A 21st Century Ethical Toolbox

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2017-10-30
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Thoroughly optimistic, A 21st Century Ethical Toolbox, Fourth 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 our obligations to future generations and the Earth. 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, and genuine dialogue. Provocative selections from a wide range of philosophers, essayists, 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 and new and expanded "Going Farther" sections between many chapters. 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.

Author Biography

Anthony Weston is Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies at Elon University. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including Mobilizing the Green Imagination (2012) and A Practical Companion to Ethics, Fourth Edition (OUP, 2010).

Table of Contents

*=New to this Edition
1. What Is Ethics?
Taking Care
Ethics as a Learning Experience
* Reading 1: C.P. Ellis, "It Was Almost Like Being Born Again"
Going Farther #1: Toward an Interpersonal Ethics
* Reading 2: Margaret Urban Walker, from "Moral Understandings"
Going Farther #2: Two Views of Ethics and Other Animals
Reading 3: Alice Walker, "Am I Blue?"
Reading 4: Ted Kerasote, from Bloodties: Nature, Culture, and the Hunt
2. Ethical Short-Circuits (and How to Avoid Them)
Flying by Instinct
Offhand Self-Justification
Ethics and Diversity
Who Needs Ethics?
Going Farther #3: Ethics in Extraordinary Times?"
* Reading 5: Rebecca Solnit, "By the Way, Your Home Is on Fire"
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
Moral Values Among Others
Attending to Values
Families of Moral Values
Notes on the Families
Going Farther #4: An Abortion Story
Reading 7: Rayna Rapp, "XYLO"
5. The Ethics of the Person
Valuing Persons
Reading 8: Philip Hallie, "Le Chambon"
Kant's Categorical Imperative
Reading 9: Immanuel Kant, from Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals
Rights and Persons
Reading 10: From The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Going Farther #5: Pornography and the Ethics of the Person
* Reading 11: Gloria Steinem, from "Erotica vs. Pornography"
Going Farther #6: Inside Racism Today
* Reading 12: Ta-Nehisi Coates, from Selections from "A Letter to My Son"
6. The Ethics of Happiness
* Reading 13: Barbara Frederickson, from Positivity (Random House, 2009)
Reading 14: John Stuart Mill, From Utilitarianism
* Reading 15: Esperanza Guisán, "An Ethic of Liberty and Solidarity"
Going Farther #7: Ethics and Conceptions of Justice
Going Farther #8: A Utilitarian Approach to Poverty
7. The Ethics of Virtue
An Abundance of Virtues
A Greek View of Virtue
Reading 16: Aristotle, from Nicomachean Ethics
Chinese Views of Virtue
Reading 17: Lao Tzu, From the Tao Te Ching
Cultivating Virtue
Reading 18: John Sullivan, From Living Large
8. The Ethics of Relationship
Care Ethics
Reading 19: Nel Noddings, From Caring
Ethics and Community
Reading 20: Kwasi Wiredu, From "The Moral Foundations of an African Culture"
The Expanding Circle
Reading 21: Aldo Leopold, From "The Land Ethic"
Going Farther 9: Building a Student Code of Ethics
* Reading 22: Brook J. Sadler, "What's Wrong with Plagiarism?"
Going Farther #10: Values on the Edge?
Reading 23: Edward Abbey, "The Great American Desert"
9. Minding the Evidence
Facts and Sources
Reading 24: Martin Fowler, Selections from The Ethical Practice of Critical Thinking
More Pitfalls
Quick Reference: Critical-Thinking Basics
10. Judging Like Cases Alike
Consistency is a Challenge
Achieving Consistency
The Golden Rule
* Reading 25: Harry Gensler, Selections from Ethics and the Golden Rule
Constructed Analogies
* Reading 26: Richard and Val Routley, "The Nuclear Train to the Future"
Quick Reference: Judging Like Cases Alike
Going Farther #11: Reconsidering Other Animals: Consistency Challenges for Everyone
* Reading 27: Jonathan Safran Foer, "A Case for Eating Dogs"
* Reading 28: Rhys Southan, "The Vegans Have Landed"
Going Farther #12: Children's Liberation?
* Reading 29: Amy Glaser, "Beyond Adultism"
11. Dialogue
How to Have a Fruitless Debate
How to Have a Useful Discussion
Reading 30: Mary Jacksteit and Adrienne Kaufmann, The Common Ground Network for Life and Choice, "Common Ground Rules"
Reading 31: Spoma Jovanovic, "Deepening Ethical Dialogue"
12. When Values Clash
Right Versus Right
What Is Each Side Right About?
Bringing Values into Congruence
Big Decisions
Reading 32: Roger Gottlieb, "Can We Talk? Understanding the 'Other Side' in the Animal Rights Debates"
Quick Reference: When Values Clash
Going Farther #13: Class Ethical Commitments
13. Creative Problem-Solving
A Feeling for Possibility
Creative Explorations
Creative Provocations
Reframing Problems
Quick Reference: Methods for Creative Problem-Solving in Ethics
Going Farther #14: Can the Abortion Debate be Reframed?
Going Farther #15: Where Ethics Meets Politics
14. Moral Vision
What is Moral Vision?
The Uses of Moral Vision
Toward a New Vision of Aging
Reading 33: Bill Thomas, "Eldertopia" (Selections from What Are Old People For?)
* Reading 34: Ursula LeGuin, "Into the Spaceship, Granny: The Space Crone"
Quick Reference: Moral Vision
Going Farther #16: Ethics and Sustainability
* Reading 35: William McDonough, "Design for a New World"
Eight Maxims for Making a Difference
1. You Can Do It
* Reading 36: Danusha Goska, "Living Ideals"
2. There are Many Ways
* Reading 37: Ian Frazier, from On the Rez
3. Trust in Better Possibilities
4. Keep at It
* Reading 38: Maggie Castor, "Malala"
5. Creative Leveraging
6. Stay Open to Complexity
7. There is No Way to Ethics; Ethics is the Way
* Reading 39: Sarah van Gelder, "At Standing Rock, a Sense of Purpose
8. Bring Your Whole Toolbox
Going Farther #17: Personal Ethical Mission Statements
Going Farther #18: Ethical Change Projects
Endnotes: Teaching Like a Pragmatist
Key Terms in this Book
Major Ethical Issues Discussed

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

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