Practical Ethics / Edition 2

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Overview

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.

This book contains no illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Singer's book is packed with admirably marshaled and detailed information, social, medical, and economic, and has a splendid appendix of notes and references to further reading. The utility of this utilitarian's book to students of its subject can hardly be exaggerated." New York Review of Books

"This book is concentrated fare. The masterly and lively writing, rich with brief and telling examples, is devoted to close reasoning on some basic issues confronting the human community." The Humanist

"...a terrific volume...offer[s] insights into ethics...extremely readable and thought-provoking." - Life Insurance Selling, Richard Hoe

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521439718
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1993
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 411
  • Sales rank: 1,246,221
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

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.
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Table of Contents

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 foetus; 7. Taking life: humans; 8. Rich and poor; 9. Insiders and outsiders; 10. The environment; 11. Ends and means; 12. Why act morally?; Appendix: on being silenced in Germany; Notes; References and further reading.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2005

    Definitely Makes You Think

    Reading this book was a very validating experience for me. Growing up in Christian dominated America, I often found myself bewildered by many of the commonly accepted Christian stances: its okay to kill people on death row, but not an unborn fetus; euthanasia is okay for a sick dog, but not a sick person; its okay to kill animals for sport and war is okay too, but 'thou shalt not kill'; stopping premarital sex and gay marriage is more important than saving the 24,000 people who die of hunger each day. Singer presents a clear cut ethical stance and follows it through to all of the tough issues facing man today. He offers no apologies and he doesn't back down from his stance when he reaches controversial conclusions. He also explains where others have gone wrong in trying to address these very tough ethical questions. Additionally, I really enjoyed Singers writing style. Ethics can definitely be a dry subject but Singer brings it to life with telling examples and narratives. The book is divided into easily digestible sections, and Singer builds a foundation in early chapters which he uses to develop more complex stances about abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, the environment, etc. Many of the conclusions in this book are hard to grasp against the current moral backdrop of the Western world, but Singer lays them out in a logical sequence that makes them hard to refute. I am not a Christian, but this book helped to show me just how influenced even I have been by Christian morality. We all need to take a look at our ideas about ethics and realize where they come from. This book may be a difficult read for some, but I think that is all the more reason that this book is a MUST read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2000

    Outstanding, thought-provoking

    Very interesting book. Some conclusions are controversial, but impeccably argued and reasoned. At the very least, it will force you to confront how you examine basic ethical situations

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