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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
About the Seventh Edition
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
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 We Can Learn from Cultural Relativism
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
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
5. ETHICAL EGOISM
5.1. Is There a Duty to Help the Starving?
5.2. Psychological Egoism
5.3. Three Arguments for Ethical Egoism
5.4. Three Arguments against Ethical Egoism
6. THE SOCIAL CONTRACT THEORY
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
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
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
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
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
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
12. VIRTUE ETHICS
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 Virtue and Conduct
12.5. The Problem of Incompleteness
13. WHAT WOULD A SATISFACTORY MORAL THEORY BE LIKE?