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Arts & Letters Daily


5b. Rights - Drama Teacher


To be entitled to … right to an award


Duty. Ms. Smith, the Drama teacher, was frustrated. She felt she had a duty to allow students, who found the course language in Of Mice and Men offensive, the option to read an alternative novel because she had promised their parents that their students would have that option. She would have to prepare a new set of Lessons and Assignments for these three students. Where would she find the time to do this when the rehearsals for the live performance of Of Mice and Men were taking so much of her out-of-class time? She knew she had a duty to teach all students in her class, but, did she really have a duty to prepare and teach an alternative novel to three students?

Rights. Ms. Smith of courses recognized that all students in her class were entitled to receive instruction; they were duly registered in her English course. But, were they entitled to individualized instruction across several novels at any given time?


  • What might be an appropriate balance between Ms. Smith’s duty and the students’ entitlement?
  • Discuss other situations where people use this kind of thinking.

You may want to discuss other dilemmas.

Consider this view of ‘entitled to rights’

  • Crooked thinking

To say that a person is entitled to an award does not mean that he has a right to the award.

  • Straight thinking

To be entitled to” and “to be warranted in ” basically have the same meaning. To say that John is entitled to an award is to say that John has a right to the award. To say that an award was not warranted for John’s performance, is to say that John does not have a right to receive the award.

Moral principle value tests

An application of the moral principle value tests probably illustrates most clearly what is entailed in evaluative reasoning. They are:

It is important to emphasize that the moral-value principle tests are not designed to resolve issues (guarantee right answers!) but to assess the ‘justification’ for moral value decisions.

To view the Dilemma from the perspective of Duty, Rights, Motives, Desert and Justice, click the following:

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