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Epistrophe (EPREPE)

Journal of Professional Ethics in Philosophy and
Education. Studies and Practices




Epistrophe (Eprepe)

Journal of Professional Ethics in Philosophy and Education. Studies and Practices

Revue d’Éthique Professionnelle en Philosophie et en Éducation. Études et Pratiques

vol. 2, 2018-2019


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Introductory Note

pages 10-14

Christiane Gohier

Pour une éthique du lien: les principales sources d’un cadre multiréférentiel

For an ethic of the bond: the main sources of a multireferential framework

pages 15-35

Louise Ferté

Une éducation au dissensus face à l’universel moral

A dissensual perspective for education facing moral universal

pages 36-65

Luc Bégin

Imagination morale et aveuglement moral

Moral imagination and moral blindness

pages 66-79

Eleni Kalokairinou

Critical moral thinking or refinement of disposition?
What is the aim of moral education?

Raisonnement moral critique ou raffinement de la disposition?
Qui est le but de l’éducation morale?

pages 80-95

Jacques Quintin

Une herméneutique de l’ignorance pour comprendre la relation médecin-patient

A hermeneutics of ignorance to understand the relationship between doctor and patient

pages 96-114

María José Carrasco Zavala

Éthique professionnelle des enseignants et réalisation circulaire de soi

Professional ethics of teachers and circular self-realization

pages 115-134

Isabel Baptista

Ethical Knowledge and Teacher Training

Savoir éthique et formation des enseignants

pages 135-146

Andrea Potestio

L'éducateur socio-pédagogique pour les services au travail.
Une réflexion sur le contexte italien

The socio-pedagogical educator for the services at work.
A reflection on the Italian context

 pages 147-159

Eirick Prairat

Le tact. Vertu éthique et savoir-faire pédagogique

The tact. Ethical virtue and educational know-how

pages 160-179

Jean-François Dupeyron, Christophe Miqueu

Ethique professionnelle enseignante, formation républicaine et autoritarisme néolibéral

Professional teacher ethics, Republican Training and neoliberal authoritarianism

pages 180-211

Mohamed Miliani

L’éthique universitaire professionnelle à l’épreuve du plagiat des enseignants

Τhe university professional ethics against the test of teachers' plagiarism
 pages 212-230

France Jutras, Jean Paul Ndoreraho

La professionnalisation par un regroupement professionnel d’enseignants: l’exemple de l’Association québécoise d’enseignement moral

Professionalization by a professional grouping of teachers: the example of the Quebecois Association of moral teaching
pages 231-254

Introductory Note

In order to implement their sociopolitical goals, contemporary educational institutions in Europe do nοt resort at all to what they had been practicing for the last fifty years any more, namely, the «geist governing»[1]. It seems that the new mode of educator subjectification has definitively deviated from the paternalistic guidance of Higher Schools that provide a Continuing Professional Development, via university structures. The French paradigm is characteristic: the period of university institutions responsible for the continuing professional development of teachers in France (IUFM), has been a critical one, with a high degree of pedagogical and philosophical inventiveness, which, rapidly, however, came under the control of a neoliberal perspective of continuing professional development through the exposure of new educators to imperilments[2]  that bring them face to face with risky situations  without however having had prior mutual preparation within a professional community.  As a result comes the massive profession commitment withdrawal and candidacy withdrawal from recruitment exams, the erosion of what we would continue to call «mission» against a secularized public service for the benefit of a profession bricolage without any other structure rather than that granted by the survival mechanisms as adopted by the institution, on an instructional pseudoscientific and ethical level[3].

Recent history on educators’ ongoing education in France has not only got a clarifying or  incidental value;  it also possesses a paradigmatic function in relation to the general unfolding movement of the hierarchical allocation of life skills which thereon we have to literally consider as abilities in bare life with the intention of arranging biopowers, according also to Foucault’s analysis. The studies on education have long since shown that school assessments or the ones corresponding to lifelong learning or vocational training had no more been aiming neither at conceptual intelligence nor at the ability of a rational and practical orientation within the world for which we are being educated, but rather at the ability of compliance with norms, endurance to tests that lack the initiation function; in a word, of consent to a certain degree of voluntary slavery associated with the social hierarchy. At the time of the fading of institutions, which succeeded the period of ’68 in the world, ongoing education seemed to correspond to the capacity of promoting a self-educating ability.  But at the same time, the institutional authority collapsed through this same opening under the faded form of coaching and under the demand, according to which, each will have to become the «entrepreneur of himself / herself», so as to align oneself with the general expectations of the economic entities. The ethical question transformed into a claim of «ethical health», of extended precaution against evil and its private distortions which are added to the horizon of normative health.  We  have surely moved away from the desideratum of public or private morality that is associated with institutions of «geist governing», but the structure, as  Karl Löwith has shown, remains unchanged, namely, that of the planning of the  shift  of spirit in order to  gain salvation[4]. Against this demand for ethical precaution, the only way of resistance is the building of a certain individual morality that is formed by each educator himself/ herself.

