Teaching ethics without ethics to teach
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Changes in American society have brought both increased concern for solving practical problems and decreased concern for whether foundational ethical theory can be, or needs to be, understood when solving them. A systematic study of newly established institutes of applied ethics reveals that the directors of all of them claim that ethical theory, or knowledge of the ultimate bases for moral appeals inherent in human nature, is not necessary for proposing solutions. Quotations from claims of directors of five prominent institutes are cited as evidence for the thesis that teaching applied ethics without teaching theoretical foundations of ethics is the ‘main line’ policy today.
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