Higher Education

Vice and Virtue in Everyday Life, 9th Edition

  • Christina Hoff Sommers Clark University
  • Fred Sommers Brandeis University (Emeritus)
  • ISBN-10: 1111837546  |  ISBN-13: 9781111837549
  • 560 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2010, 2007, 2004
  • © 2013 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $137.75

About

Overview

VICE AND VIRTUE IN EVERYDAY LIFE has been a popular choice in college ethics for more than two decades. Instructors appreciate it for its philosophical breadth and seriousness. Students welcome the engaging topics and carefully chosen readings. VICE AND VIRTUE IN EVERYDAY LIFE provides students with a lively selection of classical and contemporary readings on pressing matters of personal and social morality. The text includes an introduction to ethical theory, as well as a unique collection of stimulating articles on matters of social responsibility, personal integrity and individual virtue. The chapter structure begins by helping students to understand the importance of character and compassion then turns toward developing their comprehension of influential ethical theories. Finally, students examine the role of ethics in social policy issues, and end by focusing on the meaning of life. While the readings consistently represent different points of view, the book also challenges readers to go beyond theoretical applications and contingent circumstances, to cultivate virtuous decision-making in their own lives.

Features and Benefits

  • Selections on contemporary issues focus more closely on what the college classroom is requesting: political and social issues of immediate relevance and newsworthiness, such as war, terrorism, justice, torture.
  • Additional study and essay questions per reading provide additional reinforcement and review opportunities.
  • Chapter introductions pose the philosophical questions that provide chapters' foci; in addition, these introductions frame the reading selections therein.
  • Reading introductions provide brief biographical information about the authors as well as an overview of the key insights and positions to be encountered in each of the readings.
  • Study questions following each reading provide for fruitful out-of-class reflection or in-class discussion.
  • The inclusion of sacred texts and fiction selections exhibits the stylistic diversity of philosophical reflection.

