Grading Ethics

Today’s Chronicle of Higher Education includes an article on “The Challenge of Putting a Grade on Ethical Learning” that’s well worth reading, if you’ve got access to it. The main issue is the extent to which it is possible to measure the success of ethics education. The article discusses several tests that are supposed to measure ethics objectively, thus providing some sort of proof of whether one’s ethics education has been successful.

The article, however, reminds me of Aristotle’s remarks about the precision with which it is possible to discuss such matters (Nichomachean Ethics, 1094b24-25):

It is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits.

So, I suggest an alternative test. We ask people what they think of the tests proposed in the article. If they cannot see what is wrong with such tests, then their ethical education is lacking.

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