Disputes over Ethical Education and the Issue of Ethical Neutrality of the State


  • Adrian Michalík Department of Ethics and Aesthetics, Faculty of Arts, Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Hodžova 1, 949 74 Nitra, Slovakia




ethical education, ethical neutrality of the state, cultural and ethical issues, values, tolerance


Thesis. We currently live in a pluralistic democratic society, marked by a wide array of professed values, lifestyles, and interpretations of the good life. This reality poses numerous challenges for the contemporary state. This study delves into strategies for navigating this diversity in the education and value formation of the upcoming generation. The central inquiry revolves around how the state should address these contrasting value preferences and determine which values to impart to pupils and students.

Concept. The concept of the state's ethical neutrality emerges as a potential response to this inquiry. This approach can be applied in contexts where societal consensus is lacking, particularly regarding cultural and ethical issues such as abortion, homosexual partnerships/marriages, euthanasia, or the legalization of soft drugs. Conversely, in domains where consensus prevails, the state should actively shape the values of the next generation.

Results and conclusion. The findings suggest that the concept of the state's ethical neutrality could serve as a valuable tool in addressing the diversity of values within society. It illustrates that in situations lacking a clear consensus, this approach is adaptable and allows for the recognition of diverse value systems among individuals and groups. Conversely, when societal consensus exists, it is crucial for the state to actively influence the formation of values among young people.  In conclusion, the concept of the state's ethical neutrality offers a useful framework for addressing the challenges posed by the plurality of values in modern societies.


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Author Biography

  • Adrian Michalík, Department of Ethics and Aesthetics, Faculty of Arts, Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Hodžova 1, 949 74 Nitra, Slovakia

    PhD in Philosophy, Assistant Professor at the Department of Ethics and Aesthetics. His research interests revolve around tolerance, the ethical neutrality of the state, and value pluralism in modern democracies.

    Within his teaching portfolio, he specializes in political ethics, the history of ethics—particularly focusing on Renaissance and modern thought—the intersection of ethics and literature, and the relationship between ethics and art. He has authored scientific monographs such as "Democratic Capitalism by Michael Novak" and "The Problem of Freedom in the Work of Edmund Burke: Reflections on the Revolution in France."


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How to Cite

Michalík, A. . (2024). Disputes over Ethical Education and the Issue of Ethical Neutrality of the State. Journal of Education Culture and Society, 15(1), 29-40. https://doi.org/10.15503/jecs2024.1.29.40