Engaging Student Aversions to Moral Obligations

Teaching Philosophy 38 (3):273-288 (2015)
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Abstract

This essay examines why some introductory ethics students are averse to any sort of moral requirement. It provides a series of descriptions and techniques to help teachers recognize, diagnose, and engage such students. After discussing the nature of student aversions to moral obligations, I discuss three causes and several ways to engage each: 1) Student Relativism; 2) student fears and misunderstandings of obligations; and 3) the phenomenon of what I call fetishized liberty, which leads to the “liberty paradox”—where students actively fight for liberties, yet actively give up or fail to use the ones they currently have.

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Court Lewis
Pellissippi State Community College

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