Can Ethics Provide Answers?: And Other Essays in Moral Philosophy

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Esteemed moral philosopher James Rachels here collects fifteen essays, some classic and others extensively revised, on the nature and limits of moral reasoning. Rachels argues that, rather than simply expressing societal conventions, moral philosophy can subvert received opinion and replace it with something better. Combining a concern for ethical theory with a discussion of practical moral issues such as euthanasia, the rights of animals, privacy, and affirmative action. Can Ethics Provide Answers is an excellent collection for students, scholars, and anyone concerned with the degree to which our principles can guide our policies.

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Editorial Reviews

Teaching Philosophy
As one would expect from Rachels, the essays are clear, thoughtful, engaging, and well argued.
— John Lemos, Coe College
R.G. Frey
...An excellent collection of articles...Rachels is among the very best applied ethicists around...In a prose style that makes the volume both very accessible and enormously readable, Rachels carefully presents and sifts arguments in the best philosophical manner.
Peter Singer
From now on we should disregard whatever columnists and commentators say about ethical issues, if they have not read Can Ethics Provide Answers? Whether or not Rachels' readers agree with his conclusions, in his clear and reasoned essays they have before them a model of how we should discuss questions in ethics.
Teaching Philosophy - John Lemos
As one would expect from Rachels, the essays are clear, thoughtful, engaging, and well argued.
Hugh LaFollette
The essays are always stimulating, highly insightful, and unwaveringly clear. Good reading for philosophers and for students.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

James Rachels is University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is the author of Created from Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism, The End of Life: Euthanasia and Morality, and The Elements of Moral Philosophy.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Moral Philosophy as a Subversive Activity Chapter 2 Can Ethics Provide Answers? Chapter 3 John Dewey and the Truth about Ethics Chapter 4 Active and Passive Euthanasia Chapter 5 Killing, Letting Die, and the Value of Life Chapter 6 Do Animals Have Rights? Chapter 7 The Moral Argument for Vegetarianism Chapter 8 God and Moral Autonomy Chapter 9 Lying and the Ethics of Absolute Rules Chapter 10 Why Privacy Is Important Chapter 11 Reflections on the Idea of Equality Chapter 12 What People Deserve Chapter 13 Coping with Prejudice Chapter 14 Morality, Parents, and Children Chapter 15 When Philosophers Shoot from the Hip

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