The Department of Philosophy and Applied Ethics is in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.  It was established in 1980.

Why Philosophy and Applied Ethics?

Philosophy means “a love of wisdom”.  Hence, philosophy does not restrict itself to the dimension of intellectual knowledge alone but includes a specific focus on the ethical dimension of life that is captured by the term “wisdom”.  Critical thinking is an essential element in decision-making but this needs to be accompanied by an awareness of the moral implications of action.  Consequently, the Department places special emphasis on ethics which is a core dimension of philosophy and which is applied to diverse areas of social life such as business, public affairs, environment, and health.

The study of philosophy, then, may be said to have three main goals.  First, to examine certain fundamental concepts and problems.  Second, to acquire skills in correct reasoning.  Since these skills of correct reasoning and critical thinking apply to any subject matter, philosophy provides a general basis for a very wide range of occupation and professions. Third, to raise ethical issues that are involved in all areas of life.  For instance, how do we judge whether an action is right or wrong, good or bad – either in general or with respect to specific walks of life such as health care or business?  The study of Applied Ethics develops professionals who can ethically analyse cases and policies, and facilitate ethical decision-making.

Objectives of the Department

The objectives of the Department is to produce graduates at undergraduate and postgraduate levels who do the following:

·         have the understanding of the main philosophical disciplines and perspectives;

·         have developed critical thinking skills;

·         have the ability to evaluate the adequacy and justifiability of concepts, theories, and policies;

·         have an understanding of issues that go beyond scientific analysis;

·         have an understanding of diverse ethical theories and how to apply them to problem solving in different areas of social life;

·         have an ability to relate philosophy to character formation.