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Cengage Advantage Books: Ethics: Discovering Right and Wrong / Edition 6

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Concise yet comprehensive, this text surveys the realm of ethical theory and includes many examples from classical and contemporary sources. Written in an interesting and conversational manner, DISCOVERING RIGHT AND WRONG challenges students to develop their own moral theories and to solve various problems for themselves.
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Editorial Reviews

Throughout this textbook on ethics, Pojman (philosophy, U.S. Military Academy, West Point) emphasizes the importance of the student developing his or her own moral theory. Some of the concepts explored include moral relativism and objectivism, altruism, utilitarianism, religion, and skepticism. An analysis of the modified divine command theory and suggestions for how to read and write a philosophy paper are contained in the appendices. The text may be used as a companion volume to Pojman's , 4th ed. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher
"It introduces theoretical concepts in an intriguing way, and it condenses a great deal of material in an accessible form." — Michael Gavin, Eastern Michigan University

"I have used the text for several semesters and find it quite good for my students." — Delores Doench, Southwestern Community College

"ETHICS: DISCOVERING RIGHT AND WRONG is an outstanding introductory ethics text, written with a keen eye to the abilities of upper-level undergraduate students. The authors do a nice job of clarifying abstract philosophical concepts in a way that demonstrates their relevance in the real world." — Vic McCracken, Abilene Christian University

"I am impressed with the readability of the text, in terms of both reading level and clarity. It is hard enough to explain philosophy, but they do so with simple language and many concrete examples. This would be an easier text for my students to read while still offering them solid content." — Mary Beth O'Halloran, Century College

"This is an excellent text that covers the broad range of issues in normative and metaethics quite well, but still being introductory enough for an intro course. For an advanced undergraduate course, it would pair nicely with source readings." — Eric Rovie, Agnes Scott College

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780495502357
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 2/12/2008
  • Series: Cengage Advantage Books
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Louis P. Pojman (1935-2005) was Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, at the United States Military Academy and a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. He received an M.A. and Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary/Columbia University. He was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Copenhagen and a Rockefeller Fellow at Hamburg University. He received his D.Phil. in Philosophy from Oxford University in 1997.His first position was at the University of Notre Dame, after which he taught at the University of Texas at Dallas. Later, at the University of Mississippi, he served for three years as Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion. In 1995, he became Professor of Philosophy at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He most recently was Visiting Professor at Brigham Young University in Utah and Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, Oxford University. Pojman won several research and teaching awards, including the Burlington Northern Award for Outstanding Teaching and Scholarship (1988) and the Outstanding Scholar/Teacher in the Humanities at the University of Mississippi (1994). He wrote in the areas of philosophy of religion, epistemology, ethics, and political philosophy and authored or edited more than 30 books and 100 articles. Pojman passed away in 2005.

James Fieser is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tennessee at Martin. He received his B.A. from Berea College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from Purdue University. He is author, co-author, or editor of ten textbooks, including SOCRATES TO SARTRE AND BEYOND (9/e 2011), ETHICAL THEORY: CLASSICAL AND CONTEMPORARY READINGS (6/e 2010), A HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY (2003), and MORAL PHILOSOPHY THROUGH THE AGES (2001). He has edited and annotated the ten-volume EARLY RESPONSES TO HUME (2/e 2005) and the five-volume SCOTTISH COMMON SENSE PHILOSOPHY (2000). He is founder and general editor of the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy website (

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Table of Contents

Preface. A Word to the Student: Why Study Moral Philosophy? 1. INTRODUCTION: WHAT IS ETHICS?. Morality As Compared with Other Normative Subjects. Traits of Moral Principles. Domains of Ethical Assessment. Why Do We Need Morality?. The Purposes of Morality. For Further Reflection. For Further Reading. 2. ETHICAL RELATIVISM: WHO'S TO JUDGE WHAT'S RIGHT AND WRONG? An Analysis of Relativism. Subjective Ethical Relativism (Subjectivism). Conventional Ethical Relativism (Conventionalism). A Critique of Ethical Relativism. For Further Reflection. For Further Reading. 3. THE CASE FOR MORAL OBJECTIVISM. Natural Law. Moderate Objectivism. An Explanation of the Attraction of Ethical Relativism. For Further Reflection. For Further Reading. 4. VALUE: THE QUEST FOR GOOD. What Types of Value Are There?. What Things Are Good?. Are Values Objective or Subjective?. What is the Good Life?. For Further Reflection. For Further Reading. 5. EGOISM, SELF-INTEREST, AND ALTRUISM. An Overview of the Problem. Psychological Egoism. Ethical Egoism. A Critique of Ethical Egoism. Attempted Refutations of Egoism. Evolution and Altruism. For Further Reflection. For Further Reading. 6. UTILITARIANISM. What is Utilitarianism?. Two Types of Utilitarianism. The Strengths and Weaknesses of Utilitarianism. External Criticisms of Utilitariansim. Utilitarian Responses to Standard Objections. For Further Reflection. For Further Reading. 7. KANTIAN AND DEONTOLOGICAL SYSTEMS. Two Types of Deontological Systems. Kant's Rule-Deontological System. The Categorical Imperative. Kant's Other Formulations of the Categorical Imperative. Kant's Ethics and Religion. A Reconciliation Project. For Further Reflection. For FurtherReading. 8. VIRTUE-BASED ETHICAL SYSTEMS. The Aretaic Critique of Action-Based (Deontic) Ethical Systems. The Nature of Virtue Ethics. Types of Relationships between Virtue Ethics and Action Ethics. For Further Reflection. For Further Reading. 9. WHY SHOULD I BE MORAL? The Paradox of Morality and Self-Interest. For Further Reflection. For Further Reading. 10. RELIGION AND ETHICS. Does Morality Depend on Religion?. Is Religious Ethics Essentially Different from Secular Ethics?. Is Religion Irrelevant or Even Inimical to Morality?. Does Religion Enhance the Moral Life?. For Further Reflection. For Further Reading. 11. THE FACT-VALUE PROBLEM: METAETHICS IN THE 20TH CENTURY. Nonnaturalism. Emotivism. Prescriptivism. The Renaissance of Naturalism. For Further Reflection. For Further Reading. 12. MORAL REALISM AND THE CHALLENGE OF SKEPTICISM. Mackie's Error Theory of Morality. Harman's Moral Nihilism. For Further Reading. A Concluding Reflection: Minimal Morality, Virtue Ethics, and the Development of Character. Appendix 1. An Analysis of the Modified Divine Command Theory. Appendix 2. How to Read and Write a Philosophy Paper. Glossary. Index.
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