Mountains and Passes: Traversing the Landscape of Ethics and Student Affairs Administration

National Association of Student Personnel Administration. Edited by Elizabeth M. Gibson (1999)
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Abstract

This book uses the analogy of three mountains on the horizon that must be traveled in order to explore ethics in relation to student affairs. It contends there are three major approaches to ethics that represent three major approaches to the moral life: (1) principles-based; (2) case-based; and (3) virtues-based. In order to facilitate a person's experiences in using these approaches, an overview is presented, with an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the approaches. The chapters refer to an extended case encapsulating the events of a real situation. Chapter One discusses several major approaches to ethics and student affairs administration. Chapter Two presents a single case in depth. In Chapter Three, a summary of major principles-based approaches to ethics is presented. Chapter Four explains the case-based approach to ethics, and how the guiding rules emerge from the facts of the case itself. Another approach to ethics, the virtues-based approach is discussed in Chapter Five. In the virtues-based approach a person asks "What would be correct for me to do in light of my moral character?" The book concludes with Chapter Six, which presents ethics of responsibility as one way to synthesize the various approaches to ethics. The ethics of responsibility draws on the three ethics methods previously discussed, the expressive-collaborative approach, and the contributions of feminism. This information is presented to help people identify which approaches to ethics reflect their personal values, and to articulate the reasons behind this affinity. (Contains 128 references.) (JDM)

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