a continual assault on the private moral actions of political leaders and public figures
Part B Overview
In Part B of Unit One, you will study the relationship between virtue and the public and private morality of leaders. A casual glance at the news reveals a continual assault on the private moral actions of political leaders and public figures. This emphasis upon moral virtue has been expanded by the intense media scrutiny under which famous people, especially leaders, live. In this section, you will see examples of virtue-based ethics and public figures. Try to relate the study to contemporary examples from the news.
Part B Objectives
Upon completing Part B of this unit, students will be able to:
• Demonstrate an understanding of Aristotle’s theory of virtue-based ethics and how this forms the basis of much of the moral theories that have arisen within Western civilization;
• Demonstrate an understanding of the distinction between public and private morality and see discussions on whether virtue applies to a single event or is part of an individual’s character; and
• Demonstrate the ability to work through various case studies that teach you to apply these concepts to your own life.
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Part B Reading Assignments
• “Chapter Two: Virtue and the Public and Private Morality of Leaders” in the Ciulla text
Ciulla, Joanne B. The Ethics of Leadership. (2003). Thompson-Wadsworth Publishers. ISBN-10: 0-15-506317-0, ISBN-13: 978-0155063174.
Part B Guiding Questions
• What does Aristotle mean by virtue? Is he right? How? If not, why not? Do his theories work or not? Explain.
• Does character matter in leadership? Why or why not?
• Should a leader’s personal life be judged by a different standard than their public life? Why or why not?
• What do Ludwig and Longnecker characterize as the “Bathsheba Syndrome” and what does it tell us about contemporary morality?
Unit 1 – Part B
For each of the following thinkers, write four sentence-long bullet points that describe the thinkers’ main ideas.
• Ludwig and Longnecker
Then, choose one of the following case studies:
• “Sleazy or Stupid?”
• “Does Personal Morality Matter?”
Write a three to five page paper (900-1500 words) in which you examine the case from the perspective of each of the thinkers from this chapter.
• Start the paper with a brief summary of the case (no more than 300 words).
• The main portion of the paper will include the application of the various thinkers’ ideas to the facts of the case study.
• Conclude the paper by describing which thinker (or two) best addresses the issues presented by the case study.
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