Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics

pp 1412-1423


Global Ethics

  • Nigel DowerAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, School of History, Divinity and Philosophy, University of Aberdeen Email author 


In this article various approaches to global ethics are outlined. Within the field of inquiry called global ethics, two senses of a “global ethic” are distinguished, and several theories presenting a global ethic or cosmopolitan ethic outlined. These are then contrasted to several alternative accounts – relativism, communitarianism, international skepticism, internationalism, and profit-based business ethics. Illustrations from bioethics issues are given at various points.


Business ethics Capabilities approach Communitarianism Cosmopolitanism Global justice International skepticism Human rights Internationalism Libertarianism Relativism Kant Transboundary obligations Universal values Utilitarianism