This popular text uses examples from fiction and film to show how ethical theories can be applied. By linking abstract theory to "real life" through storytelling and story analysis, Rosenstand offers a remarkably effective way of helping students understand and evaluate moral issues.
Table of Contents
PART I: The Story as a Tool of Ethics
1. Thinking About Values
After September 11
Morals, Values, and Ethics
Why be Moral?
Debating Moral Issues
Stories and Morals
Reading: Martha Nussbaum, Love's Knowledge
Narratives: Smoke Signals / Haroun and the Sea of Stories
2. Learning Moral Lessons from Stories
The New Interest in Stories
The Value of Stories
Stories Past and Present
Stories to Live and Die By
Seeing Your Life as a Story
Living in the Narrative Zone
Readings: Plato, The Republic / Aristotle, Poetics / Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose / Tristine Rainer, Your Life as Story
Narratives: Medea / The Sorrows of Young Werther / Pulp Fiction / Lord Jim
PART II: What Should I Do? Theories of Conduct
3. Ethical Relativism
How to Deal with Moral Differences
The Lessons of Anthropology
Is Tolerance all We Need?
Refuting Ethical Relativism
Readings: Ruth Benedict, "Anthropology and the Abnormal" / Bhiku Parekh, "The Concept of Multicultural Education"
Narratives: Possessing the Secret of Joy / Sideshow / Do the Right Thing
4. Myself or Others?
Altruism: Ideal and Reciprocal
Readings: Plato, The Republic / Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan / Ayn Rand, "The Ethics of Emergencies"
Narratives: Friends episode: "The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS" / Return to Paradise / Madame Bovary / Atlas Shrugged
5. Using Your Reason, Part 1: Utilitarianism
Jeremy Bentham and the Hedonistic Calculus
John Stuart Mill: Another Utilitarian Vision
Act and Rule Utilitarianism
Readings: Jeremy Bentham, Of the Principle of Utility / John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism
Narratives: "The Blacksmith and the Baker" / The Brothers Karamazov / "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" / Saving Private Ryan / Extreme Measures
6. Using Your Reason, Part 2: Kant's Deontology
The Good Will
The Categorical Imperative
Rational Beings are Ends in Themselves
Readings: Immanuel Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals / Immanuel Kant, Metaphysics of Morals
Narratives: High Noon / Ooutland / Copland / Abandon Ship! / Star Trek: The Next Generation: "Justice"
7. Personhood, Rights, and Justice
What is a Human Being?
Persons and Rights
Questions of Rights
Readings: The United Nations Universal Declaration of Rights / John Rawls, "Justice as Fairness" / Martin Luther King, Jr., "A Letter from Birmingham Jail" / Diane Whitely, "The Victim and the Justification of Punishment"
Narratives: A Man for All Seasons / "The Myth of the Cave" / The Truman Show / "The Store of the Worlds"
9. Aristotle's Virtue Theory
Empirical Knowledge and the Realm of the Senses
Aristotle the Scientist
Aristotle and Virtue
Aristotle's Influence on Aquinas
Some Objections to Greek Virtue Theory
Readings: Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book II / Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book III
Narratives: "The Flight of Icarus" / Njal's Saga / Lord Jim / "A Piece of Advice" / As Good as it Gets
10. Contemporary Perspectives
Ethics and the Morality of Virtue
Have Virtue, and Then Go Ahead: Mayo, Foot, and Sommers
The Quest for Authenticity: Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Sartre, and Levinas
Readings: Soren Kierkegaard, Johannes Climacus / Soren Kierkegaard, Either/Or / Emmanuel Levinas, "The Paradox of Morality"
Narratives: Hannah and her Sisters / No Exit / A Few Good Men
11. Different Gender, Different Ethic?
Feminism and Virtue Theory
What is Gender Equality?
Women's Historical Role in the Public Sphere
First, Second, and Third Wave Feminism
Facets of Feminism Today
Readings: Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex / Carol Gilligan, In a Different Voice / Deborah Tannen, Talking from 9 to 5
Narratives: A Doll's House / "The Woman Destroyed" / Like Water for Chocolate / Thelma and Louise
12. Case Studies in Virtues
Compassion: Are We Born With It?
Gratitude: How Much, and When?
Virtue and Conduct: A Combination?
Readings: Philip Hallie, Tales of Good and Evil / Lin Yutang, "On Growing Old Gracefully"
Narratives: "The Parable of the Good Samaritan" / "King Yudisthira and the Dog" / Schindler's List / Eat Drink Man Woman / Grand Canyon / Othello / "The Faithful Wife and the Woman Warrior" / The Count of Monte Christo / The Searchers
13. Applied Ethics: A Sampler
Animal Welfare and Animal Rights
The Death Penalty
Readings: John Rawls, The Law of Peoples / Jan Narveson, "Morality and Violence: War, Revolution, and Terrorism" / Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and Roger Lewin, Kanzi: The Ape at the Brink of the Human Mind / Stephen Nathanson, An Eye for and Eye? The Morality of Punishing By Death / John Douglas and Mark Ohlshaker, Journey Into Darkness
Narratives: 15 Minutes / "The Jigsaw Man" / Dead Man Walking