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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Good Life: Options in Ethics / Edition 4

Good Life: Options in Ethics / Edition 4

by Burton F. Porter


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Good Life: Options in Ethics / Edition 4

Intended for use in the introduction to ethics course, The Good Life: Options in Ethics, Fifth Edition is designed to engage today's practical-minded student in more fundamental questions. The book ranges from ideals in living (the good) to contemporary moral problems (the right), exploring and analyzing both areas in order to stimulate deeper reflection.

The first section of the book clears away the obstacles to pursuing ethical understanding - relativism, determinism, and egoism. Then traditional definitions of the good life are discussed, theories such as hedonism, self-realization, duty, evolutionism, religious ethics, and virtue ethic. The final section addresses today's social problems including abortion, euthanasia, animal welfare, capital punishment, and sexual morality.

New to the Fifth Edition:

Chapter 6, Following Nature, has been eliminated, and its contents have been integrated into appropriate chapters

New section entitled Contemporary Moral Issues includes new chapters on:
Contraception and Abortion
Punishment and the Death Penalty
Sexual Ethics
The Natural Environment
Racism and Sexism

An Instructor's Manual and Test Bank now accompany the text

Product Details

ISBN-13: 2900742565431
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 10/16/2009
Edition description: Fourth Edition
Pages: 265
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Burton Porter received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland and his Ph.D. from St. Andrews university, Scotland, with graduate study at Oxford University. He has taught at various institutions including Russell Sage College and Drexel University, and he has held positions as Department Chair and Dean of Arts and Sciences. At present he is Professor of Philosophy at Western New England University, having taught previously as Visiting Professor at Mount Holyoke College. He received the award of Outstanding Educator of America.

In addition to The Good Life, Burton Porter is the author of several other academic works, as well as novels, plays, and children's poetry. His books include The Great Perhaps, What the Tortoise Taught Us, Philosophy through Film, The Head and the Heart, The Voice of Reason, Philosophy through Fiction and Film, Religion and Reason, Personal Philosophy, Reasons for Living, Philosophy: A Literary and Conceptual Approach, and Deity and Morality.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

About the Author
The Nature of Ethics
The Standard of Reasonableness

1. Putting Ethics in Its Place
The Role of Ethics within Philosophy
Relationships to Other Branches
Ethics and Science
The Naturalistic Fallacy
Ethics and Religion
Plato’s Euthyphro
Ethics and Psychology
Psychological Egoism
Review Questions

2. Free Will and Determinism
Do We Have Free Choice?
Fatalism and Predestination
Social Scientific Determinism
The Compelling Factors
The Libertarian Reply
Arguments for Free Will
Hard and Soft Determinism
The Individual in the Causal Chain
Review Questions

3. The Challenge of Relativism
Are Values Relative to Our Society?
Ethics as Subjective and Cultural
Sources of Relativism
Social Science and Multiculturalism
The Counter Arguments
Are Some Actions Intrinsically Valuable?
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Review Questions

II. Ideals in Living

4. Hedonism as the Good
Ethical Hedonism
Pursuing Pleasure or Happiness
Individualistic Hedonism
The Cyrenaics and Epicureans
Universalistic Hedonism – Utilitarianism
Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill
A Critical Assessment
The Value of Happiness
Review Questions

5. Self-Realization
Developing Our Potentialities
Becoming Fully Actualized
Defining the Self in Time and Space
Flaws and Weaknesses
Realizing Ourselves as Human Beings
Is Human Nature Good?
The Golden Mean
Review Questions

6. Evolutionism
The Meaning of Evolution
Evolution and Religion
Social Darwinism
The Fittest and the Best
Spencer’s Evolutionary Ethic
The Breadth of Life
A Critical Appraisal
Evaluating Evolutionism Overall
Review Questions

7. The Ethic of Duty
Judging the Worth of Conduct
The Right and the Good
Deontology vs. Teleology Intention Behind Action
The Kantian Ethic
Following Principles
The Categorical and Practical Imperatives
Are There Universal Values?
Review Questions

8. The Teachings of Religion
Judaism – The Old Testament
Divine Commands
Christianity – The New Testament
Concepts of Love and Justice
The Five Pillars of Faith
The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path
Review Questions

9. Virtue Ethics
Ancient Greece
The Noble Person
Medieval Purity
Cardinal Virtues and Deadly Sins
The Modern Perspective
Character and Moral Sentiments
Feminist Virtue Ethics
Personal Caring Rather Than Moral Rules
Review Questions

10. Existentialism
The Human Condition
Anxiety and Alienation
Existence Precedes Essence Phenomenology
The Seminal Figures
Nietzsche and Kierkegaard
Modern Existentialism
Jean-Paul Sartre
Review Questions

III. Contemporary Moral Issues

11. Contraception and Abortion
Artificial Contraceptives
The Conflict over Abortion
When Does the Fetus Become a Person?
Pro-Life v. Pro-Choice
Review Questions

12. Punishment and the Death Penalty
Personal Responsibility
Mass Incarceration
Rival Theories of Punishment
Arguments Surrounding Capital Punishment
Review Questions

13. Sexual Ethics
Does Consent Legitimize Any Private Act?
Moral and Immoral Sex
The Homosexuality Controversy
Are Gay Sexual Relations Wrong?
Review Questions

14. The Natural Environment
Is Nature Good?
Our Relationship to the Natural World
Animal Welfare
Using Animals for Food, Testing, Clothing, and Entertainment
Review Questions

15. Racism and Sexism
Should We Ever Generalize About People?
The Remedy of Affirmative Action
Discrimination Based On Sex
Forms of Abuse
Review Questions
Glossary of Philosophic Terms

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