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Teaching Philosophy

Volume 29, Issue 3, September 2006

Daniel Callcut
Pages 223-235
DOI: 10.5840/teachphil200629330

The Value of Teaching Moral Skepticism

This article argues that introductory ethics classes can unwittingly create or confirm skeptical views toward morality. Introductory courses frequently include critical discussion of skeptical positions such as moral relativism and psychological egoism as a way to head off this unintended outcome. But this method of forestalling skepticism can have a residual (and unintended) skeptical effect. The problem calls for deeper pedagogical-cum-philosophical engagement with the underlying sources of skepticism. The paper provides examples of how to do this and explains the additional benefits of teaching moral skepticism.

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