Taking Ethics Seriously: Virtue, Validity, and the Art of Moral Reasoning

Teaching Philosophy 19 (3):219-232 (1996)

Abstract
The author explores the connection between morality and principles of critical thinking as a way to encourage students to take ethic and moral concepts seriously in introductory courses. The skeptical attitude of students in introductory courses often hampers students critically engaging with questions of morality. Moral values and judgments are only valid for students if contextualized in historical epochs or cultures, and often are conceived as opinions. The author examines Bishop Butler's moral theory and argues for its incorporation into the introductory philosophy curriculum. Butler’s moral theory introduces students to philosophical method and moral reasoning, which the author argues counteracts students’ initial skeptical responses to ethical and moral theory. Butler’s theory demonstrates the importance of the clarification of terms, connections between thought and truth, and the overall importance of philosophical argumentation in moral theory.
Keywords Teaching Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0145-5788
DOI teachphil199619338
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