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Firmly established as the standard text for undergraduate courses in ethics, this concise, lively book takes the reader on an in-depth tour of the major moral theories, always illustrating abstract ideas with concrete examples. Separate, self-contained chapters examine such theories as Egoism, Kantianism, Utilitarianism, Virtue Ethics, and the Social Contract Theory. Through this conceptual framework, the text addresses timely and provocative issues, including abortion, racism, euthanasia, poverty, marijuana, homosexuality, the death penalty, and vegetarianism. The text's versatility makes it an ideal choice for use not only in ethical theory courses, but also in applied ethics courses of all kinds.
Table of Contents
Preface About the Sixth Edition CHAPTER 1: WHAT IS MORALITY? 1.1. The Problem of Definition 1.2. First Example: Baby Theresa 1.3. Second Example: Jodie and Mary 1.4. Third Example: Tracy Latimer 1.5. Reason and Impartiality 1.6. The Minimum Conception of Morality CHAPTER 2: THE CHALLENGE OF CULTURAL RELATIVISM 2.1. Different Cultures Have Different Moral Codes 2.2. Cultural Relativism 2.3. The Cultural Differences Argument 2.4. What Follows from Cultural Relativism 2.5. Why There Is Less Disagreement Than It Seems 2.6. Some Values are Shared by All Cultures 2.7. Judging a Cultural Practice to Be Undesirable 2.8. Back to the Five Claims 2.9. What Can Be Learned from Cultural Relativism CHAPTER 3: SUBJECTIVISM IN ETHICS 3.1. The Basic Idea of Ethical Subjectivism 3.2. The Evolution of the Theory 3.3. The First Stage: Simple Subjectivism 3.4. The Second Stage: Emotivism 3.5. The Role of Reason in Ethics 3.6. Are There Proofs in Ethics? 3.7. The Question of Homosexuality CHAPTER 4: DOES MORALITY DEPEND ON RELIGION? 4.1. The Presumed Connection Between Morality and Religion 4.2. The Divine Command Theory 4.3. The Theory of Natural Law 4.4. Religion and Particular Moral Issues CHAPTER 5: ETHICAL EGOISM 5.1. Is There a Duty to Help Starving People? 5.2. Psychological Egoism 5.3. Three Arguments for Ethical Egoism 5.4. Three Arguments Against Ethical Egoism CHAPTER 6: THE IDEA OF A SOCIAL CONTRACT 6.1. Hobbes's Argument 6.2. The Prisoner's Dilemma 6.3. Some Advantages of the Social Contract Theory 6.4. The Problem of Civil Disobedience 6.5. Difficulties for the Theory CHAPTER 7: THE UTILITARIAN APPROACH 7.1. The Revolution in Ethics 7.2. First Example: Euthanasia 7.3. Second Example: Marijuana 7.4. Third Example: Nonhuman Animals CHAPTER 8: THE DEBATE OVER UTILITARIANISM 8.1. The Classical Version of the Theory 8.2. Is Pleasure All That Matters? 8.3. Are Consequences All That Matter? 8.4. Should We Be Equally Concerned for Everyone? 8.5. The Defense of Utilitarianism 8.6. Concluding Thoughts CHAPTER 9: ARE THERE ABSOLUTE MORAL RULES? 9.1. Harry Truman and Elizabeth Anscombe 9.2. The Categorical Imperative 9.3. Kant's Arguments on Lying 9.4. Conflicts Between Rules 9.5. Kant's Insight CHAPTER 10: KANT AND RESPECT FOR PERSONS 10.1. Kant's Core Ideas 10.2. Retribution and Utility in the Theory of Punishment 10.3. Kant's Retributivism CHAPTER 11: FEMINISM AND THE ETHICS OF CARE 11.1. Do Women and Men Think Differently about Ethics? 11.2. Implications for Moral Judgment 11.3. Implications for Ethical Theory CHAPTER 12: THE ETHICS OF VIRTUE 12.1. The Ethics of Virtue and the Ethics of Right Action 12.2. The Virtues 12.3. Two Advantages of Virtue Ethics 12.4. The Problem of Incompleteness 12.5. Conclusion CHAPTER 13: WHAT WOULD A SATISFACTORY MORAL THEORY BE LIKE? 13.1. Morality Without Hubris 13.2. Treating People as They Deserve 13.3. A Variety of Motives 13.4. Multiple-Strategies Utilitarianism 13.5. The Moral Community 13.6. Justice and Fairness 13.7. Conclusion Notes on Sources Index