Ethics in America: Source Reader / Edition 2

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Overview

This volume contains a rich and varied selection of classic writings in philosophy and ethics through the ages. This volume features selections from Eastern religions, Native America, feminist perspectives, existentialism and environmentalism as well writing from Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, John Rawls, Immanuel Kant, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and others. For anyone interested in learning about the evolution of ethics and ethical thought in America.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780131826250
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 4/25/2003
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 224,239
  • Product dimensions: 6.92 (w) x 9.05 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Read an Excerpt

The volume in your hands is greatly expanded from the first edition, published in 1989. The expansion was undertaken on request by many who have used the book in their courses, and the reason was something of a surprise to me. It seems that this text is occasionally used, not just for a companion volume for the telecourse Ethics in America, but also on its own, as the text for an introductory level history of ethics course. But for that purpose, the selections were incomplete.

In the first edition I included only those works which were appealed to, explicitly or implicitly, by the panelists on the various discussions, and that means only works in the Western tradition. Further, only those works were included that had suggestions to make about how to solve ethical problems, to help students follow the actual reasoning of the panelists. Where the panelists' reasoning appealed (usually silently) to an ethical tradition, that tradition was included in the selections and the selections referenced in the Study Guide, the other companion volume. Only works so referenced were included in the Source Reader.

Now, that is one very exclusive principle of selection. Omitted were all religious traditions but our own, all Eastern thought of any kind, the entire nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature of doubt and ethical restructuring, and the contemporary movements of feminism, environmentalism, and other forms of multiculturalism (all movements that change the center of ethical consideration). If the text is to be used for a complete course in ethics, surely some selections must at least entertain the possibility of taking these literatures into account.

Accordingly, the second edition has expanded, to include selections from Islamic, Buddhist, and Confucian thought (attempts to put the Bhagavad Gita in some form that preserved the poetry were unsuccessful, so Hinduism is not included); also existentialism, feminism, and environmentalism. (A new selection on Fiduciary Duty, taken from the law, has also been added as a complement to the selection from Royce.) All the disclaimers that applied to the first edition still apply: you will get only a taste of these rich and fascinating authors, literature, and movements, the editor makes no claims to expertise on any of these authors in particular and certainly no claims to expertise on them all; you will be frustrated by the minimal selections provided; the only way you can relieve that frustration is by going in each case back to the original source. Go to it.

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Second Edition

I. THE GREEK TRADITION.

Thucydides.

Plato.

Aristotle.

II. RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS.

The Bible (the Judeao-Christian tradition).

Islam.

Buddhism.

Confucianism.

Native Americans.

III. THE MORAL LAW.

The Stoics.

Thomas Aquinas.

Thomas Hobbes.

John Locke.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Thomas Jefferson.

Immanuel Kant.

A Note on Fiduciary Duty.

Josiah Royce.

John Rawls.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

IV. UTILITARIANISM.

Epicurus.

Hedonists Ancient and Modern.

Jeremy Bentham.

Adam Smith.

John Stuart Mill.

Conclusion.

V. THE BELMONT REPORT.

VI. DOUBTS AND EXPERIMENTS.

Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Marxism.

Jean-Paul Sartre.

Feminist Ethics.

Environmentalism.

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Preface

The volume in your hands is greatly expanded from the first edition, published in 1989. The expansion was undertaken on request by many who have used the book in their courses, and the reason was something of a surprise to me. It seems that this text is occasionally used, not just for a companion volume for the telecourse Ethics in America, but also on its own, as the text for an introductory level history of ethics course. But for that purpose, the selections were incomplete.

In the first edition I included only those works which were appealed to, explicitly or implicitly, by the panelists on the various discussions, and that means only works in the Western tradition. Further, only those works were included that had suggestions to make about how to solve ethical problems, to help students follow the actual reasoning of the panelists. Where the panelists' reasoning appealed (usually silently) to an ethical tradition, that tradition was included in the selections and the selections referenced in the Study Guide, the other companion volume. Only works so referenced were included in the Source Reader.

Now, that is one very exclusive principle of selection. Omitted were all religious traditions but our own, all Eastern thought of any kind, the entire nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature of doubt and ethical restructuring, and the contemporary movements of feminism, environmentalism, and other forms of multiculturalism (all movements that change the center of ethical consideration). If the text is to be used for a complete course in ethics, surely some selections must at least entertain the possibility of taking these literatures into account.

Accordingly, the second edition has expanded, to include selections from Islamic, Buddhist, and Confucian thought (attempts to put the Bhagavad Gita in some form that preserved the poetry were unsuccessful, so Hinduism is not included); also existentialism, feminism, and environmentalism. (A new selection on Fiduciary Duty, taken from the law, has also been added as a complement to the selection from Royce.) All the disclaimers that applied to the first edition still apply: you will get only a taste of these rich and fascinating authors, literature, and movements, the editor makes no claims to expertise on any of these authors in particular and certainly no claims to expertise on them all; you will be frustrated by the minimal selections provided; the only way you can relieve that frustration is by going in each case back to the original source. Go to it.

Read More Show Less

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