This chapter seeks to provide an understanding of philosophical ethics sufficient for reading other chapters and for appreciating the relevance of philosophical investigations for epidemiologic ethics. Some central concepts and methods of biomedical ethics are explained. In the section on Social Morality and Professional Morality, several questions about the nature of morality and moral responsibility are discussed. In the Section on Problems and Methods in Moral Philosophy, several problems and methods in moral philosophy are discussed, and, in the final section, some ethical theories of importance for biomedical ethics are investigated.
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