A Collection of Stories for Teaching Ethics


Luc Bovens, professor of philosophy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, has created a website that gathers together and organizes various “short stories in world literature by both classical and contemporary writers” that may be useful in teaching a range of questions in ethics and social and political philosophy.

The site is called TESS: Teaching Ethics with Short Stories. Aimed primarily at college and high school students in humanities courses, it gives visitors the option of browsing through its collection of stories geographically or thematically. The themes include “autonomy & dignity,” “luck & irony”, “gender & relationships,” “truth & deception,” and others, as you can see on the image of the theme menu, below:

The site is not just useful but also beautifully designed, with artwork by Fiorella Lavado.

If you click on a tile, you’re brought to a page with brief descriptions of various relevant stories. For example, if you click on “truth & deception”, you get the following:

Clicking on any of the stories will bring you to a page with a link to that story, links to some relevant news articles, and a set of questions.

The site is supported by the Parr Center for Ethics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has also received funding from the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and from the Centre for the Philosophy of the Natural and Social Sciences at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Professor Bovens says:  “this is a dynamic project and the material on this site is just meant to be a seed. I invite you to contact me and to bring in your own suggestions of short stories addressing moral problems. Together we can make it grow.” You can check out the site here.


Related: “An Online Trove of Ethics Cases“; “A Flowchart of Philosophical Novels and Stories“; “Philosophers in Fictional Works“; “The Art of Philosophy

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