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Issues » 2011/2 - Psycho-Social Connection at Disadvantage Children »

Jakub Jinek, Alois Křišťan

Ethical Theory and its Application : A Problem for Social Work


The paper focuses on the problem of ethical education for social work practice. In a critique of M. Nečasová, Z. Dohnalová a R. Talašová’s paper, it explores 1. the nature of ethical theory both in general and with special respect to social work (following the criticized paper, we consider deontology, utilitarism and ethics of care), and 2. the appropriate aplication of these theories in social work practice. Concerning the former question the paper states that the proper attitude of a social worker to any historical ethical position is to be the one of “charity” which means that a) the theories form a coherent system of argumentation that makes them plausible; b) various theories are to be taken complementary. As to the latter question, the paper stresses that application of a theory consists not in “making a good choice” out of various historical perspectives but in adopting the topical way of reasoning which can make one’s moral believes plausible since it persuades not simply by an imagination (“casuistic”) but basically by an argument.


ethical theory, application, ethical education, deontology, utilitarism, ethics of care

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