Research Paper: “Ethics” – 20 Topics and Ideas to Get Inspired for Writing

In the contemporary world, where a growing tendency towards the establishment of a sustainable society takes place, ethics is a valuable field that provides ways of how to achieve this goal. However, because of the long-lasting history of this branch of philosophy and therefore, high diversification of ethical approaches, it is essential to conduct in-depth research before applying any of those approaches to the real-life issues. In this context, you should remember that ethics research paper requires you to be attentive to details of ethical doctrine. Do not hesitate to employ a variety of academic books and scholarly journals to make your research valid and relevant.

Topics and Ideas for Ethics Research Paper

1. Moral Relativism in a Globalized World

The concepts of Moral Relativism deals with the diversity of ethical principles resulted from a diversity of cultures. When researching this topic, you can refer to the ideas of normative moral relativism about tolerating the values of other cultures, even in case they contradict the widely accepted standards. Moreover, it will be interesting to discuss these ideas within the framework of globalization, reviewing the examples of international toleration.

2. The Role of Applied Ethics in the Contemporary World

Since Applied Ethics involves itself into the research and analysis of the controversial issues, such as abortion, capital punishment, and some others, it is critically important to analyze the background of this approach, as well as its place in the contemporary world. Namely, you can research the critical principles driving the theorists working towards this direction, as well as the significant contribution of the applied ethics to the practical study of the modern dilemmas.

3. The Contribution of William Ockham to the Development of Voluntarism

To understand better the ideas of the divine command theory or voluntarism, it is reasonable to research the life and work of William Ockham, the proponent of this theory. Although there is a list of widely known principles of voluntarism, you can research which of them have appeared due to the contribution of William Ockham and make a conclusion regarding the importance of the insights expressed by him, especially in relation to the other authors.

4. Skepticism as the Alternative to Divine Nature of Ethics

Although skeptics acknowledge the moral values, they reject the divine nature of ethics, or, in other words, the ideas of voluntarism. Instead, they insist on the human ground of morality. You can move on and research moral skepticism in relation to how it differs from the divine command theory.

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5. The Differences and Similarities between Male and Female Morality

Since gender issues are of high importance in the contemporary world, it will be reasonable to research and compare male and female moral values. To complete this task, you can analyze the scholarly articles containing surveys and experiments to figure out how those values differ, basing on quantitative data. Besides, you can employ theoretical insights and universal ethical theories to explain the results of the first part of the research.

6. The Basics of Consequentialist Justification

Consequentialism is among the most widely discussed ethical approaches because of its definition of morality. Namely, it states that morality is determined by the outcomes of the action. In this research, you can go into details of this approach, as well as review the example of the application of consequentialism taken from real life.

7. Contradictory Aspects of the Principle of Lawfulness

The principle of lawfulness is among the basic principles of ethics, which state that one should not violate the law to act ethically. Research this principle and discuss, providing real-world examples, and how it can contradict other essential ideas of ethics, such as the principle of personal benefit or principle of paternalism.

8. The Legality of Prostitution

The issue of whether prostitution should be acknowledged legal is long lasting but still unresolved. The reason is the existence of pluralistic values and contradictory ethical approaches. Research the two ethical theories that justify and refute the legality of prostitution, and reveal which one has more proponents. To perform this research appropriately, you can use academic literature to provide relevant facts about two approaches, as well as other sources to get an insight into the question of what theory is more promising.

9. Obligatory Status of Vaccination

Immunization programs become more and more popular in the contemporary world, while still being actively criticized by those arguing that obligatory vaccination violates the principle of autonomy. You can research different ethical approaches to this issue, including the one mentioned above, and after comparing them with the real-world facts, figure out the relevant conclusions regarding which theory should be accepted universally.

