of Ethical Basis in Business Functioning
  • Questions on Environmental Ethics Concerns
  • Ethics In The Business Globalization
  • Ethics and Diversity in the Workplace and Management
  • The Caux Round Table Principles of Ethics
  • Ethics in Marketing: Price Dynamics
  • The Ethics of Global Conflict: Violence vs. Morality
  • Sale of Human Organs in the U.S: Ethical and Legal Dilemmas
  • To What Extent Is Truth Different in Mathematics, the Arts and Ethics
  • Ethics on Environment: Practical and Theoretical Constructs
  • How Can We Do ESL Better? Pedagogical and Ethical Issues
  • Barriers to Ethical Managerial Decision-Making
  • Ethics Game Simulation in Business
  • Moral Theories: Utilitarianism, Duty-Based Ethics and Virtue-Based Ethics
  • Hazza Organization’s Ethical Climate
  • Ethics: Types and What Is It For
  • Aristotle’s Discussion in Nichomanchean Ethics
  • Ethical Issues of American Democracy
  • The Ethical Issues of Western Bank and Trust and Bobby’s Bagels Managers
  • Cloning Moral and Ethical Issues
  • Business Ethics of Concealing Facts in Report
  • Moral Reasoning – Virtue Ethics
  • Ethics: Experiments on Animals
  • Animal Welfare Ethics: Hunting & Poaching
  • Pro-Abortion Ethics Case and Argument
  • Ethical & Organizational Climate at My Workplace
  • Jonathan Edwards and His Ethical Reasoning
  • Child Rearing and the Ethical Constraints
  • Business Ethics That Are Used in Business Society
  • Legal and Ethical Implications of the Debate
  • Ethical Leadership in the Organizations
  • Business Ethics of Choosing a Program Proposal
  • Business, Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability
  • Ethical and Legal Issues During Catastrophes or Disasters
  • Feminist Ethics: History and Concepts
  • Ethical Treatment of Employees at BP’s Texas City Refinery
  • American Psychological Association Code of Ethics
  • Business Ethics in Illegal Immigrant Employment
  • Ethical Practices in Wal-Mart
  • The Code of Ethics: Standards & Values Within the Organization
  • Autonomy and Adequate Theory of Medical Ethics
  • Business Communication: Values and Ethics
  • Ethical Behavior in the Workplace
  • Euthanasia: Ethical Theories About the Topic
  • Business Ethics: Whistleblowing and Employee Loyalty
  • Confucian Ethics and Authority in Chinese History
  • Personal and Organizational Ethics
  • Ethical Theories for Decision-Making
  • Goal and Purpose in “Can Science Be Ethical?” by Dyson
  • Evaluating Ethics of the Subprime Mortgage Brokers
  • Functional Role of HR as it Relates to Ethics
  • Business Code Evaluation of Ethics by Shell Company
  • Ethics in Advertising: The Importance and Benefits
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  • Can Having Nuclear Weapons Be Ethical in a Global Community?
  • How Does Artificial Intelligence Relate to Ethics?
  • What Is Aristotle’s Concept of Ethics?
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  • Why Is Business Ethics Important in Decision Making?
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  • How Will You Apply Ethics in Your Daily Life?
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  • Does Artificial Human Cloning Challenge Ethical Boundaries?
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These essay examples and topics on Ethics were carefully selected by the StudyCorgi editorial team. They meet our highest standards in terms of grammar, punctuation, style, and fact accuracy. Please ensure you properly reference the materials if you’re using them to write your assignment.

The essay topic collection was published on September 9, 2021 . Last updated on November 8, 2023 .


Ethics Topics for Research Papers: 140+ Ideas

ethics topics

Derived from the Greek word “ethos,” meaning “way of living,” ethics is a branch of philosophy that involves well-founded standards of right and wrong, as well as just and unjust behaviors. By defining concepts such as right, wrong, vice, justice, and crime, ethics examines an individual’s behavior in society.

When writing an ethics research paper, the first step is to come up with an appropriate ethics topic. Framing a research project on ethics requires understanding essential principles like honesty, morals, and integrity, and demonstrating the findings needed to support your hypothesis. This fundamental research can be challenging for many students, particularly those who have chosen complex research topics. Therefore, the first step is brainstorming excellent ethical topics to transform this challenging process into a smooth journey.

With this in mind, we are here to help ease this burden. This blog post compiles over 140+ captivating ethics topics across various disciplines. Each of these topics will assist you in writing a persuasive research paper that will captivate your readers and impress your professors.

Table of Contents

Ethics Comes in a Variety of Forms

Over the centuries, different philosophers have proposed numerous ethical theories. Before diving into the ethical topics that we have categorized, it is crucial to understand the various types of ethics. Ethics can be broadly classified into four branches, as follows:

Descriptive ethics: This branch of ethics deals with the theory that explains the moral norms, attitudes, and practices that societies believe to be right or wrong. It examines how people actually behave and the moral standards they claim to follow.

Normative or prescriptive ethics: The study of “norms” or “principles” that determine what is morally right or wrong and accordingly holds individuals accountable. In simpler terms, this is the study of “ethical actions.” Deontological ethics, virtue ethics, consequentialism, and Nishkam Karmayoga are some examples of normative theories.

Meta-ethics: Meta-ethics studies the nature of ethics as a whole. This branch of ethics analyzes the foundations of our ethical principles and why we use them daily. It involves the investigation of the meaning and justification of moral claims, as well as the nature of moral values and properties.

Applied ethics: This is the most practical branch of ethics. Applied ethics involves the general principles that we apply in our daily lives. This branch deals with the philosophical examination, from a moral standpoint, of specific issues in various fields, such as medicine, business, and the environment.

Selecting the Right Research Topic in Ethics

To create an engaging research paper, the initial step is to select a high-quality research topic that will make your research stand out from the crowd. To score excellent grades, you must develop captivating ethics topics of your choice. Here are a few tips that will help you choose the best option among all the ethics paper topics:

  • When framing an ethical research paper, consider choosing a research topic with enough supporting facts, evidence, and details. Avoid any false or fabricated data, as it can ruin the credibility of your paper.
  • Select topics involving complex on-going issues or moral quandaries, as they would pique the interest of your professors. Look for topics that are occasionally covered by the media.
  • Try to write your research concisely, making it interesting, informative, and relevant. Overly long research is a major turnoff for readers.
  • Search for unsolved research paradigms that will allow you to include your opinions and arguments.
  • Engage in critical thinking on the best topics. Narrow down some of the best topics that spark your and your readers’ interests and will expand their knowledge.

Identifying the perfect topic that suits all your requirements can be challenging. You can use the tips mentioned above to identify the best topics that meet your needs. However, depending on individual students, this process can still be time-consuming. Instead of brainstorming for hours, delving into research, and writing lengthy research papers , you can seek professional assistance from our research paper writers.

140+ Ethics Topics for Research Papers

Crafting a research paper on ethics can be more challenging than it initially appears. This is because, while most people understand basic ethical values, their interpretations can vary significantly. Ethics is not just about black and white; it delves much deeper into the shades of grey. In this article, our experts from Edumagnate.com have provided you with an extensive list of ethics topics to help jumpstart your research paper. For a better understanding, we recommend reading through each list thoroughly.

Compelling Topics on Ethical Issues

Ethical dilemmas arise when individuals must evaluate whether their actions are morally right. Topics related to such dilemmas often explore complex questions, requiring one to defend their position convincingly. These ethical issues span various fields, including religion, psychology, and sociology. Consequently, incorporating perspectives from these disciplines can help create a unique and insightful research paper.

  • Ethical Codes for Sports Refereeing
  • Ethical issues in animal research
  • The ethical issues with euthanasia
  • Ethical Issues in Sports Administration
  • Legal Ethics in National and international businesses
  • Organizational Ethics and Individual Responsibility
  • Understanding sports ethics as a significant tool for accessing moral behavior in sports
  • The Ethical Challenges and Controversies of Healthcare Reform
  • The Challenge of Terri Schiavo from an ethical perspective
  • The Ethical Issues of Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Ethical Issues with Abortion
  • Sports ethics: use of drugs in sports competition
  • Healthcare systems and associated healthcare ethics
  • Ethical and cultural issues with group work
  • Political and socioeconomic issues amongst different nations
  • Religion and Ethics in healthcare provisions
  • Ethical Issues and Concerns of a professional sports person
  • The ethical side of Motorsports
  • The foundation of computer ethics

Since ethics is a branch of philosophy, students can also consider choosing philosophy research topics.

Social Media Business Ethics Topics

To make things easier, our experts have enumerated a list of the most interesting social media business ethics topics for you. These topics are thoroughly reviewed in depth to ensure optimum results for students. Check them out!

  • An Introduction to social media ethics
  • Is the notion of “controversial fit” on social media ethical?
  • Enhancing business performance on social media without eroding business ethics
  • The ethical judgment of consumers and controversial advertising avoidance on social media
  • Managing ethical responses on social media: effective guidance for business entrepreneurs
  • The ethical environment in online communities: information credibility from a social media standpoint
  • Employing big data in business organizations and business ethics
  • Social media business ethics: a view from the trenches
  • Corporate Firing for sharing questionable social media posts: a detailed analysis
  • What is the role of social media ethics in achieving responsible business?
  • The Influence of social media ethics on Enhancing the effective online presence of Businesses
  • The Influence of social media ethics in the ongoing industries
  • Social media ethics and Etiquette
  • The Impact of social media ethics on Businesses
  • The Ethical Issues of Colonizing Mars
  • Social media ethics and journalism: a detailed analysis
  • The ethical implications of social media: issues and recommendations for entrepreneurs

The Best Bio-Medical Ethics Topics

If you’re interested in bio-medical, then consider choosing a research topic from the following list of suggestions:

  • A detailed analysis of the relationship between medical ethics and religious beliefs
  • Medical Ethics in Asia versus Europe
  • Medical ethics: a detailed analysis
  • Ethical Issues in stem cell research and Therapy
  • The ethical issues and legal considerations with euthanasia
  • Ethical behavioral issues and Problems in Medicine
  • A detailed analysis for monitoring the application of idol ethics in medical fields
  • The ethical challenges and Considerations for practicing medicine overseas
  • Ethical Considerations for the Inclusion of pregnant women as research participants
  • How do medical ethics confront religious beliefs?
  • Bio-ethics versus medical ethics: a comparative analysis
  • Contemporary medical ethics: a research analysis of Iran
  • Ethical issues, including bioethics (conduct a case study)
  • Principles of bio-medical ethics
  • Human testing of drugs: is it ethical?
  • Debunking the Ethics of Neuroenhancement
  • The imperativeness of medical ethics
  • The perception of biomedical ethics
  • The Ethics of Development: an integral Approach

Read Also – Interesting biology research topics

Bioethics Research Paper Topics

Bioethics talks about topics related to health, life, genetics, neurology, and even plastic surgery. Research paper topics in bioethics are brilliant topics to write about. The following list is a compilation of 20 bioethics research paper topics that you can consider:

  • Ethical conflicts over disclosure and barring services
  • Bioethics: Why is philosophy essential for progress?
  • Contemporary Issues in Bioethics
  • A critical understanding of the ethical responsibilities associated with CRISPR
  • Bioethics and stem cell research
  • 5 strange and sinister medical procedures from History
  • Bioethics and political ideology: The case of active voluntary euthanasia
  • Availability of vaccines for everyone: an overview
  • The ethics of brain-boosting
  • Euthanasia: An Overview and the Jewish Perspective
  • The legal and ethical considerations of dealing with a brain-dead person
  • A descriptive analysis of Bioethics in Society
  • Ethics and genetic engineering—lessons to learn
  • Islam and bioethics: Beyond abortion and euthanasia
  • Exploring the ethical principles and Practice of plastic surgery
  • Pediatric neuroenhancement: ethical, legal, social, and neurodevelopmental implications
  • Bioethics, disability, and death: Uncovering cultural bias in the euthanasia debate
  • Secular Bioethics and Euthanasia in a democratic public space

Read Also – 200+ Science Research Topics

Medical Ethics Topics to Score Excellent Grades

The list of medical ethics topics below can assist you with some of these amazing medical ethics topics. For a better understanding, consider reading each topic among these recommendations:

  • Is physician-assisted suicide legal? Is it ethical?
  • The ethical and legal issues with surrogacy
  • The Ethical and Medical Implications of Circumcision
  • The Ethics of Surrogacy
  • The ethics of abortion: Is it ethically right?
  • Ethical and policy issues associated with uterine transplants
  • Ethical considerations associated with living donations: an overview
  • The Ethics of Condemned Prisoner Organ Donation
  • Ethical theories and laws associated with medical ethics
  • The Ethics of employing human embryos in genetic engineering research
  • Medical ethics dilemma: an overview
  • The ethical perspectives of the Nightingale pledge
  • The ethics of animal research
  • Current ethical issues and Challenges in Healthcare
  • Religion, beliefs, and medical ethics: an overview
  • Bioethics, human rights, and childbirth
  • Understanding Morality without ethics

Enthralling Computing Ethics Topics

Technological advancements have revolutionized all facets of human existence. Computer ethics encompass a collection of fundamental principles aimed at addressing concerns associated with the improper use of computers and outlining preventive measures. The list provided below features some of the most compelling ethical research topics in the realm of computer ethics.

