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Businessweek Archives

`Teaching Ethics Is... An Oxymoron'


Readers Report

`TEACHING ETHICS IS... AN OXYMORON'

Pardon my wry smile on reading "Can ethics be taught? Harvard gives it the old college try" (Top of the News, Apr. 6). Teaching ethics is certainly an oxymoron. Ethics is the inherent inner voice, the source of self-control in the absence of external pressure or compulsion. Teaching about ethics is something else, something that should never be entrusted to a professional school. That is a clear conflict of interest--unethical, if you please.

Wallace F. Smith

Professor of Business Administration

University of California

Berkeley, Calif.


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