School of Philosophy Staff Seminar


Dr Leila Toivianinen on 'How High should Ethical Professionals Aim?'

Start Date

29th Aug 2012 3:00pm

End Date

29th Aug 2012 5:00pm


Humanities Room 548 , Sandy Bay campus

RSVP / Contact Information

David Coady T: 6226 2272

Dr Leila Toiviainen

Utas, School of Philosophy

Title: ‘How high should ethical professionals aim?’

In this paper I argue that even if ethical professionals should aim impossibly high, they do not have to be ‘moral saints’, the term used by the American philosopher Susan Wolf in her seminal 1982 paper with that title. I agree with Wolf that an individual with a broad range of interests, including intellectual and aesthetic endeavours, is a better, more ethical professional than one with a narrowly exclusive focus on moral acts.

In this year of the 20th anniversary of the High Court Mabo decision I hold up the example of the former labour prime minister Paul Keating as a [possibly unlikely] role model for professionals to aspire to.

N.B. This paper was first presented at the 19th annual conference of the Australian Association for Professional and Applied Ethics at UQ in July 2012