Applied Philosophy and Applied Ethics First
There are artful ways to apply reasons that we have for making conclusions and for coming up with solutions to problems that we confront in life. These reasons, which we present to ourselves and to others, help us to develop our skills, to make decisions and to develop psychologically. The reasons that we give assist us greatly in the process of forming any social group and within the foundation of every society because agreements must be established with reasons, and every social group has agreements or some degree of agreeableness.
Reasons with confirmation from the in-group and other groups assist us in answering the fundamental philosophical and practical questions about what we can know, what we can expect and what we should do in life. We know ourselves as social creatures, expect to be members of social groups and we form agreements as we engage in cooperation, sharing and collaboration, which are crucial for any society.
Agreements must be established with reasonable fairness because, generally speaking, one person is enough to ruin the lives of many others, and every instance of unfairness that is preventable (or reducible to some tolerable extent) is thereby risky.
For all of these reasons, applied ethics is placed as our most important study and gives us the moral foundations for our plans and implementations of moral ways of life for us to use first or foremost as applied philosophy.
Our individual moralities come together in agreements that form expectations for our social groups, each establishing its own morality for their social group. Applied ethics is the aspect of philosophy that increases our knowledge of what is relevant to our lives and the way that our lives should be. What gives us directions to our moral lives is knowledge of the way our lives should be. Also, applied ethics gives us knowledge of what we can do and what we should do, in accordance with our own moral value sets as well as the moral value-set of the our own groups and moral value-sets of others.
Applied philosophy is a set of tendencies for intensively investigating from the direction of any or all disciplines, for example, with their methodologies (e.g., history, psychology, sociology, engineering, environmental science, medicine) in combination with the methods of philosophy. See Brant (2021) for eight methodologies of philosophy and science.
The set of tendencies of applied philosophy include critical thinking and problem-solving skills for enhancing our decision-making. There are types of applied philosophies undergoing studies of their own, such as the philosophy of yoga, and social philosophy can be applied to bring about changes in societies.
Types of Applied Philosophy
The branches of applied philosophy that are relevant for application in life and the sciences include:
(1) applied epistemology, including methodological skepticism (i.e., the systematic use of doubt);
(2) applied logic, including rationality and reasons for questionable conclusions (i.e., with valid and strong arguments);
(3) applied ethics (i.e., including professional ethics, which improves the levels of safety, efficiency and fairness with justice in workplaces), reducing violence, managing conflicts effectively and communicating professionally;
(4) applied aesthetics (i.e., including the presentations of (1), (2) y (3) with the images and words in their effectively beautiful forms), facilitating others’ roles in reading, watching, listening and providing higher quality feedback.
Generally, in the applications of (1), (2), (3) and (4), the characteristics approach the goals of philosophic worldviews, namely:
(A) internal and external consistency;
Any worldview can be objectively judged in respect to the amount of internal and external consistency it has as well as the amount of completeness, parsimony and its practical application to life.
For example, atheism is criticized from the perspectives of theistic worldviews that claim atheism is incomplete since God is lacking from the atheistic worldview. Theism is criticized from the perspectives of atheistic worldviews that argue that God does not exist, and because God is a major part of the theistic worldview, theism is neither concise nor externally consistent with reality from the atheistic worldview.
Such worldviews are brought directly into the scientific communities, such as the medical community, and they play roles in the decisions that people make during their practices. That is, the philosophical worldviews are applied in sciences, and, therefore, deserve further developments in relation to their reconciliations in respect to other worldviews with their oppositions.
One way of reconciling worldviews is systematic philosophy, which compares and contrasts opposing systems of thought and remains or attempts to remain impartial regarding the different systems (Brant, ibid.). However, the dogmatic system of thought is generally a smaller focus than its opposing systems because it is already well-known and implemented often unwittingly in practice.
In life and the sciences, we use methodologies that can be improved. Moreover, we can evaluate the uses of the concepts and the real phenomena involved in the investigations.
Critical evaluation uses a new set of relevant values for the alternative interpretation of the facts of the observations and the analysis of the products and other real phenomena.
Critical evaluation includes logic with the addition of valuable content in contrast with the values of truth and falsehood and indeterminacy. Also, critical evaluation includes the alternative moral values for informing and changing the direction of the investigations. For example, sometimes an alternative set of moral values compromises loyalty for justice, in which case a relationship or more relations can be risked at the expense of informing the larger social group or groups of misconduct.
In the medical sciences and other applied sciences (e.g., engineering, architecture, aviation), the stabilization of expectations of the scientific community is paramount. Applied ethics is an obvious requirement for stabilization. For one reason, applied ethics gives decision-makers forewarning concerning the ethical problems, especially regarding safety, efficiency and fairness at workplaces and for products. Ethics develops the moralities of everyone who invests time and energy into it.
However, people have different sets of moral values. Some people value courage, moderation, justice and wisdom more than others. Others value trust, faith, individualism and personal strength more than others, and there are many other sets of values that differ from these two. Ethics develops our moral value-sets so that the values we prioritize and that have stronger impacts on us, with our self-blame and feelings of guilt, become more profound in the knowledge we gain about ourselves.
Reasons for Valuing Applied Ethics First: Gaining Knowledge of Ethics
Knowledge of applied ethics informs you about the way the world is in relevant ways to your life, and knowledge of applied ethics informs you of the way the world should be, according to your own values.
Knowledge of ethics in its real applications reveals to you what you ought to do and ought not do when making the world a better place that is more consistent with your own set of values and moral demands that you place upon yourself.
Citation: Brant, William A. (2022). “Applied Philosophy and Applied Ethics First.” Ethical Conflict Consulting. February edition.