Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.



Committee Chair

Wiggins, Osborne P.

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Payette, Patty

Committee Member

Payette, Patty

Committee Member

Boyd, Lynn

Committee Member

Futrell, Al

Author's Keywords

Critical thinking; Business ethics


Business ethics--Philosophy; Critical thinking--Study and teaching


This dissertation is an original synthesis of the critical thinking system developed by Richard Paul (“Paulian CT”) and business ethics classroom teaching in the discipline of Philosophy. The project offers a full textbook for a 16-week college course in business ethics taught through the lends of Philosophy. This textbook is intended to teach business ethics in a critical manner, something often claimed by Philosophy textbooks but, according to this dissertation's literature review, never delivered upon. This textbook is the first business ethics textbook structured for criticality, to teach in ways that are supported by critical approaches, which set up the conditions for readers to teach themselves to think through the material to arrive at original, evidence-based conclusions, as opposed to didactic approaches, which merely tell the reader what to think. The goal of my text is to teach readers to identify and reason through ethical issues in business. The textbook is also deeply interdisciplinary and teaches its readers to reason in an interdisciplinary way. Of the critical structures in the textbook, many are made explicit to maximize a student thinking through the content. Others are hidden, however, since the student is meant to focus upon the content of the course, while getting much of the critical thinking accomplished along the way by doing the work requested of the textbook. These hidden critical structures are brought out in the dissertation, which analyzes the structural features of the text to provide a key for using it with maximum effectiveness for criticality. The dissertation also justifies the textbook's existence with a literature review of recent textbooks and scholarly articles published in Philosophy, Economics, and Critical Thinking, and it helps readers understand the shift from didactic to critical educational paradigms for teachers.