TITLE: Ethics Updates

ACCESS: http://ethics.acusd.edu

Ethics Updates was created and maintained by Professor Lawrence M. Hinman of the Department of Philosophy at the University of San Diego, CA. The database is designed primarily for the use of ethics instructors and their students. The intent is to provide current literature on both professional and popular issues related to ethics. The project originated as a simple attempt to keep the bibliographies of Professor Hinman's books up-to-date. As more of the works in his bibliographies became available online this simple project developed to a comprehensive database on ethics. In order to enhance the database, multimedia components were added such as audio and video clips as well as discussion groups. During the past year, the journal "Ethics" has been contributing to Ethics Updates by submitting its abstracts of published articles.

The database is organized in three major sections: a Search Engine, Principal Resources, and Additional Resources. Users may search the database by keyword using the Yahoo or AltaVista search engines. The results are clearly presented in relevancy ranking order. In addition, the search engines provide the option of searching topics phonetically, a useful consideration to users who are not familiar with certain terminology. Users may also choose to engage themselves in discussion groups such as the USD TALK (University of San Diego) discussion list, and the DejaNews (discussion Network) in order to obtain more information regarding their research.

The Principal Resources section is divided into two major categories: Ethical Theory and Applied Ethics. Topics such as Introduction to Moral Theory, Ethical Egoism, Kant and Deontology, Aristotle and Virtue Ethics, Race, etc. are explored in great depth. On the other hand, the section on Applied Ethics deals with topics such as Abortion, Euthanasia, Punishment and Death Penalty, Gender and Sexism, Sexual Orientation, Animal Rights etc. The different searches result in organized segmentation and categories providing the users with Internet Resources in legislation, court decisions, statistical information, and web sites dedicated to topics of interest. Bibliographical Guides offer full text articles and review articles, anthologies, book titles, and newspaper articles. In some cases multimedia resources are also applicable such as pre-recorded video clips and live broadcasts. In addition, users can exchange ideas and explore their topics even further by signing on to discussion forums.

The final section, Additional Resources, contains supplementary resources relevant to the research subjects listed in the Principal Resources section. Among other resources are case studies for discussion, sample syllabi in ethics from other institutions, listings of forthcoming conferences and reference links to full text works by philosophers such as Aristotle, Epictetus, Thomas Aquinas, Kant and Hume.

Ethics Updates is a highly recommended site for scholars of ethics, instructors, students and librarians. The organization of information is arranged in a uniform and coherent manner making the retrieval of information easy to assimilate. The graphics are simple, self-explanatory and consistent, facilitating the users to navigate throughout the database with fluency. Most importantly, the selection of online sources related to controversial topics is presented in a situational and unbiased manner.

Constantia Constantinou
Coordinator of Information Acesss/Library Technology
Iona College Libraries
cconstantinou@iona.edu August 1998


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