“What is the point of learning about ethics? An ethics course should teach you how to recognize a moral issue when it stares you in the face. You should learn to appreciate its intricacies, to reason your way through it, and to discuss it with your peers. This will raise your skills of critical reflection and your moral sensitivities. And if you can translate what you gained into action, dare I say it, then it will make you into a better person as well.
Short stories—much more so than the classics or contemporary journals of professional philosophy—are a great tool for this purpose. They do not preach, but they transport the reader to the very core of moral quandaries and invite us to ask pertinent questions. What got the protagonist into this mess? What is he or she to do now? Is there a right way forward? Who, if anyone, is to blame? How does one apportion blame? Are there multiple ways to look at the same issue? Should one be sensitive to cultural differences? What human sentiments and experiences does the story lay bare?
The themes in these short stories are reflected in contemporary moral and social issues. I have connected each short story with recent articles in leading newspapers and magazines discussing these issues. Drawing this connection raises awareness that the political is deeply personal and the personal deeply political.”
You can search the stories by theme or by region.