Ethical Theory: An Anthology / Edition 1

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The second edition of Ethical Theory: An Anthology features a comprehensive collection of more than 80 essays from classic and contemporary philosophers that address questions at the heart of moral philosophy.

  • Brings together 82 classic and contemporary pieces by renowned philosophers, from seminal works by Hume and Kant to contemporary views by Derek Parfit, Susan Wolf, Judith Jarvis Thomson, and many more
  • Features updates and the inclusion of a new section on feminist ethics, along with a general introduction and section introductions by Russ Shafer-Landau
  • Guides readers through key areas in ethical theory including consequentialism, deontology, contractarianism, and virtue ethics
  • Includes underrepresented topics such as moral knowledge, moral standing, moral responsibility, and ethical particularism
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This collection is a very welcome addition. It is remarkable for the breadth of issues discussed and the diversity of positions represented. Throughout, the selections have been chosen with a keen eye for excellence and accessibility. Taken together, they provide a vivid panorama of ethical theory today.”
Peter Railton, University of Michigan

“It is a wonderfully comprehensive collection that manages to bring together well-chosen papers on a number of significant areas in moral theory.”
Geoff Sayre-McCord, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405133203
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/2007
  • Series: Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies Series, #8
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 816
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 1.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Russ Shafer-Landau is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin. He is author of Whatever Happened to Good and Evil? (2003) and Moral Realism: A Defence (2005). He is editor of Oxford Studies in Metaethics, and co-editor of Foundations of Ethics: An Anthology (with Terence Cuneo, Blackwell 2006).

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Table of Contents



Part I: The Status of Morality.


1. “Of the Influencing Motives of the Will” & “Moral Distinctions Not Derived from Reason”: David Hume.

2. A Critique of Ethics: A. J. Ayer.

3. The Subjectivity of Values: J. L. Mackie.

4. Ethics and Observation: Gilbert Harman.

5. Moral Relativism Defended: Gilbert Harman.

6. The Subject Matter of Ethics: G. E. Moore.

7. Trying Out One’s New Sword: Mary Midgley.

8. Ethics as Philosophy: A Defense of Ethical Nonnaturalism: Russ Shafer-Landau.

9. Realism: Michael Smith.

Part II: Moral Knowledge.


10. Thinking about Cases: Shelley Kagan.

11. But I Could Be Wrong: George Sher.

12. Proof: Renford Brambrough.

13. Moral Knowledge and Ethical Pluralism: Robert Audi.

14. Coherentism and the Justification of Moral Beliefs: Geoffrey Sayre-McCord.

Part III: Why Be Moral?.


15. The Immoralist’s Challenge: Plato.

16. Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives: Philippa Foot.

17. The Reconciliation Project: Gregory S. Kavka.

18. Moral Rationalism: Russ Shafer-Landau.

19. Psychological Egoism: Joel Feinberg.

20. Flourishing Egoism: Lester Hunt.

21. Ethical Egoism: James Rachels.

22. Moral Saints: Susan Wolf.

Part IV: Ethics and Religion.


23. Euthyphro: Plato.

24. A New Divine Command Theory: Robert Merrihew Adams.

25. God and Objective Morality: A Debate: William Lane Craig and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong.

26. God and Immortality as Postulates of Pure Practical Reason: Immanuel Kant.

27. God and the Moral Order: C. Stephen Layman.

28. God and Morality: Erik Wielenberg.

Part V: Value.


29. Hedonism: John Stuart Mill.

30. The Experience Machine: Robert Nozick.

31. The Good Life: A Defense of Attitudinal Hedonism: Fred Feldman.

32. The Informed Desire Account: James Griffin.

33. Desire and the Human Good: Richard Kraut.

34. What Things are Good?: W. D. Ross.

35. What Makes Someone’s Life Go Best: Derek Parfit.

Part VI: Moral Responsibility.


36. Determinism and the Theory of Agency: Richard Taylor.

37. The Impossibility of Moral Responsibility: Galen Strawson.

38. Freedom and Necessity: A. J. Ayer.

39. Moral Luck: Thomas Nagel.

40. Sanity and the Metaphysics of Responsibility: Susan Wolf.

41. Freedom and Resentment: Peter Strawson.

Part VII: Moral Standing.


42. We Have No Duties to Animals: Immanuel Kant.

43. All Animals are Equal: Peter Singer.

44. The Rights of Animals and Unborn Generations: Joel Feinberg.

45. On Being Morally Considerable: Kenneth Goodpaster.

46. Abortion and Infanticide: Michael Tooley.

47. Why Abortion is Immoral: Don Marquis.

Part VIII: Consequentialism.


48. Utilitarianism: John Stuart Mill.

49. The Consequentialist Perspective: William Shaw.

50. Extreme and Restricted Utilitarianism: J. J. C. Smart.

51. Rule Consequentialism: Brad Hooker.

52. What is Wrong with Slavery: R. M. Hare.

53. Famine, Affluence and Morality: Peter Singer.

54. The Survival Lottery: John Harris.

Part IX: Deontology.


55. Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals: Immanuel Kant.

56. Kant’s Principle of Universal Law: Christine Korsgaard.

57. Kantian Approaches to Some Famine Problems: Onora O’Neill.

58. The Rationality of Side Constraints: Robert Nozick.

59. The Golden Rule Rationalized: Alan Gewirth.

60. The Problem of Abortion and the Doctrine of Double Effect: Philippa Foot.

61. Killing, Letting Die, and The Trolley Problem: Judith Jarvis Thomson.

Part X: Contractarianism.


62. Leviathan: Thomas Hobbes.

63. Why Contractarianism?: David Gauthier.

64. A Theory of Justice: John Rawls.

65. Contractualism and Utilitarianism: T. M. Scanlon.

Part XI: Virtue Ethics.


66. The Nature of Virtue: Aristotle.

67. Non-Relative Virtues: An Aristotelian Approach: Martha Nussbaum.

68. Normative Virtue Ethics: Rosalind Hursthouse.

69. Agent-Based Virtue Ethics: Michael Slote.

70. A Virtue Ethical Account of Right Action: Christine Swanton.

71. Being Virtuous and Doing the Right Thing: Julia Annas.

Part XII: Prima Facie Duties and Particularism.


72. What Makes Right Actions Right?: W. D. Ross.

73. An Unconnected Heap of Duties?: David McNaughton.

74. An Unprincipled Ethic: Jonathan Dancy.

75. On Knowing the Why: Particularism and Moral Theory: Margaret Little.

76. Unprincipled Ethics: Gerald Dworkin

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