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.
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