, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 157-173

Flourishing Ethics

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Abstract

This essay describes a new ethical theory that has begun to coalesce from the works of several scholars in the international computer ethics community. I call the new theory ‚Flourishing Ethics’ because of its Aristotelian roots, though it also includes ideas suggestive of Taoism and Buddhism. In spite of its roots in ancient ethical theories, Flourishing Ethics is informed and grounded by recent scientific insights into the nature of living things, human nature and the fundamental nature of the universe – ideas from today’s information theory, astrophysics and genetics. Flourishing Ethics can be divided conveniently into two parts. The first part, which I call ‚Human-Centered FE,’ is focused exclusively upon human beings – their actions, values and characters. The second part, which I call ‚General FE,’ applies to every physical entity in the universe, including humans. Rather than replacing traditional ‚great ethical theories,’ Flourishing Ethics is likely to deepen and broaden our understanding of them.