The aim of the presentation is twofold. Firstly, to explore some of the issues and problems in defining the emergent field of theoretical inquiry called 'global ethics'. How does it relate to 'private', 'domestic' or 'international' ethics? What does it presume about the conditions of globalisation? Secondly, to examine predominant modes of ethical reasoning about global ethical issues and, in particular, raise questions about cosmopolitan rationalist approaches, including: contractualism; utilitarianism; deontology and communicative ethics.