AbstractEducation as a practice in its own right (or sui generis practice) invokes quite a different set of ethical considerations than does education understood as a subordinate activity – i.e. prescribed and controlled in its essentials by the current powers-that-be in a society. But the idea of education as a vehicle for the ‘values’ of a particular group or party is so commonplace, from history’s legacy as well as from ongoing waves of educational reforms, as to appear a quite natural one. So much is this case that the idea of education as a sui generis practice may seem a bit eccentric at first sight. Some preliminary work is called for then to render intelligible the claim that education is indeed a practice in its own right, and to illustrate the original starting point this gives for an exploration of educational ethics. In undertaking this preliminary work, central themes from two major sources are explored and reviewed: Richard Peters’ wellknown study Ethics and education and MacIntyre’s After virtue. The suggestive merits of both works for advancing a sui generis understanding of education and its conduct are identified. But crucial occlusions are also highlighted in the arguments of both authors, the recognition of which might have enabled their thinking on educational matters to venture onto a different plane. The kind of thinking that emerges from these investigations as most promising for educational ethics is seen to differ in its key features from what the various branches of academic philosophy have to offer by way of ethical theory.
Hogan, Padraig (2010) Preface to an ethics of education as a practice in its own right. Ethics and Education, 5 (2). pp. 85-98. ISSN 1744-9642