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Centre for Applied Ethics – South Africa

Aims

The Centre concerns itself with the values and ethics that underpin the moral fabric of South Africa – a moral fabric that was in tatters during the apartheid years where respect for decent morality and human rights was largely absent. In order to create a stable, coherent and prosperous society in the present and future, we believe there is a need to examine our values – those enduring beliefs that govern our actions.

The demand for this type of reflection in a post-apartheid South Africa has sprung out of the violence, moral indifference and ongoing criminality that continue to plague our society. Using philosophical tools, the Centre reflects on the questions of right and wrong, good and bad that emerge in practical situations in the medical, business and environmental spheres.

This process of deliberation is no simple task in a country where we have both great diversity in cultural values as well as a convergence of values due to the impact of modernisation. While the homogenisation of life worlds and experiences, brought about through technology and the mass media, have created much common ground, the hold on traditional values is often stronger than one might normally believe.

Activities

The Centre…

  • conducts interdisciplinary research on applied ethical questions
  • organizes seminars, annual lectures and conferences
  • offers the only well-established and highly acclaimed Master’s Program in Applied Ethics (with specialization in Biomedical, Environmental or Business Ethics) in South Africa
  • offers opportunities for accredited Continued Professional Development (CPD) programs in the medical field, and
  • offers advice and consulting services to people who are responsible for policy formulation and legislation.
  • The Centre is managed by a Director, and its policy and directory programs are determined by an Interdisciplinary Governing Committee, appointed by the Faculty Board of the Arts Faculty. The head of each of these units is, if necessary, assisted by an interdisciplinary management committee, and project committees are appointed for every project of the Centre.

    The Centre is located in the Department of Philosophy and reports to the University Senate via the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The Centre draws on the services of all the members of staff of the Philosophy Department and also makes use of staff members and students from the Faculties of Humanities, Health Sciences, Law, Theology, Agriculture and Forestry, Science, and Economic and Management Sciences.





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