faceshot_BandWManus Charleton
Manus Charleton lectured in Ethics, in Politics, and in Morality & Social Policy on the Social Care degree programme in former Institute of Technology Sligo, now (since 2022) a constituent college of Atlantic Technological University (ATU). He also lectured in Ethics on a Masters in Business Administration.  He served also as external examiner for Ethics on the Social Care degree in former Limerick Institute of Technology, now part of the Technological University of the Shannon.

He has been published in the Journal of Social Work Practice, the European Journal of Social Education, and in Studies, an Irish Quarterly Review. His essays have been published in the Dublin Review of Books, Irish Pages,  RTE’s Brainstorm, and on the Religion and Ethics website of the Australian Broadcasting corporation (ABC). Short fiction and a short memoir were also published in Irish Pages.  Publications >>>


This website is intended as a resource for ethics. A particular purpose is to provide additional material for the textbook Ethics for Social Care in Ireland: Philosophy and Practice (Second Edition 2014). It is also hoped to explore further a connection between ethics and art, which is made in the conclusion of this book.    

Ethics and Philosophy

Ethics is a subject within philosophy. One of the central questions philosophy explores is the understanding of what it means to be good or to do the right thing. Within ethical or moral philosophy attempts are made to establish a basis for values and principles to guide behaviour in practice. 

Values and Principles

At the nub of ethics lie values and principles. Values include well-being, empathy and care. Principles include respect, equality and human rights. A value or principle is implied whenever we make an ethical observation or judgment or hear other people making them. They lie behind and direct our views when we use words such as ‘should’ and ‘should not’ in referring to examples of behaviour and living conditions. Other words include ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, ‘good’ and ‘bad’, ‘appropriate’ and ‘inappropriate’. ‘Life enhancing’ and ‘dispiriting’ are responses which also reflect values and principles, as do more informal, conversational  terms such as ‘brilliant’ and ‘terrible’ or ‘great’ and ‘awful’ when used to communicate approval or disapproval in an ethical sense.  

Behaviour and living conditions which exemplify values and principles are considered ethical. Conversely, behaviour and living conditions which conflict with values and principles are considered unethical.

Home Page Quote

The Ubiquity of Values

“… it’s virtually impossible to make sense of or meaningfully participate in social life without recognising that the entanglement of facts and values is so much part of our self-understanding and human interactions.” (Johnny Lyons in ‘Problems, problems’ Dublin Review of Books February 2023).

See Archives for previous quotes.