For courses in Ethics, Applied Ethics, Social and Political Ethics, and Ethics and Moral Issues.
This comprehensive anthology includes classic and contemporary readings in moral theory and the most current applied ethics debates emphasizing international concerns. Includes court cases in philosophical readings, an ethical theory overview; shows relevance of traditional and contemporary writers.
An introductory ethics text (first edition, 1981) consisting of readings by venerable philosophers, contemporary theorists, journalists, Supreme Court Justices, and others. The essays are divided by topic, preceded by summary introductions, and are followed by study questions. Lacks an index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
I continue to be pleased at the remarkable success of this book. Not only has it been widely used in ethics and moral problems courses, but it has also found its way into many classes in political and social philosophy. I have endeavored in this edition to increase the book's flexibility and coverage while maintaining the virtues of the previous one.
Much of the earlier edition remains intact, largely in response to reviewers and friends who report they and students have found the material works well and who therefore do not want it changed. I have revised slightly the basic organizational structure, dividing the book into four parts: Moral Theory, Issues of Life and Death, Political and Social Relationships, and Personal Relationships. Within this structure, the different sections have remained largely intact. I have included a total of eighteen new readings in this edition, each of which, I believe, further strengthens the book. Many of them bring the book up-to-date, discussing the implications of biotechnology and the information revolution on our ethical lives; others were suggested by reviewers, who wanted more coverage of capital punishment, for example, or on terrorism, relativism, and homosexuality.
The choice of these new articles reflects my fundamental editorial goals: (1) to ensure that the readings are philosophically sophisticated while at the same time they are accessible to typical 'undergraduate students; (2) to cover controversial positions on a wide array of topics, especially ones that students find interesting and that challenge received opinions; (3) to include articles that speak directly to one another,so that the issues are developed in a coherent fashion by authors who explicitly criticize the positions and arguments of those who have gone before; and (4) to increase the presence of different cultural, gender, and racial perspectives, along with better representation of women authors.
Part I, Moral Theory, includes expanded coverage of relativism and of the grounds of morality. The next part, Issues of Life and Death, now has an entire new section on "Violence, Terrorism, and War" that includes essays on gun control and terrorism. The readings on "Capital Punishment" include three new essays, essentially a debate between Jeffrey Reiman and Ernest van den Haag. The section on euthanasia has been expanded to "Euthanasia and Eugenics" and now includes an essay on the moral significance of biomedical technology. Part III, Political and Social Relationships, includes Marx and Engel's work along with a different selection from Walzer on hard work and desert. There are also new essays in the "Free Speech" section, on political correctness and on Internet censorship. The discussion of "Affirmative Action and Reparations" now includes a discussion of the claim that some form of reparations is due to African American descendants of victims of slavery and discrimination. Among the topics are the nature of reparations, the relevance of the fact that present-day whites had no role in slavery, the causes of economic inequalities, and the difficulties of determining how much is owed—and to whom. Part IV, Personal Relationships, includes new essays on the morality of homosexuality and the impact of the information age on personal relationships. The final section, on "Marriage and the Family," includes a debate on same-sex marriage and a critique of liberalism's no-fault approach to family that emphasizes individual freedom and the "unencumbered" self.
Each of the sections is independent of the others and can be included or omitted as desired. Thus, some readers might want to concentrate on social and political philosophy, ignoring issues of life and death entirely; others may want to concentrate on those questions, leaving topics such as justice and free speech aside. The entirety of Part I is also optional, although some of the later readings do assume at least an intuitive sense of the difference between utilitarian and deontological theories.
As before, each essay begins with a general introduction outlining what students can expect to find in the reading, and a series of review and discussion questions ends each essay. Longer, essay questions at the end of each section allow students to discuss two or more articles gathered around a single issue. These questions are designed to test students' understanding of the basic arguments presented in the book and to provoke discussion by suggesting possible lines of criticism and interesting comparisons with other essays or legal opinions.
Studying Philosophy: A Guide for the Perplexed. In addition to material on how to read and discuss philosophy and how to write a good philosophy paper, the Guide also includes sections on basic grammar and punctuation rules, common spelling errors, tips for taking exams, guidelines and suggested forms for peer review of papers, and useful resources for studying philosophy.
Special thanks to reviewers and friends who have provided valuable suggestions and criticisms of this and earlier editions: Jim Abbott, Chesire Calhoun, Irwin Goldstein, Donald C. Hubin, Hugh LaFollette, Sarah Leffler, Elliot Leffler, Paul Menzel, Martin Perlmutter, Bill Shaw, Barbara Spencer, Amy Shapiro, Deni Elliott, David Haslett, Joseph Kupfer, Max Pensky, Joseph J. Tarala, and Richard L. Wilson. The reviewers for this edition were Larry D. McCargar, Massachusetts College of Art; Elizabeth 0ljar, University of Detroit Mercy; Nancy A. Stanlick, University of Southern Florida; Richard Volkman, Southern Connecticut State University; and Harry van der Linden, Butler University.