Conduct and Character: Readings in Moral Theory / Edition 2

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"Intended for courses in Introduction to Philosophy, Ethics, or Contemporary Moral Problems in which a concise, yet comprehensive, overview of the most seminal ethical theories is desired." This anthology of 31 readings on the philosophical theories of morality is organized according to type of moral theory (utilitarianism, egoism, virtue ethics, the ethics of care, etc.) and contains a separate chapter devoted to each type. Reading selections in the chapters provide coverage of both classical and contemporary philosophical writings, representing a spectrum of viewpoints on each theory. Readings include brief introductions to assist students in identifying key ideas and have been selected and edited in order to optimize student comprehension and to facilitate teaching.
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Editorial Reviews

Classical and contemporary writings on moral theory introduce students to the study of ethics. Essays are organized according to type of moral theory and are preceded by an introductory chapter which provides a conceptual framework for studying ethics. The reader is suitable for ethics courses that focus on theory, and can serve as a supplementary text for applied ethics courses. It can also be used for the ethics component of an introductory philosophy course. This edition includes selections that reflect recent developments in virtue ethics. Timmons teaches philosophy at the University of Memphis. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher

"In brief compass it provides a superb survey of the main Western moral theories through engaging and accessible modern and historical readings. Two particular noteworthy features are the helpful Introduction, which frames the issues to be discussed and provides criteria for evaluating moral theories, and the inclusion of readings raise pointed critical questions about the theories canvassed." - Holly M Smith , Rutgers University

"CONDUCT AND CHARACTER is one of the best texts on the market for an introductory course in ethics. It covers all of the major ethical theory in a thoughtfully organized manner while providing students with easy to understand criteria to evaluate the theories with. The mixture of classic readings by major figures in the history of philosophy with contemporary secondary essays makes this book useful and accessible to students from both philosophy and other disciplines." - Netty Provost , Purdue University, Indiana University at Kokomo

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780534231910
  • Publisher: Wadsworth
  • Publication date: 5/28/1994
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 263

Meet the Author

Mark Timmons is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arizona. Dr. Timmons has published extensively in the fields of ethics and epistemology. He is also one of the editors of KNOWLEDGE, NATURE AND NORMS, An Introduction to Philosophy.
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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Introduction to Moral Theory: The Nature and Evaluation of Moral Theories 1
Basic Moral Concepts 2
The Aims of a Moral Theory 5
The Role of Moral Principles in a Moral Theory 6
The Structure of a Moral Theory 7
Brief Summary 8
How to Evaluate a Moral Theory 9
Preview 14
Ch. 2 Egoism 17
Plato / The Myth of Gyges 17
Ayn Rand / The Virtue of Selfishness 20
James Rachels / Egoism and Moral Skepticism 25
Peter Singer / Egoism, Altruism, and Sociobiology 36
Ch. 3 Ethics by Authority 43
Robert C. Mortimer / Morality is Based on God's Commands 43
Mark Timmons / Does Morality Depend on God's Commands? 47
Ruth Benedict / A Defense of Ethical Relativism 58
James Rachels / The Challenge of Cultural Relativism 65
Ch. 4 The Natural Law Theory 71
St. Thomas Aquinas / Treatise on Law 71
C. E. Harris / The Ethics of Natural Law 76
Philippa Foot / The Doctrine of Double Effect 92
Emmett Barcalow / Problems for Natural Law Theory 97
Ch. 5 Utilitarianism 102
Jeremy Bentham / The Principle of Utility 102
J. S. Mill / In Defense of Utilitarianism 108
Kai Nielsen / Against Moral Conservatism 115
John Rawls / Two Concepts of Rules 125
J. L. Mackie / The Ethics of Fantasy 135
Ch. 6 Kantian Ethical Theory 146
Immanuel Kant / The Moral Law and Autonomy of the Will 146
Robert L. Holmes / Kantianism 154
Onora O'Neill / Kant on Treating People as Ends in Themselves 166
Fred Feldman / On Treating People as Ends in Themselves: A Critique of Kant 171
Ch. 7 Virtue Ethics 179
Aristotle / Virtue and Character 179
Rosalind Hursthouse / Normative Virtue Ethics 190
Michael Slote / Agent-Based Virtue Ethics 202
Thomas Hurka / Against Virtue Ethics 216
Ch. 8 The Ethics of Care 228
Carol Gilligan / Moral Orientation and Moral Development 228
Virginia Held / Feminist Ethical Theory 237
Nel Noddings / An Ethic of Caring 244
Claudia Card / Caring and Evil 255
Ch. 9 Pluralism and Particularism 261
Jean-Paul Sartre / Moral Choice Without Principles 261
W. D. Ross / What Makes Right Acts Right? 264
David McNaughton / Principles or Particularism? 270
Brad Hooker / Moral Particularism: Wrong and Bad 278
About the Author 293
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