Ethical Education as a Normative Philosophical Perspective


Part of education as interactive exercise is related to a community of practitioners, a dialogue based philosophy of morals which supposes ethical normative characteristics of the discourse. This normative layer can be interpreted either in relation to the lifeworld, i. e. to the understanding of the good life. Alternatively, it can be realized in relation to some cultural rights, since a mutual recognition based ethics, aiming at highlighting culture as necessary feature of human dignity, can explain an ultimate goal of higher education as global and universal education. Since the whole set of human rights should be seen as an indivisible system of basic limits to individual and collective freedom, a right based approach would be the other main perspective, certainly relevant in the context of the African continent, as it is worldwide. Furthermore a right based understanding is a much ignored aspect of human rights, although intimately related to basic interests of the higher education system from either the point of view of the national education systems, or as private universities and it is also related to non-governmental organisations understanding of the general aim of higher education development, where international organizations could help in the implementation of these cultural rights based good practices. In the first section we first develop briefly a normative ethical model of education based on the transformative model of the ethics of discourse compared to other possible classical models based on merit, then we will present cultural rights, reminding us some aspects of cultural rights related to higher education, and address the relevance for the African context of a contextual reflection on these rights.

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Ignace Haaz
University of Geneva (PhD)


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