Revisiting the concept of a profession

Research in Ethical Issues in Organisations 13:1-18 (2015)
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Abstract

In this article we revisit the concept of a profession. Definitions of the concept are readily encountered in the literature on professions and we have collected a sample of such definitions. From this sample we distil frequently occurring elements and ask whether a synthesis of these elements adequately explains the concept. We find that bringing the most frequently occurring elements together does not adequately address the reason that society differentiates professions from other occupations or activities -- why there is a concept of ‘profession’ at all. We suggest an alternative approach that attempts to make sense of the concept at a more general level. This more philosophical approach employs analytical tools from Julius Kovesi, Patricia Hanna and Bernard Harrison to address the question of what is the point of the concept.

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Author Profiles

Stephan John Millett
Curtin University, Western Australia
Alan Tapper
Curtin University, Western Australia

Citations of this work

Why not common morality?Rosamond Rhodes - 2019 - Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (12):770-777.
What should be taught in courses on social ethics?Alan Tapper - 2021 - Research in Ethical Issues in Organisations 24:77-97.

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References found in this work

Principles of Biomedical Ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1979 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
On sense and reference.Gottlob Frege - 1960 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Arguing About Language. Routledge. pp. 36--56.
Moral Notions.Julius Kovesi - 1967 - New York: Humanities P..

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