Living Responsibly: Reflecting on the Ethical Issues of Everyday Life



Welcome to the home page of Living Responsibly: reflecting on the ethical issues of everyday life, a multifaceted project, which seeks to promote inter-disciplinary discussion of ways in which we can live more responsibly in our global village. Everything we do, every decision we make, in every aspect of our lives – both personal and professional, affects others, whether or not we think about those effects before acting.

Taking their professional responsibilities seriously, practitioners of a wide variety of professions, including medicine, psychology and social work; journalism, tourism and the arts; architecture, civil engineering and the law, engage in reflection about ethical issues as part of their daily practice. Most professions have an ethical code with which its members are expected to comply. But ethical issues are not to be found only in the workplace. Whether we know it or not, we all make decisions with ethical significance every day – about, for example, what we eat; how we behave towards others, including strangers, as well as family and friends; about the extent to which we are willing to share what we have with others who have less; about the energy we use in travelling and in heating our homes, and about where we should shop for food, clothes and the other essentials of modern life.

Probably the most debated problems about the intention to live responsibly arise in relation to human induced climate change, which has provoked heated debate at every level – about what we can to do to limit our impact on the planet – from changes in the ways we produce and package goods, to how we build, heat and insulate our homes; and from the advantages of using locally produced food and other necessities, to those of recycling almost everything. Of course, global warming is not the only area of life in which ethical living has become a major focus for many people.

Living Responsibly: reflecting on the ethical issues of everyday life will create a forum for those who care about how they affect the world and those with whom they share it. Focused on questions about how we can turn the intention to live responsibily, into action, the project will bring together professionals and academics from a wide range of disciplines and specialist areas including, for example, education; health and welfare; sociology; business; politics; psychology and applied philosophy with lay people and activists, in a discussion of ways in which we can act more responsbly and more ethically towards one another and towards the planet.

These are indicative themes; as the project develops, further areas of research will be added for exploration and examination.