An Introduction to Ethics

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Overview

"This book examines the central questions of ethics through a study of theories of right and wrong that are found in the great ethical works of Western philosophy. It focuses on theories that continue to have a significant presence in the field. The core chapters cover egoism, the eudaimonism of Plato and Aristotle, act and rule utilitarianism, modern natural law theory, Kant's moral theory, and existentialist ethics." Readers will be introduced not only to the main ideas of each theory but also to contemporary developments and defenses of those ideas. A final chapter takes up topics in meta-ethics and moral psychology. The discussions throughout draw the reader into philosophical inquiry through argument and criticism that illuminate the profundity of the questions under examination. Students will find this book to be a very helpful guide to how philosophical inquiry is undertaken as well as to what the major theories in ethics hold.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a beautifully and elegantly written introduction to the fundamental questions of ethics. It is a comprehensive and accessible book that will be of interest to students and also to anyone reflecting about how to live a good and normatively defensible life. Highly recommended.'
- John Fischer, University of California, Riverside

"a tightly integrated and exceptionally well-written survey of the central questions of ethics. ... I recommend Deigh's book to those wanting a sophisticated introduction for undergraduates, to non-specialists prepared to engage with a serious text, and to every graduate student in philosophy."
-Nancy E. Schauber, University of Richmond, Notre Dame Philosophical Review

"...An Introduction to Ethics is rich with interesting insights, and the prose succeeds in constructing a coherent narrative. One of the book’s most novel features is its complex methodology."
--George Lăzăroiu, PhD, Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, New York, Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice

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Product Details

Meet the Author

John Deigh is Professor of Philosophy and Law at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of The Sources of Moral Agency (Cambridge, 1996) and of Emotions, Values, and the Law (2008).
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Table of Contents

1 What is ethics? 1

2 Egoism 25

3 Eudaimonism 56

4 Utilitarianism 93

5 The moral law 123

6 The ethics of self-determination 157

7 Practical reason 196

Appendix Diagram of different teleological theories 233

Works cited 234

Suggested further readings 236

Index 239

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