This is the first 1,000 characters of 4679 words (18.72 pages) in the essay titled Behavior
EDUCATING ETHICAL BEHAVIOR:
ARISTOTLE’S VIEWS ON AKRASIA
University of Washington
“Can the teaching of ethics really help cleanse the business world of shady dealings?” Asked by Newsweek magazine during the height of the recent Wall-Street scandals,1 this query resonates with perennial concerns about whether or not virtue can be taught and how such instruction might best be effected. The problem, Newsweek declares, is not that students lack ethical standards or are incapable of distinguishing wrong from right. The challenge for educators rather lies in helping students act on the virtues they espouse. “Even in today’s complex world, knowing what’s right is comparatively easy,” Newsweek concludes. “It’s doing what’s right that’s hard.”
Why do people act wrongly, when they know full well what right conduct demands? This phenomenon, known to philosophers as incontinence or akrasia, receives extensive treatment in Book S...
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