The classic ethics text written by one of contemporary philosophy’s most skilled, ardent teachers, Louis P. Pojman, is now revised by best-selling author and editor of the INTERNET ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY, James Fieser. ETHICS: DISCOVERING RIGHT AND WRONG, Seventh Edition, offers a concise yet comprehensive overview of the fundamental objectives and outlooks of ethical theory.
Written with Pojman’s hallmark engaging, conversational manner with strong supporting pedagogy, this book challenges students to develop their own moral theories and to reason through ethical problems for themselves. The text even-handedly raises critical questions and fosters independent thinking within a rigorous presentation that draws numerous examples from both classical and contemporary sources. This edition maintains the text’s clarity and strengths with its non-dogmatic style and generous presentation of various positions. This revision includes more feminist and multicultural ethical perspectives.
The book clearly and logically guides your students from initial chapters that discuss general concerns about meta-ethics to presentations of major moral theories. Later chapters address special topics in personal and religious ethics as well as the most recent developments in moral theory. Study questions for each chapter and useful bibliographies further assist students delving deeper into philosophy. A companion website offers additional support with material on Divine Command theory and how to write ethics papers (found previously as appendices in the book) as well as essay questions and numerous interactive learning aids. An alternate edition of this text with key readings from Aristotle, Kant, and Mill bound into the back is also available.
Table of Contents
1. WHAT IS ETHICS?
Ethics and its subdivisions. Morality as compared with other normative subjects. Traits of moral principles. Domains of ethical assessment. Conclusion.
2. ETHICAL RELATIVISM.
Subjective ethical relativism. Conventional ethical relativism. Criticisms of conventional ethical relativism. Conclusion.
3. MORAL OBJECTIVISM.
Aquinas’ objectivism and absolutism. Moderate objectivism. Ethical situationalism. Conclusion.
4. VALUE AND THE QUEST FOR THE GOOD.
Intrinsic and instrumental value. The value of pleasure. Are values objective or subjective? The relation of value to morality. The good life.
5. SOCIAL CONTRACT THEORY AND THE MOTIVE TO BE MORAL.
Why does society need moral rules? Why should I be moral? Morality, self-interest and game theory. The motive to always be moral. Conclusion.
6. EGOISM, SELF-INTEREST, AND ALTRUISM.
Psychological egoism. Ethical egoism. Arguments against ethical egoism. Evolution and altruism. Conclusion.
Classic utilitarianism. Act and rule-utilitarianism. Criticism of utilitarianism. Criticism of the ends justifying immoral means. Conclusion.
8. KANT AND DEONTOLOGICAL THEORIES.
Kant’s influences. The categorical imperative. Counterexamples to the principle of the law of nature. Other formulations of the categorical imperative. The problem of exceptionless rules. The problem of posterity. Conclusion: a reconciliation project.
9. VIRTUE THEORY.
The nature of virtue ethics. Criticisms of action-based ethics. Connections between virtue-based and action-based ethics. Feminism and the ethics of care. Conclusion.
10. GENDER AND ETHICS.
Classic Views. Female Care Ethics. Four Options regarding Gender and Ethics. Conclusion.
11. RELIGION AND ETHICS.
Does morality depend on religion? Is religion irrelevant or even contrary to morality? Does religion enhance the moral life? Conclusion.
12. THE FACT-VALUE PROBLEM.
Hume and Moore: the problem classically stated. Ayer and emotivism. Hare and prescriptivism. Naturalism and the fact-value problem. Conclusion.
13. MORAL REALISM AND THE CHALLENGE OF SKEPTICISM.
Mackie’s moral skepticism. Harman’s moral nihilism. A defense of moral realism. Conclusion.
Appendix: How to Read and Write a Philosophy Paper.