Moral experience and legal education

This paper argues that the contemporary practice of moral philosophy (particularly in the examples it relies on) and the contemporary practice of legal education both tend to ignore, dismiss or exclude that which is here called 'moral experience.' Moral experience is here defined (non-exhaustively) to be: 1) that which helps us face up to, instead of hide away from, our mortality and fallibility; 2) that which helps us experience radical uncertainty about who we are, where we have been, and where we will be, and about what has happened, is happening and will happen; 3) that which helps us experience the insight that we are not in control of all that which influences us; 4) that which helps us experience the infinite (for us) complexity of others and the world; 5) that which helps us to notice hitherto-invisible (to us) forms of suffering and vulnerability; and 6) that which helps us to widen the scope of, or sometimes change, that which we find valuable and care about. Moral experience is not designed to replace traditions of moral inquiry (such as virtue ethics or utilitarianism), and it is not designed to help us meet the demands of moral life. Rather, it is designed to help us avoid underestimating the demands of moral life. Following a discussion of moral experience in the first part of the paper, the second part turns to offer some activities and resources thanks to which law schools can enable moral experience for both their students and their staff. In doing so, the second part of the paper draws on research undertaken as part of the AHRC Beyond Text in Legal Education project at the School of Law, University of Edinburgh. It also draws on the author's own research as part of a pedagogical project entitled Unnatural Exercises.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 22,558
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

2 ( #721,900 of 1,938,440 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #440,814 of 1,938,440 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.