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Designed to immediately engage students and other readers in philosophical reflection, the new edition of Ethical Argument: Critical Thinking in Ethics bridges the gap between ethical theory and practice. This brief introduction combines a discussion of ethical theory with fundamental elements of critical thinking—including informal fallacies and the basics of logic—and uses case studies and practical applications to illustrate concepts. Author Hugh Mercer Curtler presents a carefully formulated critique of ethical relativism, encouraging students to reason along with him and to question his argument at every point. This approach enables students to think systematically about ethical issues and to acquire basic skills in argumentation at the same time. They will learn how to bring principles to bear on ethical conflict, how to weigh pros and cons, how to recognize good ethical reasons, and how to distinguish sound argumentation from rationalization.
The second edition of Ethical Argument: Critical Thinking in Ethics includes new exercises and examples, summary boxes, cartoons, and sample dialogues that demonstrate how to effectively debate ethical positions. It features more than forty case studies on ethical issues that are interesting and relevant to students. An ideal core text for courses in introductory ethics, this concise volume can be used along with additional primary sources, case studies, or newspaper articles and novels. It is also a helpful supplementary text for courses in applied ethics—including professional, business, and medical ethics—and in critical thinking.
Foreword, by Susan Leigh Anderson
Preface: To the Instructor
Introduction: To the Student
Setting the Stage: Opening Dialogue
1. Is It All a Matter of Opinion? Relativism versus Objectivism
2. The Framework
Interlude: Rick and Nina Revisited
3. Devising a Procedure
4. The Justification of Ethical Claims
5. Ethical Argument in Action
6. Cases for Discussion and Analysis
Glossary of Key Terms Used in This Text