Year of Publication


Paper Type

Master's Thesis


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Degree Name

Master of Arts in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. David Kline

Second Advisor

Dr. Hans-Herbert Koegler

Third Advisor

Dr. Rico Vitz


The debate over the preferred teaching method of ethics is between the methods of neutrality and advocacy. Proponents of each assume that only one method is acceptable. I argue that both methods have acceptable versions and that there are different situations in which one is preferred over the other.

Using both methods throughout an ethics course is preferable to using only one method exclusively. The question then becomes how one decides which method to use with each particular issue. I argue that it depends on whether an ethical issue is controversial or whether or not a consensus exists.

Controversy and consensus can exist amongst the general public or amongst experts of that particular subject. These experts are either outside of the field of ethics or within the field of ethics.

I argue that an ethics instructor should look at each issue to be discussed during the course and determine for each whether or not it is controversial and whether or not that controversy lies in the general public or amongst the field of experts. This will determine which teaching method should be employed.

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