Ethics

Learn about ethical practices

for science, health, business, the environment and more.

Ethical behaviour in business does bring it's benefits. In today's highly connected world; unethical business practices can be more readily exposed than ever before; and any sort of scandal can be a business disaster. Doing the right thing, can be a big bonus in the PR effort for any business; and a way of differentiating you from your competitors.
If your staff are not adequately trained though; it is very easy for ethical behaviour to be breached; sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally, and often with the business manager not even being aware.

 Understanding ethics is the first step toward practicing appropriate business ethics and developing the procedures to ensure all staff do the same.

 

Course Duration = 100 nominal hours

 

Course Content

There are nine lessons in this course as follows:

  1. Overview and Introductory Ethics
            Who invented ethics – What are its origins?
            Ethics and Philosophy
            Current Ethical Theories:
            Divine Command Theory of Ethics
            The Theory of Forms Theory of Ethics
            Theory of Relative Ethics
            The Three Areas of Ethics
            What determines your own Ethics/ Sense of Morality?

  2. Arguing an Ethical Position – An Overview of Meta Ethics
            Metaethical Theories
            Expressivism Theories (Non-Cognitive)

  3. Accommodating Varying Viewpoints
            Different Ethical Viewpoints
            Ethical Dilemmas

  4. Virtues and Morality
            Developmental Model of Virtue Ethics
            Morality

  5. Reasons for Ethical Decisions
            Theories of Ethical Decision- Making
            The Theories in More Detail
            The Principle of Double Effect
  6. The Social Contract
            Principle of Self-Interest
            Theories of Social Contract
            Twentieth Century Social Contract Theory

  7. Applied Ethics A - An Individual’s Rights
            Basic Human Rights
            The Underpinning Values of Human Rights
            Categories of Human Rights
            Human Rights Breaches
            Applied Ethics A

  8. Applied Ethics B - An Ethical Society
            What Is An Ethical Society?
            Applied Ethics B
            Case Study: African Caribbean People and Schizophrenia

  9. Applied Ethics C - Ethics in Work and Business
            Why do Organisations Need Ethics?
            Applied Ethics C - Organisations and Professions
            Benefits of Ethics in Healthcare

 

How Does a Person Become Ethical or Unethical in the First Place?

This is a concept that rests on the assumption that people are not born with moral virtues; but that those virtues “develop” through life.

Aristotle suggested that virtue develops through habit. He considered that if we do something good repeatedly, it becomes a habit, and we then tend to continue acting in that way. Virtue itself however is not a habit but requires thought and consideration. Developing the right habits helps us to behave virtuously. Someone who develops into a virtuous person over the course of their lifetime does so because they act in a kind manner in many different situations. It is not acquired through a sense of duty.

Virtue ethics theories highlight the role of character and virtue in morality rather than duty or acting in ways to bring about favourable outcomes. These models do not attempt to pinpoint universal principles which can be applied to different ethical dilemmas. That is, they don't aim to state what is right or wrong behaviour but rather what type of person we could be in order to lead a good life, and to that end they propose that we should develop a virtuous character.   

Principle of the Golden Mean
This is the concept that virtues are positioned between two extremes (e.g. eating too much and eating too little) and is one of the principles adopted in virtue ethics.

Buddha reportedly said that his philosophy was to live the middle way. In Chinese philosophy, there also exists the Doctrine of the Mean, which was put forward by Confucius and advocates taking a pathway between extremes.

Aristotle espouses a similar viewpoint, suggesting too much or too little of anything was not as good as something in the middle.  Aristotle argued that the golden mean is a desirable middle ground between two extremes, so one of deficiency and the other of excess. An example is courage. Too much courage can be seen as recklessness, not enough and it can be seen as cowardice.

In virtue ethics, the mean of a virtue is equivalent to the appropriate amount. In some cases it may be appropriate to show more courage or less courage. The mean amount depends upon the situation and the individual.

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Fee Information (S3)
Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $748.00  1 x $680.00
B 2 x $407.00  2 x $370.00

Note: Australian prices include GST. 
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