Ethical Rules and Particular Skills

Childhood and Philosophy 11 (21):67-79 (2015)
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In this paper I explore what the P4C philosophical novel can contribute to deciding how we should use ethical rules in moral education. As I see it the philosophical novel urges us to regard ethical rule-following with some suspicion. Instead we are directed to appreciate the particular contexts and circumstances of ethical thinking, saying, and doing. But if we don’t teach ethics by the rules, then what is the alternative pedagogy? One possibility is to cultivate ethical expertise by analogy to an epistemic skill model of practical activity, as some moral particularists have urged. Employing a skill model has significant implications for teaching ethics in a wide range of institutional settings where general rules and principles typically prevail



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