Ethics Teaching in Higher Education for Principled Reasoning: A Gateway for Reconciling Scientific Practice with Ethical Deliberation

Akozer, Mehmet
Akozer, Emel
This paper proposes laying the groundwork for principled moral reasoning as a seminal goal of ethics interventions in higher education, and on this basis, makes a case for educating future specialists and professionals with a foundation in philosophical ethics. Identification of such a seminal goal is warranted by (1) the progressive dissociation of scientific practice and ethical deliberation since the onset of a problematic relationship between science and ethics around the mid-19th century, and (2) the extensive mistrust of integrating ethics in science and engineering curricula beyond its "applied," "practical," or "professional" implications. Although calls by international scientific and educational bodies to strengthen ethics teaching in scientific education over the past quarter century have brought about a notion of combining competence in a certain field with competence in ethics, this is neither entrenched in the academic community, nor fleshed out as regards its core or instruments to realize it. The legitimate goals of ethics teaching in higher education, almost settled since the 1980s, can be subsumed under the proposed seminal goal, and the latter also would safeguard content and methods of ethics interventions against the intrusion of indoctrinative approaches. In this paper, derivation of the proposed seminal goal rests on an interpretation of the Kohlbergian cognitive-developmental conception of moral adulthood consisting in autonomous principled moral reasoning. This interpretation involves, based on Kant's conception of the virtuous person, integrating questions about the "good life" into the domain of principled reasoning.


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Akozer, Mehmet; Akozer, Emel (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2016-12-01)
A "no ethics" principle has long been prevalent in science and has demotivated deliberation on scientific ethics. This paper argues the following: (1) An understanding of a scientific "ethos" based on actual "value preferences" and "value repugnances" prevalent in the scientific community permits and demands critical accounts of the "no ethics" principle in science. (2) The roots of this principle may be traced to a repugnance of human dignity, which was instilled at a historical breaking point in the inter...
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Scientists' responsibility to inform the public about their results may conflict with their responsibility not to cause social disturbance by the communication of these results. A study of the well-known Brady-Spence and Then Browning earthquake predictions illustrates this conflict in the publication of scientifically unwarranted predictions. Furthermore a public policy that considers public sensitivity caused by such publications as an opportunity to promote public awareness is ethically problematic from ...
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Kutan, Ali Haydar; Turan, Şeref Halil; Department of Philosophy (2010)
In this Study, the empiricist ethical system of Epicurus and idealist ethical system of Kant will be compared. Kant maintains that as Epicurus’ ethics regards morality as a means for the attainment of happiness, it is nothing but a self-love ethics. He, for this reason, calls Epicurean morality “selfishness.” According to Kant, the maxims of happiness can be known only through experience but he says, experience can never produce a law which is universal and necessary. He contends that as Epicurean ethics ha...
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Kılınç Adanalı, Yurdagül; Turan, Şeref Halil; Department of Philosophy (2016)
The main goal of this dissertation is to examine whether instrumental rationality can predict and explain successfully human behavior in all walks of life. I have chosen Rational Choice Theory and Public Choice Theory as the focus of my investigation, since they are considered as the best models of instrumental rationality in philosophy and social sciences, and in particular in economics and politics. To see their merits and to determine their limits, I have applied Rational Choice Theory and Public Choice ...
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The aim of this study is to give a general understanding about the value approaches in environmental ethics. I will analyze non-anthropocentric theories based on intrinsic value and pragmatist approach to values and evaluate their advantages and disadvantages separately. In conclusion, I will argue that neither of them provides a comprehensive and coherent suggestion atthe same time, because environmental problems stem from a different reason than the ones that they pur...
Citation Formats
M. Akozer and E. Akozer, “Ethics Teaching in Higher Education for Principled Reasoning: A Gateway for Reconciling Scientific Practice with Ethical Deliberation,” SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING ETHICS, pp. 825–860, 2017, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: