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presidential address

1. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Elaine E. Englehardt

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In this 2022 SEAC Presidential address, I explore the intricate interplay between the notions of greed and Effective Altruism (EA). These notions bear profound implications for both our individual obligations and our collective duties. The dialectic between greed and EA reveals a fundamental conflict. Greed is commonly aligned with the self-centered pursuit of riches, authority, or distinction, often neglecting the well-being of others and the enduring repercussions of one's actions. In contrast, EA stands as a philosophy and societal movement advocating the application of reason and empirical evidence to pinpoint the most efficacious avenues for aiding others and engendering a constructive global influence. Central to EA is the tenet of impartiality and equitable regard for all interests when selecting beneficiaries, resonating across domains such as the prioritization of scientific exploration, entrepreneurial endeavors, and policy undertakings geared towards alleviating suffering and preserving lives.


2. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
William B. Cochran, Orcid-ID Kate Allman

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The rapid pace of technological development often outstrips the ability of legislators and regulators to establish proper guardrails on emerging technologies. A solution is for those who develop, deploy, and use these technologies to develop themselves as moral agents—i.e., as agents capable of steering the course of emerging technologies in a direction that will benefit humanity. However, there is a dearth of literature discussing how to foster moral agency in computer science courses, and little if any research on the effectiveness of such courses in computer science. This paper addresses this gap by providing an overview of an undergraduate course on technology ethics. It then shares and discusses a subset of data collected from a mixed-methods study using a pre-post design that sought to examine the course’s effectiveness in developing students’ moral, intellectual, and civic virtues, as well as related dispositions.
3. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Stephen Finn Orcid-ID

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Whether teachers should take on the role of an advocate in the undergraduate classroom is a thorny question, which has been answered in a variety of ways in the pedagogical literature. What seems to be lacking, however, is information concerning student perceptions on teacher advocacy. Do students believe it is appropriate for a teacher to present and disclose his or her own views on controversial topics? In this paper, the author describes the results of two separate surveys conducted in an effort to answer the question about student perceptions on this practice. Furthermore, the author provides a number of suggestions, based upon the results of these surveys to help mitigate some of the problems associated with advocacy, for those who practice it in the classroom.
4. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
James Gould, Ted Hazelgrove

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Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is more than a happy tale—it is a text of moral self-reflection that challenges us to think about the nature of moral duty, human happiness and personal transformation. The story speaks to fundamental questions: How are morality and the good life related? How does a self-centered person open their heart to the welfare of others? What are the steps in moral change? The story’s characters function as mirrors by which we can examine our own moral dispositions. A Christmas Carol is an engaging way to discuss important and relevant moral topics with students. We first describe the format of our interdisciplinary course—we then discuss how we teach topics of personal ethics found in Dickens’ tale.
5. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Dakota Layton

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Nel Noddings identifies four core problems with the primary education system in the United States. First, there is no established caring relationship between educational authorities and students. Second, there is no continuity in student-teacher relationships. Third, Common Core neglects deep existential questions in its educational approach. Fourth, Common Core does not emphasize connections between the disciplines to each other or to real-life problems. The four problems with the primary education system identified by Noddings contribute to the fake news problem in the following way: The first two problems sow the seeds for future distrust of expertise; The third problem deadens students’ critical thinking skills and curiosity for knowledge; and the fourth problem plays into the structure of how fake news is designed and consumed. I will argue that Noddings’ education reform proposal is the ideal solution for addressing these problems.
6. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Sally Moore

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Little is known about the aims and impact of university-based ethics centers. Less is known about how centers leverage their unique campus positions to engage undergraduates in transformative ethics education. This article provides a foundation for future research on university-based ethics centers. First, this article addresses the history of ethics education in higher education, the rise of university ethics centers, and the factors necessary for successful ethics programs. Next, this piece shows the geographic distribution of ethics centers and which centers provide undergraduate-focused ethics education. Finally, this article enables future research on effective ethics center structure, leadership, and outreach.
7. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Mark S. Schwartz Orcid-ID

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This study examines the effectiveness of teaching business ethics. It fills an important gap in the literature by utilizing students’ own personal reflections and reassessments involving an actual workplace ethical dilemma they have already faced. After submitting a personal ethical dilemma at the beginning of a business ethics course, students are later asked following the course whether they believe they would behave in a similar manner if they faced the same ethical dilemma again, and for what reasons. The paper is organized as follows. Part one briefly summarizes the normative and descriptive research that has been conducted on the effectiveness of teaching business ethics. Part two outlines the qualitative research methodology used in the study followed by a discussion of the results and implications. The study finds that nearly one third of students would now act differently if they faced the same ethical dilemma again in the future.
8. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Charles G. Smith, Orcid-ID Marli Gonan Božac, Orcid-ID Morena Paulišić

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The business enterprise is a major instrument in the creation of a just society. However the tension between profit and ethicality requires sound decision making and business ethics instruction is central to creative alternatives to business leaders. Therefore, instruction is aided with a model for framing one’s thoughts about ethics and while several earlier business ethics models exist, they tend to be closed and at times parochial. This paper draws on insights from other academic disciplines to offer a broader yet flexible framework for professors, students, scholars, and decision makers. At the center of the model is the four stage framework of Rest et al. as impacted by four sets of variables—individual, organizational, environmental, and issue. These are rooted in the work of Dunlop’s Industrial Relations Theory and Jones’ Moral Intensity. A literature review of important variables is presented and the paper concludes with several take aways for instruction and policy suggestions.
9. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Susanne Uusitalo, Orcid-ID Helena Siipi

