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Do the Right Thing Readings in Applied Ethics and Social Philosophy

Offering an outstanding balance of rigor and accessibility, Do The Right Thing, 2nd Edition provides accessible, impartial introductions to an excellent collection of readings in contemporary social issues. Provocative study questions urge readers to get to the heart of the debates. Newly designed for this edition, Do The Right Thing is organized into three sections. Part 1 introduces the reader to the leading ethical theories, while Parts 2 and 3 present the current issues including landmark court cases as well as differing viewpoints by not only leading philosophers, but also economists, legal scholars, and scientists. Centering on contemporary moral debates, this collection features the work of philosophers, legal scholars, political scientists, doctors, and judges. It first outlines major moral theories, then presents conflicting perspectives on current controversies and landmark court cases. Among the controversies discussed are abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, affirmative action, censorship, and homosexuality. Religious and legal perspectives are foregrounded.

Table of Contents

    • Preface to Second Edition vii
    • Introduction xi
  • I. Ethical Theory, Ethical Practice, and the Public Square 1
    • A. Relativism versus Objectivism 4
    • 1. A Defense of Moral Relativism 6
    • 2. A Critique of Moral Relativism 12
    • B. Ethical Theory 22
    • 3. The Categorical Imperative 24
    • 4. Utilitarianism 37
    • 5. The Natural Law Theory of St. Thomas Aquinas 43
    • 6. Vision and Virtue 60
    • C. God and Morality 70
    • 7. Does Ethics Depend on God?: A Debate 73
    • D. State Neutrality, Religion, and Morality 94
    • 8. The Place of Religious Argument in a Free and Democratic Society 97
    • 9. Why We Should Reject What Liberalism Tells Us about Speaking and Acting in Public for Religious Reasons 115
  • II. Life and Death Issues 133
    • A. Abortion 136
    • A1. Abortion and the Law 143
    • 10. Roe v. Wade (1973) 143
    • 11. Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) 157
    • A2. The Morality of Abortion 184
    • 12. On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion 184
    • 13. Personhood Begins at Conception 191
    • 14. A Defense of Abortion 210
    • 15. Arguments from Bodily Rights 222
    • B. Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide 233
    • B1. The Law and Euthanasia 238
    • 16. Cruzan v. Harmon (1991) 238
    • 17. Washington v. Glucksburg (1997) 243
    • B2. Morality of Euthanasia 257
    • 18. A Defense of Active Euthanasia 257
    • 19. A Case Against Physician-Assisted Suicide 269
    • 20. Death and Dignity: A Case of Individualized Decision Making 285
    • 21. Dying Safely: An Analysis of “A Case of Individualized Decision Making” Timothy E. Quill, M.D. 290
    • C. Creating and Experimenting with Life at the Margins 303
    • 22. Rights, Symbolism, and Public Policy on Fetal Tissue Transplants 307
    • 23. Spare Parts from the Unborn?: The Ethics of Fetal Tissue Transplanation 321
    • 24. The Wisdom of Repugnance 330
    • 25. Ignorance Is Not Bliss: Why a Ban on Human Cloning is Unacceptable 350
    • D. The Death Penalty 362
    • 26. The Case for Capital Punishment 365
    • 27. The Death Penalty Is Not Morally Permissible 372
  • III. Issues of Social Justice and Personal Liberty 385
    • A. Affirmative Action 388
    • 28. Adarand v. Pena (1997) 392
    • A1. The Moral Justification of Affirmative Action 418
    • 29. A Defense of Programs of Preferential Treatment 418
    • 30. The Moral Status of Affirmative Action 424
    • 31. The Justification of Reverse Discrimination 438
    • 32. From Equality Opportunity to “Affirmative Action” 449
    • B. Economic and Social Justice 461
    • 33. A Theory of Justice 464
    • 34. Property, Exchange, and Libertarianism 484
    • 35. Gender, Justice, and the Family 498
    • C. Censorship and Freedom of Expression 513
    • 36. Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography: The Constraints of the First Amendment 517
    • 37. The Minneapolis and Indianapolis Anti-Pornography/Civil Rights Ordinances 527
    • 38. Feminist Antipornography Legislation: A Critical Analysis 544
    • 39. The Sexual Politics of the First Amendment 556
    • 40. The Case for Censorship 574
    • 41. Pornography, Sex, and Censorship 584
    • D. Homosexuality 602
    • D1. The Law and Homosexuality 607
    • 42. Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) 607
    • 43. Romer v. Evans (1996) 614
    • D2. Homosexuality and the Morality of Discrimination 629
    • 44. Gay Basics: Some Questions, Facts, and Values 629
    • 45. Homosexuality and the Common Good 637
    • D3. The Debate Over Same-Sex Marriage 646
    • 46. ‘Same-Sex Marriage’ and ‘Moral Neutrality’ 646
    • 47. Do Wedding Dresses Come in Lavender?: The Prospects and Implications of Same-Sex Marriage 65