Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Living Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar


Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6435-8_178-3


Broadly speaking, ethics is the philosophical study of how we ought to live and what kinds of people and societies we ought to be or become. While the term sometimes refers to the systematic study of reasoning about how we ought to act often called moral philosophy, ethics is also concerned with matters of the most fundamental practical import. Central among its questions are those to do with how, as individuals and societies, we ought to treat others, why we ought to treat them in that way, how we should evaluate the motives underlying actions, and our responsibility for the predictable consequences of our actions and policies. The various answers to questions of this sort often depend on different general viewpoints drawn from moral theories such as deontology or consequentialism or from various religious perspectives, all with their different metaethical and ontological assumptions. In addition to this philosophical input, reflection on many ethical issues, such as those...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre of Medical Law and Ethics, Dickson Poon School of Law, Somerset House East WingKings College LondonLondonUK