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Undergraduate Ethical Reasoning Workshops

Ethical reasoning, engaged.

The Prindle Institute for Ethics at DePauw University offers interactive ethics workshops rooted in ethical theory to equip college students with the skills and knowledge they need to think through complicated ethical issues. These workshops serve as a jumping-off point for professors who want to enhance their curriculum with ethics regardless of what subject they teach. Our workshops are centered on real-life case studies and can be tailored to different disciplines and classes. We offer them individually or in succession. We welcome students to experience the workshops at the Prindle Institute or we can provide them in person in your class. If you have any questions, please contact Jeff Dunn (jeffreydunn@depauw.edu).

Workshop Offerings

Values in Conflict

Some of the most difficult ethical situations occur when our values are in conflict. For instance, we value honesty and care, but in a particular case telling the truth will cause harm. In this workshop we work with students to identify important moral values. We then discuss situations where these values are in conflict and practice how to resolve this conflict. At the end of the workshop, students will better appreciate that many moral disagreements stem not from having different values but from weighing those same values differently.

Ethics without Certainty

Sometimes our first take on a situation should not be our final take. In this workshop, we present students with a single case study where new information is progressively revealed. Through interactive discussion and small group work, your students will map the evolution of their views on an ethically complex case. This provides insight into what factors are morally important and also demonstrates the importance of gathering as much information as possible before reaching a decision.

Ethical Analysis

Sometimes it is hard to know where to even start when faced with an ethically challenging situation.. In this workshop we lay out a concrete framework for analyzing a moral dilemma. We identify important facts, define key terms, pinpoint the relevant stakeholders, and analyze the primary moral considerations. At the end of the workshop your students will be in a better position to appreciate the complexity of a moral dilemma and make the right decision.

Defending Ethical Decisions

It is important to appreciate the moral complexity of a situation. It is equally important to reach a decision and then communicate that decision effectively and clearly. In this workshop your students will practice reaching a collective resolution to an ethically fraught situation. They will then learn techniques for how to present and defend their decision in an effective and intellectually honest way.

Ethical Dimensions

When faced with an ethically difficult situation, there are a variety of aspects of that situation to consider. What are the consequences? What relationships will be impacted? What are the rules? What are the various parties’ intentions? In this workshop, we introduce students to six different dimensions and use interactive activities and a short personality test to help them think more carefully and systematically about their own ethical intuitions. Each of the six dimensions that we discuss has roots in a particular ethical theory, so this workshop can serve as an introduction to this part of ethics.

Fallacies in Ethical Reasoning

No one wants to make an error in reasoning, especially when thinking about morally important issues. In this workshop, we introduce students to several common and prevalent errors in ethical reasoning. This will help students to avoid making these errors in their own reasoning and also be better equipped to identify flaws in arguments that others present to them.

Communicating Across Difference

When students disagree with each other about a sensitive topic, they often shut down and stop engaging with each other. But there are substantial costs to this kind of disengagement, and substantial benefits to learning to communicate across different perspectives. In this workshop, we present some research from psychology and philosophy about the benefits of such dialogue, and give your students the chance to practice such productive dialogue.

Moral Reasoning Workshop for DePauw Students If you are interested in the possibility of having us host a Moral Reasoning Workshop for your DePauw students, please fill out this form and we will be in touch with you.

Moral Reasoning Workshop for DePauw Students

  • If you would like the workshop to take place outside of your class meeting times, or if you are interested in this workshop for students in an extra-curricular program, please list your preferred meeting days and times.
    See the workshop descriptions above for more information about each offering.

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2961 W County Road 225 S
Greencastle, IN 46135
765.658.5857

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Monday - Friday: 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Saturday-Sunday: closed