Think 19 (54):37-47 (2020)

It could be argued that there is now a crisis of confidence in the professions. Although many professionals individually undertake their roles with care and diligence, there have been so many systematic failures involving professionals across a range of sectors, both in the UK and globally, that the special status enjoyed by the professions is being widely questioned. In this article, I argue that recent cases are symptomatic of a lack of ethical reasoning in professional practice, yet professions enjoy an elevated status based on claims that ethics, typically communicated in codes of conduct, are central to their purpose. I argue that to help solve this crisis, philosophical literacy needs to be promoted in school, initial professional education and continuing professional development. Passing tests to superficially demonstrate an understanding of a code is quite different from reasoning through practical dilemmas in the professional workplace with judgements informed by philosophical ideas.
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DOI 10.1017/s1477175619000290
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