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What Makes A Person Morally Courageous?

Submitted by Graham Ferris on Mon, 07-15-2013
Long title
What Makes A Person Morally Courageous?
Ferris, Graham
Jarman, Jane
Author(s)' contact information
Conference title
Moral Courage Workshop
Conference location
City University, London
United Kingdom
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The workshop session considered the work of Oliner & Oliner [see: Samuel P Oliner and Pearl M Oliner Altruistic Personality: Rescuers of Jews in Nazi Europe 1988] who tried to identify what features of situation, origins, personality, or value orientation were characteristic of rescuers of Jewish people in World War II. The proposal was to deploy this analysis more generally. Essentially exploring what may lead to a person acting in a morally courageous manner or what may lead to a person not doing so.
As contemporary examples of moral courage the actions of Yvonne Bradley and Charles Swift who used their position as legal representatives of Guantanamo Bay detainees to challenge the treatment of their clients by the military authorities of the United States of America were noted. One possible use of the Oliner’s work could be in connection with such moral exemplars of legal professionals who exhibited moral courage.
The possible use of insights gained from the work of the Oliner’s in Continuing Professional Development was also raised.Consideration of the problems caused by joint retainers: involving acting in the presence of potential or even actual conflicts of interest between clients; was explored as a suitable subject matter for such CPD.
Teaching Methods