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Addressing the moral quandary of contemporary universities: rejecting a less than human moral education

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Whereas a consensus used to exist that universities had the responsibility to make students more fully human, today one finds scholars claiming that universities should form only certain aspects of a student's identity or should draw primarily from only certain aspects. In other words, scholars support the claim that the university should or should not undertake a certain kind of moral education by appealing to a particular aspect of human or institutional identity. In this paper, we survey two such arguments regarding moral education in the university as well as a third option that leaves open the possibility of an approach to moral education grounded in a specific kind of humanism. The paper then evaluates these arguments and contends that the vision for moral education with a pluralistic humanistic vision provides the best vision for moral enquiry and formation in higher education.
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Keywords: Stanley Fish; higher education; humanism; moral education

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Baylor University, Waco, TX, USA 2: Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, IN, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2008

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