  • Should ethics boards be required for IT companies?
  • Discussing the risks associated with keeping sensitive data online.
  • Is hacking a moral act?
  • Examine the ethical issues raised by artificial intelligence.
  • Exploring computer privacy-related problems and their solutions
  • The moral dilemmas associated with drone use
  • Evaluating the moral implications of internet users’ Anonymity
  • Ethical prevention of cyberbullying: What can be done for a permanent termination?
  • Sabotaging others’ computers: how is this ethically wrong?
  • Mapping the foundationalist debate in computer ethics
  • A method in computer ethics: Towards a multi-level interdisciplinary approach
  • Computer ethics: the significance of personal, formal, and informal codes
  • Gender and computer ethics
  • Reasons, relativity, and Responsibility in computer ethics
  • The Ethics of Computing: A Survey of the computing-oriented Literature
  • Computer Ethics and moral methodology
  • The ethics of online Anonymity or Zuckerberg vs.” Moot.”
  • Propose an educational plan for computer ethics and information security

Research Paper Topics in Sports Ethics

Sports ethics extend beyond mere behavior and thought processes, as they are fundamentally rooted in respect, fairness, integrity, and responsibility within the sports arena. Athletes often face dilemmas regarding what actions to take or avoid due to the ethical considerations in sports. Although this subject can be complex, a deep understanding allows for exceptional research on sports ethics. Here are some example topics:

  • Sports Ethics: An Anthology
  • Ethics in sports
  • Performance-enhancing drugs in sport: The ethical issue
  • The key components of sports ethics
  • The primary moral obligations of athletes
  • The imperativeness of ethics in sports
  • A detailed analysis of the ethical responsibilities of a sportsperson
  • Are professional sporting activities moral in today’s society?
  • The Paralympic Games and the Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Athletes’ healthcare and ethical Concerns
  • Impact of ethical behavior outside the Pitch
  • The moral dimensions of Motorsports
  • Child exploitation to become elite athletes
  • Moral and ethical responsibilities of a sportsperson
  • How do people enter the world of professional sports, and what ethical issues do they face?
  • Alienation of sports from real life
  • How sports and games serve as the primary outlet for human ethics
  • Sports ethics and medicine
  • The unique ethics of sports medicine

Top-Notch Business Ethics Topics

Your ethics paper topic on business must be engaging and provide a practical solution to the ongoing economic challenges. Here is a compilation of some of the best business ethical topics for research papers. Each topic on this list will allow you to draft an excellent research paper and earn brilliant grades. Read on.

  • Roots of business ethics in Psychology
  • A Model of business ethics
  • A detailed study of the ethical philosophy behind Bitcoin
  • The unique connection between business success and personal integrity
  • Moral Leadership and Unethical Pro-Organizational Behavior
  • How closely can managers monitor their employees’ behavior?
  • Business ethics and social responsibility education: shifting the worldview
  • Ethical behaviors and economic rationality: an overview
  • Business ethics and social responsibilities
  • Who determines whether private or personal information should be collected?
  • The business ethics case of McDonald’s
  • Understanding and preventing ethical failures in leadership
  • Ethical Dilemmas in Conducting Business
  • Moral policing: It’s more business than ideology.
  • Data Security Enhancement and Business Ethics
  • Perceptions of business ethics: Students vs. business people
  • American business culture and ethical norms
  • Does business ethics make economic sense?
  • Moral Leadership and business ethics
  • Business Ethics in Islam: the glaring gap in Practice

Read Also – Business Research Topics

Criminal Justice Research Topics in Ethics

We always hear how law enforcement is made to protect the commoner’s rights. Unfortunately, it is not always the case. These law enforcers sometimes end up in morally ambiguous situations. Now and then, we often hear news about how a fellow police officer exploited a commoner. So, if this topic piques your interest, this list might be helpful for you. Below are some interesting topics in criminal justice ethics.

  • The Codes of ethics for criminal justice
  • Integrity in the Criminal Justice System
  • A detailed analysis of the ethics of criminal justice
  • Model affairs and impartial statutory policies.
  • Arguments for and against capital punishment
  • Discussion on the ethical ramifications of the “innocent until proven guilty” principle
  • Examination of the Stanford Prison Experiment’s ethical issues.
  • What moral ramifications do school shooter exercises have?
  • Discuss if Julian Assange’s prosecution is appropriate.
  • Examining the ethical difficulties of privatized prisons
  • Imprisonment of young offenders: Is it ethically right?
  • Ethics in criminal justice: theory and practices
  • Ethical Dilemmas and decisions in criminal justice

Read Also – 150 Advanced Law Research Paper Topics

Environmental Ethics Topics

If you are willing to compare and contrast topics for environmental ethics, you can take ideas from some of the below-given research topics. Read through the entire list, narrow down the best topics, and finally, set your tone to make your point.

  • An Introduction to environmental ethics
  • The bio-ethical standards of Coca-Cola
  • A detailed study of the global warming ethics
  • Assessing the US Government’s environmental ethics
  • Should companies be held accountable for preserving the environment?
  • A deeper look at the EU Administration’s environmental policy and commercial ethics
  • Environmental Regulations and business ethics
  • A detailed study on the primary environmental and ethical issues in business?
  • Ethics of setting up residential structures in sensitive habitats.
  • Animal testing in the cosmetic industry
  • Recreational environmental ethics: A more detailed examination of the effects of hunting
  • Ethical evaluation of initiatives to combat climate change
  • Commercial whaling: an ethical analysis
  • A detailed evaluation of insider trading: can we call it ethical?
  • Is there a moral case for pollution trade-off programmers?
  • What do people think about good versus bad ethics?
  • Electric vehicles can help rescue the environment.
  • Tax evasion and tax avoidance: what exactly is legally right?
  • A critical evaluation of the global warming ethics
  • Pollution trade-off programs: are they ethically justified?
  • Ethical Analysis of climate change mitigation efforts

Read Also – List of 150 Enticing Chemistry Research Topics

Final Thoughts

From the array of ethics topics provided, choose one that captures your interest and aligns with your academic preferences. We hope this list proves insightful for your upcoming research paper. If you ever feel stuck, remember that help is available!

Consider using our paper help service if you’re searching for a topic for your research proposal, thesis , dissertation, or any other academic writing. Our skilled paper helpers can assist you in developing a unique ethics research paper topic. Should you require expert guidance, don’t hesitate to seek outstanding writing assistance at a reasonable price.

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180 Ethics Topics & Ethical Questions to Debate

Our code of ethics is derived from what we think is right or wrong. On top of that, we have to agree to the moral standards established by the society we live in. Conventional norms generally label theft, murder, or harassment as bad. However, there are many influences that impact our considerations and understanding of ethics.

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Ethics is a branch of philosophy that studies moral issues. This article outlines the three different types of ethics and presents a list of compelling ethics topics for essays and research papers, as well as ethical questions to debate.

You don’t know how to write about ethics or which ethical argument topic to choose for your paper? Maybe your assignment deadline is dreadfully looming over you? Our custom writing service is happy to help you craft a fantastic essay on ethics whenever the need arises.

🔝 Top 10 Ethical Topics

  • 🧑🤝🧑Types of Ethics
  • 🤔 Ethical Issues
  • 🖥️ Computer Ethics
  • 🧬 Bioethics
  • 🚓👮 Criminal Justice
  • ⚖️ Ethical Dilemmas

⭐ Top 10 Ethics Topics to Debate

😈 ethical questions to debate, 🔍 references.

  • Religious beliefs vs. medical care
  • Issues behind unpaid internships
  • Toxic environment at the workplace
  • The dilemma of reporting an accident
  • Should one’s political leanings be private?
  • The limits of doctor-patient confidentiality
  • Is it ethical to pay children for good grades?
  • Ethics at the workplace and discrimination
  • Should social media be allowed at the workplace?
  • Promotion of environmental responsibility in business

🧑🤝🧑 Types of Ethics

Modern philosophy splits ethics into three groups: metaethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics.

  • The core question of metaethics is: “What is morality, and where does it come from?” It is also concerned with the emergence of human values, motivation, and reasoning.
  • Normative ethics seeks to answer the question, “How should I act?” An example of a normative moral theory is Kant’s Categorical Imperative: Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law . In other words: be kind.
  • Applied ethics seeks to apply moral considerations into real-life controversial subjects. Its contents can vary greatly and touch bioethics as well as criminal justice. It studies specific actions and practices from the point of moral acceptance.

Virtues are necessary.

However, ethics does not end with these three types. Over the centuries, philosophers have proposed various ethical theories. Their four general categories are deontological, utilitarian, right, and virtue ethics.

  • A deontologist is a person with a set of moral duties from which they will not adhere. When faced with an ethical conflict, they will always act according to their self-proclaimed obligations.
  • For a utilitarian , a decision needs to yield the greatest benefit for the majority.
  • If rights are the root of an ethical theory, these are the highest priority. A person’s rights can either be established in a society by law or bestowed from one individual upon another.
  • Judging someone by virtue means considering a person’s character rather than their actions. Here, an individual’s reputation, motivation, and ethics play a crucial role.

Now that you know the basics, you have the perfect ground to start your ethics essay.

🤔 Ethical Topics for an Essay

Ethical issues are situations in which an individual needs to evaluate which course of action is morally right. Essays on this topic shine a light on difficult questions. Therefore, students need to defend their position convincingly.

  • Discuss what we should do about climate change.
  • What are the moral problems surrounding abortion?
  • Can we still justify eating meat?
  • Investigate the use of plastic in the beauty industry.
  • Is it unethical to be extremely rich?
  • Should you buy Nestlé products despite the fact that the company privatizes water?
  • Is the unequal distribution of wealth unethical?
  • Discuss how workplace ethics should take sexism into account.
  • What can we do to combat racism?
  • Why are LGBT+ people discriminated against?
  • Should euthanasia be legal?
  • Can war be ethical?
  • Should schools punish students for attending the Fridays for Future protests?
  • Would drug use be unethical if it were legal?
  • Explain the moral problems that come with automating jobs.

The Ten Commandments.

  • Is it ethical to hire someone to do assignments for you?
  • How far should everyone’s right to privacy go?
  • Is using animals for scientific testing unethical?
  • How should governments deal with refugees?
  • Discuss the carbon impact of having children.
  • Can modern societies still be held accountable for what their nation did in the past?
  • Analyze the benefits and disadvantages of universal income.
  • How much control should the state have on the press?
  • Should schools teach religion?
  • What are ethical concerns regarding downloading media from the internet?

🖥️ Computer Ethics Essay Topics

The advent of information technology has altered every aspect of our lives. Computer ethics applies traditional moral theories to everything surrounding computers and cyber security. The list below contains enthralling ethical topics concerned with the realm of computing.

  • How much work should we leave entirely to computers?
  • Discuss the dangers of storing vulnerable data online.
  • Are computers secure enough to contain so much information about our lives?
  • Discuss if hacking can be morally justified.
  • Examine privacy-related concerns regarding computers.
  • Should all software be free?
  • How can you legitimize the possession of a computer algorithm patent?
  • What can be done to prevent cyberbullying?
  • Investigate the moral effects anonymity has on internet users.
  • Whose laws apply if you wish to protect your rights online?
  • Discuss how the necessity to own a computer impacts poorer nations and people.
  • Which ethical problems can people face due to the internet’s possibilities?
  • When is sabotaging another person’s computer justified?
  • Analyze the social responsibility that comes with developing new software.
  • Are computer crimes less harmful than crimes against humans?
  • Who owns information that is distributed online?
  • What is more important: easy accessibility or privacy?
  • Investigate the moral problems associated with AI.
  • If a computer makes a critical mistake, whose fault is it?
  • Discuss the importance of netiquette.
  • How should tech companies deal with ethical problems?
  • Can AI algorithms ensure ethical behavior?
  • Why do tech companies need ethics boards?
  • Which ethical conflicts appear when using drones?
  • Investigate racial bias in facial recognition systems.

🏅 Sports Ethics Topics for a Paper

Morality in sports is based on integrity, respect, responsibility, and fairness. Often, this puts athletes into a dilemma: do I want to be ethical, or do I want to win? Answering these questions is not always easy. The following list compiles sports topics for a research paper on ethics.

  • What are moral complications when using enhancement drugs?
  • Is gamesmanship unethical?
  • How important is ethics in sports?
  • Discuss the moral responsibilities of athletes.
  • What are ethical reasons to pay college athletes?
  • Investigate the ethical implications of kneeling for the national anthem.
  • Can college sports and the principles of higher education go hand in hand?
  • Investigate the sexist bias in sports.
  • Was it selfish when the American female soccer team went to court to demand equal pay?

Thomas A. Edison quote.

  • What moral obligations do universities have towards their athletes?
  • When can you justify cheating?
  • Concerning the environment, how can professional sports events be ethical?
  • Which ethical problems do healthcare workers have concerning sportspeople?
  • Which moral duties do teams’ coaches have?
  • Are the extremely high salaries of sports professionals justified?
  • In 2003, the Olympics abolished the wild card system. Was that fair?
  • Because of the Paralympics, disabled athletes cannot take part in the real Olympics. Is that discriminatory?
  • Discuss how money influences the fairness of a sport.
  • Debate if and how children are exploited to become elite athletes.
  • Which moral duties should a good sport follow?
  • How much should parents get involved in their child’s physical education?
  • Investigate if everyday codes of ethics should apply to sports.
  • Discuss the ethical implications of motorsports.
  • Who is responsible if a player gets injured?
  • Are referees always fair?

