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Applied ethics and social problemsMoral questions of birth, society and death$
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Tony Fitzpatrick

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781861348609

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861348609.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Applied ethics and social problems

Tony Fitzpatrick

Policy Press

Given the author's interest in social policy and having researched an array of social and political theories, the author presents in this chapter a branch of moral philosophy known as applied ethics. Applied ethics really dates from the 1970s, a time when philosophers were becoming exhausted with metaethics and when a host of social movements and developments needed the kind of urgent attention they were not receiving from political ideologies. It captures the abstract, dialogical process of philosophical investigation, while dealing with questions that, although practical, do not lend themselves to quick and easy resolution. As this chapter presents, the main concern of this book is applying debates, theories and methods from moral philosophy to contemporary ethical issues relating to the disciplinary field (social policy) investigating the interactions of social problems, justice and wellbeing.

Keywords:   political theories, moral philosophy, applied ethics, metaethics, philosophical investigation, social policy

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