A Journal of Philosophy, Applied to the Real World

Introducing the Journal of Practical Ethics

Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford

Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford


The Journal of Practical Ethics is a new open access, interdisciplinary journal in applied moral philosophy and related areas of philosophy, including political and legal philosophy. It is supported by the Uehiro Foundation on Ethics and Education and we are most grateful to the Foundation for making the journal possible. Areas to be covered will include medical ethics, environmental ethics, business ethics, professional ethics, the ethics of personal life and others.

There are already many outstanding academic journals covering issues in practical ethics, including Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs, The Journal of Applied Philosophy, Bioethics, Utilitas, and Ethical Theory and Moral Practice. Why have we launched this new journal in what might seem an already crowded market-place?

We believe that the ideas and arguments of many moral and political philosophers are of significant relevance to problems in contemporary life. Not only are these arguments of interest to the general public, but they are of relevance to political and social leaders, legislators and civil servants. However, there is less than optimal penetration of this philosophical work beyond the confines of academe.  This is partly because the leading journals are not open access. But it is also because the articles in these journals tend to be written for other academics, who are assumed to be familiar with the philosophical background. Our journal is not just for professional academics and their students, though we hope they will find much to interest them in our pages. We aim to disseminate excellent research in practical and applied ethics to a broad, global audience including non-academic as well as academic readers, with real and significant impact.

The journal will differ from many already in the field in that it will extend beyond pure research output to include an educational, public access component. Therefore not all articles will be entirely original research, although many will be. Articles may consist of the application of more theoretical work to a practical issue, or in a restatement of an author’s position in a more reader-friendly format. We aim to convey the ideas and ways of thinking of the best philosophers to a worldwide audience and to show how they can be helpfully applied to a practical issue. Articles will aim for a level of accessibility to a non-specialist  audience commensurate with, for example, the level of philosophy articles in The Boston Review, The Stone column in the New York Times Online or Prospect. The journal will seek to avoid technical jargon and obscure terminology. The hope is that anyone with a serious interest in the issue at stake, anywhere in the world and beyond the walls of any university, will be enabled to read work by outstanding philosophical thinkers, such as those in our first issue, just by opening the internet, and to acquire insight and food for thought not easily available elsewhere. We will adopt an active approach to promoting our content on the web. We shall use social media and any other resources available to us to increase awareness of our journal and traffic to our articles.

As is standard in intellectual magazines and papers aiming at a broad readership, all our articles will be commissioned and an honorarium will be offered to each author.  We shall ensure as broad a representation of views as possible, subject always to strict requirements of rigour and clarity of argumentation. The journal will not adopt any specific ideological, moral, or political position, and articles will be peer-reviewed. Though the journal will be published in open access form online, print copies will be available at cost. Both online and print versions will appear as familiar print journals with full consecutive pagination.

We hope that many thousands of new readers from around the world will benefit from our pages over the coming years, and that our journal will make a genuine and sustained contribution to thought about some of the deep problems facing humanity in the twenty-first century, and to action needed to address these problems.