🧬 Bioethics Topics for an Essay

Bioethics comes into play when we talk about life and health. It expands from genetics to neurology and even plastic surgery. In the name of the common good, researchers often find themselves in conflicting positions. This makes bioethics an especially exciting topic to write about.

  • Discuss the moral conflicts of genetic engineering.
  • What are the ethical responsibilities associated with using CRISPR?
  • Investigate the problems of stem cell research.
  • When can humans be used for drug testing?
  • Should vaccinations be mandatory for everyone?
  • Investigate the ethics that apply to a medical worker.
  • Discuss the harmful effects of plastic surgery.
  • Should a person who is brain dead be kept alive?
  • Is it just that medical care is linked to an individual’s ability to pay?
  • Should everyone be an organ donor by default?
  • What is more important: a person’s right to privacy or the information of at-risk relatives?
  • Is prenatal invasive testing ethical?
  • Should neuroenhancement drugs be legal?
  • Discuss ethical conflicts concerning Disclosure and Barring Service.
  • Is it ethical to improve memory functions with brain stimulation?
  • Analyze the ethical issues concerning precision medicine.
  • What are the problems of surrogacy?
  • Should medical personnel collect healthy tissues of a deceased person without their consent?

Bioethics is closely connected with the fields of technology, medicine, politics, philosophy, and law,

  • What should be done with the child of a brain-dead pregnant woman?
  • How important is a subject’s anonymity during research?
  • Discuss the ethics of shared decision-making.
  • How much responsibility do mentally challenged people carry for their actions?
  • Was Sweden right not to impose strict lockdown rules during the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • To what extent are businesses responsible for their employees’ health?
  • Should universal healthcare be free?

🚓👮 Criminal Justice Ethics Topics to Write About

Law enforcers should always act ethically. Unfortunately, it is not always the case. Police officers and attorneys often end up in morally ambiguous situations. In many cases, they don’t do what the public deems the right thing. Below are the examples of criminal justice ethics topics.

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  • When is it legitimate for a police officer to use violence?
  • How can an officer remain impartial?
  • Should law enforcement visibly wear guns in public?
  • How much force is too much?
  • Investigate possible ethical implications associated with true crime podcasts.
  • Should prostitution be legal in the US?
  • How ethical is interrogation?
  • Can torture be justified?
  • Discuss the ethical consequences of lying when working in criminal justice.
  • Is working undercover deception?
  • Debate whether it is an American citizen’s moral duty to participate in jury duty.
  • Should the police be allowed to access everyone’s data?
  • Discuss the moral complications of “innocent until proven guilty.”
  • Should convicted pedophiles be allowed to see their children?
  • Can teaching ethics at schools prevent crime?
  • Analyze ethical problems of the Stanford Prison Experiment.
  • Should NATO have become involved in America’s Afghan war?
  • What are the ethical implications of shooter drills at school?
  • Was Edward Snowden morally in the wrong?
  • How should we deal with child soldiers?
  • Discuss if the prosecution of Julian Assange is justified.
  • Examine the ethical problems of private prisons.
  • What moral obligations should someone consider when granting prisoners the right to work?
  • When is capital punishment justified?
  • Is it ethical to incarcerate juvenile offenders?

⚖️ Ethical Dilemma Topics to Write About

An ethical issue becomes a dilemma when different moral standards clash with each other. In this situation, it is impossible to find a path to an ethically permissible solution that is unambiguous. The following sample topics are a solid base to start a discussion on morals.

  • Should parents watch over what their children do on the internet?
  • Would you report an accident you caused if there are no witnesses?
  • What should a doctor do if a patient refuses life-saving treatment for religious reasons?
  • Should you turn down a client if their political views do not match yours?
  • Would you promote something you are not convinced of to get money?
  • Should you lie to land a job that gets you out of poverty?

Ethical dilemmas.

  • Your partner cheated on you. Now, you get the chance to take your revenge with someone you really like. Would you do it?
  • Should students use automated writing tools like free thesis generators , summarizers, and paraphrasers?
  • Your teacher is continuously mocking your classmate. You are a teacher’s pet. Would you speak up?
  • Your son likes to wear dresses. One day, he asks if he can wear one to school. Will you let him?
  • You are very religious. Your daughter wants to get married to another woman and invites you to her wedding. What will you do?
  • Prenatal testing showed that your unborn child has a disability. Would you terminate pregnancy?
  • You are in a long-term relationship. Suddenly, your partner gets a job offer in another part of the world. What would you do?
  • You have a terminal illness. This makes you a financial burden to your relatives. Are you obliged towards them to quit your treatment?
  • You have a red and a blue candy bar. Blue is your favorite, but you also know that it’s your friend’s favorite. Will you give it to them?
  • A friend asked you for a loan. Since then, they have not given you anything back. They are still not wholly stable financially. Will you ask them to return the money?
  • Your grandma passed away and bequeathed her favorite mink coat to you. You are a vegan. What do you do?
  • A few years ago, you borrowed a gun from a friend. Now, they ask for it back, but their mental state seems to be rapidly deteriorating. This makes you scared they are going to shoot someone, or themselves. What do you do?
  • You find out that your friend cheats on their spouse. You are close friends with their family. Will you tell on them?
  • For your birthday, your friend gave you a sweater they’ve made themselves. You think it’s ugly. Do you tell them?
  • You are a vegan. Should you buy vegan products which are highly problematic to produce?
  • You are in a restaurant. Your order arrives too late. The waitress looks stressed. Will you make her take it back?
  • You went to the store and bought a new, expensive item. The clerk gives you too much change. Do you give it back?
  • You are walking with a friend and find $50 on the floor. Would you share it with them?
  • Your child firmly believes in Santa Claus. One Christmas, they start suspecting that he is not real. What do you do?
  • Is having pets ethical?
  • Can eating meat be justified?
  • Should we defund the police?
  • Should atomic bombs be banned?
  • Can discrimination be justified?
  • Is it ethical to ask someone’s age?
  • Should children get paid for chores?
  • Is it unprofessional to send voice messages?
  • Should children be allowed to vote?
  • Should influencers promote products they don’t use?
  • Should there be any limitations to doctor and patient confidentiality?
  • Should physician-assisted suicide be allowed?
  • Can teenagers get plastic surgery?
  • What to do when you find out that your relative has committed an offense?
  • What to do when you see your friend cheating on the exam?
  • Should sportsmen be paid more than teachers?
  • Should gender quotas be used during parliamentary elections?
  • Do companies have the right to collect information about their customers?
  • Can politicians appeal to religious issues during electoral campaigns?
  • Should fake news be censored in a democratic society?

We hope that in this list you’ve found the ethics topic that fits you the best. Good luck with your assignment!

Further reading:

  • 430 Philosophy Topics & Questions for Your Essay
  • 226 Research Topics on Criminal Justice & Criminology
  • 512 Research Topics on HumSS (Humanities & Social Sciences)
  • 204 Research Topics on Technology & Computer Science
  • What’s the Difference Between Morality and Ethics?: Britannica
  • What is Ethics?: Santa Clara University
  • Ethics: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • Metaethics: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • Ethical Issues: Idaho State University
  • The Problem with AI Ethics: The Verge
  • Sports Ethics: Santa Clara University
  • What Is Bioethics?: Michigan State University
  • Ethics in Criminal Justice: Campbellsville University
  • Kant’s Formula of Universal Law: Harvard University
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185 ethics paper topics: choose your favourite.

Ethics Paper Topics

Are you a college student looking for ethical paper topics to write on? Well, make sure that whatever ethics paper topic you pick offers you ample scope to create an interesting write-up. However, more important than that, your topic should be able to grab your teacher’s attention and then should be covered in detail to get you good grades.

When writing on any of the ethics paper topics, it is important to remember that these topics must be handled with respect and sensitivity to others’ opinions as well. Your write-up should not be hurtful to a specific group or community and still offer ample arguments in favour or against the subject.

Here is a comprehensive bank of some of the most interesting and attention catching ethical topics to write about. Take a look:

Environmental Ethics Topics

Here are some ethics topics based on the subject of environmental awareness:

  • Are we morally bound to take initiatives for environmental conservation?
  • Is environment awareness a virtue?
  • Is it ethical to keep animals in circuses and zoos?
  • Are zoos any better for the animals than circuses?
  • How ethical or justified is the use of animal skin and fur?
  • Should the tanning and fur industry be banned or strictly regulated?
  • Should there be strict policies against polluting water bodies by the industries?
  • Should game hunting be banned completely across the world?
  • Is cutting of forests justified for setting up research centres for environmental protection?
  • Does landscaping and beautification of landfills with plants solve the problem of environmental pollution caused by waste?

Medical Ethics Topics

If you want to write your paper on medical ethics, here is a list of ethical topics to pick from:

  • Is it ethical to accept an executed felon’s organ?
  • Are suicides assisted by doctors moral and ethically correct?
  • Is it ethical to freeze women’s eggs for conception later?
  • Is surrogacy ethical?
  • Is uterus transplant ethical if it gives a woman the chance to carry her own baby?
  • Can doctors be considered ethical if they display the pictures of patients who have died?
  • Is it ethical to recycle medical equipment?
  • Is abortion morally upright?
  • Is it ethical to shop for the best egg to ensure desirable best traits in the child to be?
  • Should human genetic engineering be made legal?
  • Is it morally correct to do cloning of living beings like animals, birds, or eventually humans?
  • Should human embryos be used in genetic engineering research?
  • Is organ donation by a poor person for money considered ethical?
  • Why is gender determination ethical in some countries and unethical in others?
  • Are hospitals morally correct to sell medical supplies within their premises?

Business Ethics Paper Topics

Ethical issues topics related to the verticals of business and management are plenty:

  • What are the business ethics related to the sale of marijuana?
  • Is it morally correct to legalize the sale of marijuana?
  • Should an employer who does not believe in the need to use contraception be made to pay for the same for his/her employees?
  • Is utilitarianism ethically justified?
  • Can businesses generate positive responses on social media without eroding business ethics?
  • The ethical philosophy behind Bitcoin – an insight
  • Does Bitcoing border on being money laundering or does it offer lower costs to end users?
  • Is it ethical to promote a company’s CSR initiatives on social media?
  • Should an employee’s inappropriate social media presence be reason enough for the company to fire him?
  • Beauty industry and its ethical standpoint on extensive use of plastic?
  • Does being extremely rich automatically become unethical from certain perspectives?
  • Should you buy products of companies that privatise water?
  • Is online employee monitoring for behaviour ethical on the company’s behalf?
  • Is unequal wealth distribution unethical in the society?
  • Is it ethical to force companies through law to hire more women to promote gender equality?
  • Are businesses justified in having sexual exploitation laws for women but none for men?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of the concept of universal income?
  • How should businesses handle hate messages on social media?
  • Is it ethical to install surveillance to supervise employees in an office?
  • The ethical need to identify and correct workplace hazards.

Biomedical Ethics Topics

  • Should Ebola victims be quarantined? How ethical is it?
  • Should donation of organs upon death be made mandatory?
  • Is it the business of organ trafficking in developing countries the ethical responsibility of wealthy and developed countries?
  • CRISPR — the associated ethical responsibilities, an insight
  • Stem cell research — ethical problems an insight
  • Is it ethical to start using humans for drug testing?
  • Is it ethical to make vaccinations mandatory for all?
  • What are the ethics guiding medical workers?
  • Plastic surgery – harmful effects and the ethical standpoint
  • Is it morally correct to keep alive a brain dead person?
  • Is it ethical that the quality and duration of medical care be linked to a person’s economic status?
  • Mustn’t everyone be made a default organ donor?
  • For contagious disease patients what is more important — privacy or the at risk relative’s right to information?
  • Is it ethical to perform prenatal invasive testing?
  • Is it ethical to give neuroenhancement drugs?
  • Disclosure and Barring Service — an ethical discussion
  • How ethical is the enhancement of memory function through brain stimulation?
  • Precision medicine — an analysis of the concerning ethical issues
  • Surrogacy — associated ethical issues
  • Is it ethical on part of a medical professional to collect a deceased person’s healthy tissues without prior consent?

Ethics topics in nursing

Take a look at some impressive ethical topics for papers:

  • Is it ethical to bid for your healthcare provider?
  • Was it ethical to offer treatment to American Ebola patients while others did not get it?
  • Is it mandatory to give flu shots to kids?
  • Should it be made legal to use drugs personally?
  • Placing the elderly in care centers — whose call should it be?
  • The ethical insight into the pressures on the nursing staff to complete their autonomy.
  • The nursing staff has no autonomy over patient treatment; is it ethical?
  • Personal rights Vs Nursing ethics — what to pick?
  • Why is it morally correct/incorrect to place nursing staff as subjugates to doctors and legal provisions to break it?
  • Laws that help nurses overcome doctor dominance and practice autonomy — how justified are they?