Ethical thought in education, if it constitutes a philosophical question, has a direct political risk which ought to produce results according to two temporalities. The first one, the long-term, is that of the education's horizon and of its programmed abandonment to the teaching and training’s markets. But the second one is calling us urgently: it is that of the actual situation in which practicing teachers are disorientated and made weak in their struggle; in the School, against the rise of segregations and the disavowal of accountability for the students' ability to think.  Hence, the upgrowth of the ethical demand in School, has nothing to do with a return of morality and consensus; it is about a process aiming at a  politics of the self that renders each and everyone responsible for his/her personal and collective commitment while exerting a liberty and while putting up resistance against dominion and non-critical compliance. Then, it is about raising again the question of the principal function of philosophy as an education of the self itself.

The connection between education as an institution, the multiform practice of pedagogy within this very institution, the ethical and  axiological parameter as critical parameters for the justification and legitimization (or delegitimization) of various  systemic functions, philosophy and philosophical analysis- research, becomes vital: in other words, it is all about an explosive and devastating union due to the growing of opposing and complex forces from these practical and epistemological environments, which are often linked with difficulty. Bringing this connection to light,  we would like to understand it through the prism of professional ethics, which in our judgement, becomes an actual laboratory for the identification and the philosophical processing of ethical questions that multiply (often urgently) within  the  educational act in all its levels: from the principles to objectives and aims, from criteriology to axiology, from theories to reasoning and arguments, from the classroom's micro-level to the  macro-level of the institution and politics. The developing of the criterion and of the ethical judgement (something that refers to an education of judgement) seems to be perceived as a sine qua non of the developing of the pedagogical consciousness itself, as well as of the educational/institutional culture.

However, philosophical analysis attempts to clarify (and abolish, overshadow or confirm) the categorizations, the criteria and the axioms of normative practical ethics, seen through social procedures, namely, through their mandatory nature as regulations that ought to create a common framework for the distinction and adoption of ways of practice. It is about an intensive propaedeutic which underlies self-reflection   on theories and practices (so as to conceive the ethically ambiguous or the unacceptable). Teachers are called to examine ethical theories, principles and norms taking the risk and the benefit of their conflicting dynamic especially in the context of a professional deontology diffused and pressing (and often incomprehensible within its regulating logic).  Their participation in the making of such an ethics could only be associated with their ability to constitute it actively and to defend it through a detailed observation of practice, a conscious and clarified overall estimation of thoughts and arguments in the perspective of reinforcing the principle of responsibility (individual and collective), commitment and self-regulation.  It is this ability which the philosophical approach would want (in an effort to attenuate the institution's inherent consequences of authority), to   awaken, to process and to support on account of  the person (like an original project) within formal discourse, in so far also as the professional framework (or the order) is governed par excellence by parameters of heteronomy and depersonalization, which create conditions of adjustment to reality (an adjustment however  which typically is not adequately processed). Parameters regarding the obvious or latent exercise of authority, obedience acts, disciplinary and monitoring acts, acts of required application to stated or unstated codes, rules and norms, the emphasis on excellence and expertise, the legal support (namely, with whatever seems to ensure professionalization at a first level). Therefore, ethical deliberation obsessively includes questions related to the limits, the determinations, the preferences, the demand for justice, the meaning of acts of ascribing value, the axiom of constant process of perfecting, the principle of relevance and suitability, values, beliefs and traditions, conflicts, judgment, family and religious ethics, personal ethics, the utopian element, in an effort to share with the community the meaning of actions.

