Ethics affects all human relationships, the more so when there are inequalities such as between adults and children. Ethics, in terms of formal codes and professional ethics, is sometimes seen as distinct from broader morality, but many authors use the words ethics and morality interchangeably. After reviewing key themes in the history of ethics, this entry questions whether or not ethics should be an explicit topic in childhood research. The role of ethics in the methods of research with children is then considered, along with standards for researchers and ethics reviewers to observe in helping promote efficient and ethical research.

Key Themes in the History of Ethics

Alasdair MacIntyre’s very readable short history of ethics covers the main moral debates in philosophy. Unlike many philosophers, MacIntyre ...

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