UBC Theses and Dissertations
An argument for the teaching of moral habits Carroll, Christopher Joseph
In this thesis an argument is presented that defends the inclusion of the teaching of moral habits in a program of moral education. The assertion is made that certain moral habits can be taught, as opposed to inculcated, because they are within the range of rationality. The argument is developed first by a defense of the possibility of knowledge and by extension moral knowledge. Differing views of moral education are then presented and the conclusion reached that rational deliberation is defensible, involving rational engagement with students concerning concepts relevant to ethics. The argument is made that if certain habits, including moral habits, fall within the range of the concept "rationality", and if the appropriate method of teaching moral education involves rationality, then the teaching of moral habits is possible and defensible. In order to support the notion that certain habits are within the range of the rational, the alleged "paradox" of moral education is analyzed, rejected and the assertion made that certain habits seems to be "infused" with reason. An analysis of "habit" follows and the assertion made that certain habits seem to fall within the range of rationality. The concept, "rationality", is then analyzed with the intention of showing that certain habits do fall within its range. The relationship of rationality to objectivity and truth are discussed to provided substance to the assertion that a body of moral knowledge does exist and can be taught. The last chapter concludes that certain moral habits fall within the range of the rational and can be included in a program of moral education. The thesis is conceptual in nature, with the purpose of defending the notion of the inclusion of moral habits in a program of moral education. Little discussion, therefore, is put forward concerning specific habits to be taught.
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