In this very context, the authors of this volume, try to put forward theories and concepts that delineate a professional ethics by giving emphasis to the different aspects of ethical approach  of  situations (s. «For an ethic of the bond: the main sources of a multireferential framework» by Christiane Gohier, «A dissensual perspective for education facing moral universal» by Louise Ferté, «Moral imagination and moral blindness» by Luc Bégin, «Critical moral thinking or refinement of disposition? What is the aim of moral education?», by Eleni Kalokairinou), to understand the relation with the other in a professional frame of accompaniment and the meaning of self- realization on the level of ethics within educational practice (s.  «An hermeneutics of ignorance to understand the relationship between doctor and patient» by Jacques Quintin and «Professional ethics of teachers and circular self-realization» by María José Carrasco Zavala), to discuss the role of ethical knowledge of teachers as a substantial element of their «professional profile», analyze the specific competences and rules that constitutes the function of the socio-pedagogical educator acting in the field of employment services («The socio-pedagogical educator for the services at work. A reflection on the Italian context» by Andrea Potestio) and reflect upon the concept of tact becoming a major pedagogical  competence for the relational professions (s. «Ethical Knowledge and Teacher Training» by Isabel Baptista and  «The tact. Ethical virtue and educational know-how» by Eirick Prairat), to explore  the teaching professional ethics through the critical study of notions, thematic and phenomena like «education of citizenship» within neoliberalism, the plagiarism of professors in the frame of university education or the professionalization and the professional responsibility  (s. «Professional teacher ethics, Republican Training and neoliberal authoritarianism» by Jean-François Dupeyron & Christophe Miqueu and «Τhe university professional ethics against the test of teachers' plagiarism», by Mohamed Miliani, and  «Professionalization by a professional grouping of teachers: the example of the Quebecois Association of moral teaching» by France Jutras & Jean Paul Ndoreraho). Thus, one can  realize that the  movement of  a possible understanding of professional ethics is crossed and crossing, encompassed and encompassing,  sustained & sustaining, accompanied & accompanying vis-à-vis all aspects & folds of ethical phenomenon & acts  in function with the educational phenomenon &  acts during their ambiguous encounter with the profession: a whole depth, a whole breadth & many junctions.


Elena Theodoropoulou, Didier Moreau

Oct.-Dec. 2019


[1] According to François Guizot'; Cf. Nique, C., François Guizot, l’École au service du gouvernement des esprits, Paris: Hachette, 2000.

[2] Cf. Beck, U., La société du risque, Paris: Aubier, 2001.

[3] In this way, we can watch the French ministerial imposition of archaic reading methods in contradiction with the principle of pedagogical freedom, which has been conceded by Jules Ferry against the clergy's attacks, the praising promotion of cognitive sciences and the flooding of professional ethics by palliative ethics, the only ones capable of supporting educators under training from the minute they enter the profession.

[4] Löwith, K., Histoire et salut, Paris: Gallimard, 2002. 

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In its simplest meaning, ethics is about caring for others while respecting oneself. Several authors have fed my reflection on an ethics of relationship. Among these, Buber who proposes a dialogal relationship between theI and Thou. However, it is Ricoeur who has best thematized the relationship of reciprocity with each other. Self-attestation, solicitude for the others and mutual recognition form what I have called the trilogy of the ethical circle that explains the emergence of the ethical subject.  Habermas’ discourse ethics is another element of this frame of reference, adding to its procedural dimension Honneth’s intersubjective relationships of recognition. Finally, moral imagination and empathy, as thematized by Nussbaum, complete this summary of a reflexive course.

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Κeywords: ethics of relationship,  dialogue, discussion, recognition, empathy.

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The moral and civic education in French schools is based on a twofold assumption: on the one hand, that the institution and its teachers know what a good citizen is, what he or she must learn and how to train him or her; and on the other hand, that it exists a universal moral thought, which would naturally lie at the bottom of each child, and that the school's mission would be to reveal it to the future citizens. In contrast to this moral universal, this article proposes to think about an education in politics in primary school that integrates a dissensual perspective, following Chantal Mouffe’ s analyses on agonistic democracy. This civic education in which the teacher would face dissonant subjects requires a rethinking of the way he or she is trained in politics, and the human sciences more generally.

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Keywords: moral and civic education, dissensus, teacher’s training, moral universalism, secularism.

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The phenomenon of moral blindness, increasingly studied by moral psychology and cognitive sciences, is of interest to ethics applied to organizations and institutions. This phenomenon presents itself as a limitation of the moral imagination capacities of actors in situations. What are the causes of this weakness of moral imagination? How can it be understood and distinguished from other similar phenomena? Should we attribute full responsibility for it to moral agents? And what means can be used to counter this blindness and restore moral imagination, the essential source of well-conducted moral deliberation? These questions are addressed from a perspective of conceptual clarification and identification of practical issues that affect organizations.

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Keywords: moral blindness, moral imagination, applied ethics, weakness of will.

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In the present paper I examine the possibility of moral education. It is pointed out that, even though religion is officially taught in primary and secondary education, this is not the case with ethics and moral education. I then explore the kind of moral education we should offer the youth in the likely event that ethics is officially introduced in primary and secondary education. We examine R.M. Hare’s claim that moral education involves teaching the young men the moral language and moral thinking and reasoning, and we find his suggestion lacking in certain important respects. On the contrary, we come up with the suggestion that Aristotle and Kant hold that moral education consists in both: making young students more competent to think and reason morally and at the same time cultivating their feelings and dispositions and refining their characters in such a way as to sympathize compassionately with the others’ misfortunes.

