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Featuring sixty-seven classic and contemporary selections,Questions of Life and Death: Readings in Practical Ethicsis ideal for courses in contemporary moral problems, applied ethics, and introduction to ethics. In contrast with other moral problems anthologies, it deals exclusively with current moral issues concerning life and death--the ethics of saving lives and the ethics of killing. By focusing on these specific questions--rather than on an unrelated profusion of moral problems--this volume offers atheoretically unified presentationthat enables students to see how their conclusions regarding one moral issue can affect their positions on other debates. Questions of Life and Deathincludes readings on socially and politically relevant controversies including famine, killing in war, terrorism, capital punishment, killing animals, suicide, euthanasia, and abortion. The essays include classic works by Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Hobbes, Immanuel Kant, and John Locke alongside contemporary selections by Thomas Nagel, James Rachels, Peter Singer, Judith Jarvis Thomson, Michael Walzer, and many others. Rather than presenting students with readings on abstract and complex moral theories, editor Christopher Morris has chosen works that reflect "middle-level moral theory" and inspire everyday questions like "What if everyone did that?" Each reading is preceded by a brief introduction and followed by discussion questions. For additional theoretical background, students can consult the final chapter, a "Moral Theory Primer" (by Mark Timmons), which clearly outlines various theories.
Christopher W. Morris is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland. He is the author of An Essay on the Modern State (1998) and the editor or coeditor of several books, including Amartya Sen (2009) and Violence, Terrorism, and Justice (1991).
Table of Contents
I. WHY IS KILLING USUALLY WRONG? 1. R. M. Hare, What Is Life? 2. Thomas Aquinas, Of Murder 3. John Locke, The Natural State of Men 4. John Paul II, Thou Shall Not Kill 5. Thomas Hobbes, The Value of a Man Is His Price 6. Jeff McMahan, Killing 7. Jonathan Glover, Not Playing God II. WHY IS DEATH AN EVIL? 8. James Rachels, Death and Evil 9. Thomas Nagel, Death 10. Robert Nozick, Death III. WHAT MAKES OUR LIVES GO WELL? 11. Thomas Aquinas, Happiness 12. Thomas Hobbes, Felicity 13. Robert Nozick, The Experience Machine 14. Martha Nussbaum, A Conception of the Human Being: The Central Human Capabilities 15. Derek Parfit, What Makes Someone's Life Go Best? 16. Thomas Nagel, The Meaning of Life IV. SAVING LIVES: FAMINE 17. Peter Singer, Famine, Affluence, and Morality 18. David Schmidtz, Islands in a Sea of Obligation: Limits of the Duty to Rescue V. KILLING IN WAR 19. Christopher W. Morris, Notes on War and Peace 20. Thomas Hobbes, War of Every One against Every One 21. Thomas Aquinas, Of War 22. Harry Truman, Address to the American People, 9 August 1945 23. John Rawls, Fifty Years after Hiroshima 24. Thomas Nagel, War and Massacre 25. Michael Walzer, Supreme Emergency 26. George Orwell, On the Futility of Limiting War 27. George I. Mavrodes, Conventions and the Morality of War 28. Jeff McMahan, The Ethics of Killing in War VI. TERRORISM 29. R. G. Frey and Christopher W. Morris, Violence, Terrorism, and Justice 30. Loren Lomasky, The Political Significance of Terrorism 31. Douglas Lackey, The Evolution of the Modern Terrorist State: Area Bombing and Nuclear Deterrence 32. Robert K. Fullinwider, Terrorism, Innocence, and War VII. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT 33. Thomas Aquinas, Whether It Is Lawful to Kill Sinners? 34. Immanuel Kant, The Right of Punishing 35. John Paul II, The Death Penalty 36. Amnesty International, The Death Penalty and the Right to Life 37. Hugo Adam Bedau, The Case against the Death Penalty 38. Louis P. Pojman, Why the Death Penalty Is Morally Permissible 39. Christopher W. Morris, Punishment and Loss of Moral Standing VIII. ANIMALS 40. Thomas Aquinas, The Status of Animals 41. Immanuel Kant, Duties with Regard to Animals 42. Peter Singer, All Animals Are Equal 43. Peter Carruthers, Against the Moral Standing of Animals 44. Alastair Norcross, Puppies, Pigs, and People: Eating Meat and Marginal Cases IX. SUICIDE 45. Seneca, On the Proper Time to Slip the Cable 46. Thomas Aquinas, Whether It Is Lawful to Kill Oneself? 47. David Hume, Of Suicide X. EUTHANASIA 48. John Paul II, The Tragedy of Euthanasia 49. James Rachels, Active and Passive Euthanasia 50. Frances M. Kamm, A Right to Choose Death? A Moral Argument for the Permissibility of Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide 51. David Velleman, Against the Right to Die 52. Allen Buchanan, Intending Death: The Structure of the Problem and Proposed Solutions XI. WHEN DO WE DIE? 53. President's Commission, Defining Death 54. David DeGrazia, Biology, Consciousness, and the Definition of Death 55. Jeff McMahan, Endings XII. ABORTION 56. John Paul II, The Unspeakable Crime of Abortion 57. Judith Jarvis Thomson, A Defense of Abortion 58. Mary Ann Warren, On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion (and Postscript on Infanticide, 1982) 59. Donald Marquis, Why Abortion Is Immoral 60. Jeff McMahan, Beginnings 61. Eugene Mills, The Egg and I: Conception, Identity, and Abortion 62. Paul Gomberg, Abortion and the Morality of Nurturance XIII. MAKING PEOPLE: CLONING 63. Leon Kass, Preventing a Brave New World 64. Robert George (joined by Alfonso Gómez-Lobo), Human Cloning and Human Dignity 65. Michael Tooley, The Moral Status of Cloning XIV. FUTURE GENERATIONS 66. Gregory S. Kavka, The Paradox of Future Individuals XV. MORAL THEORIES 67. Mark Timmons, A Moral Theory Primer