Authenticity, Virtue, Expertise: Ethical Being and Becoming Ethical
Hubert and Stuart Dreyfus have suggested that ethical life ought to be understood as a kind of skillful coping analogous to the skillful coping involved in any other expert activity, such as playing chess or driving a car. As an initial step towards the development of a phenomenology of ethical expertise, Dreyfus applies the notion of skillful coping to an evaluation of the Kohlberg and Gilligan models of moral development and concludes that the latter presents a better understanding of moral maturity. I will extend Dreyfus' analysis by offering an articulation and evaluation of what I take to be three distinct contemporary models of ethics: the 'Principles of Justice' model places emphasis on one's formulation and application of abstract and universal principles of moral right; the 'Traditions of Virtue' model places emphasis on one's discovery and application of communally generated moral norms; and the "Relationships of Care" model places emphasis on one's affective and intuitive moral response to face-to-face encounters. First, I will evaluate each model according to Dreyfus' phenomenology of ethical expertise in order to arrive at a better understanding of ethical/moral maturity (becoming ethical). Second, I will evaluate each model according to Heidegger's notion of authenticity in order to arrive at an understanding of how each model accords with authentic modes of being (ethical being).
Keywords: Dreyfus, Hubert, Heidegger, Martin, Phenomenology, Ethics, Morality, Expertise, Authenticity, Justice, Virtue, Care, Being, Becoming
Dr. Christian Dean
Associate Professor of Politics, Department of Politics and International Studies, Dominican University of California