Ethics: History, Theory, and Contemporary Issues

Ethics: History, Theory, and Contemporary Issues

Ethics: History, Theory, and Contemporary Issues

Ethics: History, Theory, and Contemporary Issues

Synopsis

The most comprehensive collection of its kind, Ethics is organized into three sections, providing instructors with flexibility in designing and teaching a variety of courses in moral philosophy. Opening with Alasdair MacIntyre's discussion of the importance of the history of ethics, the first section, Historical Sources, moves from classical thought (Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and Epictetus) through medieval views (Augustine and Aquinas) to modern theories (Hobbes, Butler, Hume, Kant, Bentham, and Mill). It culminates with the religiosity of Kierkegaard, the pessimism of Schopenhauer, the nihilism of Nietzsche, the pragmatism of James and Dewey, and the existentialism of Camus and Sartre. The readings are reprinted in their entirety wherever possible. The second section, Modern Ethical Theory, begins with James Rachels' overview of recent developments, and includes many of the most important essays of the twentieth century. The discussion of utilitarianism, Kantianism, egoism, and relativism continues in the work of major contemporary philosophers (Williams, Brandt, Feinberg, Foot, and Rachels). Landmark selections (Moore, Ross, Stevenson, Baier, Hare, Harman, and Gauthier) reflect concern with moral language and the justification of morality. The concepts of justice (Rawls), rights (Feinberg), and saintliness (Urmson and Wolff) are explored, as well as recent views on the importance of virtue ethics (MacIntyre and Rachels), and an ethic influenced by feminist concerns (Held). Peter Singer's discussion of the significance of applied ethics opens the third section, Contemporary Moral Problems. The readings present the current debates over abortion (Thomson, Tooley, and Sterba), euthanasia (Rachels and Foot), famine relief (Singer and Arthur), animal rights (Regan and Cohen), the death penalty (van den Haat and Nathanson), and affirmative action (Hill and Kekes).

Excerpt

This comprehensive collection offers instructors the opportunity to construct courses in ethics combining as wished the history of moral philosophy, modern ethical theory, and contemporary moral problems. The readings are reprinted, wherever possible, without omissions. Among the major historical works presented unabridged are Plato's Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito, Kant's Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals, and Mill's Utilitarianism.

The idea for such an inclusive volume developed from conversations with Robert Miller, our editor at Oxford University Press, and we are most grateful for his initial encouragement and continuing support. We thank those anonymous referees, chosen by the Press, who offered helpful suggestions regarding the book's structure and contents. We also wish to express our appreciation to Ian Gardiner for his conscientious proofreading and to the staff of Oxford University Press for providing generous assistance throughout the stages of production.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.