Elements of Moral Philosophy 4 Edition / Edition 4

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More About This Textbook


Firmly established as the standard text for undergraduate courses in ethics, this concise, lively book combines clear explanations of the main theories of ethics with discussions of interesting examples. Topics covered include famine relief, homosexuality, and the treatment of animals. The texts versatility allows it to be widely used not only in ethical theory courses, but also in applied ethics courses of all kinds.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780072825749
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 5/17/2002
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 9.14 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Table of Contents

About the Second Edition
1 What is Morality? 1
1.1 The Problem of Definition
1.2 An Example of Moral Reasoning: Baby Jane Doe
1.3 Reason and Impartiality
1.4 The Minimum Conception of Morality
2 The Challenge of Cultural Relativism 15
2.1 How Different Cultures Have Different Moral Codes
2.2 Cultural Relativism
2.3 The Cultural Differences Argument
2.4 The Consequences of Taking Cultural Relativism Seriously
2.5 Why There Is Less Disagreement Than It Seems
2.6 How All Cultures Have Some Values in Common
2.7 What Can Be Learned from Cultural Relativism
3 Subjectivism in Ethics 30
3.1 The Basic Idea of Ethical Subjectivism
3.2 The Evolution of the Theory
3.3 The First Stage: Simple Subjectivism
3.4 The Second Stage: Emotivism
3.5 Emotivism, Reason, and "Moral Facts"
3.6 The Example of Homosexuality
4 Does Morality Depend on Religion? 44
4.1 The Presumed Connection Between Morality and Religion
4.2 The Divine Command Theory
4.3 The Theory of Natural Law
4.4 Christianity and the Problem of Abortion
5 Psychological Egoism 62
5.1 Is Unselfishness Possible?
5.2 The Strategy of Reinterpreting Motives
5.3 Two Arguments in Favor of Psychological Egoism
5.4 Clearing Away Some Confusions
5.5 The Deepest Error in Psychological Egoism
6 Ethical Egoism 75
6.1 Is There a Duty to Contribute for Famine Relief?
6.2 Three Arguments in Favor of Ethical Egoism
6.3 Three Arguments Against Ethical Egoism
7 The Utilitarian Approach 90
7.1 The Revolution in Ethics
7.2 First Example: Euthanasia
7.3 Second Example: Nonhuman Animals
8 The Debate Over Utilitarianism 102
8.1 The Resilience of the Theory
8.2 Is Happiness the Only Thing That Matters?
8.3 Are Consequences All That Matter?
8.4 The Defense of Utilitarianism
8.5 What Is Correct and What Is Incorrect in Utilitarianism
9 Are There Absolute Moral Rules? 117
9.1 Kant and The Categorical Imperative
9.2 Absolute Rules and the Duty Not to Lie
9.3 Conflicts Between Rules
9.4 Another Look at Kant's Basic Idea
10 Kant and Respect for Persons 127
10.1 The Idea of "Human Dignity"
10.2 Retribution and Utility in the Theory of Punishment
10.3 Kant's Retributivism
11 The Idea of a Social Contract 139
11.1 Hobbes's Argument
11.2 The Prisoner's Dilemma
11.3 Some Advantages of the Social Contract Theory of Morals
11.4 The Problem of Civil Disobedience
11.5 Difficulties for the Theory
12 The Ethics of Virtue 159
12.1 The Ethics of Virtue and the Ethics of Right Action
12.2 Should We Return to the Ethics of Virtue?
12.3 The Virtues
12.4 Some Advantages of Virtue Ethics
12.5 The Incompleteness of Virtue Ethics
13 What Would a Satisfactory Moral Theory Be Like? 180
13.1 Morality Without Hubris
13.2 The Moral Community
13.3 Justice and Fairness
Suggestions for Further Reading 194
Notes on Sources 202
Index 207
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