Personal Identity and Ethics: A Brief Introduction / Edition 1

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Overview

Personal Identity and Ethics provides a lively overview of the relationship between the metaphysics of personal identity and ethics. How does personal identity affect our ethical judgments? It is a commonplace to hold that moral responsibility for past actions requires that the responsible agent is in some relevant respect identical to the agent who performed the action. Is this true? On the other hand, can ethics constrain our account of personal identity? Do the practical requirements of moral theory commit us to holding that persons do remain identical over time? Or is it the case that personal identity is not, in fact, relevant to ethics?
Shoemaker provides the first comprehensive examination of these issues for the undergraduate audience. Topics include personal identity and prudential rationality; personal identity's significance for moral responsibility and ethical theory; and the practical consequences of accounts of personal identity for issues such as abortion, stem cell research, cloning, advance directives, populations ethics, multiple personality disorder, and the definition of death.

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Editorial Reviews

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews - Amy Kind Claremont McKenna College
"Although there are many excellent texts dealing with the metaphysics of personal identity, Shoemaker's Personal Identity and Ethics is the first book I know to tackle in such an extended way the question of the relationship between personal identity and our practical concerns. It is a very welcome addition to the philosophical literature. While even experts on the subject of personal identity will undoubtedly learn something new from this rich discussion, I expect the book's primary use will be in undergraduate (and perhaps graduate) classes, and its exceptionally clear presentation of some very thorny issues makes it an excellent choice for this purpose."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551118826
  • Publisher: Broadview Press
  • Publication date: 10/7/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

David Shoemaker is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Bowling Green State University. He has published many important articles in ethics and personal identity in journals such as Ethics, Mind, and Philosophy and Public Affairs. He is also the author of the industry standard Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article "Personal Identity and Ethics".

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Part A: Personal Identity and Self-Regarding Ethics
Chapter One: Personal Identity and Immortality
Chapter Two: Personal Identity, Rational Anticipation, and Self-Concern
Chapter Three: Alternative Approaches
Part B: Personal Identity and Other-Regarding Ethics
Chapter Four: Moral Issues at the Beginning of Life, Part I: Killing
Chapter Five: Moral Issues at the Beginning of Life, Part II: Creation
Chapter Six: Moral Issues at the End of Life
Chapter Seven: Personal Identity and Moral Responsibility
Chapter Eight: Personal Identity and Ethical Theory
Conclusion: Notes on Method

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