Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2006

Abstract

Insurance companies have come to play a role in professional responsibility compliance that rivals that of courts and disciplinary agencies. The insurers, however, depart from the judicial perspective of the traditional enforcement agencies. Instead, they take the risk management perspective that Anthony Alfieri describes.1

I agree with Alfieri that risk management poses real dangers of cynicism and Babbittry. Nevertheless, I also see more upside than he does. The new perspective is valuable, not just as a strategy for attracting student attention, but as an antidote to real and basic deficiencies in mainstream ethics teaching and traditional professional practice. In this Comment, I first suggest why the risk management perspective arouses deep ambivalence on the part of ethics teachers. I then point to three respects in which risk management has the potential to make contributions to ethical reflection. In two of these respects, it might remedy deficiencies in current ethics teaching; in the other, it seems complementary to current ethics teaching.

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