What Should I Do?: Philosophers on the Good, the Bad, and the Puzzling [NOOK Book]

Overview

Is it ever OK to be dishonest? Is it wrong to enjoy violent video games, or to cheat on one's tax returns? Should we be vegetarians? When is war justified? Are there any moral facts, or is morality relative?

Life throws ethical questions at us every day. Some are momentous and difficult, while others are relatively trivial and easily worked out; still others lodge themselves in our heads and bother us for years. We regularly encounter ...
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What Should I Do?: Philosophers on the Good, the Bad, and the Puzzling

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Overview

Is it ever OK to be dishonest? Is it wrong to enjoy violent video games, or to cheat on one's tax returns? Should we be vegetarians? When is war justified? Are there any moral facts, or is morality relative?

Life throws ethical questions at us every day. Some are momentous and difficult, while others are relatively trivial and easily worked out; still others lodge themselves in our heads and bother us for years. We regularly encounter controversial issues (such as prostitution, abortion, or racial profiling), tricky conundrums (Would I be wrong to take advantage of my teacher's forgetfulness? When should I allow my teenage daughter to have a boyfriend? Are we responsible for our emotions?), and
classic problems (What is the relation between religion and morality? Is suicide wrong? Why should we be moral?)

Philosophers have engaged with these questions for as long as there have been philosophers, but most people have had no exposure to the wide variety of arguments and positions that they have offered. The website AskPhilosophers.org has sought to fill this void, bringing together a panel of distinguished philosophers who use their knowledge of the history of philosophy, as well as their own skills and ingenuity, to respond to questions sent in from all over the world. What Should I Do?
is a collection of some of the most interesting questions about ethics to have appeared on the website during its first five years. It is a delightfully fresh book that will encourage readers to think a bit more deeply about the moral questions they frequently encounter, and will provide them with the tools
to do so.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
George (philosophy, Amherst Coll.; editor, What Would Socrates Say?), founder of AskPhilosophers.org, and his team from that website play intellectual Dear Abbys. The advice is generally good—wars are a bad thing, but occasionally they are unavoidable; there is a case for vegetarianism, but it's not obligatory; where one stands on abortion depends on when one thinks life begins and how one weighs a new life against that of a mother; in a democracy people should pay their taxes. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Kant, John Stuart Mill, John Rawls, Peter Singer, and Daniel Dennett are cited. There are no surprises or knockdown arguments, and the advice is what you would get in a bar near Harvard Square or a pub in Bloomsbury. VERDICT A handy book for readers whose dinner table talk runs to ideas of right and wrong.—Leslie Armour, Dominican Univ. Coll., Ottawa
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780191501487
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • Publication date: 1/6/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 558,005
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Alexander George is Professor of Philosophy at Amherst College. He is the editor of What Would Socrates Say? Philosophers Answer Your Questions About Love, Nothingness, and Everything Else and the author of a humor book Sense and Nonsensibility: Lampoons of Learning and Literature (with Lawrence Douglas). He founded AskPhilosophers.org in 2005.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1. The Personal
Children Love and Sex Abortion Emotion Sincerity Death Suicide
2. The Public
Medicine Business Sports and Games DT Interacting with Others DT Environment DT Animals DT Religion
3. The Political
Justice Rights Government Law Punishment War
4. The Nature of Morality
Moral Truth Moral Knowledge Moral Theories Putting Morality into Practice
Biographical Information
Suggested Readings
Index

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