Table of Contents

Preface.
Acknowledgement.
1. GOOD AND EVIL.
Philip Hallie: From Cruelty to Goodness. Jonathan Bennett: The Conscience of Huckleberry Finn. Philip Hallie: The Evil That Men Thinkā€”And Do. Tzvetan Todorov: Facing the Extreme: The War of All Against All. Anne Applebaum: Strategies for Survival. Stanley Milgram: The Perils of Obedience. Josiah Royce: The Moral Insight. Herman Melville: Billy Budd. Friedrich Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil.
2. IS IT ALL RELATIVE?
Herodotus: Morality As Custom. Ruth Benedict: A Defense of Moral Relativism.
William Graham Sumner: A Defense of Cultural Relativism. Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban: Cultural Relativism and Universal Rights. Loretta M. Kopelman: Female Circumcision/Genital Mutilation and Ethical Relativism. Lawrence Adam Lengbeyer: An Alternative to Moral Relativism. Louis Pojman: Who's to Judge? Thomas Nagel: The Objective Basis of Morality.
R. M. MacIver: The Deep Beauty of the Golden Rule. Martin Luther King, Jr.: I Have a Dream. The United Nations Charter: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
3. MORALITY AND SELF-INTEREST.
Plato: The Ring of Gyges. Thomas Hobbes: Of the State of Men without Civil Society.
David Hume: Of Self-Love. Harry Browne: The Unselfishness Trap. James Rachels: Egoism and Moral Skepticism. Ayn Rand: The Virtue of Selfishness. Louis Pojman: Egoism, Self-Interest, and Altruism. Colin McGinn: Why Not Be a Bad Person? Peter Singer: Why Act Morally?
4. MORAL DOCTRINES AND MORAL THEORIES.
The Judeo-Christian Tradition. Robert C. Mortimer: Morality Is Based on God's Commands. John Arthur: Why Morality Does Not Depend on Religion. David Hume: Of Benevolence.
John Stuart Mill: Utilitarianism. Bernard Williams: A Critique of Utilitarianism.
John Harris: The Survival Lottery. Ursula K. Le Guin: The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas. Immanuel Kant: Good Will, Duty, and the Categorical Imperative.
Fred Sommers: The Holocaust and Moral Philosophy. Richard Taylor: A Critique of Kantianism.
5. VIRTUE.
Aristotle: Happiness and the Virtues. Saint Augustine: Virtue and the Human Soul.
Epictetus: The Art of Living. James Stockdale: The World of Epictetus. Bernard Mayo: Virtue or Duty? Alasdair MacIntyre: Tradition and the Virtues.
Philippa Foot: Virtues and Vices. James Rachels: The Ethics of Virtue.
Adam Smith: Of Justice and Beneficence. Charles Darwin: The Origin of the Moral Sense.
6. VICE.
Plutarch: Vice. Saint Augustine: The Depths of Vice. Jonathan Edwards: Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. Dante Alighieri: The Hypocrites. Samuel Johnson: Self-Deception.
Joseph Butler: Upon Self-Deceit. Immanuel Kant: Jealousy, Envy, and Spite.
Leo Tolstoy: How Much Land Does a Man Need? A Parable on Greed.
7. MORALITY AND SOCIAL POLICY.
Peter Singer: Famine, Affluence, and Morality. John Arthur: World Hunger and Moral Obligation: The Case against Singer. Bowen McCoy: The Parable of the Sadhu.
James Shikwati: "For Heaven's Sake, Please Stop the Aid"! John T. Noonan, Jr.: An Almost Absolute Value in History. Mary Anne Warren: On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion.
Judith Jarvis Thomson: A Defense of Abortion. Don Marquis: Why Abortion Is Immoral.
Immanuel Kant: On Duties to Animals. Peter Singer: Down on the Factory Farm.
Alastair Norcross: Puppies, Pigs, and People: Eating Meat and Marginal Cases.
Michael Pollan: An Animal's Place. Roger Scruton: Case Against Animal Rights.
Robert K. Fullinwider: Affirmative Action and Fairness. Shelby Steele: What Is Wrong with Affirmative Action?
8. THE MEANING OF LIFE.
T'ao Ch'ien: Substance, Shadow, and Spirit. The Bhagavad Gita. Leo Tolstoy: My Confession.
Bertrand Russell: A Free Man's Worship. Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus. Thomas Nagel: The Meaning of Life. Robert C. Solomon: The Thoughtful Love of Life. Jean-Paul Sartre: Existentialism Is Humanism. Joel Feinberg: Absurd Self-Fulfillment. Victor Frankl: The Human Search for Meaning. The Book of Job.

What's New

  • New selections on relativism, the Judeo-Christian tradition, virtue ethics, factory farming, affirmative action, and the meaning of life supplement a diverse and rigorous collection of readings.
  • Updated introductions help students identify key arguments and positions, while placing each reading in context.
  • New color plates feature fine art that illustrates philosophical topics and issues covered in the book. A timeline of philosophy features portraits of philosophers included in the text.

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Efficacy and Outcomes

Reviews

"Wide ranging, brave, intriguing."

— Lorraine Marie Arangno, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

"This text uses both classical and contemporary selections that covers the typical range of topics encountered in an introductory ethics course. But unlike other anthologies, this book aims to help students also develop personal integrity, character, and kindness."

— Silas Langley, University of Portland

Supplements

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Meet the Author

Author Bio

Christina Hoff Sommers

Christina Hoff Sommers is a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who taught ethics at Clark University and the University of Massachusetts. Her recent books include a second edition of "The War Against Boys" (New York Times Notable Book of the Year) and "One Nation Under Therapy".

Fred Sommers

Fred Sommers is professor emeritus at Brandeis University. He continues to publish widely on logic, belief, and other philosophical topics. In 2005, MIT Press published a book of essays called "The New Old Logic", which honors Sommers' distinctive contributions to 20th century philosophy.