The Usefulness of Moral Theory in Teaching Practical Ethics :A Response to Gert and Harris

TitleThe Usefulness of Moral Theory in Teaching Practical Ethics :A Response to Gert and Harris
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsDavis, M
JournalTeaching Ethics
Volume12
Issue1
Pagination51-60
ISSN Number2154-0551
KeywordsPHILOSOPHY , Teaching Moral Theories
AbstractWe now have a three-cornered debate.1 Gert and Harris agree that my earlier critique of teaching moral theory in practical (or applied) ethics is mistaken while disagreeing about which moral theories are better than my non-theoretical alternative.2 Gert argues that his theory is the one to use while Harris argues for a mix of two of the standard theories, utilitarianism and respect for persons (PR). The disagreement between Gert and Harris is a reminder of the mucky bottom just beneath a moral theory’s crystalline surface. Anyone who plans to step in should be prepared to be sucked down. What I offered before was a way around the muck. What I shall offer here are additional reasons to think that my way around is better, especially for classes in business or professional ethics, than any way through.
URLhttp://www.uvu.edu/ethics/seac/Davis_The_Usefulness_of_Moral_Theory_in_Teaching_Practical_Ethics_Reply_to_Gert_n_Harris.pdf
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