In response to Hytten’s provocative opening of a conversation about an ethics for activist teaching, in this essay I address three interesting contributions that Hytten made. First, I explore the significance of the imagined ethical subject in Hytten’s example and in many prior authors’ work on ethics in social justice teaching. Expanding the imagined ethical subject (beyond the resistant student with limited experience of difference), which Hytten began to do, is fruitful for additional contexts. Second, I attend to the philosophical basis upon which Hytten rested her ethical theory and suggest some ways that philosophers might follow her critical and pragmatist sensibilities and avoid the meta-ethical limitations of more traditional ethical theory. Third, the essay ends with considerations of potentially a more social ethics, and toward that end, I propose two communal habits implied in Hytten’s work—cultivating solidarity and comfort with discomfort—that might complement the four habits Hytten named in her ethics.

Response to Article

Kathy Hytten, Ethics in Teaching for Democracy and Social Justice