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Teaching Ethics


published on November 29, 2016

Michael J. Murphy

Ethics Education in China
Censorship, Technology and the Curriculum

Philosophy departments in the United States have a relatively long history of teaching ethics as part of a philosophy curriculum. Further, some innovative programs have instituted “Ethics across the Curriculum,” incorporating ethics into discipline-specific courses in the sciences, in law, in medicine, engineering, and in the humanities (see Davis, Hildt, and Kelly “Twenty-five Years of Ethics Across the Curriculum: An assessment”). In contrast, the teaching of ethics in China, particularly outside medical schools and the recent focus on international business, is extremely rare. This is slowly changing as faculty from both Chinese and non-Chinese universities are increasingly recruited to help teach ethics and to give advice on incorporating ethics into existing professional programs; this is especially true in disciplines where recent public scandals have demonstrated a pressing need. This work addresses some of the difficulties related to both access to technology and issues with censorship as possible impediments when developing and implementing ethics education and training in China, as well as suggesting pedagogical approaches that limit such effects.

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