Contemporary Moral Problems / Edition 9

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Where do you ground your own moral claims? James E. White's classic anthology, Contemporary Moral Problems, first prepares you for this exploration by laying out an introduction to the major currents of thought in the history of Western ethics. And then, by offering divergent viewpoints on a number of timely issues, White's text introduces you to the spectrum of views on a range of topics that will help you hone in on your own critically ethical outlooks. Whether the topic is abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, sexuality and marriage, liberty and drugs, the moral status of animals, consumption and the environment, or war and terrorism, each chapter offers a carefully balanced representation of viewpoints. Replete with philosopher biographies, compelling problem cases, illuminating introductory essays, summaries of conclusions, and end-of-chapter study questions, the Eighth Edition situates ethical complexities within concrete, real world contexts you can readily grasp.

In addition to numerous essential and timeless readings carried over from the past edition, this extensively updated Eighth Edition includes 18 new classical and contemporary readings, some of which include the following ethicists and topics: William H. Shaw on relativism in ethics, Jean Grimshaw on the idea of a female ethic, Elizabeth Harmon on creation ethics, John Hardwig on the duty to die, Ernest van den Haag and Jeffrey H. Reiman on capital punishment, Martha Nussbaum and Sam Schulman on sexuality and marriage, John Hospers on libertarianism, Gerald Dworkin on paternalism, Daniel Shapiro on addiction and drug policy, Mary Anne Warren on the moral status of animals, Roger Scruton on the moral status of animals, David Luban on the war on terrorism and the end of human rights, Michael G. Knapp on the concept and practice of Jihad in Islam.

Enrich your learning experience even further by visiting the Book Companion Website, offering a rich array of teaching and learning resources that you won't find anywhere else. Available at no additional cost, this site features additional cases, chapter-by-chapter outlines, reviews, and quizzing exclusively pertaining to Contemporary Moral Problems. From this site you can also link to our Philosophy Discipline Website, which was created for inquiring minds.

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Editorial Reviews

This textbook begins with brief excerpts representing major moral theories, including those of Rawls, Nietzsche, Mill, Kant, Aristotle, and Dworkin. It then provides readings representing various positions in regard to contemporary controversies. Among the topics addressed are: abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, sexuality and marriage, pornography and drugs, affirmative action, animals, the environment, and terrorism and war. "Problem cases" are presented for each topic. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780495553205
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 1/3/2008
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 9
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

James E. White received a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado and is retired after teaching at Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota.
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Table of Contents

Preface vii
Chapter 1 Ethical Theories 1
Introduction 2
James Rachels: Egoism and Moral Scepticism 10
John Arthur: Religion, Morality, and Conscience 19
Saint Thomas Aquinas: The Natural Law 27
David Hume: Morality is Based on Sentiment 30
William H. Shaw: Ethical Relativism 34
John Stuart Mill: Utilitarianism 38
Immanuel Kant: The Categorical Imperative 44
Aristotle: Happiness and Virtue 50
John Rawls: A Theory of Justice 60
Jean Grimshaw: The Idea of a Female Ethic 66
Problem Cases 74
Suggested Readings 77
Chapter 2 Abortion 81
Introduction 82
The U.S. Supreme Court: Roe v. Wade (1973) 88
John T. Noonan, Jr.: An Almost Absolute Value in History 98
Judith Jarvis Thomson: A Defense of Abortion 104
Mary Anne Warren: On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion 114
Don Marquis: An Argument that Abortion Is Wrong 126
Elizabeth Harman: Creation Ethics 138
Problem Cases 148
Suggested Readings 154
Chapter 3 Euthanasia and the Duty to Die 157
Introduction 158
James Rachels: Active and Passive Euthanasia 163
Bonnie Steinbock: The Intentional Termination of Life 168
Phillippa Foot: Killing and Letting Die 174
John Harris: The Survival Lottery 180
Peter Singer: Justifying Voluntary Euthanasia 186
John Hardwig: Is There a Duty to Die? 192
Problem Cases 204
Suggested Readings 209
Chapter 4 Capital Punishment 213
Introduction 214
The U.S. Supreme Court: Gregg v. Georgia (1976) 214
Immanuel Kant: The Retributive Theory of Punishment 229
Ernest van den Haag: The Ultimate Punishment: A Defense of Capital Punishment 231
Jeffrey H. Reiman: Justice, Civilization, and the Death Penalty 238
Problem Cases 249
Suggested Readings 252
Chapter 5 Sexuality and Marriage 255
Introduction 256
The Vatican: Declaration on Sexual Ethics 260
John Corvino: Why Shouldn't Tommy and Jim Have Sex? A Defense of Homosexuality 266
David Bradshaw: A Reply to Corvino 277
Martha Nussbaum: Plato and Aristotle on Love 284
Sam Schulman: Gay Marriage-and Marriage 285
Jonathan Rauch: Who Needs Marriage? 294
Problem Cases 303
Suggested Readings 308
Chapter 6 Liberty and Drugs 311
Introduction 312
John Stuart Mill: On Liberty 316
John Hospers: What Libertarianism Is 321
Gerald Dworkin: Paternalism 330
Thomas Szasz: The Ethics of Addiction 343
James Q. Wilson: Against Legalization of Drugs 351
Daniel Shapiro: Addiction and Drug Policy 360
Problem Cases 367
Suggested Readings 371
Chapter 7 The Moral Status of Animals 373
Introduction 374
Immanuel Kant: Our Duties to Animals 377
Peter Singer: All Animals Are Equal 377
Tom Regan: The Case for Animal Rights 379
Mary Anne Warren: Difficulties with the Strong Animal Rights Position 396
Roger Scruton: The Moral Status of Animals 403
Problem Cases 408
Suggested Readings 410
Chapter 8 The Environment and Consumption 413
Introduction 414
Aldo Leopold: The Land Ethic 419
J. Baird Callicot: Animal Liberation: A Triangular Affair 430
Alan Thein Durning: The Environmental Costs of Consumption 447
Peter Singer: Famine, Affluence, and Morality 455
Problem Cases 464
Suggested Readings 470
Chapter 9 War and Terrorism 473
Introduction 480
Douglas P. Lackey: Pacifism 480
William V. O'Brien: The Conduct of Just and Limited War 494
Haig Khatchadourian: The Morality of Terrorism 507
Laurie Calhoun: The Terrorist's Tacit Message 520
David Luban: The War on Terrorism and the End of Human Rights 527
Michael G. Knapp: The Concept and Practice of Jihad in Islam 534
Problem Cases 545
Suggested Readings 555
Index 559
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