Ethics & Potter

Ralph Benajah Potter
A faculty profile of Dr. Potter can be found at the Harvard Divinity School website. It provides some biographical information and a list of courses he has recently taught.

Finding A Philosophical Perspective
The ethical decisions unique to photojournalism are explored in this article. It gives an overview of six major philosophical systems and describes their relevance to the ethical decision-making process.

To Spin Or Not To Spin
Professor Anne Gregory discusses the ethical dilemmas involved in Public Relations and advocates the Potter Box as a way to make clear and consistent ethical decisions.

To Share Or Not To Share
This article discusses the difficulty news organizations faced when forced to share information with law enforcement officials concerning the 1999 riots at MSU. It offers the Potter Box Model as a way to clarify loyalties in the decision-making process.

Applying The Potter Box To Merck’s Actions
This article applies the Potter Box to one of the cases in the Media Ethics text.

Using The Potter Box To Make Ethical Decisions
A summary of the Potter Box and its use in ethical decision-making.

An Examination Of The Ethics Of MD-reporter Involvement In Haiti
Health News Review’s Gary Schwitzer uses the Potter Box to evaluate physician-reporters reporting on their own delivery of health care in Haiti.


This site contains an extensive outline of Aristotle’s life, works, and ideas. This extremely thorough overview gives excellent background information on Aristotle and his philosophy.

Aristotle Overview
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s article provides a brief biography and a thorough description of Aristotle’s writings on logic, metaphysics, nature, psychology, ethics, politics, and art.

A brief biography of Aristotle along with descriptions of his classification of knowledge, his four causes, and his doctrine of the mean.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy describes Confucius’ life as well as social and political philosophies.

Aristotle: The Doctrine Of The Mean
In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics II.6-7 found here, Aristotle describes the Golden Mean.

Nicomachean Ethics
The whole of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics can be accessed through the Internet Classics Archive here.

Projects From Hell: The Ethics Of IT Project Planning
On pages four and five of his article on Information Technology (IT) ethics, David Gleason proposes Aristotle’s Golden Mean as one of four ethical systems relevant to IT project planning.

OU Torah Insights Project
At this site, Rabbi Emanuel Holzer argues that Aristotle’s Golden Mean leads to people “devoid of emotion” and shows how the teachings of the Torah allow the freedom of greater expression of emotion as long as the emotions are under control and expressed at the appropriate time.

Aristotle’s Ethics
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy describes the Golden Mean objecting to Aristotle’s idea that the individual must learn to express each emotion at the appropriate time and to the appropriate degree by arguing that some emotions such as anger and fear are not valuable at any time or to any degree.

The ‘Golden Mean’
In this article the author stresses the need for a clear and correct understanding of Aristotle’s mean arguing that too often journalists choose a mathematical mean between two extremes thinking they have acted ethically when really they have misunderstood Aristotle’s ethical system.

Communication Ethics
The author evaluates four ethical dilemmas from a variety of different ethical perspectives including Aristotle’s. Use it to solidify your confidence in applying the Golden Mean to real-life situations and to compare Aristotle’s ethical system with other approaches to ethical decision-making.

The Golden Mean
Dale Lugenbehl describes some practical applications of Confucius’ mean.

An overview of the moral terminology of Confucian moral terminology.

The Ethics Of Confucius And Aristotle: Mirrors Of Virtue
A book review of a comparison of Aristotle and Confucius’ versions of virtue ethics.

Works Of Confucius And Chief Followers
This site provides an online version of The Ethics of Confucius.


Kant’s Moral Philosophy
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy provides a thorough treatment of Kant’s philosophy with a description of his categorical imperative in section four.

Immanuel Kant
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy gives the historical background surrounding Kant’s life and work as well as a description of his philosophy and ethics.

Immanuel Kant
A biography of Kant as well as a timeline of his life.

Categorical Imperative
A definition of the categorical imperative including a comparison of Kantian ethics with Aristotelian ethics as well as a discussion of the problems with Kant’s moral philosophy.

Immanuel Kant And The Categorical Imperative
Shandon L. Guthrie explains three criticisms of Kant’s ethical system. The author concludes that though Kant’s ethical system is a valuable tool, it fails to provide a purpose for moral decision-making and would be strengthened with the definition of moral law as God-given.

Categorical Imperative
The Catholic Encyclopedia describes the Categorical Imperative discussing the merits of this ethical system and addressing the problems it creates for the theist.

Critique Of Pure Reason
J.M.D. Meiklejohn’s translation.

Critique Of Pure Reason
Norman Kemp Smith’s translation.

Fundamental Principles Of The Metaphysics Of Morals
T.K. Abbott’s translation.

Critique Of Practical Reason
T.K. Abbott’s translation.

Critique Of Judgment
J.C. Meredith’s translation.

Metaphysics Of Morals
W. Hastie’s translation of Kant’s Introduction.