Computing Ethics Topics

  • Is the imposition of mass surveillance justified?
  • New software development — an insight into associated social responsibility.
  • Is it ethical to remove offensive content from the Internet? Who decides what is offensive?
  • What situations make it ethical to sabotage someone’s computer?
  • Internet — which ethical problems does it raise?
  • Job automation — are there associated moral problems?
  • Media downloads from the internet and related ethical concerns.
  • Drones and the associated ethical conflicts?
  • How much dependence on computers is correct?
  • The dangers of putting important data online — loss is whose ethical responsibility?
  • How secure are computers to store such volumes of our information?
  • Privacy Vs easy accessibility how and what to choose?
  • Is ethical hacking really ethical?
  • Do computers address privacy concerns satisfactorily?
  • Online data distribution is whose ethical responsibility?
  • How ethical is charging for software?
  • Why are ethics boards required in tech companies?
  • Computer crimes — are they less harmful as compared to crimes against humans?
  • Is it legitimate to possess a patent for a computer algorithm?
  • Cyberbullying — ethical concerns and prevention?
  • Facial recognition systems and their unethical racial bias
  • The ethical impact of anonymity on internet users.
  • Online rights protection — which laws apply?
  • Is hacking ever considered ethical?
  • Is the lack of computerized infrastructure in poor nations an ethical question to be answered by the developed nations?
  • Artificial Intelligence and the associated ethical problems
  • Computer mistakes — whose ethical responsibility is it?
  • What is ideal netiquette?
  • What are the best ways to deal with tech ethical problems?
  • Is ethical behaviour possible to ensure through AI algorithms?

Ethics presentation topics

  • Psychological/ethical egoism — for and against arguments.
  • Do a person’s ethics change by believing in God?
  • Does culture or society affect morals?
  • Is the issue of hunger in underdeveloped countries a moral responsibility of developed countries?
  • Ethics of feminism — issues related to freedom and equality vs traditional values
  • Sexism at the workplace — how ethics need to be defined
  • Racism – an ethical injustice
  • Are discriminations against LGBT+ people justified?
  • Refugees – is it always the ethical concern of governments?
  • Should past mistakes of modern nations still be held against them?

Ethical argument topics

The following are some great ethical arguments topics for your essay:

  • Racial profiling — is it moral?
  • Should books from killers be published?
  • Is it morally correct for a father to keep alive a brain-dead mother so that the fetus can be incubated?
  • Does the level of education influence a person’s morality?
  • Should the future of technological advancements be discussed with philosophers as well?
  • Is it ethical to punish protests by students?
  • Are low moral standards punishable?
  • Pet operations vs Investing in healthcare in developing countries? Which is ethically more deserving?
  • Designer babies – the ethics behind the concept.
  • Does feminism oppose religion?
  • Is the disadvantaged position enjoyed by black Americans a responsibility of the white Americans?
  • Is war ever ethical?
  • If drug use was made legal, would it become ethical?
  • Having children and their carbon impact.
  • How is state control of the press ethically justified?
  • Teaching religion at school – is it morally correct?
  • Is it correct to keep a watch on kids’ internet activities?
  • If ever you caused an accident that had no witnesses, would you report it?
  • Is censoring hate speeches on social media ethical?
  • When a patient refuses treatment that could save his life due to religious reasons what is the role of the doctor?
  • If a client’s political/religious views are opposite of yours is it ethical to refuse?
  • Is it ethical to promote something you do not believe in for money?
  • Is lying for a job that takes you out of a poor lifestyle justified?
  • Would you cheat on your partner to take revenge if they had cheated on you earlier?
  • Is it ethical to ask back a loan from a friend if they are still not financially stable but you have a need?

Ethics discussion topics

Here is a list of ethics topics that offer ample scope for classroom discussion:

  • Is it ethical to legalize marijuana for public use?
  • Should a divorcee be allowed to use an embryo?
  • Free will – Should it be reconsidered?
  • Covid-19 — Ethical questions and response to the global pandemic
  • Are ethics morally enslaving people?
  • Can ethics be violated for a larger good — critical evaluation of Machiavelli’s ideas.
  • Is charity everyone’s moral obligation?
  • Is charity the moral obligation of rich people only?
  • Are we morally obliged to be honest?
  • Are democratic countries morally obliged to overthrow dictatorship?
  • Have we achieved equality through feminism?
  • Is it ethical to categorize the ageing as senior citizens?
  • Is eating meat ethically justified?
  • Is it correct to post pictures of someone on social media if they do not use them?
  • If your teacher mocks a classmate regularly should you speak up?
  • Will you let your son wear dresses to a family gathering if he likes to?
  • Will you happily attend your daughter’s wedding to another woman?
  • Is termination of pregnancy after discovering disability in prenatal testing justified?
  • Should you relocate if your partner from a long-term relationship moves to another city due to a job?
  • Is it ethical to quit your long term treatment if it is a financial burden on the family?

Applied ethics topics

  • Is death penalty ethical?
  • Can we categorize people as evil or good?
  • Can religion and science go hand in hand?
  • Which is the most convincing theory that explains the drivers of human behavior aptly?
  • Is the use of cognition enhancing drugs ethical?
  • What makes the use of performance enhancing steroids unethical in sports?
  • Should we use products involving child labor?
  • Should moral failure lead to legal consequences?
  • Is patriotism always ethical and virtuous?
  • Do we have enough poliicies to prevent discrimination?
  • Is scientific testing of animals ethical?
  • Will you tell your close family friend if his partner and your best friend was cheating on him?
  • How do ethics play a role in making us accept undesirable or ugly gifts as well?
  • If certain vegan products are produced in extremely difficult conditions will you buy them being a vegan?
  • Will you return a borrowed gun back to a mentally depressed relative?

If you are looking for professional assistance to select impressive titles, or need ideas for your research paper or are looking for affordable help with a research paper get in touch with us today. We offer high quality thesis help to college students at cheap prices that suit every budget. Connect online to ask for a sample or see the examples published on our website to get an idea about our work quality. We look forward to working with you.

American Government Research Paper Topics


220 Best Ethics Topics and Ideas for Academic Writing

Table of Contents

Do you have to prepare an academic paper on ethical topics? Are you hunting for the best ethics topics for your assignments? In general, ethics is a branch of philosophy that addresses the various moral issues that are present in society. There are many ethical problems existing in various fields. But for writing a top-notch ethics essay or research paper, you can prefer any trending ethical issues that are not frequently discussed in other academic papers. In case, you are not sure what ethical problem to choose for your assignment, continue reading this blog post. Here, we have shared a list of great ethics topics and ideas on various disciplines. Also, we have suggested some key tips for you to follow during the ethics research paper topic selection.

Ethics Topic Selection Tips for Academic Writing

In the academic writing process, the most important step is topic selection. Generally, professors will give a set of topics or themes for you to write your academic paper or they will ask you to come up with the excellent topics of your choice.

Right now, do you have to select a good ethics topic for academic writing? Remember, you can score an A+ grade, only if the topic you select for writing your academic papers is of high value. Whenever you are given a task to prepare an academic paper on the ethical topics of your choice, keep the below-mentioned tips in mind during topic selection.

Ethics Topics

  • Select an informative topic that matches your area of interest.
  • Pick a topic that is exciting for your readers to read and update their knowledge.
  • Choose a topic that has more supporting facts, evidence, and detailed information.
  • Identify a topic with flexible scope to perform research.
  • Give preference to the topic that is comfortable for you to write about and share your real-life examples.
  • Consider an unsolved research question or essay topic that allows you to include your opinions or arguments.

By following all the above-mentioned tips, you can choose the right ethics topic for writing your academic paper. Besides all these tips, before finalizing the topic, check whether the topic you have selected will allow you to prepare the academic paper as per your instructor’s guidelines.

After you have finalized the topic, you can go ahead and start crafting the ethical research paper or ethics essay. But when writing the academic paper, make sure to organize your ideas and structure them by including the essential sections such as the introduction, body, and conclusion.

List of Ethics Topics and Ideas

Are you struggling to search and find a unique ethics topic for writing your academic paper? Don’t worry! Here, we have recommended some great ethics topic ideas in various subject categories like sports, environment, medicine, etc.

Go through the whole list of ideas and select a good ethical topic that is comfortable for you to present your opinions or arguments.

Ethics Topics

Simple and Easy Ethics Topics

  • Can torture be justified?
  • Is it ethical to hire someone to do assignments for you?
  • What are the ethical issues related to the Internet?
  • When is capital punishment justified?
  • Ethical issues related to downloading media from the internet.
  • Problems that will arise as a result of automation jobs.
  • Is it unethical to be extremely rich?
  • Should schools punish students?
  • Should the police be allowed to access everyone’s data?
  • Will teaching ethics at schools prevent crimes?
  • Discuss the ethical duties and responsibility of a physician and nurse to deal with cross-cultural issues and diverse beliefs and difficulties minority patient encounters
  • Why does every health professional needs to know and comply with the principles of bioethics?
  • Develop a reflexive study of the reports published in the Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology on Bioethics and Anesthesia
  • Explain the importance and benefits of advance care planning (ACP) in health care
  • What should be the special additional considerations in relation to informed consent for obstetric patients?
  • Describe the Standards for Nurse Anesthesia Practice developed by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA)
  • Explore the patient-reported barriers to advanced care planning in family practice
  • Discuss the ethical duties and responsibilities of traditional ethics committees in promoting shared decision-making between patients (or their surrogates if decisional incapacitated) and their physicians
  • Why euthanasia is required to be prohibited?
  • The Importance of Honesty in Daily Life.

Interesting Essay Topics on Ethics

  • Discuss the ethics behind moral policing
  • Is it ethical to allow people to exercise their right to die?
  • Discuss the ethics the medical fraternity needs to follow
  • Why it is not ethical to discriminate against the people of the LGBTQA+ community?
  • How unethical is the production and purchase of weed?
  • Discuss the relationship between philosophy and ethics
  • Technology and ethics: The impacts of technological advancements on youth
  • Discuss the ethics of social media marketing
  • What are the basic causes of racial violence?
  • Discuss the ethical responsibilities of business professionals
  • The code of ethics in the Department of criminal justice of Texas.
  • Business ethics and corporate social responsibility: when corporate values are upgraded a few notches.
  • Business ethics and the dilemmas in the film ‘Michael Clayton’
  • Is it ethical to divide men’s and women’s rights in various countries?
  • Sexism and workplace ethics: why companies hire less women than men?

Also read: Excellent Business Essay Topics and Ideas To Focus On

Best Ethics Research Ideas

  • The problem of racism and how we can  solve it
  • Why society is against LGBT+ people?
  • Discuss the origin of ethics.
  • Are people enslaved by moral values?
  • Discuss the connection between ethics and a person’s education.
  • Can we justify mass surveillance?
  • What is the morally right action?
  • Explain the difference between a moral and immoral problem.
  • Is it ethical to change your face using makeup?
  • Analyze the ethics behind cryptocurrencies.
  • Can we justify feminism?
  • Explain the characters of friendship ethics.
  • Vaccine hesitancy among people: The role of the medical fraternity in debunking the myths related to vaccine
  • Discuss the difference between practical and professional ethics
  • Discuss the ethical issues for the Cannabis industry

Bioethics Essay Topics

  • Discuss the ethical dilemma faced by a professional accountant
  • Is it an ethical act from a country’s government to impose a ban on abortion?
  • Is it ethical to commit a crime if you have protected yourself?
  • Ethical rules for mass media: why do some newspapers ignore it?
  • The ethical side of the relationship with a person of the same sex
  • Discuss the concept of bioethics in society.
  • Should vaccinations be mandatory for everyone?
  • Ethical conflicts on disclosure and barring service.
  • Discuss the ethical responsibilities associated with using CRISPR.
  • The harmful effects of plastic surgery.
  • Is it ethical to improve memory functions with brain stimulation?
  • Is it ethical to keep the brain-dead person alive?
  • What should be done with the child of a brain-dead pregnant woman?
  • Should universal healthcare be free?
  • Investigate the ethics that apply to a medical worker.

Biomedical Ethics Research Topics

  • Discuss the difference between Bioethics and Medical ethics
  • Discuss the major ethical issues include in bioethicist
  • Medical and genetic data privacy
  • What are medical ethics applications?
  • Is it ethical to use humans for drug testing?
  • Discuss Pregnancy ethics.
  • Compare the difference between Medical ethics in Asia and Europe.
  • Is it ethical to give neuroenhancement drugs?
  • Explain the importance of medical ethics.
  • Explore the various ethical behavior problems in medicine.

Business Ethics Topics

  • Ethical problems in Stem Cell Research.
  • Is it ethical to perform prenatal invasive testing?
  • Analyze the ethical issues in Precision medicine.
  • Are ethics for employees and managers different?
  • Analyze the evolution of business ethics.
  • How to follow good business rules at work?
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of universal income.
  • The ethical standpoint of the beauty industry and its wide use of plastic.
  • Is it ethical to promote a company’s CSR initiatives on social media?
  • Discuss the ethical codes of the trade associations.
  • What are the main causes of unethical behaviors in the workplace?
  • Is unequal wealth distribution ethical in society?
  • How to maintain a balance between pragmatics and ethics in business management?
  • The business ethics on the sale of marijuana.
  • Is it ethical to install CCTV cameras to supervise employees in an office?

