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A 21st Century Ethical Toolbox



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Oxford University Press
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  • A 21st Century Ethical Toolbox
    A 21st Century Ethical Toolbox
  • A 21st Century Ethical Toolbox
    A 21st Century Ethical Toolbox


Thoroughly optimistic,A 21st Century Ethical Toolbox,Third Edition, invites students to approach ethical issues with a reconstructive intent--to make room for more and better options than the rigid "pro" and "con" positions that have developed around tough problems like abortion and environmental ethics. Employing an accessible, consistently engaging writing style, Anthony Weston covers the skills that are vital to making real progress in ethics, including critical thinking, creative problem-solving, moral vision, genuine dialogue, and many more. Provocative selections from a wide range of philosophers, essayists, community activists, and students are interwoven with Weston's own discussions. The text is enhanced by extensive "Exercises and Notes" sections at the end of each chapter, new "Using Your Tools" sections after every two chapters, and a detailed guide for teachers as an appendix. Join instructors and students around the country who are using the experiential and applied activities inspired by this "toolbox" of skills to design interactive and collaborative ethics courses. NEW TO THIS EDITION * Nine new, extended exercises--"Using Your Tools"--integrate themes across multiple chapters and carry them farther into practice * A brand-new final chapter looks at the future of ethics, including a reading on intergenerational ethics and green design * A revised Part IV serves as a survey of various practical challenges in ethics * A more streamlined organization allows instructors to move more quickly into Part II: Moral Values * Updated readings, references, and sources throughout

Author Biography

Anthony Weston is Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies at Elon University. He is the author of twelve other books including A Practical Companion to Ethics, Fourth Edition (2010), Creativity for Critical Thinkers (2007), and Creative Problem-Solving in Ethics (2007), all published by Oxford University Press, and Mobilizing the Green Imagination (2012).

Table of Contents

Each chapter ends with "For Review" and "Exercises and Notes" sections.
1. Ethics as a Learning Experience
What Is Ethics?
Why Study Ethics?
Alice Walker, "Am I Blue?"
Ted Kerasote, from Bloodties
2. Ethics-Avoidance Disorders
Flying by Instinct
Offhand Self-Justification
Using Your Tools #1: "Is Food the New Sex?"
Mary Eberstadt, "Is Food the New Sex?"
Maggie Castor, "Food and Sex Reconsidered"
3. Ethics and Religion
An Approach to Religious Ethics
Let the Stories Be Stories!
Thinking for Yourself
Reading: Jamal Rahman, "Making Peace with the Sword Verse"
4. Taking Values Seriously
Varieties of Values
Families of Moral Values
Attending to Values
Reading: Rayna Rapp, "XYLO"
Using Your Tools #2: Values on the Edge
Reading: Edward Abbey, "The Great American Desert"
5. The Ethics of the Person
Valuing Persons
Reading: Philip Hallie, "Le Chambon"
Kant's Categorical Imperative
Reading: Immanuel Kant, from Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals
Rights, Equality, Justice
Reading: The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights
6. The Ethics of Happiness
Reading: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, from Flow
John Stuart Mill, from Utilitarianism
Bertrand Russell, from "The Harm That Good Men Do"
Can Utility Be the Single Measure of Value?
Using Your Tools #3: A Utilitarian Approach to Poverty
Reading: Peter Singer, "The Solution to World Poverty"
7. The Ethics of Virtue
An Abundance of Virtues
A Greek View of Virtue
Reading: Aristotle, from Nicomachean Ethics
A Chinese View of Virtue
Reading: Lao Tzu, from the Tao Te Ching
Cultivating the Virtues
Reading: John Sullivan, from Living Large
8. The Ethics of Relationship
Care Ethics
Reading: Nel Noddings, from Caring
Ethics and Community
Reading: Kwasi Wiredu, from "The Moral Foundations of an African Culture"
The Expanding Circle
Reading: Aldo Leopold, from "The Land Ethic"
Using Your Tools #4: Building a Student Code of Ethics
9. Critical Thinking
Facts and Sources
Quick Reference: Critical-Thinking Basics
10. Judging Like Cases Alike
Consistency Is a Challenge
How to Restore Consistency
Hypothetical Cases
Reading: Colin McGinn, "Speciesism"
Quick Reference: Judging Like Cases Alike
Using Your Tools #5: Exploring the Welfare Question
11. Dialogue
How to Have a Fruitless Debate
How to Have a Useful Discussion
Mary Jacksteit and Adrienne Kaufmann, "The Common Ground Network for Life and Choice"
Spoma Jovanovic, "Deepening Ethical Dialogue"
Quick Reference: Ethical Dialogue
12. When Values Clash
Right versus Right
Integrating Values
Big Decisions
Reading: Roger Gottlieb, "Can We Talk? Understanding the 'Other Side" in the Animal Rights Debates"
Quick Reference: When Values Clash
Using Your Tools #6: Can We Talk . . . about Marriage," Martin Fowler
13. Creative Problem-Solving
The Space for Inventiveness in Ethics
Creative Explorations
Creative Provocations
Quick Reference: Creativity Basics
14. Reframing Problems
Opening Up a Problem
Reading: Fran Peavey, "Strategic Questioning"
Three Methods
Can the Abortion Debate be Reframed?
Quick Reference: Reframing Problems
Using Your Tools #7: Reframing Bioethical Issues: Or, Where Ethics Meets Politics
15. Moral Vision
Working from a Vision
Environmental Visions
Reading: Bill Thomas, from What Are Old People For?
Quick Reference: Moral Vision
16. Response-ability
Sexual Choices
Keith Clark, from Being Sexual and Celibate
Carol Queen, from Real Live Nude Girl
Using Your Tools #8: Personal Ethical Mission Statements, by Nim Batchelor
17. Making a Difference
The Power of One
Becoming a Change-Maker
Communities Making Change
Joining a Change-Making Community
18. The Future of Ethics
Three Doubts about Ethics
Ethics Is Inescapable
Turning Critical
Reading: William McDonough, "Design for a New World"
Using Your Tools #9: Ethical Change Projects
The Toolbox in the Classroom
Experiential Teaching in Ethics, by Sharon Hartline, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Radford University

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