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Butler University

Business Law, Public Responsibility, and Ethics

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Pedagogical Strategies For Teaching Moral Minimalism, Richard Mcgowan Jan 2010

Pedagogical Strategies For Teaching Moral Minimalism, Richard Mcgowan

Scholarship and Professional Work - Business

In 1986, Stephen Satris’s article, "Student Relativism," means to "offer analysis of, and suggest some methods for dealing with, a quite particular and peculiar problem in teaching philosophy…I speak of the problem of student relativism." (Satris, 1986, p. 193) The problem has not gone away.

However, psychological research suggests that the problem of relativism, a problem especially critical for teaching business ethics (or any other class in applied philosophy) is not insolvable. This paper, extending earlier work by R. McGowan, provides a brief account of research by Lawrence Kohlberg and William Perry on the structure of thought exhibited ...


The Psychological Foundation For An Integrated Course In Law And Ethics, Richard Mcgowan Jan 2005

The Psychological Foundation For An Integrated Course In Law And Ethics, Richard Mcgowan

Scholarship and Professional Work - Business

Centuries ago, Thomas Aquinas noted that “human reason must proceed from the precepts of the natural law as from certain common and indispensable principles to other more particular dispositions” (ST I-II, 91, 3) He said that “because of the uncertainty of human judgment, especially in contingent and particular matters, it happens that different decisions are made about different human acts so that laws are often divergent and even contradictory.” (91, 4) To the casual reader, Thomas might be endorsing a position akin to ethical relativism but Thomas finds little to endorse about that position: “the truth is the same for ...