ethics (via prof write @ usc)

This is a post in an ongoing class about teaching writing. The ethical problems discussed here are not too far from the problems of teaching business ethics. I know I have more than a few college students reading my posts. I think those students will take particular pleasure in this essay.

How do you teach ethics? If I have any advice to offer, it would be this: never teach ethics as if choices were a matter of point of view – teach ethics as if the choices were a matter of validity. If you teach ethics while mentioning different philosophies, students tend to take away the idea that morality is a matter of opinion.  I recommend ( and do) teach ethics as to which moral system is most appropriate while discussing the moral reasoning behind that ethical code. The idea is that a student will take from the class the idea that different ethical choices are based on human reason.

If morals are a matter of opinion, money ranks as a rationale with God, honor and country. If morals are a matter of validity or a matter of reason, rationales are weighed and considered.

James Pilant

After reading Katz and Ornatowski, and after our discussion in class on Tuesday, I’ve been struggling to figure out what it means to teach ethics—in writing classes in general and in professional writing classes in particular. Flipping through Locker’s textbook, I see the hard-core instrumentalist approach (basically, don’t lie on your resume or CV). “Ethics” doesn’t even appear in the index. I’m still waiting on my copy of Peeples, so I haven’ … Read More

via prof write @ usc

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