On the potential in film for ethics education: In defence of educational ethicism

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Abstract / Description of output

In this paper the potential in film for ethics education is considered, and the theory of educational ethicism is defended. Some key features of ethicism are firstly outlined. Gaut’s argument about how artworks may teach ethics in an aesthetically meritorious way is also discussed. Two objections (from Matthew Kieran and Andrea Sauchelli) to Berys Gaut’s position are secondly considered. It is argued that Gaut’s ethicism is not well placed to surmount these objections. However, I thirdly draw upon Paul Hirst to explain why a refined species of ethicism (educational ethicism) can surmount these objections. Educational ethicism holds that artworks with ethical themes be regarded as starting points for conversations about ethics rather than conveyers of definite ethical teachings that only a normatively specified audience can grasp. Three ways that film can possess potential for ethics education are also documented: through the moral growth of the audience, by helping them to deepen understanding of an aspect of ethical experience, and in developing theoretical understanding.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberqhad017
JournalJournal of Philosophy of Education
Early online date4 Mar 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Mar 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • educational ethicism
  • ethics teaching
  • film ethics
  • moderate moralism


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