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Abstract

Excerpt:: Hornsby’s article is timely because of the current popularity of ethics and “character education.” We can agree with her that the development of “moral reasoning skills” is a very desirable outcome for an ethics course. Hornsby, however, does not stick to her stated goal: ”not to change or alter students’ moral positions but provide them with the tools to reflectively endorse their views and to evaluate the consistency of their positions.” This would be consistent with the objectives of any philosophy course, but there is an essential equivocation in Hornsby’s actual discussion about what it is possible or appropriate to teach in such a course. Her final decision to focus exclusively on virtue ethics also carries with it an implicit endorsement which subverts the critical stance.

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