2023 Abstracts Stage 3

Assessing the Ethical Justification of Cryptocurrencies: A Multilevel Economic Analysis Spanning Micro and Macro Perspectives

Cryptocurrencies have experienced rapid growth in terms of their usage and adoption, showing that they have the potential to change how th economic world functions. Through the use of various ethical theories, these being utilitarianism with reference to Bentham and Singer, Deontology and Kantian ethics and Social Contract Theory looking at the ideas of Locke and Rawls. This paper intends to evaluate whether cryptocurrencies can be justified through an examination of their effect on micro and macroeconomics, by applying the ethical theories and reaching a conclusion through them.

2021 Abstracts Stage 2

How Do Our Ethical Decisions Affect Environmental Change?

Over the course of my project I will be answering one of the most relevant and controversial questions of the 21st century. This question is a personal one as I hope to follow a career in the direction of environmental business and sustainability.
The aim is if ethics in our lives have positive or negative consequences. I will be discussing the environmental work of modern ethical philosophers such as Peter Singer and Thom Brooks whose work starts to lay out if there is a way of stopping environmental change if ethics are used in our lives.
I will be using Singer’s utilitarian approach and Brook’s political philosophy to truly discover the ways in which we can or if we can prevent worsening the environmental change problem.
I have chosen these particular philosophers as they single out the facts and problems with environmental change in both an ethical and moral perspective. They equally have two individual philosophies and ethical solutions which gives the project two very different sides to contrast.
Singer’s utilitarian and consequentialist theories and workings plays a valuable part in linking Bentham and Mill’s older utilitarian works. Brook’s political and activist philosophy gives the statistical analysis of the damage of environmental change and this aids in his conclusion, that basing ethics in our lives will slow the damage that environmental change has on the planet.
I have chosen an interpretive approach to my methodology with the analysis of both Singer’s ‘Practical Ethics’ and Brook’s ‘Climate Change Ethics for an Endangered World’. These books have a number of comparisons with other philosophers and their theories which gives many different angles to display support for my view that ethics in our lives has a positive effect on environmental change.
These ethical solutions and theories I have applied to what I believe are the core ethical dilemmas which environmental change either negatively affects or that contribute to these negative effects. The areas I have chosen are the effects on the animal species and the plant species, and also the affects that businesses and governments have on contributing to environmental change in the past and present.

2012 Abstracts Stage 2

The Ethics of the Hero: Can Comic Books and Graphic Novels be Used for Moral Guidance?

My project was an examination of Comic Books and Graphic Novels and whether or not they can be used to give us Ethical and Moral Direction in our lives. I focused on the Comic Books Kick Ass by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. and also on V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. I looked at the Ethical Philosophy of John Stuart Mill, looking at his Utilitarian theory from his Book titled Utilitarianism, Immanuel Kant and his theory from Groundwork for the metaphysics of Morals and also Thomas Hobbes’s theory seen in the Leviathan. I also looked at the Aesthetic Theory of Arthur Schopenhauer. I applied the Philosophy to the actions portrayed in the comic books to see if there was any ethical guidance to be taken from the comic books. Also looking at the Comics as works of art to see if there is any element of Aesthetic pleasure to be gained from them.

2012 Abstracts Stage 3

“The News We Kept to Ourselves”. Can the Media Ever be Justified in Withholding Information?

This project is an investigation into when, if ever the media can be justified in WITHHOLDING INFORMATION. This is a question PECULIAR TO OUR TIME, given the fact that the press now possesses MORE FREEDOM than ever before. The implications of the 2000 Freedom of Information Act, the recent PHONE HACKING SCANDAL and the 2011 controversy over the use of SUPER INJUNCTIONS all mean that what the media should do has become TOPIC OF CONSTANT DEBATE. I examined the ethical thought of both DEONTOLOGICAL and CONSEQUENTIALIST thinkers. KANT’S answer seems to be that media deception CANNOT BE JUSTIFIED under any circumstances, on the basis that it will always involve treating someone as the MEANS TO AN END. The UTILITARIAN argument is more forgiving and can justify a lie of omission in some circumstances. These two answers CONTRADICT each other. As such, I moved on to a more MODERN ANSWER, in the form of FOUCAULT and argued that a newspaper can be considered a discourse and as such, can set its OWN STANDARDS OF TRUTH.

2010 Abstracts Stage 2

Sex for Sale: an Investigation into the Ethics of Prostitution

Known as the world’s oldest profession, prostitution has always been present in society. However, the moral viewpoint regarding prostitution is not so consistent, the act being legal and regularised within some countries and punishable by death in others.

The aim of my project is to therefore attempt to find an answer to the ambiguity which surrounds the morality of prostitution. Looking only at a case of prostitution between two consensual agents – as any other example would clearly involve an inherently wrong violation of freedom – I will examine prostitution in the light of three prominent moral philosophical theories:

• Utilitarianism
• Kantian Ethics
• Hegelian Ethics

The choice of these particular theories is not only because they are notable moral arguments but also because they are very diverse theories.

This diversity consequently allows a balanced and thorough investigation into the morality of prostitution.
With regards to Utilitarianism, I will study Bentham’s ‘hedonistic calculus’ and Mill’s ‘greatest happiness’ and ‘harm principle’.

The application of Kant’s ethics means a study of prostitution under the categorical imperative.

Finally, prostitution in relation to Hegelian ethics involves an exploration into freedom and the societal values which can uphold this freedom.

Ultimately, I hope to reach a credible conclusion as to the morality of prostitution answering pertinent questions such as, does sex have an inherent special quality which should disallow it to be used as a commodity? And can the legalisation of prostitution ever be considered worthwhile for society?

‘Prostitution testifies to the amoral power struggle of sex…. Prostitutes, pornographers, and their patrons are marauders in the forest of archaic night.’ – Camille Paglia.