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					THE SWEET HEREAFTER THE SWEET HEREAFTER DISCUSSION FLOW

1. Were You Satisfied with the Outcome of This Story? (20’) 1.1. Probes for Yes position • In what ways did you find this outcome satisfying? • Was justice served? For whom? • Who has benefited by what happened here? 1.2. Probes for No position • Why didn’t you find this outcome satisfying? • What was missing? • Where did you see harm? 2. Was the Town Better or Worse off Without the Lawsuit? (30’) 2.1. What impact would the suit have had on the community? 2.2. Let’s step back: What’s the legal case here? 2.3. Do you agree that liability [for damages] exists in this situation? Who is liableand why? 2.4. Is the law in this case an instrument for justice? Is it the best instrument for justice for Sam Dent? 3. How Was the Lawsuit Avoided? (35’) 3.1. Nicole and her lie. • What did Nicole do? • What rationale does she offer for her actions? What principles does she say – to herself – that she is upholding? • What other motivations was she acting on? 3.2. If Nicole’s was the first lie, Billy’s was the second. • What rationale does Billy offer for his actions? 3.3. How about Dolores? • How does Dolores fare in all of this? What is her rationale for action? • Do you agree with Abbott (Dolores’ husband), that her community should judge Dolores? • Is that what happened here? 3.4. What about Stephens and his actions? • What do you make of Stephens and the rationales he offers for his actions? 3.5. All of these characters appear to be acting for emotional reasons far more than moral reasoning. What should we do with that – what role do emotions play in moral reasoning? 4. Constructing a Different End to the Story (20’) 4.1. Let’s explore this question of moral method a little further. Imagine that you can roll the tape back to the point before Nicole acts. Can you construct a different ending to this story? Could someone else have acted on behalf of the town and its 1

people? You can even imagine a new character, if you have to, but is there some other process that could have taken place?

THE SWEET HEREAFTER CLASS SESSION SUMMARY http://harvardbusinessonline.hbsp.harvard.edu/b01/en/common/item_detail.jhtml?id=607 070

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posted:8/7/2009
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