Denis Goulet and the project of development ethics: choices in methodology, focus and organization
AbstractDenis Goulet (1931-2006) was a pioneer of human development theory andthe main founder of work on â€œdevelopment ethicsâ€ as a self-conscious fieldthat, by his definition, treats the ethical and value questions posed bydevelopment theory, planning, and practice. The paper looks at aspects ofGouletâ€™s work in relation to four issues concerning the project of developmentethicsâ€” scope,  methodology,  roles,  organisational format andidentity. It compares his views with subsequent trends in the field and suggestslessons for work on human development.  Gouletâ€™s definition of the scope ofdevelopment ethics remains serviceable and allows us to combine a view of it associal change ethics (including global change ethics) with yet a relatively specificprimary audience of those who recognize themselves as working in developmentstudies or development policy.  His approach in development ethics espousedintense existential immersion in each context and was often deeply illuminating,but was limited by the time and skills it requires and its relative disconnectionfrom communicable theory.  Goulet wrote profoundly about ethicsâ€™ possiblelines of influence, through prophetic force and more routinely throughincorporation in methods, movements, and education. His own ideas did notbecome sufficiently embodied in methods and methodologies, but some havebecome so thanks to other authors.  Goulet saw development ethics as anew discipline or subdiscipline. However the required types of immersion, inparticular contexts and/or in understanding and changing the methods andsystems that structure routine practice, have to be undertaken by peoplecoming from and remaining close to diverse disciplinary and professionalbackgrounds. Development ethics is and has to be, he gradually came toaccept, not a distinct subdiscipline but an interdisciplinary field.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS), The Hague in its series ISS Working Papers - General Series with number 1765018738.
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2008
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human development; interdisciplinarity; development ethics; Denis Goulet;
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