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Ethical Theory Classical and Contemporary Readings

This authoritative and reader-friendly anthology will help you think through some of humanity’s most persistent questions regarding right and wrong, good and bad. Ethical Theory: Classical and Contemporary Readings cuts through the confusion and delivers a clear and comprehensive selection of readings from classical and contemporary sources. Presented in a dynamic pro and con format, with detailed summaries of each argument, this comprehensive anthology allows you to watch the ethical debate unfold before your eyes. • "This introductory textbook describes the historical schools, major problems, and current trends concerning the study of ethics. Selections from key philosophers cover topics like relativism and objectivism, egoism, value, utilitarianism, deontology, virtue, metaethics, skepticism, religion, sociobiology, feminism, and determinism. Representing the span of the Western canon, selections are drawn from the ancient, modern, and post-modern periods. A glossary is included." ~ Booknews

Table of Contents

    • Preface.
  • Part I: WHAT IS ETHICS?
    • Plato: Socratic Morality: Crito.
    • Suggestions for Further Reading.
  • Part II: ETHICAL RELATIVISM VERSUS ETHICAL OBJECTIVISM.
    • Herodotus: Custom is King.
    • Thomas Aquinas: Objectivism: Natural Law.
    • Ruth Benedict: A Defense of Ethical Relativism.
    • Louis Pojman: A Critique of Ethical Relativism.
    • Gilbert Harman: Moral Relativism Defended.
    • Alan Gewirth: The Objective Status of Human Rights.
    • Suggestions for Further Reading.
  • Part III: MORALITY, SELF-INTEREST AND FUTURE SELVES.
    • Plato: Why Be Moral?
    • Richard Taylor: On the Socratic Dilemma.
    • David Gauthier: Morality and Advantage.
    • Gregory Kavka: A Reconciliation Project.
    • Derek Parfit: Later Selves and Moral Principles.
    • Bernard Williams: Persons, Character, and Morality.
    • Suggestions for Further Reading.
  • Part IV: VALUE.
    • Jeremy Bentham: Classical Hedonism.
    • Robert Nozick: The Experience Machine.
    • Richard Taylor: Value and the Origin of Right and Wrong.
    • Friedrich Nietzsche: The Transvaluation of Values.
    • Derek Parfit: What Makes Someone’s Life Go Best?
    • Thomas Nagel: Value: The View from Nowhere.
    • Suggestions for Further Reading.
  • Part V: UTILITARIANISM AND CONSEQUENTIALISM.
    • John Stuart Mill: Utilitarianism.
    • J.J.C. Smart: Extreme and Restricted Utilitarianism.
    • Kai Nielsen: Against Moral Conservatism.
    • Bernard Williams: Against Utilitarianism.
    • John Hospers: Rule-Utilitarianism.
    • Robert Nozick: Side Constraints.
    • Peter Singer: Famine, Affluence and Morality.
    • Suggestions for Further Reading.
  • Part VI: KANTIAN AND DEONTOLOGICAL SYSTEMS.
    • Immanuel Kant: Foundation for theMetaphysic of Morals.
    • W. D. Ross: What Makes Right Acts Right?
    • Onora O’Neill: Kantian Formula of the End in Itself and World Hunger.
    • Thomas Nagel: Moral Luck.
    • Philippa Foot: Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives.
    • Judith Jarvis Thomson: Killing, Letting Die, and the Trolley Problem.
    • Suggestions for Further Reading.
  • Part VII: CONTRACTARIAN ETHICAL SYSTEMS.
    • Thomas Hobbes: The Leviathan.
    • David Gauthier: Why Contractarianism?
    • John Rawls: Contractualism: Justice as Fairness.
    • T.M. Scanlon: Contractualism and Utilitarianism.
    • Suggestions for Further Reading.
  • Part VIII: VIRTUE-BASED ETHICAL SYSTEMS.
    • Aristotle: The Ethics of Virtue.
    • Bernard Mayo: Virtue and the Moral Life.
    • William Frankena: A Critique of Virtue-Based Ethics.
    • Walter Schaller: Are Virtues No More than Dispositions to Obey Moral Rules?
    • Alasdair MacIntyre: The Nature of the Virtues.
    • Susan Wolf: Moral Saints.
    • Louis P. Pojman: In Defense of Moral Saints.
    • Suggestions for Further Reading.
  • Part IX: THE FACT/VALUE PROBLEM: METAETHICS IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY.
    • David Hume: On Reason and the Emotions: The Fact/Value Distinction.
    • G. E. Moore: Non-Naturalism.
    • A. J. Ayer: Emotivism.
    • R. M. Hare: Prescriptivism: The Structure of Ethics and Morals.
    • Geoffrey Warnock: The Object of Morality.
    • Suggestions for Further Reading.
  • Part X: MORAL REALISM AND THE CHALLENGE OF SKEPTICISM.
    • J.L. Mackie: The Subjectivity of Values.
    • Jonathan Harrison: A Critique of Mackie’s Error Theory.
    • Gilbert Harman: Moral Nihilism. Nicholas Sturgeon: Moral Explanations.
    • Bernard Williams: Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy.
    • Bruce Russell: Two Forms of Ethical Skepticism.
    • Michael Smith: A Defense of Moral Realism.
    • Suggestions for Further Reading.
  • Part XI: RELIGION AND ETHICS.
    • Plato: Morality and Religion.
    • Immanuel Kant: God and Immortality as Necessary Postulates of Morality.
    • George Mavrodes: Religious and the Queerness of Morality.
    • Kai Nielson: Ethics Without God. Suggestions for Further Reading.
  • Part XII: CONTEMPORARY CHALLENGES TO CLASSICAL ETHICAL THEORY.
    • Part A. Sociobiology and the Question of Moral Responsibility.
    • Charles Darwin: Ethics and the Descent of Man.
    • E.O.Wilson: Sociobiology and Ethics.
    • Michael Ruse: Evolution and Ethics: The Sociobiological Approach.
    • Elliot Sober: Prospects for an Evolutionary Ethics.
    • J.L. Mackie: The Law of the Jungle, Evolution and Morality.
    • Suggestions for Further Readingon Sociobiology.
    • Part B. The Challenge of Determinism to Moral Responsibility and Desert.
    • Galen Strawson: The Impossibility of Moral Responsibility.
    • Louis Pojman: Free Will, Determinism, and Moral Responsibility: A Response to Galen Strawson.
    • Richard Taylor: A Libertarian Defense of Free Will and Responsibility.
    • Suggestions for Further Reading on Moral Responsibility.
    • Glossary of Ethical Terms.