Authenticity, Virtue, Expertise: Ethical Being and Becoming Ethical

Dr. Christian Dean
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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
Stream: Philosophy, Ethics, Consciousness
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Authenticity, Virtue, Expertise

Dr. Christian Dean

Associate Professor of Politics, Department of Politics and International Studies, Dominican University of California

Dr Dean was born in Nuremberg, Germany, but has lived most of his life in Northern California He received a B.A. in Political Science from San Francisco State University, and both an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara He started teaching at Dominican College as an adjunct instructor in the Fall of 1996, after having spent a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Loyola Marymount University. He has also taught at the University of San Francisco and San Francisco State University He joined the full-time faculty at what was then Dominican College of San Rafael in the Fall of 1998, at which time he also assumed the role of Chair of the Department of Politics International Studies. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in the spring of 2004 He teaches courses in Political Philosophy, Public Law, and American Politics, and his research focuses on contemporary understandings of ethics and moral development, especially in relation to Heideggerian phenomenology.

Ref: H05P0201