10. National Security vs. Individual Privacy: An Ethical Approach

This research should focus on the controversies that appear when one is trying to combine the goals of national security and individual right to privacy. You can study different ethical interpretations of this issue to find out the most convenient one. Also, highlight what situations require taking into account the individual interests over national security and vice versa. For this purpose, you can review the real-world case showing the process of balancing between national and individual interests.

11. Utilitarian Approach to Population Control

Use the contribution of Utilitarianism to research the issue of population control. Although non-interference in relation to the matter of constantly growing population protects people right to decide on the size of their families by their own, it creates significant threats for future generations, such as those challenges that relate to overpopulation. Using the utilitarian approach, ensure to research the advantages and costs of population control to figure out the position of the supporters of this theory regarding this matter.

12. Utilitarian Interpretation of Armed Conflict

In this research, it seems reasonable to include both theoretical and applied parts. Namely, after researching the major ideas of Utilitarianism, you can study how they apply to the matter of armed conflict and well-known examples of such conflicts. Besides, you can cover the appearance of terrorism, including the real-world cases, and conclude whether it can be ethically justified.

13. The Pluralism of Approaches to Forced Marriage

Ethics provide us with quite a multi-dimensional perspective on the issue of forced marriage. While the voluntarism does not acknowledge its morality because of the absence of religious sources for such appearance, the moral relativism offers a justification of it. Research both views and possible alternatives to figure out the mental map of ethical doctrine formed around the issue of forced marriage.

14. Ethical Approach to Animal Testing

While the supporters of the utilitarian approach argue that because of the benefits created for humans, animal testing is justified and morally right, there are still a lot of opponents to such an idea. You can research the alternatives to utilitarian perspective and, using the scholarly literature, assess which is the most promising in both short-term and long-term perspectives.

15. Categorization of the Ethical Arguments against Contraception

In this research paper, you can review and categorize the variety of arguments expressed against contraception as the method of birth control. You should mentally divide the arguments according to the major ideas standing behind each view, as well as theoretical approaches under which the perspective is expressed.

16. The Issue of Transplant Tourism

In this research, you should study the topic of transplantation, including the major ethical arguments for and against it. Using the theoretical approaches of ethics, research the views discussing whether the threat of transplant tourism is harmful enough to ban the compensated transplantation. It means that you should balance between the pros and cons of compensated transplantation, making an emphasis on transplant tourism as a significant disadvantage of transplantation.

17. Ethical Issues in the Workplace

The workplace is the environment with the increased chances of the appearance of various ethical issues, such as harassment. Research the common challenges that employees and employers usually face and provide the ethical assessment of those issues using the popular ethical approaches and scholarly literature.

18. Ethical Side of Beauty Pageants

While beauty contests are usually treated in a negative context, some people support these events, highlighting their strong ethics and contribution. Research the advantages and disadvantages of beauty contests to balance them within the framework of three well-known ethical approaches, which you can choose on your own.

19. Normative Ethics: Comparison of Deontology and Consequentialism

Normative ethics is among the most widely used branch of ethics, which allows us to understand what actions are morally right. However, it also covers the approaches that are quite contrasting. For this research, study and compare two opposing views of normative ethics – deontology and consequentialism. Additionally, it will be efficient for you to research the cases of the application of these perspectives in a real-world setting.

20 The Basics of Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

In the contemporary world, the well-designed code of ethics and professional conduct is an essential part of every successful and fruitful working environment. You should research this concept, including its characteristics, critical parts, and the outcomes of the application of such documents to the working practices. Moreover, you can point out the ethical approach that usually serves as a basis for the design of the code of ethics.


To conclude, ethics performs a critical role in particularly every aspect of life, providing moral guidance for decisions and doings. In spite of the wide range of ethical approaches, you should be able to know when and what perspective can be applied. Ethics research allows you to get acquainted with the specifics of ethical interpretation of a particular issue; therefore, the increased awareness will boost your ability to make the right decisions. However, you should remember that ethics research itself requires a high concentration and devotion to the long-lasting and profound study of academic literature to be conducted appropriately.

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