The Public Interest

Teaching the virtues

Christina Hoff Sommers

Spring 1993

SOME TIME AGO, I published an article called “Ethics without Virtue,” in which I criticized the way ethics is being taught in American colleges. I pointed out that there is an overemphasis on social policy questions, with little or no attention being paid to private morality. I noted that students taking college ethics are debating abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, DNA research, and the ethics of transplant surgery while they learn almost nothing about private decency, honesty, personal responsibility, or honor.

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