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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Should ethics be taught in schools?

By William Isdale
Practical Ethics
Originally published March 4, 2015

Here is an excerpt:

Can we teach ethics?

One problem with teaching ethics in schools is that there are many competing theories about what is right and wrong. For instance, one might think that our intentions matter morally (Kantianism), or that only consequences do (consequentialism). Some regard inequality as intrinsically problematic, whilst others do not. Unlike other subjects taught in schools, ethics seems to be one in which people can’t agree on even seemingly foundational issues.

In his book Essays on Religion and Education, the Oxford philosopher R.M. Hare argued that ethics can be taught in schools, because it involves learning a language with a determinate method, “such that, if you understand what a moral question is, you must know which arguments are legitimate, in the same way in which, in mathematics, if you know what mathematics is, you know that certain arguments in that field are legitimate and certain arguments not.”

The entire blog post is here.