Project Proposal: Ethics:

R&D Project for Teaching Ethics,

Based on Particular Cases Drawn from Media Publications


by Dr. Herbert J. Geschwind

Emeritus Professor of Medicine (Cardiology), Medical Physics and Ethics

University of Paris XII, France





  1. Ethics is part of philosophy that encompasses metaphysics, logic and epistemology. It also pertains to aestheticism and is related to morality with an insight into justice and good.  Although the topic is increasingly considered to be crucial in many fields of human activities, it is not taught on a regular basis in teaching institutions. Moreover, only few examples of particular cases are published which would allow specialists, experts and lay people to analyse the outline of the reported facts, thus providing more detailed information on the circumstances of the presented issues. As far as this is accomplished people are in position to suggest appropriate decisions whatever the topic concerned, whether it were medicine, business, politics, scientific research ort publication of data.
  2. There is an increasing degree of urgency for inquiries because of current failure to understand meaning, pressure from ideologies or utopias, influence of individualism and more and more novel technologies associated with power given to humans.
  3. What is crucial is the vacuum of life, the lack of foundations especially those related to ethics and morality, in other words it is closely connected to nihilism without any valuable landmark and to the field of axiology that means science of values.  




  1. Regardless of the social sciences concerned, all of the latter think that ethics is the basis for human behaviour
  2. This is the case for anthropology with its cultural aspect, economy including resources, political science with what is at stake in power, sociology with groups dynamics, or sciences, biology and the special case o bioethics, ecology or computer ethics
  3. Based on opinions expressed by Spinoza on knowledge, the intellectual and affective relationship between humans, nature and a rational God, good could be defined what we know is useful for us among values such as individual or collective action in the framework of love for freedom. Is this different from utilitarianism which is thought to be applied to what is relevant for usefulness to society.
  4. A new tendency raised recently thanks to philosophers such as Hans Jonas, Paul Ricoeur who stressed the importance and significance of responsibility in terms of deleterious, unexpected consequences of the excessive use of techno-sciences on environment, society.





The objective of research and education is to provide readers with examples of cases that are daily reported and published in newspapers, journals, and media. The latter may reflect all kinds of human activities that should be followed by decisions as to determine what is good or bad and for whom. A sufficient amount of data should be provided that would be extracted not only from the cases submitted but also from examples drawn from bibliography, case laws, literature and various documents.




  1. Submit daily selected articles focused on especially interesting cases using the website
  2. Draw attention on the main interest of the articles and the points that are to be extensively developed  
  3. Help show readers how a balanced analysis should be presented
  4. Use data, documents, various readings to set up the analysis, synthesis and conclusions on the case
  5. Suggest the appropriate decision to be made keeping in mind the principles of ethics according to the main philosophers, lawmakers
  6. What has to be studied and evaluated is the definition and practical usefulness of normative ethics that is an attempt at defining moral imperatives, such as rights and duties. They should be classified among the regulations on how to behave, how to respect and how to act with others such as we ought to do what we would like to be done to us.
  7. Among other topics to have be explained are the following: never jeopardize the effects of our behaviour on global life and on forthcoming generations
  8. This does not negate the opportunities to talk about deontology and internal relationships inside communities such as companies, associations, institutions whether they are public or private.
  9. What may be crucial for the efficiency of this education would be to use examples derived from particular projects, using single cases such as those that are commonly used in casuistry. The latter may constitute the optimal way of teaching provided that the teachers are experienced in a special field and have a sufficient knowledge in solving or proposing optimal solutions for specific issues after having submitted an adequate analysis of the issues at stake.


Anticipated Results and Conclusions


The above mentioned program could open a wide door to a renewal of philosophy education as far as ethical issues are concerned from a practical point of view. The project is aimed at covering a wide spectrum of practical issues in the fields of justice, business, administration and other topics. It is amazing how narrow is the spectrum of moral questions covered during a human life in academic, business, official, private circles. Organizing this kind of education would be able to open minds, to balance affects and to provide all readers, students or seminar participants with the necessary data to make optimal decisions minimal passion.


Project to set up an association aimed at supporting the education program including philosophers, lawyers, historians, scientists, religious experts.



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