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Peter Singer's remarkably clear and comprehensive Practical Ethics has become a classic introduction to applied ethics since its publication in 1979 and has been translated into many languages. For this second edition the author has revised all the existing chapters, added two new ones, and updated the bibliography. He has also added an appendix describing some of the deep misunderstanding of, and consequent violent reaction to, the book in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland where the book has tested the limits of freedom of speech. The focus of the book is the application of ethics to difficult and controversial social questions: equality and discrimination by race, sex, ability, or species; abortion, euthanasia, and embryo experimentation; the moral status of animals; political violence and civil disobedience; overseas aid and the obligation to assist others; responsibility for the environment; the treatment of refugees. Singer explains and assesses relevant arguments in a perspicuous, non-doctrinaire way. He structures the book to show how contemporary controversies often have deep philosophical roots; and he presents an ethical theory of his own that can be applied consistently and convincingly to all the practical cases. The book's primary readership remains teachers and students of ethics whether in philosophy or some other branch of the humanities or social sciences. However, such is the clarity of the book's style and structure that it should interest any thinking person concerned with the most difficult social problems facing us as we approach the twenty-first century.
"....It is a widely read and widely taught introduction to the philosophical dimensions of practical moral problems.... All of the chapters have been revised and updated, and a chapter has been added on climate change. Singer's lucid style of exposition and argument are perfect for this sort of introductory text. Every library should have a copy of this book.... Highly recommended...." --J. H. Spence, Adrian College, CHOICE
"...This third edition keeps the lucid style and provocative arguments of its predecessors, but with a more up to date perspective into current ethical challenges. This makes Practical Ethics not only an ideal text for university courses, but also for anyone who wants to dedicate some serious thinking into how she or he ought to live.... remains a relevant and welcome contribution to ethics." --Laura Cabrera, Institute for Biomedical Ethics, Basel University, Metapsychology Online Review
Peter Singer is currently Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne. He is the author or editor of more than forty books, including Animal Liberation (1975), Rethinking Life and Death (1996) and, most recently, The Life You Can Save (2009). In 2005, he was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine.
1. About ethics; 2. Equality and its implications; 3. Equality for animals?; 4. What's wrong with killing?; 5. Taking life: animals; 6. Taking life: the embryo and the fetus; 7. Taking life: humans; 8. Rich and poor; 9. Climate change; 10. The environment; 11. Civil disobedience, violence and terrorism; 12. Why act morally?