Social and Personal Ethics / Edition 6

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Social and Personal Ethics combines well-established classics with new, previously unreleased essays by modern philosophers. This carefully edited new edition contains the intellectual foundation needed to help readers evaluate moral issues from a personal and societal standpoint. Part I provides the background for analyzing moral arguments. An essay on the prevailing schools of thought in ethics, as well as writings from the major historical traditions, and essays by three contemporary writers, provide a thorough, up-to-date introduction to ethical theory. Readers will benefit from this introduction as they begin to evaluate the book's many essays in applied ethics. By addressing several modern moral controversies - such as gun control, date rape, and harassment on campus - this book gives readers the opportunity to test their assumptions about important social and personal issues. This book covers traditional moral problems, too, including abortion, affirmative action, and capital punishment. New to the Second Edition: Seven new essays, including Celia Wolf-Devine on abortion; Helen Longino and Ellen Willis on pornography; Robert N. Van Wyk on world hunger; Nicholas Dixon and Daniel D. Polsby on gun control; and the editors of the Harvard Law Review on juvenile curfews and gang violence.
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Editorial Reviews

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 (
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."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780495095002
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 2/26/2007
  • Edition description: 0
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (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

1 An Introduction to Ethics
The Nature of Morality 2
Normative Theories of Ethics 15
2 Classical Theories
Happiness, Function, and Virtue 36
Good Will, Duty, and the Categorical Imperative 43
Utilitarianism 51
3 Three Contemporary Ethical Perspectives
What Would a Satisfactory Moral Theory Be Like? 59
On What We Aim At and How We Live 66
Feminist Ethics: Some Issues for the Nineties 76
4 Suicide and Euthanasia
The Morality and Rationality of Suicide 88
The Wrongfulness of Euthanasia 98
Active and Passive Euthanasia 102
Active and Passive Euthanasia: An Impertinent Distinction? 107
More Impertinent Distinctions and a Defense of Active Euthanasia 111
5 Abortion
An Almost Absolute Value in History 122
The Abortion Issue 127
Why Abortion Is Immoral 137
A Defense of Abortion 146
Abortion and the 'Feminine Voice' 157
6 Animals and Environmental Ethics
The Place of Nonhumans in Environmental Issues 168
Do Animals Have Rights? 175
Should Trees Have Standing? Toward Legal Rights for Natural Objects 182
People or Penguins 188
The Search for an Environmental Ethic 193
7 Happiness, Self-Realization, and Self-Respect
A Crisis in My Mental History 206
Self-Realization 211
Self-Respect Reconsidered 219
Two Conceptions of Happiness 225
8 Liberty, Paternalism, and Freedom of Expression
On Liberty 232
Paternalism 241
The Ethics of Smoking 251
A Drug-Free America - or a Free America? 264
If He Hollers Let Him Go: Regulating Racist Speech on Campus 271
Texas v. Johnson 281
9 Surrogacy, Parenthood, and Family Obligations
Is There Anything Wrong with Surrogate Motherhood? An Ethical Analysis 287
Paid Surrogacy: Arguments and Responses 296
Is Women's Labor a Commodity? 303
What Do Grown Children Owe Their Parents? 314
Filial Morality 319
10 Sexuality
Pornography, Oppression, and Freedom 327
Feminism, Moralism, and Pornography 334
Date Rape: A Feminist Analysis 339
Date Rape: Another Perspective 349
Why Homosexuality Is Abnormal 354
Gay Basics: Some Questions, Facts, and Values 362
11 Affirmative Action
One Way to Understand and Defend Programs of Preferential Treatment 373
Affirmative Action: The Price of Preference 381
A Case for Race-Consciousness 387
City of Richmond v. Croson 400
12 Crime and Punishment
Why We Should Ban Handguns in the United States 405
The False Promise of Gun Control 412
Juvenile Curfews and Gang Violence: Exiled on Main Street 419
Execution 426
The Ultimate Punishment: A Defense 433
Justice, Civilization, and the Death Penalty 440
13 Economic Justice
Rich and Poor 452
World Hunger and the Extent of Our Positive Duties 460
Property and Global Justice 468
Is Inheritance Justified? 477
Ethical Issues in Plant Relocation 487
14 Concluding Essay
Can Higher Education Foster Higher Morals? 494
For Further Reading 504
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