Metaphysics Of Morals
W. Hastie’s translation of Part One: The Science of Right.

Metaphysics Of Morals
T.K. Abbott’s translation of Part Two: The Metaphysical Elements of Ethics.

Prolegomena To Any Future Metaphysics
Paul Carus’ translation.

The Categorical Imperative
Uri Avnery’s understanding of the categorical imperative.

Kant And Kantian Ethics
A website that overviews Kant’s philosophical thinking.

Kant’s Categorical Imperative: The Key To Telling Right From Wrong
An introduction to how the Categorical Imperative can help people make ethical decisions.

Kant’s Four Examples
Examples of how to understand and apply Kant to everyday ethical situations


Islamic Philosophy Online
This website provides much information about Islamic philosophy along with links to other information.

Islamic Political Philosophy: Al-Farabi, Avicenna, Averroes
This site describes the political and historical thinking of Islamic philosophers in different parts of the world.

Islamic Philosophies
This Web site provides an introduction to Islamic philosophies with links to more specific content.

Arabic And Islamic Psychology And Philosophy Of Mind
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy describes the prominent sources and thinkers pertaining to Islamic philosophy and the divine command.

Islam And Islamic Studies Resources
A website that provides many resources for the study of Islam.

Oxford Islamic Studies Online
Nearly 6,000 entries from esteemed Oxford works including the recently published Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World and more.

Islamic Studies
A website with many helpful resources for researching and studying Islam.

Morality And Ethics In Islam
Describes the place of morality in Islam and its relation to worship.

Islam Principles Of Moral Thought And Action
Islamic ethics discussed by Mohammad Fadel.


John Rawls, Influential Political Philosopher, Dead At 81
John Rawls’ obituary as published in the Harvard Gazette.

Original Position
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy describes Rawls’ philosophy of justice with the veil of ignorance discussed in section three.

Distributive Justice
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s article on different approaches to distributive justice provides useful background for the debate which Rawls addresses in A Theory of Justice and Political Liberalism.

The Politics Of John Rawls
A critique of Rawls’ philosophy as presented in A Theory of Justice.

The Enduring Significance Of John Rawls
Martha Nussbaum assesses the influence of Rawls’ philosophy in the July 2001 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Rawls Remembered
Richard Epstein of National Review commends Rawls as “a genuine leader in political and philosophical thought.”

In Praise Of John Rawls
Michael C. Dorf traces Rawls’ influence on moral philosophy and American legal thought.

A Theory Of Justice
This encyclopedia entry describes Rawls’ A Theory of Justice in which Rawls lays out his political and moral philosophies.

Do Human Rights Apply To China?
An application of Rawls’ principles of justice to human rights issues in China.

Rawls: The Original Position
This article from a course at Macquarie University in Australia describes Rawls’ disagreements with Mill’s Utilitarianism.

Problems With John Rawls’ Veil Of Ignorance
A university student examines apparent weaknesses in Rawls’ philosophy; particularly that it seems designed “by rational people, for rational people.”

John Rawls On Concrete Moral Principles: With Emphasis On Implications For Business Ethics
As the title suggests, this page is from a business course at Western Kentucky University which applies Rawls to modern business ethics. It is an interesting, thorough treatment with additional links.

Repression In Latin America
True to his principles, Rawls and over 80 other prominent intellectuals co-signed this letter-to-the- editor in 1981 on the plight of repressed Latin Americans.

The Laws Of Peoples
This is part of a 1996 original lecture by Rawls.


The British Utilitarians
This site provides an overview of Jeremy Bentham and John Stewart Mill’s perspectives of Utilitarian philosophy.

The Pros And Cons Of Utilitarian Ethics
This website provides information about aspects of utilitarian ethics.

A Millian Critique Of Library Censorship
A discussion of utilitarian arguments in favor of and against censorship.

Utilitarianism Resources
Links to information on utilitarianism and Mill.

Mill’s Moral And Political Philosophy
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s overview of Mill’s philosophy.

Description of John Mill, utilitarianism, and justification with links to other web resources.


Can You Really Love Your Neighbor As Your Self?
This article is a treatise regarding the command in the Torah to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Generally, people consider this as being a commandment given by Jesus. This article helps the student of ethics understand this commandment in the Judeo context of the Judeo-Christian Persons as Ends rationale.

Philosophy Of Love
This site provides various definitions of love and applies agape as a foundation of Judeo-Christian thinking.

The Christian Religion
Description and resources about Christianity.

Christian Ethics
Cauthen says, “the highest form of rational ethics according to Reinhold Niebuhr is mutual love — a giving and receiving in which all parties are considered equal in value.”

Two Concepts Of Caring
This essay is a reflection about caring theory. Noddings differentiates “caring about” and “caring for.” Noddings claims that caring theory does not refer to the virtue of care, but rather it describes relations in which the response of the cared for is crucial.

Noddings: To Know What Matters To You, Observe Your Actions
Noddings gives practical advice in this interview.