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ERIC Number: EJ1046852
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1744-9642
Serious Words for Serious Subjects
Skilbeck, Adrian
Ethics and Education, v9 n3 p305-316 2014
In this paper, I create philosophical space for the importance of how we say things as an adjunct to attending to what is said, drawing on Stanley Cavell's discussions of moral perfectionism and passionate utterance. In the light of this, I assess claims made for the contribution drama makes to moral education. In "Cities of Words," Cavell gestures towards Plato's dialogue Euthyphro, where Socrates asks what kind of disagreement causes hatred and anger. The answer is disagreement on moral questions. The consequent ethical conditioning of such speech might demand that our seriousness is marked by calm, respectful and open conversation. I argue this might fail to fully reflect how an individual takes his/her life seriously and how passionate speech such as we find in dramatic dialogue could convey this. I develop the register of moral perfectionism that Cavell identifies in Ibsen's "A Doll's House" in relation to moral seriousness. I argue that the drama classroom can help, not simply by bringing out the inherently dramatic and conflictual nature of moral dilemmas and arguments as "hard cases", but through heightened awareness that the personal voice, the individual's moral presence in his/her thought, is in part located in possibilities of that thought's physical expression.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A