Environmental Ethics Topics

  • How should businesses handle hate messages on social media?
  • Explain the ethical philosophy behind Bitcoin.
  • Is utilitarianism ethically justified?
  • Discuss the core business ethics and their importance
  • Insider trading: ethical or not?
  • Tax evasion and Tax avoidance: Which is ethical and why?
  • Talk about Environmental policy and business ethics.
  • Should hunting be banned across the world?
  • Should the fur industry be banned?
  • The use of electric cars to save the planet.
  • Is it ethical to keep animals in circuses and zoos?
  • Discuss the global warming ethics.
  • Are pollution trade-off programs ethically justified?
  • Pros and Cons of reading e-books and reading paper books.
  • Should businesses be responsible for environmental protection?

Computer Ethics Ideas

  • Should tech companies need ethics boards?
  • Explain the dangers of storing vulnerable data online.
  • Is hacking ethical?
  • Should all software be free?
  • Analyze the moral problems associated with Artificial Intelligence.
  • Examine privacy-related issues of computers.
  • The ethical conflicts of using drones.
  • Can AI algorithms ensure ethical behavior?
  • Research the moral effects anonymity has on internet users.
  • Are computer crimes less harmful than crimes against humans?

Medical Ethics Topics

  • Is surrogacy ethical?
  • Is it ethical to accept an executed incarcerated person’s organ?
  • Is it ethical to freeze women’s eggs for conception later?
  • Is abortion morally correct?
  • Are suicides assisted by doctors moral and ethically correct?
  • Is it morally correct to use animals for medical research?
  • Is it ethical to recycle medical equipment?
  • Is it morally correct to use human embryos in genetic engineering research?
  • Is a uterus transplant ethical if it gives a woman the chance to carry her own baby?
  • Is organ donation by a poor person for money considered ethical?
  • Ethical dilemmas nurses face while dealing with autistic patients
  • Is it ethical for an infected therapist to attend to a patient?
  • It is ethical to store records of texts and e-mails?
  • Describe the similarities and differences between ethics and risk management
  • Describe the use and implications of ethical hacking

Ethics Research Paper Topics on Sports

  • How important is ethics in sports?
  • Are referees always fair?
  • Is gamesmanship unethical?
  • Moral duties of team coaches.
  • How can professional sports events be environmentally ethical?
  • Who is responsible if a player gets hurt?
  • Investigate the sexist bias in sports.
  • Discuss how money influences the fairness of a sport.
  • Discuss the ethical reasons to pay college athletes.
  • Discuss the ethical implications of motorsports.
  • Ethical responsibilities of an experimenter while conducting experiments like the Little Albert experiment
  • Describe the ethical duties and responsibilities of a lab assistant
  • Why the South African Aversion Project does is considered an unethical psychology experiment?
  • Ethical challenges faced by Stanley Milgram during his obedience experiments
  • What were the ethical challenges associated with the Stanford Prison Experiment?

Nursing Ethics Topics

  • Discuss the code of ethics in nursing.
  • Discuss the nursing ethics in patient advocacy.
  • Religious Ethics in Nursing.
  • Is it ethical to place nursing staff as subjugates to doctors?
  • Should it be made legal to use drugs personally?
  • Promotions related to the ethics of medical sales.
  • Analyze the ethical issues in nursing.
  • Is it mandatory to give flu shots to kids?
  • Compare Personal rights and Nursing ethics.
  • Is it ethical for nurses to involve in assisted suicide?

Impressive Essay Ideas on Ethics

  • Do a person’s ethics change by believing in God?
  • Is it ethical to promote something you do not believe in for money?
  • How to handle tech ethical problems?
  • Is censoring hate speeches on social media ethical?
  • Is charity the moral obligation of rich people only?
  • Is racial profiling ethical?
  • Is it morally correct to teach religion at schools?
  • Is patriotism ethical?
  • Discuss the effect of the Internet on Information Systems Ethics.
  • Is it ethical to categorize the aging of old people?

Also read: International Relations Essay Topics

Informative Ethical Topics

  • Discuss the effects of ethics on education.
  • How to combat racism?
  • Social Media Ethics.
  • The major causes of racial conflicts.
  • Discuss the impacts of unethical organizational leadership.
  • The effects of smoking during pregnancy.
  • The effect of technology advancements on youth.
  • Moral problems associated with abortion.
  • What are poor ethical values?
  • Is it ethical to eat meat?
  • How to overcome jealousy?
  • Can war be ethical?
  • Is genetically modified food fit for human consumption?
  • Should euthanasia be legal?
  • Is it ethical to edit children’s genomes?

Excellent Ethics Paper Topics

  • It is the duty of developed nations to accept refugees from other countries.
  • If humans want to conquer other galaxies, they better move quickly.
  • Parents that permit their children to consume fat should be viewed as abusers.
  • Moms who smoke should be held accountable for putting the lives of unborn children in jeopardy.
  • Despite the fact that Nestlé privatizes water, should you still purchase their products?
  • When can a doctor have a patient arrested in the context of pregnancy ethics?
  • Examining the nursing theories in more detail Whose behavior is more moral?
  • Business ethics and environmental policy: A closer look at EU administration.
  • What are the key environmental ethics issues in business?
  • Keeping pragmatics and ethics in corporate management in the ideal balance

Trending Ethics Essay Topics

  • Are foods that have undergone genetic modification safe to eat?
  • What causes kids to falsify answers on tests?
  • Should politics and the church be kept apart?
  • Should media outlets exclusively cover positive news?
  • How is a person’s ethical code influenced by their social background?
  • Should everyone adhere to the same moral standards?
  • Which methods work best for overcoming jealousy?
  • What connection exists between morality and contentment?
  • What are the main reasons why there are racial conflicts?
  • In difficult circumstances, do desperate things: Is this assertion true?

Ethics Research Topics for College Students

  • Can contemporary cultures still be held responsible for the actions of their country in the past?
  • What are the ethical issues with downloading material from the web?
  • Discuss the effects that owning a computer has on developing countries and their citizens.
  • What ethical issues can individuals encounter as a result of the potential of the internet?
  • Look at the moral ramifications of standing during the national anthem.
  • Athletes with disabilities are unable to compete in the traditional Olympics because of the Paralympics. Is that biased in any way?
  • Can the ideals of higher education and college athletics coexist?
  • Which is more crucial: a person’s right to privacy or knowledge about family in danger?
  • Is it ethical for medical professionals to remove healthy tissues from a deceased person without their permission?
  • Was it proper for Sweden to not enact stringent lockdown guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Also read: Best Health Research Topics for You to Explore

Unique Ethics Topics for Assignment

  • If you want to safeguard your rights online, whose laws are in effect?
  • Is it moral for a society to support childless families?
  • The use of animals in product testing: Is it moral?
  • When is it OK to compromise someone else’s computer?
  • Examine the social responsibility involved in creating new software.
  • Animals Used in Medical Research: Ethical Considerations
  • Overview and analysis of the American Nurses Association’s Code of Ethics.
  • Impacts of computers, ethical obligations, and information awareness on professionalism and ethics.
  • Implications of a Confidentiality Breach in Medical Ethics.
  • Medical, ethical, and human rights concerns about circumcision.

Wrapping Up

Out of the 100+ great ethics topics listed in this blog post, utilize any topic that is suitable for you to prepare an academic paper of A+ quality. In case, you don’t know how to craft a brilliant academic paper on ethics topics, reach out to us for academic writing help. We have a team of talented academic writers to provide assistance in selecting a good topic and writing plagiarism-free academic papers.

We are well-known for our timely assignment help services . If you want instant professional academic paper writing help, then quickly share your requirements with us through the order form. As per your requirements, we will prepare and send you an original academic paper on time at an affordable price. Also, we will offer you round-the-clock customer support and unlimited paper revisions for free.

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Top 100 Hot Ethics Research Paper Topics For Your Success

ethics research paper topics

When it comes to writing term papers, the first step is coming up with an appropriate topic. But this has proven to be a major challenge for learners. For students in ethics classes, selecting a topic for their assignments is more challenging because the subject is very wide. But you should no longer be worried of the ideas to write about because we have the best ethics essay topics for you in every category or you can use college homework help .

Table of Contents

Business ethics topics, environmental ethics topics, biomedical ethics topics, ethics topics in nursing, ethical dilemma topics, philosophy and ethics paper topics, easy ethical research topics, interesting ethics topics, how to select the best ethics paper topics.

  • Weighing business decision making and moral practices.
  • What are the main causes of unethical behaviors in the workplace?
  • Exploring the psychological roots of company ethics.
  • Personal integrity and its relationship to business ethics.
  • Ethics at work: How to make the best decisions at your workplace.
  • Ethical misteps: Can they result in bankruptcy?
  • Discussing the workplace ethical dilemmas today.
  • Are ethics for employees and managers different?
  • What are the best methods of avoiding sexual harassments at workplace?
  • A closer look at trade associations ethical codes.
  • What are the implications of teaching business ethics in college?
  • Exploring different cross-cultural business concerns.
  • What are the best methods for following good business rules at work?
  • Maintaining the perfect balance between pragmatics and ethics in business management.
  • Evaluating the environmental ethics of the US administration?
  • Should businesses be responsible for environmental protection?
  • Environmental policy and business ethics: A closer look at the EU administration.
  • What are the main concerns about the environment in business ethics?
  • Ethics of putting up residential buildings in fragile ecosystems.
  • Recreational environmental ethics: A closer look at the impacts of hunting.
  • Ethical analysis of climate change mitigation efforts.
  • Ethical analysis of commercial whaling.
  • What are the rights of different ecological entities (mountains, rivers, etc.)?
  • Are pollution trade-off programs ethically justified?
  • Good ethics vs bad ethics: What are the societal views?
  • Electrical cars can be used to save the planet.
  • Reading eBooks vs reading paper books.
  • Global warming ethics: The impacts on flora and fauna.
  • What is medical ethics? Why is it important?
  • Medical ethics application: Are they similar everywhere?
  • Analyzing the need for global ethics in the medical field.
  • When is it okay to end a patient’s life?
  • Analyzing the best methods of monitoring ethics application in medical fields.
  • Practicing medicine abroad: What are the ethical challenges?
  • What should doctors do when medical ethics are non-existent?
  • Medical ethics in Asia and Europe: How do they differ?
  • Pregnancy ethics: When can a medical practitioner have a patient arrested?
  • A closer look at the nursing theories: Which ones are more ethical?
  • How do medical ethics confront religious beliefs?
  • Exploring ethical behavior problems in medicine.
  • Vitamin supplements: Do they do more harm than good?
  • Analyzing ethical issues in nursing.
  • A closer look at the code of ethics in nursing.
  • Assisted suicide: Is it ethical for nurses to be involved?
  • A deeper look at psychiatric patient ethics.
  • The ethics of data collection: A closer look at the primary health care in the US.
  • Analyzing the ethics of abortion.
  • Ethics and homeless people treatment.
  • The ethics of medical sales related promotions.
  • The government should execute violent offenders.
  • Prostitution should be made illegal.
  • It is moral to eat the flesh of animals because they are living organisms.
  • Developed countries have the responsibility of hosting refugees from other nations.
  • Humans should move with speed to colonize other galaxies.
  • Parents who allow kids to use fat foods should be considered abusers.
  • Smoking moms should be prosecuted for endangering the lives of unborn kids.
  • It is impossible for all people to live all the time happily.
  • Are people enslaved by moral values?
  • What is the relationship between ethics and a person’s education?
  • Can we justify mass surveillance?
  • Is it ethical to have circuses?
  • Are the current laws ample to protect people from discrimination?
  • Evaluating the ethics behind cryptocurrencies.
  • How should ageism be tackled?
  • Can we justify feminism? Has it achieved its goals?
  • Differentiating between a moral and immoral problem.
  • What is a morally right action?
  • Explaining the term “moral responsibility”.
  • Should people act morally towards incarcerated people?
  • Analyzing psychological egoism.
  • Religious beliefs and modern youths.
  • What is the ethical thing to do if you witness bullying?
  • What ethics should every presidential candidate observe?
  • Changing face using makeups: Is it ethical?
  • What is the relationship between ethics and philosophy?
  • Exploring the characters of friendship ethics.
  • Tracing the origin of ethics.
  • What is the best way to punish teachers for prejudice?
  • Bible and ethics.
  • Analyzing poor ethical values: A closer look at hatred and envy.
  • What are the ethical implications of plastic surgery on teens?
  • Impact of smoking during pregnancy.
  • Should men and women have equal rights?
  • Ethics and technology: The impacts of tech advancements on youth.
  • Editing children genomes: Is it ethical?
  • Unethical organizational leadership: Evaluating the impacts.
  • The applicant of ethical principles.
  • Ethics of social media.
  • Genetically modified foods: Are they fit for human consumption?
  • What are the reasons that make students cheat on exams?
  • Should the church be separated from politics?
  • Should newspapers only report the good things?
  • How does social background shape a person’s ethical norms?
  • Should all people use the same moral code?
  • Is there a time when not speaking the truth is okay?
  • What is the impact of ethics on education?
  • What are the best ways to overcome jealousy?
  • What is the relationship between morality and happiness?
  • What are the primary causes of racial conflicts?
  • Desperate times call for desperate measures: Is this statement justified?

