Ethical Choices An Introduction to Moral Philosophy with Cases

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2017-06-26
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Ideal for students with little or no background in philosophy, Ethical Choices: An Introduction to Moral Philosophy with Cases, Second Edition, provides a concise, balanced, and highly accessible introduction to ethics. Featuring an especially lucid and engaging writing style, the text surveys a wide range of ethical theories and perspectives including consequentialist ethics, deontological ethics, natural and virtue ethics, the ethics of care, and ethics and religion.

Each chapter includes compelling case studies that are carefully matched with the theoretical material. Many of these cases address issues that students can relate directly to their own lives: the drinking age, student credit card debt, zero tolerance policies, grade inflation, and video games. Other cases discuss current topics like living wills, obesity, human trafficking, torture "lite," universal health care, and just-war theory. The cases provide students with practice in addressing real-life moral choices, as well as opportunities to evaluate the usefulness and applicability of each ethical theory. Every case study concludes with a set of "Thought Questions" to guide students as they reflect upon the issues raised by that case.

Author Biography

Richard Burnor is Professor of Philosophy at Felician College. Dr. Burnor has also published articles in the philosophy of science, metaphysics, and teaching philosophy.

Yvonne Raley is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Felician College and has published articles in metaphysics and ethics.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Reader
Preface to the Instructor
Introduction: Ethics as Practical
Chapter One. Ethics and Values
I. Introducing Ethics
II. The Nature of Values
III. Moral Vs. Non-Moral Values
IV. Foundational and Instrumental Values
V. Explanation and Foundational Values
Chapter Assignment Questions
Values Exercise
Case 1: Breastfeeding in Public
Case 2: The Real Price of Coffee
Case 3: Jurassic Kitty: Should I Clone My Cat?
Case 4: Sex Selection
Chapter Two. Moral Relativism
I. Introduction
II. Three Views of Ethics
III. Evaluating Subjectivism
IV. Supporting Popular Relativism
V. Against Relativism
VI. A Matter of Tolerance
VII. Can Relativism Supply What Objectivism Cannot?
Chapter Assignment Questions
Case 1: Arranged Marriage
Case 2: Female Genital Mutilation
Case 3: Religious Exemption and the Death of Matthew Swan
Case 4: Women in the Middle East
Chapter Three. Personal Autonomy and Moral Agency
I. Introduction
II. Personal Autonomy
III. Implications of Autonomy
IV. Moral Agents
V. Other Conceptions of Autonomy
VI. Relational Autonomy
Chapter Assignment Questions
Case 1: The Drunk Driver
Case 2: Elizabeth Bouvia
Case 3: Should the Drinking Age Be Eighteen?
Case 4: The Living Will
Case 5: Buy Now, Pay Later: Student Credit Card Debt
Chapter Four. Making Moral Judgments
I. Introduction
II. Conflicts
III. Characterizing Moral Claims
IV. Moral Reasoning
V. Moral Reflection
Chapter Assignment Questions
Case 1: Mr. Research
Case 2: Who's Not Coming to Dinner?
Case 3: Who's Responsible for Obesity?
Chapter Five. Moral Psychology and Egosim
I. Introduction
II. Moral Character
III. Social and Cultural Influences
IV. Ethical and Psychological Egoism
V. Egoism and Moral Psychology
Chapter Assignment Questions
Case 1: Declaring Wages
Case 2: The Scratched Bumper
Case 3: Job Competition
Case 4: Human Trafficking
For Reflection and Discussion
Introduction: Assessing Ethical Theories
Chapter Six. Consequentialist Ethics: Act Utilitarianism
I. Introduction
II. Utility and Consequentialism
III. Utility and Mill's Account
IV. Act Utilitarianism
V. Attractions and Problems
VI. Beyond Classical Utilitarianism
Chapter Assignment Questions
Case 1: Charity vs. iPad
Case 2: Sponsoring a Child
Case 3: Should Your Next Car Be a Hybrid?
Case 4: Factory Farming and Animal Suffering
Case 5: Torture Lite
Chapter Seven. Consequentialist Ethics: Rule Utilitarianism
I. Introduction
II. Rule Utilitarianism
III. Rule VS. Act Utilitarianism
IV. Problems With Rule Utilitarianism
V. Justice and Rights Again
Chapter Assignment Questions
Case 1: Transgender Students at College
Case 2: Curbing Grade Inflation
Case 3: Universal Health Care
Chapter Eight. Deontological Ethics
I. Introduction
II. Ross's Ethics
III. Kant's Good Will
IV. Kant's Principle of Ends
V. Kant's Principle of Universal Law
VI. The Principle of Autonomy
VII. Attractions and Problems
Chapter Assignment Questions
Case 1: A Demanding Honor Code
Case 2: The Ayala Case
Case 3: Internet Bride--Straight from Asia
Case 4: A Personal Decision
Case 5: Beefy Burgers and a Lean Future
Case 6: Suicide
Chapter Nine. Natural Law Theory
I. Introduction
II. Natural Law Theory
III. Forfeiture
IV. Double Effect
V. Problems for Natural Law Theory
Chapter Assignment Questions
Case 1: Relieving Pain in a Dying Patient
Case 2: Birth Control
Case 3: Just-War Theory and the Killing of Noncombatants
Case 4: Permanent Vegetative State: The Case of Terri Schiavo
Chapter Ten. Social Contracts and Rights
I. Introduction
II. Locke's Natural Rights
III. Hobbes
IV. Rawls
V. Assessing Social Contract Theory
VI. Assessing Rights
VII. Kinds of Rights
Chapter Assignment Questions
Case 1: Socrates' Imprisonment
Case 2: Lord of the Flies
Case 3: Locke and Load: Locean Rights and Gun Control
Chapter Eleven. Virtue Ethics
I. Introduction
II. The Heart of Virtue Ethics
III. Aristotle's Virtue Ethics
IV. Critiquing Principle-Based Ethics
V. Classifying the Virtues
VI. Problems With Virtue Ethics
Chapter Assignment Questions
Case 1: The Unlikely Rescue
Case 2: Video Games
Case 3: Compulsive Gambling and the Internet
Case 4: Moral Luck
Case 5: Democracy in Switzerland
Chapter Twelve. Feminism and Care Ethics
I. Introduction
II. Feminist Ethics
III. The Care Perspective
IV. Foundations of an Ethics of Care
V. Care and Virtue
VI. A Blueprint for Reform
VII. Problems
VIII. A Concluding Reflection
Chapter Assignment Questions
Case 1: The International Gemstone Trade
Case 2: Parent Responsibility Toward Their In Utero Child
Case 3: The Nestlé Boycott
Case 4: Absolute Poverty
Chapter Thirteen. Ethics and Religion
I. Introduction
II. Kant on Autonomy and Religion
III. Divine Command Theory
IV. An Alternate Dependency Account
V. Objections and Elaborations
VI. Completeness
Chapter Assignment Questions
Case 1: By Divine Command?
Case 2: Religious Symbols and Public Schools
Case 3: A Question of Authority
Chapter Fourteen. Pluralism in Theoretical and Applied Ethics
I. Kinds of Ethical Pluralism
II. Medical Ethics: Futility
III. Environmental Ethics: Anthropocentrism and Ecocentrism
IV. Business Ethics: Whistleblowing
V. The Personal Dimension: How Can I Make Morally Right Choices?
Chapter Assignment Questions
Case 1: Infant Medical Futility
Case 2: Climate Change and Oil
Case 3: National Parks
Case 4: Surfer, Sailor, Whistleblower
Case 5: The Diesel Dupe
Case 6: The Snowden Leak

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