- Presentation mode
- Print this page
- Share this page
- Teaching materials
Ethical dimensions, issues and dilemmas.
Finding the ethical dimension, issue and dilemma
Finding a suitable ethical issue and dilemma to analyse critically is at the centre of the reflective project process. However a student also needs to be able to understand the ethical ramifications of their chosen issue and dilemma so they will need strategies to help apply ethical principles. It can be really tricky. Help is here with this page which explores definitions and gives helpful activity suggestions. Use these as well as Ethical Thinking for ideas on how to differentiate between terms with ease and how to help students access the skills they need.
Strengths and weaknesses of ethical frameworks
After embedding the basics of different ethical frameworks, the next step is for students to consider the strengths and weaknesses of each framework. No framework is perfect. Before viewing the videos for teleological and consequentialist ethics or the further notes for the Kantian dilemma, students should carry out a reflection or a pair/group mindmap of strengths and weaknesses they have identified when they apply these ideas to specific ethical dilemmas.
a) Teleological or Agent-centred ethics: includes Aristoteloan Virtue ethics
b) Deontological: duty-based ethics - examples include Christianity and Kantian ethics
Class discussion: What would be the Kantian response to 'lying'? What examples can you find that might question this response? Can you find examples where you think the Kantian response would be right?
Teacher notes to support discussion
The Kantian response to lying would be that it is always wrong. In other words, telling the truth is ALWAYS right.
Students might well give examples of people hiding Jews from Nazis in the Second World War. They might also consider the role of 'white lies' in the functioning of healthy relationships within a family. In terms of supporting this maxim, students might consider the functioning of a court of law and, more widely, the role of truth in society. Furthermore, they might consider the role of truth in their career-related subject and the implications of not telling the truth. The TED talk above by Kelly Richmond Pope on whistleblowing could support this discussion further.