Ethics Resources | Philosophy Department | Webster University

Center for Ethics: Resources

Business Ethics

E-Ethics Center
This site, hosted by Colorado State University's College of Business, contains ethics-related articles.

Institute of Business Ethics
This UK-based site aims to be "the leader in knowledge and practice of corporate business ethics." 

Business for Social Responsibility
This site contains recent articles and resources on a variety of topics (including human rights and environmental issues).

International Business Ethics Institute
The Institute's Web site has information on corporate responsibilities' programs and educational programs.

Legal Ethics

American Legal Ethics Library (no longer actively maintained)
This online library, hosted by Cornell University, contains the rules and codes that guide the professional conduct of lawyers. The library also offers descriptions of court cases that highlight various areas of legal ethics.

Center for Professional Responsibility
This site contains current news in legal ethics, various codes of professional and judicial responsibilities and conduct, theLawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct and a variety of related legal ethics resources.

The National Organization of Bar Counsel

The National Organization of Bar Counsel enforces the ethical conduct of lawyers in the United States, in Canada, and in Australia. The Organization's Web site offers a compilation of cases involving legal ethics (although the collection is presently off-line). 

This site contains up-to-date articles on various issues surrounding legal ethics, as well as an extensive database covering state lawyer ethics, advertising rules, confidentiality, ethics opinions, and state government ethics.


ACLU's Death Penalty Site
The ACLU's site contains a plethora of articles that argue against the death penalty.

Death Penalty Abolition News and Updates From Amnesty International
This site contains up-to-date information and news flashes about the death penalty as well as information pertaining to international human rights standards, racial prejudice, military death penalty, and international issues. 

Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation
Founded by families of people who were murdered, this site offers articles from the perspectives of those who have been affected by violent crimes, yet still hold anti-death-penalty convictions.

National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
This well maintained anti-capital punishment site includes a collection of facts and statistics as well as current international issues surrounding the death penalty. Special site features include a "national execution alert" and a monthly e-mail warning of impending executions.

Pro Death
This popular pro-capital punishment site uses facts, statistics, and sentiment that support the death penalty.

Media Ethics

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
This site offers a critical look at the media, focusing on how prejudice and sexism influence bias reporting. 

Freedom Forum
The Freedom Forum aims to preserve First Amendment rights and to promote newsroom diversity. 

Media Channel
This Web site offers critical look at the national and international media as well as extensive and continuing coverage of current issues in the news media. This site also includes classroom guides for K-12 educators.

National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA)
The NLGJA aims to develop fair coverage of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues in the media.

Poytner Online. Ethics Site
The Poytner Institute is an institute for the education of journalists. The Institute's site offers an array of current and archived articles in media ethics and lends a journalist's perspective on the issue.

Society of Professional Journalists- Ethics in Journalism
This site includes the ethics codes for journalism developed by Society of Professional Journalists, as well aesthetics' news, an ethics hotline, and an ethics listserv.

Medical Ethics

The American Journal of Bioethics
This site offers many current articles about key issues in bioethics as well as conference announcements and information on jobs in bioethics.


The Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility

What is the pledge of social and environmental responsibility?

The Pledge reads as follows:

I Pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organization for which I work.

According to the Graduation Pledge Alliance:

In a sense, the Pledge operates at three levels: students making choices about their employment, schools educating about values and citizenship rather than only knowledge and skills; and the workplace and society being concerned about more than just the bottom line.

Taking the Pledge is a voluntary decision, and likewise you must determine what constitutes environmental and socially responsible behavior.

What should I consider before making the pledge?

What does social responsibility means to you? 
According to the Pledge, social responsibility is self-determined. What do you believe in? Workplace accessibility for everyone? Contributing to local charity and social change efforts? The value of all cultures? Respecting worker privacy?

What are socially responsible career fields?
Explore socially responsible career fields by using a variety of resources from organizations, from independent sources, from advocacy organizations, and, of course, from simply talking to the organization's employees.

What will I get for agreeing to take the Pledge?

A certificate, wallet card, and green ribbon will be available for each you to pick up at the University Center the weeks before and during final examinations. Wearing the ribbon makes a public statement of your intent to consider the well-being of the world and its inhabitants, both in your choice of career and in the decisions you make while in the workplace.

What have students and faculty said about the pledge?

Aaron Strauss, coordinator of MIT's 2000 Pledge campaign:

People can crunch code and do lab experiments without considering what their company is doing. By taking the Pledge, they will more likely ask questions such as, "Does the waste my lab produces end up in the Charles River?

Harvard University grad Sinead Walsh:

Sinead never considered herself the "environmental type." But the Pledge led her to bring about change:

I started making changes in my life, such as turning off lights, trying to reuse and recycle.

Christine Miller, 1990 Manchester grad and Pledge signer:

I look at it like you have a job for a while, but you have to live with yourself forever. I would rather make a decision that I could say, 'Yeah, I made that decision' and be proud of that decision, rather than going against what I truly believe in because I might make some extra money doing it.

         *(Miller influenced her employer to refuse a questionable governmental chemical contract).

John Hebert, MA, Webster University class of 2004:

Although I chose to attend Webster U. for reasons of convenience and program study, my degree is worth that much more to me because of Webster's emphasis on social and environmental responsibility. While many organizations today may espouse values without taking any real action toward them, Webster's students and faculty take action toward their ideals.

Has the pledge been endorsed at Webster?

Yes, the following committees, clubs, associations, and departments have endorsed the Pledge:

Office of Academic Affairs
College of Arts and Sciences
Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts
School of Business and Technology
School of Communications
School of Education
Center for Ethics
Accessibility Committee
Environmental Studies Committee
General Studies Committee
International Studies Committee
Multicultural Studies Committee
Women's Studies Committee
Behavioral & Social Sciences Club
Literature Club
Philosophy Club
Students for Gender Equality
Students Working Against Depression
Webster Animal Rights Team
Webster Pride Association
Yoga and Pilates Club

Where can I get additional information?

For comprehensive information about the history of the Pledge, ideas to consider, socially responsible jobs and internships, and much more, visit the Graduation Pledge Alliance


ETHC 1000 - Issues and Problems in Ethics

Interested in exploring ethical issues in your discipline?

The Center for Ethics is happy to accept proposals for new sections of the one-credit course ETHC 1000 Issues and Problems in Ethics. Faculty members in all Schools and Colleges at Webster University are welcome to propose an ETHC 1000 course.   Please submit a course proposal in accordance with the guidelines below.


ETHC 1000 is a one-credit course in applied/practical ethics designed to explore the moral issues and/or dilemmas pertinent to a specific discipline, profession, or topic. The course is designed to increase student awareness of ethical issues and to develop critical thinking skills. May be repeated 2 times, total 3 credits. This course is coded for the Values category under General Education and also counts toward the Certificate in Practical and Interdisciplinary Ethics. 


Instructors of applied/practical ethics courses should aim to stimulate critical analysis and reflection upon the norms that influence the particular discipline, profession, or topic of the course. A variety of perspectives should be introduced and the course should be designed to stimulate dialogue and debate among students. Syllabi for ETHC 1000 courses should include course objectives, learning outcomes, course readings, and student assignments (including at least one critical essay).  


Proposed syllabi will be reviewed by the Center for Ethics Steering Committee. Please send a hard copy of your proposal to the chair of the steering committee: Kate Parsons, Philosophy Department, Pearson House, 470 East Lockwood Avenue, Saint Louis, MO 63119. Questions and comments may be directed to or 961-2660 ext. 7887.


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