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Moral education in the 'badlands'

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The author's initial argument concludes that parents should refrain from inculcating norms and dispositions suitable for peacetime when ruthless enemies seek to kill or imprison their children. Drawing on recent interpreters of Kant, this paper argues that teaching children to deceive pursuers is consistent with Kantian arguments against lying. This paper modifies the initial argument to take account of the need to also inculcate peacetime norms, even in wartime. It shows that the amended argument has applicability to a variety of real-world contexts and explores its implications for schools. A final section responds to purported objections.

Keywords: Kantian ethics; moral education; self-defence; wartime ethics

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Departments of Educational Policy Studies and Philosophy, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA

Publication date: 2010-04-01

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