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Κeywords: Moral, universal prescriptivism, utilitarianism, act, agent, virtue, Aristotle, Kant.

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People living with a disease that disrupts the meaning of their life must think, deliberate and make decisions despite their condition. In this context of care, health professionals have a supporting role to play. We will show that accompaniment is characterized by a dialogical dynamic of a hermeneutical nature in which, for both the health professional and the patient, there are more questions than answers. In this sense, hermeneutics becomes a posture to welcome the ignorance that inhabits the human being in the face of the enigmatic nature of meaning.

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Keywords: hermeneutics, ignorance, meaning, dialog, phronesis, language.

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In recent years, we can observe a growing interest in research on the ethical problem in the exercise of the teaching profession. One of the factors explaining this phenomenon is the influence exerted by the revival of moral philosophy. In this paper, we propose to reflect on the contributions that the cavelian moral perfectionism could make to the question of a professional ethics for teachers. Our analysis has two parts. First, we present certain propositions from Chris Higgins' work. This will allow us to understand the value and significance of ethics within educational practice in a better way. Second, we addressed the idea of «growth in circles» taken from Emerson's and Cavell's thought. In this regard, we shall see in what sense Cavell's approach of self-realization can provide new ways of developing a professional ethics for teachers based on the idea of moral perfectionism.

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Keywords:  ethics, teacher, moral philosophy, growth in circles, moral perfectionism.

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Relating the demands of the educational rationality to a triadic conception of ethics, simultaneously teleological, deontological and pragmatic, this article reflects on the importance of the teacher’s ethical knowledge, here valued as primary and substantive element of their «professional face».

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Keywords: Ethics, hospitality, education, prudential reason.

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This essay try to analyze the specific competences and rules that constitutes the function of the socio-pedagogical educator acting in the field of employment services. Indeed, the educator in the employment services can become the professional figure able to highlight, in certain contexts, the links between the manual act and the reflexivity, the concrete and the abstraction, thus allowing the promotion, in an integral way, skills of workers, experts and novices.

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This contribution proposes a reflection on the tact. The philosophical tradition has given him little credit. The reasons are numerous. Tact does not seem to have a political facet like justice or tolerance, it is not spectacular and can’t compete with courage, nor does it have the grandeur and prestige of generosity. This contribution shows that tact is not only an ethical provision of prime importance for the professions of the relationship but is also a major teaching skill. This statement subverts the classic break from ethics and technique, ethics and didactics; a breakthrough that always comes back in educational debates to make ethics a supplement of soul.

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Keywords: competence, teaching, ethics, moral philosophy, tact.

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In the 1980s, the emergence within the French National Education of the major goal of «education for citizenship» has been constantly disturbed by various ideological and structural elements. It is now in serious difficulty because of a neoliberal offensive which has greatly reduced the implementation of the Republican educational project. This paper underlines the historical and philosophical meaning of this project, in particular in what it implies for citizenship training, and for the construction in terms of individual and collective emancipation that it implies during the implementation of the primary republican school; then it shows how neoliberalism creates the concrete conditions for the deactivation of the conditions for this formation. Using the example of the ESPE, the authors show how neoliberalism is a relentless authoritarianism that is at the opposite of the model of republican citizenship.

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Keywords: Republic, ESPE, Corruption, Neoliberalism, School, Training, citizenship.

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University-specific values have become meaningless notions. «Doubtful» teaching practices are reported, affecting all stakeholders. One of these practices is teachers’ plagiarism we would like to address not to quantify the phenomenon, but to analyse it by using unstructured interviews with teachers to situate it in relation to the normative ethics that must guide them in their daily teaching and research. Teachers’ actions, the consequences of which are not always appreciated, should give an image of a virtuous educator whose attitudes and professional actions are in line with the moral discourse they advocate but do not always practise.

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Keywords: plagiarism, professional ethics, practice, charter, value.            

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The professionalization of teaching is considered a means of strengthening teachers professional responsibility and the quality of teaching and learning in the classes. However, the case of a teachers’ professional association that took charge of their professionalization has been less studied than the socio-political and organizational dimension, and pre-service and in-service training. The innovative approach to professionalization initiated by the primary and secondary teachers members of the Quebec Moral Teaching Association has been analysed through data collected in the archives of the association and interviews with founding members. Results illustrate how these teachers built the legitimation of their work as moral education teachers and the specifications of lay moral education as a subject matter in the schools at the time it was introduced for students who were exempted from moral and religious catholic or protestants education mandatory in the schools of Quebec until 2008.

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Keywords: Professionalization, teachers, professional responsibility, moral education, primary, secondary, professional development.

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