Volume 31, Issue 3, September 2008
Kalynne Hackney Pudner
Leading Them to Lady Wisdom
Putting Applied Ethics Courses in Broader Philosophical Context
Many postsecondary institutions now require an ethics course for graduation, typically one in applied ethics. This paper considers the justification for such a requirement from the institution’s perspective, on the one hand, and what might be a justification from a philosophical perspective, on the other; it then argues that teaching applied ethics courses in accordance with the philosophical justification satisfies the institutional justification as well. Moreover, the philosophical perspective, which aims to introduce compulsory ethics students to an understanding, appreciation and even love of philosophy as a holistic discipline, contributes to the purpose of perpetuating the profession. In illustration, the paper describes an actual required course in business ethics put in broader philosophical context, one that has shown some success in fostering philosophical interest beyond the final exam.