Now that we have listed the best ethics essay topics, you might still be wondering, “How do I narrow down to the ideal one?” Well, whether you are interested in medical ethics topics or sports ethics topics, make sure to go for the ideas that are:

  • Interesting.
  • Informative.

Seek Professional Writing Help

Armed with the best ethics essay topic, you are now set to start working on your paper. Commence by researching it widely, gathering the main points, and developing a good ethics essay. Remember that even with great ethics debate topics, you must follow your teacher’s guidelines when writing the paper. For example, what writing and referencing style did the teacher say you follow? What is the length of the essay? What about the deadline?

Are the requirements for writing a great essay too much for you to follow, even after identifying the best title from the above ethics research paper topics? But there is no need to worry because you can use professional writing help with your assignment. This writing assistance for college students is offered by experienced writers who guarantee you the best paper. You can never go wrong with professionals!

ethics research paper topics

What are some good topics in ethics?

Here are some good ethics topics you can use when writing your essay: What is the concept of bioethics in society? Should vaccination be made compulsory for everyone? Can the use of electric cars help to save the planet? How does money spoil the fairness of sports?

What is an ethical topic for a research paper?

An ethical topic uses a set of principles to guide your research design and practices. The topic should discuss ethics that are needed to achieve a certain goal. The topic should have an ethical doctrine you believe people should know about.

What are some examples of ethical research?

Some example topics of ethical research are; should people be responsible for the past decision made by their fore-parents? Is it ethical to medically help someone against their will? Why does money ruin friendships? How does corruption affect governance and development? You can find answers to all these questions at do my homework service.

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research paper topics on professional ethics

Ethical Research Paper Topics

27 May, 2022

14 minutes read

Author:  Josh Carlyle

Writing a research paper on ethics is not an easy task, especially if you do not possess excellent writing skills and do not like to contemplate controversial questions. But an ethics course is obligatory in all higher education institutions, and students have to look for a way out and be creative. When you find an […]

Ethical Research Paper Topics

Writing a research paper on ethics is not an easy task, especially if you do not possess excellent writing skills and do not like to contemplate controversial questions. But an ethics course is obligatory in all higher education institutions, and students have to look for a way out and be creative. When you find an appropriate research paper topic that is interesting to you, the process of writing will be much easier.

And in this article, we prepared for you the most popular ethical research paper topics. They will never be outdated and make creating a paper enjoyable.

Tips on How to Choose Ethical Research Paper Topics

A good paper topic is a key to successful research. Very often, students do not pay much attention to the research subject selection. They think that if it sounds understandable and there are not many words, then it’ll work for their paper. But in practice, the situation is different, and a sophisticated topic that was challenging to get at once appears to be a great issue for exploring and expressing a student’s own position.

There are thousands of ethics research paper topics on the web, and your professor may suggest you a list of such topics, but how to make the right choice? Here are a few useful tips that will help every student with the first stage of writing their ethics research paper.

Define Your Interests

Know what is interesting to you as a researcher and display your thoughts and views on an engaging topic in your paper. It may be medicine, ecology, finance, sociology, art, and other fields that are subjected to ethical analysis.

Do Your Research

Then you have to be attentive to ethical topics raised in social media, literature, newspapers, etc. Browse, read, and you will definitely find something that concerns you and can be further investigated in a research paper.

Brainstorm Topic Ideas

Once you come across some ideas to highlight in ethics research paper topics, analyze them by asking yourself specific questions. Make sure you have a strong opinion on the topic; is it of interest to you; is it relevant today; and if there are available resources for covering it properly.

Narrow the Topic Down

Finally, you should focus on a certain aspect of your ethics research paper topic. Speaking about an issue generally is not a good idea for successful research. Broad questions are even more challenging to cover than narrow ones as you can write a lot but do not know what to specify.

Simple Steps to Create Ethical Research Paper

Once you know how to choose research paper topics connected to ethics, now it’s time to learn a guide on writing the work. These easy steps will lead you to create your ethics paper successfully.

Outline the paper

Before starting your ethics research paper, create an outline of your future paper, including all essential elements. Firstly you should prove the topic you cover is essential for consideration nowadays. Present a thesis and its supporting arguments. These must also be counterarguments you reply to in your paper, proving the rightfulness of your thesis statement. Finally, summarize your research, specifying its significance.

Stick to a paper structure

Your research paper should consist of an introduction, body paragraphs, methodology, findings, discussion, conclusion, and references. There are special phrases to start your work effectively and formal linking words. Each paragraph must include one argument to represent them clearly. Ensure all the arguments have supporting evidence from ethical sources.

Edit and add final touches

At the editing and proofreading stage, you should be attentive to all details. Use special tools for checking your grammar and spelling, take a rest before rereading your paper or ask friends. When you are tired, you can omit some mistakes or make unnecessary changes.

Ethical Questions to Discuss

With so many ethical research paper topics, the choice may be tough, as it should be suitable for discussion, giving arguments, and counterarguments. You can resort to analyzing major ethical issues for a classroom discussion. Write a paper on how you define ethics and what its role and importance are. There is also an option to connect ethics with a specific profession. Speak about whether you consider yourself and our society ethical.

What are the means for making people behave more ethically? There are also ethical approaches, philosophers, and their studies to cover in your paper. It will also be a win-win solution to touch upon the issue of ethical egoism in your research. Discussion themes include the global pandemic, enslaving, honesty, poverty, dictatorship, vegetarianism, and more.

Easy Ethical Research Topics

Students always want to go the easy way, and ethical research paper topics can help them with that. If you want to conduct research easily, select a topic that is close to your interests and views. Generally, medical ethics topics are not simple to study, but if you study medicine or are curious about such issues, do not hesitate to write about them.

Students do not find it challenging to investigate the following themes: bad habits, organic food, plagiarism, social media, advanced technology, managing obesity, depression, air pollution, etc. What is easy for one person may seem an insurmountable task for another, so know your preferences and choose your favorite topic.

Controversial Ethical Research Topics

Controversial ethics research paper topics attract students due to the chance to express their solid standing on a view. By researching a provocative theme, you show your knowledge and creativity on issues that humanity struggles to solve correctly.

If you feel that this theme will bring you much benefit in refining your debating skills and defending your position, explore controversial issues. You can write about gun control, politics, abortion, black lives matter, immigration, and marihuana legalization, which will help you show you are a clear-headed thinker. A writer should identify two opposite perspectives on the question and choose their stance.

You can research adoption, homeschooling, suicide, plastic surgery, etc., in your ethics paper.

Business-Related Ethical Research Topics

There are plenty of ethical research paper topics on business and management. You can find a top-notch theme easily if you identify what business sphere attracts you the most. Today, business plays a crucial role in society and the global arena. So there will be no problems doing research on a fresh business theme.

While there are numerous research papers written in this field, there are still uninvestigated angles. Choosing the right topic will expand your knowledge on the subject and help you get a high grade. You can start by brainstorming business ethics’ relevance in modern society. And then narrow it down to study certain concepts.

These are the following business topic ideas: cryptocurrency, employee monitoring, corporate governance, utilitarianism, universal income, or corporate sustainability.

Environmental Ethical Research Topics

Nowadays, environmental ethics topics are quite popular among researchers. People care more about the environment and try to do their best to save our planet. But very often, different issues arise on the way to an eco-friendly future that should be investigated. There are multiple environmental ethics topics that include the environmental ethics of a particular administration that will look fresh and relevant for researchers worldwide.

Other issues to cover concern global warming, corporate ethical responsibility, deep ecology, and pollution. It’ll be interesting to experiment with writing a paper on the eco-feminist approach to solving environmental problems. Choose a controversial environmental ethical theme and study ethical justification and critique of vegetarianism. Explore environmental harm to indigenous people, ethics of using animals for entertainment, farming, research, etc.

Ethical Leadership Research Topics

Leadership ethics topics are of interest to many students conducting ethical research. It is an important issue in the workplace, so everyone should be aware of ethical leadership issues. When writing an ethics research paper on leadership, a student should know ethical leadership principles, namely honesty, integrity, community, justice, and respect, to have a basic understanding of the concept.

Now we will explore ethics research paper topics for you to explore in your paper. They include ethical leadership roles, relational leadership concepts, employee relations, productivity, organizational performance, Nelson Mandela as a bright leadership example, etc. It will be great to investigate if ethical leadership affects successful leadership.

Biomedical Research Paper Topics

Students choosing medical ethics topics make a huge contribution to the research field. Biomedics is a widespread issue for consideration, and every unique opinion plays a huge role. At first sight, the research on cloning or genetic engineering may seem too complicated. But when you study the basics, you will be able to write a quality, original paper. When choosing biomedical ethics topics, consider their relevance as science is evolving and discoveries appear continuously.

So keep pace with the latest news in this field and explore biomedical ethics topics to cover in your research, such as cloning issues, organ donation ethics, organ transplantation problem, discrimination in care, health disclosure question, organ trafficking, AIDS discrimination, animal research, etc.

The Ethical Dilemma as a Research Topic

An ethical dilemma is a controversial topic for research when it’s required to make a hard choice between two possible options. It can seem that they both are good or, on the contrary, bad, and the right decision is impossible. However, ethical dilemma topics develop a person’s critical thinking and ability to solve an issue based on ethical values. You probably know such a popular trolley dilemma that was deeply investigated, but it is still challenging for a person to decide the morality of killing one person to save five lives.

When researching ethical dilemmas, a writer should choose a justice or relationship perspective for approaching the issue. Let’s find some more ethical dilemma topics: abortion, euthanasia, religious beliefs, transplantation, medical errors, nazism, etc.

Ethics Topics to Make a Presentation

When creating an ethics research paper, students are supposed to present it to the audience. So the topic you choose must be easy to use for a presentation and visualize. There should be lots of quality visual supporting material for an engaging presentation. Do not forget that your presentation should be informative but, at the same time, not overwhelmed with textual data.

A creative topic encourages a student to do thorough research and present it in a visually appealing form. So explore popular ethical research paper topics for a presentation that includes LGBT discrimination, genetic cloning, racism, immigration, feminism, sexism, fur & leather cloth wearing, etc.

How to Find a Reliable Writing Service

Writing a paper on ethics may be easy for some students, but many often find it hard to find time for research. You can select a good research theme that is of interest to you, but you cannot do it yourself for some reason. Then writing services will provide you with academic support.

And if you face a dilemma about what service to choose as there is an abundance of professional essay writer platforms, pay attention to the following tips.

Variety of writing services and topics

A professional company provides multiple services and has expert writers in different fields. They need to be certified and have experience in creating papers on certain topics. They should know well the instructions for writing academic works of any kind. Their writing styles should include MLA, APA, Harvard, and Chicago. In such a way, the academic writing platform will perform a quality ethics research paper.

It is crucial that a writing service you choose gives their clients guarantees on money back, plagiarism-free works, and free revisions. They should return you money for the paper if it doesn’t comply with the instructions and requirements. You can check the paper, ask for editing and improve some aspects of the writing process for fourteen days after the work completion. This data is available in their terms and conditions.

Positive testimonials

When looking for a service to make a research paper, make sure it has many satisfied clients. Read reviews and find if the company sticks to deadlines and provides high-quality papers. Testimonials can also tell you how the service treats its clients, if it has good customer support, and generally whether it is safe.

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Ethical Research Paper Topics

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Ethical Research Paper Topics

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How to Select the Best Ethical Research Paper Topics?

Usually, the teacher gives the students topics for research papers. If you have a difficult topic, then try swapping with someone. Perhaps your topic will seem easy to someone.

If you do not understand the topic, go to the teacher and ask them to change it. The teacher can explain this topic to you or allow you to come up with a research paper topic yourself. For the latter, you need to come up with a good reason. For example, you can say that there is already a topic that fits your research paper.

How to Find Sources for Writing a Research Paper?

The right topic is the key to success. Therefore, choose an interesting and understandable topic for yourself, and you will be able to write a research paper quickly and easily.

The second step in writing a research paper is to find suitable literature sources. Most often, these are scientific articles, monographs, and textbooks. You can look at the literature given by the teacher in the list of topics. However, if there are no options, you will have to look for them yourself.

In total, you need to collect at least 7-10 sources. Add at least one monograph or one textbook. Look closely at the year of publication. It is allowed that the publication was released no earlier than 3 years from the current moment. You can add only 1-3 sources, which may be older. They must be authoritative and, at the same time, be authored by a famous scientist.

Also, if you use references to materials from other centuries in your research paper, you will need to indicate them in the list of references used.

Be sure to add links and footnotes. If you do not do this, the teacher will immediately notice. The teacher will note that you did not rely on a theoretical basis and did not use the reference list. Therefore, the more references and footnotes in the research paper, the better.

In addition, footnotes add volume to your work. Proper formatting helps save 2-3 pages. So, writing a research paper using them will be easier. To make your task even easier, we have prepared a list of ethics topics for the research paper. With these topics, it will not be difficult to find sources.

