Virtues Not Principles | Montreal AI Ethics Institute

amarashar's bookmarks 2020-08-20


To be trained in virtue is to be given the opportunity to develop the right habits and frames of mind. This often comes though having good routines and being faced with challenges that exercise one’s moral faculties. Some ideas for how workplaces can cultivate this include: Regular workplace exercises that have individuals and teams solve complex moral problems from day to day life would allow for critical inquiry of values and enable character development. Michael Sandel’s Harvard Justice course provides a lot of insight on how to organise such problems and engage people with sound ethical reasoning. Encouraging time for reflection and philosophical reading would allow workers to develop their moral faculties. Scheduled unstructured time is critical for children’s moral development, but it is often lacking in schools and homes. There is no reason to believe that providing it for adults would fail to bring about the same results in allowing for improved communication, empathy, and social concern. Interdisciplinary work environments, which not only have diverse teams, but have individuals go out of their comfort zone to work on tasks on which they are less skilled, would aid in character building. When the Apollo missions had infighting about what the ideal approach to landing on the moon would be, each competing team was asked to complete a research document arguing for the option they disagreed with. This approach enabled greater understanding of others and a concern for full knowledge of the circumstance. Adapting these lessons to more workplaces can help take individuals outside of themselves.


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Date tagged:

08/20/2020, 10:16

Date published:

08/20/2020, 06:16