Social and Personal Ethics / Edition 8

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SOCIAL AND PERSONAL ETHICS provides students with a sound introduction to ethical theory and contemporary moral issues through engaging readings on today's most hotly debated topics. Among other topics, coverage includes environmental ethics and animal rights, the limits of personal liberty, war and the struggle against terrorism, marriage and sexual morality, the death penalty, gun control, and abortion and euthanasia. The volume begins with two introductory essays written for beginning students by the editor, William H. Shaw, on the nature of morality and competing normative theories. These are followed by five other essays on ethical theory by classical and contemporary authors. The book's next 12 sections explore a wide-range of real-world ethical issues. In all, the book is composed of 53 articles (11 of which are new to this edition). To ensure that the text is as accessible as it is relevant, Shaw has edited every article with an eye toward readability, provided introductions and study questions before the essays, as well as review and discussion questions after them, and highlighted key passages to help students focus on important points and concepts.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a complete text for studying Social Ethics because it has the major subjects and case studies in it. It meets the need of reaching most students with social ethics and morality. You teach this without them having to see your morality."

"A solid basic introductory applied ethics text."

"It is an essential tool to give an excellent overview of the subject of Ethics."

"The best book available for an introductory class on ethics that focuses on applied ethics."

"This textbook is a good choice for an introductory ethics course that covers both the major moral theories, and also a variety of applied ethics subjects."

This reader is designed for an introductory ethics course that places an emphasis on contemporary moral issues and problems of applied ethics. Two essays discuss the nature of morality and the major theories and concepts of normative ethics, followed by edited extracts from the works of Aristotle, Kant, and Mill, and perspectives from three recent writers. Essays on applied ethics reflect the tension between Kantian and utilitarian concerns, and raise theoretical issues such as the nature of rights, the extent of moral obligation, and the meaning of justice. Readings have been selected to create a dialogue among the writers on each topic. Shaw is affiliated with San Jose State University. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781133934738
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 1/1/2013
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 765,888
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

The author and editor of numerous books and articles in the areas of ethics and social and political philosophy, William H. Shaw obtained a Ph.D. in political philosophy from the London School of Economics and teaches philosophy at San Jose State University, where he served as chair of the department for eleven years. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Zimbabwe, the University of Hong Kong, and the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He has two other books with Cengage Learning, SOCIAL AND PERSONAL ETHICS and (with Vincent Barry) BUSINESS ETHICS.

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Table of Contents

Preface Part One: ETHICAL THEORY. 1. An Introduction to Ethics. The Nature of Morality. Normative Theories of Ethics. 2. ETHICAL RELATIVISM. James Rachels, "The Challenge of Cultural Relativism." 3. FOUR RIVAL ETHICAL PERSPECTIVES. Aristotle, "Happiness, Function, and Virtue." Immanuel Kant: "Good Will, Duty, and the Categorical Imperative." John Stuart Mill, "Utilitarianism." W. D. Ross, "What Makes Right Acts Right?" Part Two: ISSUES IN APPLIED ETHICS. 4. SUICIDE, EUTHANASIA, AND DEATH. Richard B. Brandt, "The Morality and Rationality of Suicide." Dan W. Brock, "Voluntary Active Euthanasia." Daniel Callahan, "When Self-Determination Runs Amok." John Hardwig, "Is There a Duty to Die?" Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Franklin G. Miller, "What Makes Killing Wrong?" 5. ABORTION. John T. Noonan, Jr., "An Almost Absolute Value in History." Mary Anne Warren, "The Moral Status of Abortion." Alexander Pruss, "I Was Once a Fetus: That Is Why Abortion is Wrong." Eugene Mills, "The Egg and I: Conception, Identity, and Abortion."Judith Jarvis Thomson, "A Defense of Abortion." Rosalind Hursthouse, "Virtue Theory and Abortion." 6. ANIMALS, VEGETARIANISM, AND ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS. Peter Singer, "The Place of Nonhumans in Environmental Issues." Tibor R. Machan, "Do Animals Have Rights?" Michael Allen Fox, "Why We Should Be Vegetarians." R. M. Hare, "Why I Am Only a Demi-Vegetarian." Peter Singer, "Reply to Hare." Holmes Rolston III, "Respect for Life." Peter Singer, "Reply to Rolston." Editors, Harvard Law Review, "Environmental Virtues and Voluntary Carbon Offsets." 7. LIBERTY AND ITS LIMITS. John Stuart Mill, "On Liberty." Michael Huemer, "America's Unjust Drug War." U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, "Speaking Out Against Drug Legalization." Gianluca DiMuzio, "The Immorality of Horror Films." 8. SEXUAL MORALITY, MARRIAGE, AND FAMILY. Nicholas Dixon, "Alcohol and Rape." John Corvine, "Why Shouldn't Tommy and Jim Have Sex?" Michael Pakaluk, "Homosexuality, Gay Marriage, and the Common Good." Jacob M. Held, "Gay Marriage: The Case for Equal Treatment." Mike W. Martin, "Adultery and Fidelity." Jane English, "What Do Grown Children Owe Their Parents?" Gary Bartlett, "An Argument against Spanking." 9. VOTING AND DEMOCRACY. John Stuart Mill, "Considerations on Representative Government." Loren E. Lomasky and Geoffrey Brennan, "Is There a Duty to Vote?" Editors, Harvard Law Review, "The Case for Compulsory Voting." 10. CRIME, GUNS, AND RIGHTS. Daniel D. Polsby, "The False Promise of Gun Control." Nicholas Dixon, "Handguns and Violent Crime." Michael Huemer, "Is There a Right to Own a Gun?" 11. PUNISHMENT AND THE DEATH PENALTY. William H. Shaw, "Punishment and the Criminal Justice System." Ernest Van Den Haag, "The Ultimate Punishment: A Defense." Jeffrey H. Reiman, "Justice, Civilization, and the Death Penalty." U.S. Supreme Court, "Atkins v. Virginia." 12. THE ETHICS OF WAR AND THE STRUGGLE AGAINST TERRORISM. Douglas P. Lackey, "Pacifism." William H. Shaw, "Just War Theory." Avishai Margalit and Michael Walzer, "Civilians and Combatants." Jeff McMahan, "Torture in Principle and in Practice." Adam D. Moore, "Privacy, Security, and Government Surveillance." 13. RACE, DISCRIMINATION, AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. Barack Obama, "A More Perfect Union." Richard A. Wasserstrom, "One Way to Understand and Defend Programs of Preferential Treatment." Louis P. Pojman, "The Case against Affirmative Action." U.S. Supreme Court, "The University of Michigan Affirmative Action Cases." Lucy Wang, "Weight Discrimination." 14. SOCIAL JUSTICE. Editors, Harvard Law Review, "Never Again Should a People Starve in a World of Plenty." John Isbister, "Welfare and Social Justice." Robert M. Veatch, "Let the Poor Sell Their Kidneys." D. W. Haslett, "Is Inheritance Justified?" U.S. Supreme Court, "Kelo v. City of New London." 15. ETHICS IN BUSINESS. Michael J. Phillips, "The Inconclusive Ethical Case against Manipulative Advertising." Thomas L. Carson, "The Ethics of Sales." Joseph R. DesJardins and Ronald Duska, "Drug Testing in Employment." For Further Reading.

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