Approach

We seek to revisit and alter the current approach to ethics pedagogy. Such an approach leads us to the recognition that, in designing such an all-embracing work plan, we cannot hide from the age-old, pressing conundrum: “Can ethics—the good—be taught?” Regrettably, no incontrovertible, positivist evidence is available that would cast away this troubling doubt. However, we choose to believe in the affirmative. But the questions remain: How? And to what end? Specifically, what does it mean to attempt to teach ethics in the context of student filmmaking? Whatever the philosophical answers to this set of well-worn but still burning questions might be—and many they are—a more urgent, practical controversy knocks at our door: Can (or, perhaps more acutely, should) ethics be taught in class, in accordance with the traditional pedagogical model of frontal, authoritative, informational, regulative, code-of-practice- oriented instruction? We choose to answer this question in the negative. We argue that the current film-students’ pedagogy of ethics requires, first and foremost, a fundamental epistemological change of approach. We call it Inspirational Ethics.