Some thoughts on how “applied ethics” has changed over the years:
[W]hen I was in grad school, ‘applied ethics’ was an embarrassment. It basically involved feeding concocted, simplistic, depoliticized case studies mechanistically through static, caricatured versions of ethical theories. It was also completely ghettoized, and no one else in philosophy paid the slightest attention to anything ‘applied.’
Now, philosophers of science, philosophers of language, social epistemologists, political philosophers, and ethicists work together and separately to take on finely nuanced, tension-ridden, tangible problems. So much of contemporary philosophy focuses our attention on a world that is inescapably structured by power, inequality, economic and material pressures, manufactured ignorance, risk, vulnerability, human difference, and finitude.