Historically, ethical theory and moral practice have found many different forms of expression. The ancient Greeks, for instance, relied on the moral judgments and prophecies of the priestesses of the cult of Pythia, also known as the Oracle of Delphi. Greek philosopher Aristotle consulted Alexander the Great about morality, religion, logic, and art. In ancient India and China, ethical theories underpinned religions like Confucianism, Hinduism, and Buddhism and influenced the development of modern societies. Today, we see the rising relevance of ethical reflection in the context of new and emerging technologies. Various decision-makers rely on experts who derive their ethical expertise from philosophical theorizing and empirically informed research.
Given the diversity of ethical practice in the past, in this blog series, we would like to offer a wider view of how ethical expertise finds application and is expressed outside of the purely academic field today. We want to show aspiring ethicists that there are many different forms in which their expertise can make a difference in the world of public and private organizations, especially since societal and technological changes fuel the demand for such expertise outside the comfortable walls of the ivory tower.
In this series, we present several interviews with persons who entered the field of ethics through academic research and who developed and explored approaches that allowed them to expand the scope of their ethical practice beyond the academy. We are especially grateful to the members of our 4TU.Ethics community who volunteered to speak to us about their journey in the field of ethics and hope that this series will be an inspiration for those who seek to combine ethical theory and moral practice.