Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hertzberg on Ethics & Education

I was happy to read this paper by Lars Hertzberg, after my post below. He says much of interest about what an ethics class does and doesn't (or should and can't, and so shouldn't try to) do. Here's one highlight (but you should really go read the whole paper; it's very rich, but brief):
Ethics courses do not aim at raising the moral quality of the students, rather they are aimed at deepening their awareness of their prospective tasks and the way they fit into some bigger pictures. Through these courses, doctors, lawyers and engineers are not necessarily to be turned into better human beings, but into better doctors, lawyers and engineers, by coming to reflect on various aspects of their work. Perhaps one could say that what happens in these courses, if they are good, is that one turns one’s professional competence inside out, one comes to see the limitations and the difficulties of what that competence can achieve. What one is acquiring should not be thought of as a specialized skill; rather, one’s attention is drawn to the things that tend to get overlooked in more conventional forms of professional training.
(I believe this paper also appears in Ethics and the Philosophy of Culture: Wittgensteinian Approaches, ed. Gustafsson, Kronqvist & Nykänen.)

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I am from Australia.
    Please find a set of references for doing philosophy (and culture) which begin where Wittgenstein inevitably got stuck.