List of Ethical Research Paper Topics – 20 Ideas

  • Justice: concept, types, forms of manifestation in the field of jurisprudence.
  • Is the content of the judgment (verdict) based on law or morality?
  • Types, forms, and means of moral education.
  • Partnership and friendship as special types of communication.
  • Reflection of moral and legal requirements for the professional activities of law enforcement officers in the main international agreements in the field of human rights protection.
  • Ethics of relations between the head of a state institution and his subordinates.
  • The category of honor is an assessment and recognition of the merits of law enforcement officers to society.
  • The cultural standards of people under the tribal system.
  • The cultural standards ideal and its relationship with reality.
  • Honor and dignity of a person and forms of their manifestation.
  • The role and importance of ethics in the activities of a modern specialist.
  • The problem of the humanization of the penitentiary system.
  • Engineer’s etiquette.
  • Skepticism of the ethical theory of Montaigne.
  • Moral requirements in the relationship of a civil servant with citizens.
  • The moral foundations of the investigator’s behavior during the inspection of the scene.
  • The meaning of life as a moral problem.
  • Good and evil as the main ethical categories.
  • The ethical and legal status of the death penalty
  • Cultural standards and politics.

15 Ethical Issues Topics for Research Paper

  • The human right for life: the moral aspect of euthanasia.
  • The moral paradox.
  • Simple norms of morality and their historical fate.
  • Happiness as an ethical category.
  • Ethical views of Socrates and Plato.
  • National features of professional ethics.
  • The culture of speech is one of the requirements of law enforcement officers.
  • Moral norms, principles, public opinion as instruments of their regulation.
  • Moral freedom and responsibility.
  • Ethical requirements during interrogation.
  • The problem of justice in morality.
  • Scientific and technological progress and morality.
  • Moral principles and norms of human communication.
  • The cultural standards of an engineer.
  • Norms and principles of professional ethics.

15 Easy Ethical Research Paper Topics

  • Essence, structure, and functions of morality.
  • Naturalistic eudemonism in the ethical concepts of enlightenment.
  • The presumption of innocence in the United States.
  •  Basic ethical teachings in Ancient Greece
  • Love as a moral value.
  • Anthropological ethics of L. Feuerbach
  • Moral features of the defender’s speeches in court.
  • The meaning and role of etiquette in the work of a lawyer.
  • Ethical concepts of US Democrats.
  • Business ethics and spirituality.
  • Moral culture of the organization
  • Culture standards of the entrepreneur.
  • Ethics of business and business relations.
  • Professional ethics: types and social roles.

10 Ethical Egoism Research Paper Topics

  • Aristotle is a systematizer of Attic ethics.
  • The place of morality in the spiritual life of society.
  • Morality on the threshold of the 21st century.
  • The structure of ethics and its main categories.
  • Conscience is a moral regulator and forms of its manifestation.
  • Implementation of the educational function of morality in the work of a lawyer.
  • The subject and main stages of the formation of ethics.
  • Ethical ideas of G. Hegel.
  • The moral aspect of the correlation of violence and non-violence.
  • Ethical features of the preparation and conduct of an investigative experiment.

10 Controversial Ethical Topics for Research Paper

  • Evangelical culture standards are the basis of medieval European ethics.
  • The ratio of morality and law. The ratio of goals and means to achieve them from the standpoint of the cultural standards of our time.
  • Power and morality in a lawyer’s work: the problem of their relationship.
  • The unity of the objective and subjective aspects of moral duty.
  • Properties of morality as a specific form of social relations.
  • Basic ethical teachings in the Middle Ages.
  • Morality and religion.
  • Cultural aspects of the identification.
  • Cultural conflicts and their resolution.
  • Ethics of professional relations with convicts.

10 Ethical Leadership Research Paper Topics

  • The role of moral factors in the success of the professional activity.
  • Corporate culture and ethics of the head.
  • Leadership etiquette.
  • Professional ethics and its features
  • Moral components of the corporate culture.
  • Professional ethics of the head.
  • Service ethics of the modern leader.
  • Professional morality in the information society.
  • Professional activity and moral qualities of the employee.

10 Ethical Research Paper Ideas

  • Happiness is one of the ethical and philosophical categories.
  • Ethical requirements for the investigator during the search.
  • The hedonistic ethical doctrine of Epicurus.
  • Culture standards of the head of the enterprise.
  • Personal discipline is one of the basic requirements for the cultural standards of law enforcement officers.
  • Etiquette is a necessity in the activity of a lawyer.
  • Moral of the use of hypnosis and polygraph.
  • Basic concepts of the origin of morality.
  • Ethical aspects of resolving the issue of inadmissibility of evidence.

10 Interesting Ethical Research Paper

  • The moral philosophy of the Ancient East: the service of Confucius, the ideal of Lao Tzu, the Buddhist ethics of self-improvement.
  • Ancient ethics as a philosophy of virtue. Ethical rationalism of ancient philosophers. The main directions of ancient ethics.
  • The rigorism of the ethical teachings of Plato, the Cynics, the Stoics. Moral imperatives of building an ideal state.
  • The most important ethical teachings of the 20th century: the metaethics of emotivism and existentialism.
  • Good and evil as the basic concepts of moral consciousness. Dialectics of the goal and the means to achieve it.
  • Freedom as the basis of morality. Free will and moral responsibility of the individual.
  • Duty as a regulator of human behavior.
  • The concept of conscience. Shame and doubt as forms of manifestation of conscience.
  • Justice, responsibility, and dignity as categories of moral consciousness.
  • Love and friendship as categories of moral consciousness.

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Ethics Research Paper

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Sample Ethics Research Paper. Browse other research paper examples and check the list of research paper topics for more inspiration. If you need a research paper written according to all the academic standards, you can always turn to our experienced writers for help. This is how your paper can get an A! Also, chech our custom research proposal writing service for professional assistance. We offer high-quality assignments for reasonable rates.

Ethics in Philosophy: An Exploration of Moral Thought and Practice

In this ethics research paper, we embark on a comprehensive exploration of ethics as a fundamental subfield of philosophy. Tracing its historical evolution from ancient Greek thought to contemporary discourses, the paper delves into major ethical theories, including virtue ethics, deontology, and utilitarianism, among others. By contextualizing ethics within various spheres such as bioethics, environmental ethics, and business ethics, the research underscores the intrinsic role of ethical philosophy in shaping societal values, behaviors, and decision-making processes. The paper further scrutinizes the challenges and debates in ethical philosophy, emphasizing the enduring human quest for moral understanding and a just society.

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Get 10% off with fall23 discount code, introduction.

Ethics, originating from the ancient Greek term “ēthikos,” denotes the study of moral values, virtues, and character (Aristotle, 1999). As a branch of philosophy, ethics assumes the crucial responsibility of discerning right from wrong, probing into the nature of the good life, and establishing the moral principles that should govern human behavior (MacIntyre, 2007). Its paramount role in philosophy is magnified when observed alongside other branches. For instance, while metaphysics investigates the nature of reality and existence, and epistemology delves into the sources and limitations of knowledge, it is ethics that contemplates how we ought to act based on our understanding of the world (Kant, 1981). Ethics provides the moral compass for societies and the individuals within them, guiding them through life’s multifaceted decisions.

There is a deep-seated relationship between ethics and other philosophical disciplines, notably metaphysics and epistemology. Metaphysical inquiries often form the bedrock of ethical beliefs; understanding one’s stance on the nature of reality or the intrinsic nature of human beings can deeply influence their ethical positions (Hume, 2007). On the other hand, epistemology, the study of knowledge, intersects with ethics when questioning how we ascertain what is right or wrong. Do we rely on reason, intuition, divine decree, or societal consensus? The ways we acquire and validate knowledge can deeply impact our ethical judgments (Mill, 2002).

In light of these interconnections, this paper’s scope and objectives are meticulously outlined. Our primary goal is to illuminate the role of ethics as a cornerstone of philosophical discourse, exploring its foundational principles, historical trajectories, and the contemporary challenges it grapples with. We endeavor to critically assess key ethical theories, position ethical deliberation within various human experiences, and confront the ongoing debates around moral relativism, the influence of emotion on ethical decisions, and the repercussions of scientific developments on moral thought. Through this detailed scrutiny, the overarching aim is to emphasize the continued pertinence of ethical philosophy in dictating both personal conduct and wider societal norms.

Historical Overview

Ethical thought, like many philosophical disciplines, has undergone immense transformations through history, influenced by sociopolitical contexts, technological advancements, and profound thinkers who challenged prevailing beliefs.

Early Ethical Thought: From the Greeks to the Middle Ages

The seeds of ethical thinking can be traced back to the ancient Greeks, with the likes of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Socrates, through his dialogues as penned by Plato, relentlessly pursued the nature of virtue and the essence of a good life, emphasizing the role of self-knowledge in moral conduct (Plato, 2000). Aristotle, in his Nicomachean Ethics , introduced the concept of eudaimonia, often translated as “flourishing” or “well-being,” postulating that humans inherently strive for this state and that virtue is the means to attain it (Aristotle, 1999).

The ethical discourse, while rooted in these Greek ideals, soon expanded as the Roman Empire embraced and adapted them. Philosophers like Cicero and Seneca, influenced by Stoicism, expanded on notions of virtue, duty, and the significance of reason in ethical decision-making (Long & Sedley, 1987). With the rise of Christianity, ethics underwent another transformation. Thinkers like Augustine and Aquinas synthesized classical philosophy with Christian theology, resulting in an ethical framework grounded in divine providence, scripture, and reason (Aquinas, 1981).

Renaissance and Enlightenment: Evolution of Moral Reasoning

The Renaissance, with its rekindled interest in classical works and human potential, saw ethics transition from divine-centered to human-centered reasoning. Erasmus, Mirandola, and Machiavelli confronted the role of the individual in determining moral conduct, emphasizing the capacity for self-determination (Erasmus, 1974).

However, the Enlightenment era brought about a more radical shift. Moral philosophy during this period was characterized by an appeal to reason and universality, detached from religious dogma. Immanuel Kant’s deontological ethics postulated that duty, grounded in rationality, was the primary determinant of moral action (Kant, 1981). Contrastingly, utilitarians like Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill contended that actions should be judged based on their consequences, specifically, their ability to bring about the greatest good for the greatest number (Mill, 2002).

Modern and Contemporary Ethics: Diverse Perspectives and Complexities

The 19th and 20th centuries witnessed an explosion of diverse ethical frameworks, reflecting the complexities of an interconnected world. Existentialists, like Sartre and Nietzsche, questioned the very foundations of moral values, asserting that individuals must create their own essence and values in an otherwise indifferent or even absurd universe (Sartre, 2007). Simultaneously, the rise of global conflicts and advancements in technology brought forth ethical dilemmas previously unimagined, leading to the development of specialized fields like bioethics and environmental ethics.

In contemporary discussions, postmodernism challenges grand narratives, asserting that ethics is culturally and historically contingent (Lyotard, 1984). This has sparked debates between moral relativists, who argue that ethical principles are context-dependent, and moral objectivists who believe in universal ethical truths.

In essence, the trajectory of ethical thought has been one of perpetual evolution, reflecting humanity’s relentless quest to understand the nature of right and wrong in an ever-changing world.

Major Ethical Theories

Throughout history, philosophers have grappled with the intricate nature of morality, generating a plethora of ethical theories. Each theory approaches the questions of right, wrong, and the underlying justifications from distinct perspectives, reflecting the diversity of human experience and thought.

Virtue Ethics: Aristotle, MacIntyre, and the Focus on Character

Originating from Ancient Greece, virtue ethics emphasizes the character of the moral agent rather than the act itself. Aristotle posited that ethical virtues, like courage and temperance, are dispositions nurtured through practice and reflection, guiding individuals toward eudaimonia or a flourishing life (Aristotle, 1999). This perspective was later rejuvenated by Alasdair MacIntyre, who criticized the fragmented moral language of modernity and advocated for a return to a virtue-centered discourse rooted in shared community narratives (MacIntyre, 2007).

Deontological Ethics: Kant and the Duty-based Approach

Contrasting the character-driven virtue ethics, deontological ethics underscores the moral duty or obligation governing actions. Immanuel Kant, its principal advocate, argued that moral actions are dictated by the categorical imperative, an absolute, unconditional requirement that stands independent of any ulterior motive and is applicable universally. He famously asserted that individuals should act in such a way that their actions can be willed as a universal law (Kant, 1981).

Utilitarianism: Bentham, Mill, and the Greater Good

Rooted in consequentialist thinking, utilitarianism judges actions based on their outcomes, particularly in terms of overall happiness or pleasure generated. Jeremy Bentham, the theory’s progenitor, proposed the principle of the greatest happiness for the greatest number as the measure of right and wrong (Bentham, 1789). John Stuart Mill refined this idea by distinguishing between higher and lower pleasures, asserting that intellectual and moral pleasures are inherently more valuable than mere physical ones (Mill, 2002).

Existentialist Ethics: Sartre, Camus, and Individual Freedom

Existentialism, transcending traditional frameworks, emphasizes the individual’s freedom and responsibility in an indifferent or even absurd universe. Jean-Paul Sartre contended that humans are “condemned to be free,” burdened with the responsibility to define their own essence through choices devoid of any pre-existing moral blueprint (Sartre, 2007). Albert Camus further explored the concept of the absurd, the conflict between humans’ search for meaning and the universe’s silence, suggesting that individuals must create meaning despite inherent absurdity (Camus, 1942).