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Background: Research ethics training courses are gaining hold in the academia. Learning is affected by learner’s conception of the topic. Thus, knowledge regarding research ethics understandings of the participants of the training courses is needed. Methods: A data driven qualitative content analysis was utilized in a survey after a compulsory research ethics course for doctoral researchers in Finland. In an anonymous online survey, 17 respondents answered open questions concerning research ethics and its relevance. Results: Doctoral researcher’s views can be understood with four core categories: (1) the relevance of research ethics; (2) motivation for learning and following research ethics, (3) the nature of research ethics; and (4) changes due to taking a research ethics course. All categories have subcategories. Conclusions: The views of the doctoral researchers greatly vary along the continuums formed by the core categories and subcategories. Understanding their views is important for the development of the training courses and teaching.

book review

10. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Alan A. Preti

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11. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1

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12. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Ernesto V. Garcia

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In recent years, ‘philosophy as a way of life’ [PWOL] courses have emerged as an exciting new pedagogical approach. I explain here what a PWOL-course is. In doing so, I argue that the standard method for teaching such courses—what I call the ‘Smorgasbord Model’—presents us with a basic problem: viz., how to enable students in the context of a modern university setting to experience fully what a PWOL is. I propose a solution to this problem by exploring a PWOL that most teachers and students alike already find themselves immersed in, what I describe as political liberalism applied to the context of the university classroom. I show how this overlooked fact not only offers us a novel resource for teaching a PWOL-course. It also helps us as philosophy teachers—in a meta-pedagogical sense—to become more self-reflective about and appreciative of our underlying ethical commitments when teaching philosophy.
13. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Michaela Driver, James J. Hoffman

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This article discusses the integration of principle-based ethics into business ethics education. It explains how several pedagogical innovations were successfully undertaken in over 20 business ethics courses taught since 2018 to enhance active student engagement with a principle-based ethical framework central to decision making in the complex environment that many organizations face on a day-to-day basis. The teaching initiatives used include case-based projects and discussions, a personal code of ethics developed by each student, and an arts-inspired presentation as well as a student integrity and citizenship rubric assessing students’ ethical conduct throughout each course. To date, this approach to principle-based ethics education seems to deliver very promising results.
14. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Alycia LaGuardia-LoBianco Orcid-ID

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A perennial topic in introductory ethics classes, abortion has offered students a real-life issue to critically analyze. In this paper, I argue that a popular approach to teaching abortion in such classes fails to attend to the relevant political context of the issue and that this contributes to harms against pregnant people. I will argue for these conclusions by identifying three related problems with such an approach: these lessons frame a political issue as apolitical, value impartiality over lived experiences in moral assessment, and objectify the already-objectified group of pregnant people in the course of debating about them. I will then point to considerations that may help counter the harms caused by this approach and informed by these problems. These involve framing abortion lessons in terms of the relevant political and historical context of abortion and incorporating first-person accounts that engage with the embodied, lived experiences of abortion.
15. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Alan Preti, Clifton Guthrie

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Despite the popularity of leadership studies programs at universities, critics have questioned their purpose, costs, and outcomes. In the face of these questions, two ethics faculty who have taught in such programs explore more specifically the purpose of leadership ethics education within higher education. The “Proponent” speaks on behalf of these programs and the “Skeptic,” responds, well, skeptically. Originally an oral presentation, the dialogue engages in a fair share of rhetoric and comedy in trading points of view. It concludes with a set of questions that might be used by others engaged in such work.
16. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Kristyn Sessions

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Alongside fostering academic excellence in their students, many colleges and universities aspire to cultivate responsible citizens. In this article, I explore some challenges accompanying this task and offer my Ethics in Political Action course as one approach to support students’ development as ethically engaged citizens. I begin by outlining two obstacles which make pursuing this civic mission difficult, speaking both as a faculty member and Christian ethicist who works at the intersection of religion and politics. I then describe my Ethics in Political Action course, which examines various forms of political participation so that students can explore ethical issues embedded in U.S. political life as well as critically reflect on their own political activity. By weaving together civic education with the questions and insights of the Christian ethical tradition, this course equips students with the political knowledge and skills they need to engage effectively and ethically in the U.S. today.
17. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Rachel Skrlac Lo, Orcid-ID Edwin Mayorga Orcid-ID

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Antiracist educators believe that education exists within a racial hierarchy and that students have a right to have their full, intersectional, pluralistic humanity affirmed. Antiracism is an ongoing collective process of learning about and working to eradicate persistent structural barriers. Likewise, teaching ethically involves a commitment to ensure learning creates equitable opportunities and outcomes for all. Antiracist education, then, is profoundly ethical for it is rooted in increasing understanding of all people’s experiences and confronting social inequities that exclude individuals and groups of people from participating to their full ability. The syllabus is an entry point for a relationship between students, content, and instructor, providing a guide to action for instructors and students. Any antiracist analysis of the syllabus must consider curricular, pedagogical, and assessment choices to cultivate an antiracist ethic in the classroom. The authors provide questions and examples to raise awareness of the complexity of creating antiracist classrooms.
18. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Kelly C. Smith, Michael Doyle, Anna Dueholm, Aundrea Gibbons, Austin Macdonald-Shedd, Isabela Parise, Jake Ballard, Stephen Galaida, Nathan Stolzenfeld, Joseph Walker

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Our capabilities in space are growing almost as fast as our ambitions. Many nations, companies, and private actors are currently vying to secure historic “firsts” in space, raising complex social and ethical questions. There is surprisingly little serious analysis of these issues, however, and they are rarely discussed in undergraduate class discussions, despite their popularity with students. To help correct this deficit, a student research team designed 11 case studies to help instructors across the curriculum introduce space into their classes. These are designed for ease of use, with self-contained background information, suggested readings/movies, and a series of juicy questions.

book reviews

19. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Jordan Conerty Orcid-ID

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20. Teaching Ethics: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Karen Mizell

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