Higher Education

Applying Moral Theories, 5th Edition

  • C.E. Harris Texas A & M University
  • ISBN-10: 0495007056  |  ISBN-13: 9780495007050
  • 200 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2002, 1997, 1992
  • © 2007 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $116.25



APPLYING MORAL THEORIES is a unique introduction to the application of major ethical theories to practical concerns. Examining egoism, natural law, utilitarianism, respect for persons, and virtue ethics, the book offers insights into the advantages and difficulties associated with the application of each theory. Putting forth a critical method that encourages students to break down ethical deliberations into four classes of concerns-factual, conceptual, application, and moral-the book's driving claim is that "common morality," or the stock of moral ideas that most people in our culture share, cannot be captured in a single moral theory, but that each of these theories highlights an important aspect of common morality. Thus, it is often useful to look at the complex moral problem from the standpoint of several theories.

Features and Benefits

  • The book features a variety of aids for student comprehension: an outline format for each theory, checklists for applying each theory, and an appendix of unanalyzed open cases for class discussion or homework. Concept summaries follow each theory and case.

Table of Contents

1. What Is Ethics?
2. Morality: Subjective or Objective?
3. Moral Theories.
4. The Ethics of Self-Interest.
5. The Ethics of Natural Law.
6. The Ethics of Utilitarianism.
7. The Ethics of Respect for Persons.
8. Virtue Ethics.
Appendix I: Applying the Moral Theories.
Appendix II: Cases for Analysis.

What's New

  • This book is now supported by two new technologies. When adopted along with the book, TurnItIn offers an efficient way of preventing plagiarism in student papers, while JoinIn, an interactive classroom response system, offers instructors a way of quickly garnering students' positions on a number of ethical concerns and will keep students in even the largest ethics classes engaged in lectures.
  • In this edition the chapter on virtue ethics has been completely rewritten and substantially expanded to now include an extended discussion of Aristotle's positions as well as a discussion of the impact of feminist ethics as they relate to the virtue of caring.
  • The two chapters on meta-ethics have been streamlined into one chapter and eleven new cases have been added in the appendix of cases.
  • Throughout the text the idea of "common morality" has been enhanced to underline Harris' contention that each of the major theories deserves consideration when making principled ethical decisions.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

C.E. Harris

Charles Edwin Harris, Jr. is Professor of Philosophy at Texas A&M University. As an undergraduate he majored in biology and minored in chemistry and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Vanderbilt University. He is co-author of a widely-used textbook in engineering ethics, and he has published numerous papers, most of them in the field of ethics. He has spent most of his career at Texas A&M University, and he teaches courses in ethical theory, applied ethics, and professional ethics for engineers.