In the "Ethical Inquiry" series, we examine ethical questions, highlighting a broad array of opinion from journalism, academia, and advocacy organizations. Our intent is to illuminate and explore the complexity of some of the most vexing ethical questions of our time.

Click here to explore the full "Ethical Inquiry" series.

Ethical Inquiry: January 2015


2014 Year in Review

We begin 2015 with a look back at the issues we explored in "Ethical Inquiry" in 2014. We encourage you to explore these questions and the full collection of Inquiries - and share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter, and by email.

SanctionsThe Ethics of Sanctions
Amelia Katan '15
Championed as a humane diplomatic tool by some and accused of coercive harm of genocidal proportions by others, the ethics and efficacy of sanctions remain fiercely debated. In this Ethical Inquiry we explore the ethics of sanctions, focusing on economic sanctions imposed by governments, with a focus on the actions of the United States. Are sanctions a tried and true tool or simply an empty gesture to give the semblance of control within the anarchy of the global sphere?

Solitary CellExploring the Ethics of Solitary Confinement
Leah Igdalsky '14
Solitary confinement is a “jail within a jail,” an isolated cell that separates particular inmates from the general prison population. Typically, inmates in solitary confinement spend 23 hours a day alone in their small cells, without interaction with others, programming, or time with the general prison population. In this Ethical Inquiry we explore the ethics of solitary confinement, focusing on the use of this practice in the United States.

Military InterventionThe Ethics of Military Intervention Abroad: When, If Ever, Is It Justified?
Kristina Jacobs '15
The United States has intervened abroad militarily on numerous occasions. In this installment of “Ethical Inquiry” we look at the question of when, if ever, such intervention is justified, as the United States engages in another intervention – the campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)/ISIL/IS.

Acting TogetherRecommended Books From the Year
For the December installment of "Ethical Inquiry" we took the opportunity to recommend some books published in 2014 on topics related to the work of the Ethics Center and by people affiliated with the Center, as well as a few selections not as closely tied to our work that impressed members of our staff.

 What do you think?

Have suggestions for additional content that relates to the ethical issues explored in any of these inquiries? Let us know.

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