Why I study...Ethics

Ronald Francis
BEING asked why I chose to study ethics has resulted in an overdue self-interrogation. As Somerset Maugham remarked, life can only be lived forwards and understood backwards — and so it is with one’s career. My specialism is forensic psychology. Although this seems a long way from ethics, the journey is really one that is travelled on the same road. I see intimate connections, as well as contrasts, between criminal and ethical behaviour. They are the obverse and reverse sides of the same coin, or the end marker points of the same dimension — how awful we can be to how good we can become. Looking back, I think that my interest in ethics was triggered — many years ago — by finding myself in an environment run by professionals who were motivated by malice. Having worked with such agreeable colleagues before (and since), I was disarmed by my own misplaced trust.

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