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Teaching College Students How to Solve Real-Life Moral Dilemmas

An Ethical Compass for Quarterlifers

Series:

Robert J. Nash and Jennifer J.J. Jang

Teaching College Students How to Solve Real-Life Moral Dilemmas will speak to the sometimes confounding, real-life, moral challenges that quarterlife students actually face each and every day of their lives. It will spell out an original, all-inclusive approach to thinking about, and applying, ethical problem-solving that takes into consideration people’s acts, intentions, circumstances, principles, background beliefs, religio-spiritualities, consequences, virtues and vices, narratives, communities, and the relevant institutional and political structures. This approach doesn’t tell students exactly what to do as much as it evokes important information in order to help them think more deeply and expansively about ethical issues in order to resolve actual ethical dilemmas. There is no text like it on the market today. Teaching College Students How to Solve Real-Life Moral Dilemmas can be used in a variety of ethics courses.
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Chapter 3. Four Moral Spaces = Four Moral Languages: A Conceptual Framework for Thinking About Morality and Ethics

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FOUR MORAL SPACES = FOUR MORAL LANGUAGES

A Conceptual Framework for Thinking About Morality and Ethics

What follows in this chapter is the conceptual framework that grounds the entire book. We hold that each of us lives our lives in at least four overlapping “moral spaces,” and each world features its own special moral language. For theoretical purposes here, we will separate these spaces and these moral languages in order to explain and illustrate their contents. For practical ethical reasons, however, all of these spaces and languages tend to overlap whenever we find ourselves in the midst of moral conflicts and ethical dilemmas. The most comprehensive, and most defensible, ethical decision-making occurs whenever we use all four of the moral languages to resolve ethical dilemmas. We call these spaces a private moral space, a small-community moral space, an organizational moral space, and a cosmopolitan moral space.

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