Care Ethics: Gilligan and the Ethics of Care

Emerging as a critique of traditional moral theories that often foregrounded male perspectives, care ethics emphasizes relationships, interdependence, and emotional responsiveness. Carol Gilligan, its foremost proponent, posited that women often perceive morality through a lens of care and connectedness rather than abstract principles of justice. Thus, moral actions in this framework prioritize preserving relationships and responding to the needs of others with empathy and compassion (Gilligan, 1982).

In summation, ethical theories provide varied lenses to understand morality, each contributing unique insights and methodologies. The diversity in these theories underscores the intricate, multifaceted nature of human moral reasoning, constantly evolving in response to shifting societal contexts and challenges.

Ethics in Context

Ethical theories, while rich in their philosophical foundations, gain practical significance when applied to real-world scenarios. Different contexts bring forth specific moral dilemmas that necessitate tailored ethical analyses. Here, we delve into several such contexts, exploring the prominent issues and the ethical considerations therein.

Bioethics: Medical Ethics, Cloning, Euthanasia

Bioethics grapples with the ethical issues emerging from medical practices and biological research. The advancements in medicine and biotechnology, while offering unprecedented benefits, also pose moral conundrums. Medical ethics, for instance, concerns itself with patient rights, informed consent, and the balance between autonomy and beneficence (Beauchamp & Childress, 2001). Cloning, particularly reproductive cloning, raises questions about identity, the value of genetic uniqueness, and the potential harms to cloned individuals (Kass & Wilson, 1998). Euthanasia, or assisted suicide, is a contentious issue, with arguments revolving around personal autonomy, the sanctity of life, and the ethical responsibilities of medical professionals (Dworkin, 1998).

Environmental Ethics: Anthropocentrism vs. Biocentrism

The ecological crises of the modern era have brought environmental ethics to the fore. This field challenges the traditionally anthropocentric perspectives that prioritize human interests over ecological ones. Instead, biocentric views argue for the intrinsic value of all living entities, regardless of their utility to humans (Taylor, 1986). Such perspectives lead to a reevaluation of actions like deforestation, animal cruelty, and environmental degradation, emphasizing the moral duties owed not just to humans but to the larger biosphere (Callicott, 1999).

Business Ethics: Corporate Responsibility, Consumer Rights

In the realm of commerce, business ethics interrogates the moral principles guiding business practices. Corporate responsibility touches on the obligations companies have towards society, encompassing aspects like sustainable practices, fair wages, and community development (Crane & Matten, 2007). Consumer rights, on the other hand, look at the ethical implications of product transparency, fair pricing, and the potential manipulations of marketing (Smith, 2003).

Social Ethics: Issues of Justice, Equality, and Rights

At the societal level, ethical concerns morph into broader considerations of justice, equity, and rights. Philosophers like John Rawls have discussed the principles that would constitute a just society, advocating for structures that compensate for social and natural disadvantages (Rawls, 1971). Gender, race, and economic disparity further nuance these discussions, prompting debates on affirmative action, reparations, and social mobility. At its core, social ethics endeavors to determine how societies can be structured to ensure fairness, respect, and dignity for all members (Young, 1990).

In essence, these contextual explorations underscore the pervasive nature of ethics, emphasizing its significance across diverse facets of human existence. The challenges posed by each context demand rigorous ethical scrutiny, ensuring that progress, whether scientific, economic, or social, remains tethered to moral foundations.

Challenges in Ethical Philosophy

The landscape of ethical philosophy is riddled with intellectual challenges, debates, and conundrums. Central to this are questions of objectivity, the nature of prescriptive statements, and the influence of our biology on moral judgments. Each of these quandaries offers a profound reflection on the foundational aspects of moral reasoning and the sources of our ethical intuitions.

Moral Relativism vs. Moral Objectivism

A key contention in ethical discourse is the tension between moral relativism and moral objectivism. Moral relativism holds that moral truths or values are not absolute but instead are shaped by cultural, historical, and individual circumstances (Harman, 1975). It suggests that what’s considered moral in one culture might be deemed immoral in another, challenging the notion of universal moral standards. In contrast, moral objectivism asserts that there exist objective, universally applicable moral truths or principles, independent of individual or collective belief (Rachels, 2003). This debate probes the very nature of morality: Is it a social construct, or does it possess an inherent, objective existence?

The Is-Ought Problem and Hume’s Guillotine

Introduced by David Hume, the is-ought problem (often referred to as Hume’s Guillotine) is a fundamental challenge in meta-ethics. Hume contended that prescriptive statements (what ought to be) cannot be logically derived from descriptive statements (what is) (Hume, 1739). For instance, just because a certain action leads to happiness (a descriptive claim) doesn’t mean one ought to perform that action (a prescriptive claim). This separation between factual descriptions and moral prescriptions has been a sticking point in attempts to ground ethics in empirical or naturalistic observations.

The Role of Emotion in Ethical Judgments: The Challenge from Neuroscience

Traditional ethical philosophy often paints moral reasoning as a largely rational enterprise. However, advancements in neuroscience and psychology have shed light on the pivotal role emotions play in our moral judgments. Studies have shown that emotional processes, sometimes occurring below conscious awareness, can influence moral decisions, challenging the notion of pure rational deliberation in ethics (Greene et al., 2001). Furthermore, conditions like psychopathy, where there’s a deficit in emotional processing, are associated with moral behavior anomalies, underscoring the intertwined relationship between emotion and morality (Blair, 2007). This revelation demands a reevaluation of ethical theories, prompting inquiries into how emotions and rationality coalesce in moral cognition.

In conclusion, ethical philosophy, while providing frameworks for moral reasoning, is itself subject to myriad challenges. These challenges underscore the complexity of ethical inquiry, reminding us that our understanding of morality is continually evolving, shaped by philosophical rigor, empirical discoveries, and societal reflections.

Metaethics: The Foundations of Morality

Metaethics, distinct from normative ethics, delves into the more abstract dimensions of ethical discourse. It investigates the nature, origin, and meaning of moral judgments, seeking to understand the foundational aspects of morality. Three central debates within this domain, which form the fulcrum of metaethical discussions, are the nature of moral judgments, the ontological status of moral facts, and the linguistic nuances of moral discourse.

Nature of Moral Judgments: Cognitive vs. Non-Cognitive

Central to metaethical discourse is the nature of moral judgments: are they factual claims about the world (cognitive) or expressions of sentiments and attitudes (non-cognitive)? Cognitive views argue that moral statements, such as “stealing is wrong,” purport to describe some feature of the world, much like “snow is white” (Ayer, 1952). If true, these statements would correspond to some objective moral fact. Conversely, non-cognitive views contend that moral statements are essentially expressions of subjective attitudes, emotions, or commands. According to emotivism, for instance, declaring something as ‘wrong’ is akin to expressing disapproval towards it (Stevenson, 1937).

Moral Realism vs. Anti-Realism

Closely connected to the previous debate is the issue of moral realism vs. anti-realism. Moral realists assert that there are objective moral facts or properties, independent of human beliefs or sentiments (Brink, 1989). Under this view, statements like “murder is wrong” would have a truth value regardless of human opinions. Contrarily, moral anti-realists deny the existence of such objective moral truths, suggesting that moral facts are contingent upon human conventions, sentiments, or sociocultural factors (Mackie, 1977).

Language, Meaning, and Moral Discourse

A deep-seated inquiry in metaethics revolves around the linguistic structure and meaning of moral terms. How should we interpret moral language? Some posit that moral discourse is primarily referential, where terms like ‘good’ or ‘right’ refer to some objective properties in the world (Moore, 1903). Others view moral language as expressive, capturing our emotions or commendatory stances (Blackburn, 1984). This debate extends into how disagreements in ethics are conceptualized: are they deep-seated disputes about the world, or do they reflect differing emotional or evaluative attitudes?

In summation, metaethics provides the scaffolding upon which ethical theories stand. It prompts us to scrutinize the foundational aspects of moral discourse, ensuring that our moral deliberations are underpinned by a robust understanding of their nature, origins, and implications.

Applying Ethical Thought

While ethical thought often delves into the abstract realm of principles, theories, and meta-level inquiries, its ultimate utility lies in its application to real-world issues. This application addresses the pressing moral dilemmas we face daily, informs our systems of moral education, and emphasizes the paramount role of philosophy in guiding human action. Ethical reflection is not merely an intellectual exercise but a tool for navigating the complex moral landscape of our lives.

Moral Education and Cultivation of Virtues

Education, both formal and informal, plays an indispensable role in shaping moral agents. From Aristotle’s emphasis on cultivating virtues through habitual practice to contemporary educational frameworks, moral education is seen as pivotal for individual and societal flourishing (Nussbaum, 1997). The goal is not just to impart knowledge of ethical theories but to foster virtues—qualities like courage, integrity, and compassion—that guide individuals in their daily actions. The cultivation of virtues, often starting from a young age, ensures that individuals are equipped to face ethical challenges with discernment and moral strength (Kristjánsson, 2015).

Ethical Dilemmas and Decision-making in Modern Society

Modern society, with its technological advancements, cultural shifts, and global interconnectedness, presents a plethora of ethical dilemmas. From bioethical questions surrounding genetic engineering to the moral complexities of political decision-making, individuals and societies are constantly tasked with navigating morally charged issues (Glover, 1999). In addressing these dilemmas, ethical theories offer frameworks for decision-making. Utilitarianism might prompt us to weigh the overall societal good, while deontological ethics would have us consider the inherent morality of actions irrespective of their outcomes. The richness of ethical thought provides multiple lenses through which these challenges can be viewed, evaluated, and acted upon.

The Role of Philosophy in Guiding Ethical Behavior

Philosophy, often perceived as an abstract discipline, is intrinsically linked to ethical behavior in the real world. By probing the foundational aspects of morality, philosophy offers insights into the nature of right and wrong, the nuances of moral judgments, and the dynamics of moral obligations (MacIntyre, 1984). Furthermore, philosophical reflection promotes critical thinking, equipping individuals to question prevailing moral norms, challenge unjust practices, and continually refine their ethical beliefs. Thus, philosophy doesn’t merely elucidate ethical principles but underscores the significance of ongoing moral reflection in guiding ethical behavior in evolving societal contexts.

In essence, the practicality of ethical thought lies in its deep entwinement with our lived experiences. It provides the tools, frameworks, and reflective spaces for individuals and societies to navigate their moral journeys, ensuring that actions align with deeply held values and that societies strive for greater moral harmony.

As we bring this exploration of ethics within the broader philosophical landscape to a close, it becomes essential to underscore the indispensable role ethics has played—and continues to play—in shaping both individual lives and collective societies. It is a testament to the timelessness of ethical inquiry that, even after millennia of philosophical evolution, the questions of right, wrong, and the very essence of goodness remain as poignant and relevant as ever.

Revisiting the Importance of Ethics in the Philosophical Tradition

From the earliest musings of Socratic dialogues to contemporary debates in academic halls, ethics has been the lifeblood of the philosophical tradition (Irwin, 1999). It addresses the most intimate and profound of human concerns: How should one live? What constitutes a good life? These are not just abstract questions but ones that resonate with the lived experiences of every individual. Whereas other philosophical branches, such as metaphysics and epistemology, grapple with the nature of reality and knowledge, ethics offers a compass for navigating the treacherous waters of human existence. It connects the cerebral world of thought with the tangible realm of action.

Current Trends and Future Prospects in Ethical Philosophy

In the ever-evolving field of ethical philosophy, the past century has witnessed a proliferation of perspectives, methodologies, and concerns (Hare, 1982). The rise of applied ethics—from bioethics to environmental ethics—reflects an eagerness to bring philosophical insights into immediate societal challenges. Meanwhile, intersections of ethics with other domains, such as neuroscience and artificial intelligence, point to the expanding horizons of moral inquiry. As we advance, it’s plausible to anticipate that ethical philosophy will increasingly engage with emerging technologies, globalization, and the pressing need for intercultural moral dialogues. The task for future ethicists will be to amalgamate the wisdom of tradition with the demands of an interconnected, technologically-driven world.

The Enduring Quest for a Good Life and Just Society

At its heart, ethical philosophy is driven by an aspiration shared across ages and cultures: the quest for a good life and a just society (Taylor, 1989). While definitions of ‘good’ and ‘just’ might differ, the underlying human yearning for purpose, happiness, and fairness remains universal. Ethics, in its multifaceted explorations, provides both a mirror to reflect upon our moral intuitions and a beacon to guide our path forward. It serves as a testament to humanity’s enduring hope that through reflection, dialogue, and action, a just and virtuous existence is attainable.

In summation, ethics, as a cornerstone of philosophy, offers a bridge between the introspective world of thought and the dynamic realm of human action. It encapsulates the timeless and universal human endeavor to discern, understand, and pursue the good. As society evolves, so will ethical challenges, but the tools and insights provided by ethical philosophy will continue to illuminate the path towards a life of purpose, virtue, and justice.


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