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Ethics: Theory and Contemporary Issues, Concise Edition 8th Edition

Barbara MacKinnon, Andrew Fiala

  • Published
  • Previous Editions 2013, 2011
  • 384 Pages
Starting At 80.00 See pricing and ISBN options

Overview

ETHICS: THEORY AND CONTEMPORARY ISSUES, 8E CONCISE presents the major areas of ethical theory through an engaging collection of contemporary moral debates. First, students are introduced to schools of ethical thought such as religion and global ethics, utilitarianism and deontology, natural law ethics, virtue ethics, non-Western paradigms, feminist ethics, and care ethics. Then, these and other ethical concepts provide the framework for in-depth discussions on moral dilemmas such as euthanasia, sexual morality, economic justice, animal ethics, war, violence, and globalization. Plus, this edition brings the debate up-to-date with detailed discussions of timely moral topics such as same-sex marriage, structural racism, factory farming, pacifism, and global distributive justice.

Barbara MacKinnon, University of San Francisco

Barbara MacKinnon is a professor emerita of philosophy at the University of San Francisco. During her 30 years of teaching, her instruction and writing focused primarily on the history of ethics and contemporary ethical issues. She enjoys reading widely, playing the piano, and traveling.

Andrew Fiala, Fresno State University

Andrew Fiala is chair and professor of philosophy at Fresno State University, as well as director of the university's Ethics Center. His scholarly writing focuses on war and peace, politics, religion, and ethics. He also is a columnist for the Fresno Bee.
  • Increased coverage of non-Western ethics lends this edition a more global scale.
  • A new chapter provides a detailed exploration of religion and global ethics.
  • Expanded content on naturalism and evolutionary theory provides students with a fuller sense of these important issues.
  • Updated discussion of feminism speaks to the distinct political issues affecting women.
  • Students benefit from an enhanced focus on topics such as physician-assisted suicide, gay marriage, structural racism, economic inequality, social justice, immigration, the prison system, restorative justice, vegetarianism, biotechnology, and war.
  • New pedagogical tools are featured in each chapter, including learning outcomes and a glossary of key terms.
  • Reader-friendly design holds students' attention through topical photos and helpful diagrams.
  • 12-page paper-writing appendix helps students write ethics papers by using discussion cases and entertaining vignettes as starting points.
  • Up-to-date discussions of moral controversies empower students to discuss ethical concepts in the context of current news events.
  • Balanced presentation format brings together traditional ethics with readings from a broad range of cultural, gender, racial, and international sources.
  • Intriguing chapter openings illustrate the real-world stakes of contemporary moral issues.
Part I: THEORY.
1. Ethics and Ethical Reasoning.
Why Study Ethics? What is Ethics? Ethical and Other Types of Evaluation. Sociobiology and the Naturalistic Fallacy. Ethical Terms. Ethics and Reasons. Intuitionism, Emotivism, Subjectivism, Objectivism. Ethical Reasoning and Arguments. Ethical Theory. Types of Ethical Theory. Can Ethics Be Taught.
2. Religion and Global Ethics.
Freedom, Cosmopolitanism, and The European Enlightenment. Religion, Civic Life, and Civil Disobedience. Ethics, Religion, and Divine Command Theory. Pluralism and the Golden Rule. The Problem of Evil and Free Will. Secular Ethics and Toleration. Criticisms of Secularism and Global Ethics.
3. Ethical Relativism.
Descriptive vs. Normative Ethical Relativism. Individual vs. Cultural Relativism. Reasons Supporting Ethical Relativism. Are these Reasons Convincing? Is Relativism Self-Contradictory? Moral Realism. Moral Pluralism.
4. Egoism, Altruism, and the Social Contract.
Psychological Egoism. Ethical Egoism. The Moral Point of View. Why be Moral?
5. Utilitarianism and John Stuart Mill.
Weighing Consequences. Historical Background. The Principle of Utility. Pleasure and Happiness. Calculating the Greatest Amount of Happiness. Quantity vs. Quality of Pleasure. Evaluating Utilitarianism. The Trolley Problem. Act and Rule Utilitarianism. "Proof" of the Theory.
6. Deontological Ethics and Immanuel Kant.
Deontology and the Ethics of Duty. Immanuel Kant. The Categorical Imperative. Evaluating Kant''s Moral Theory. Perfect and Imperfect Duties. Variations on Kant and Deontology.
7. Natural Law and Human Rights.
Natural Law Theory. Historical Origins. Evaluating Natural Law Theory. Natural Rights. Evaluating Natural Rights Theory. Is There a Human Nature?
8. Virtue Ethics.
Virtues and Everyday Life. Aristotle. Cross-Cultural and Contemporary Virtue Ethics.
Evaluating Virtue Ethics.
9. Feminist Thought and the Ethics of Care.
Gender in Moral Reasoning and the Ethics of Care. Feminist Thought. Evaluation of Feminist Thought and the Ethics of Care.
Part II: CONTEMPORARY ETHICAL ISSUES.
10. Euthanasia.
Euthanasia for Infants and the Disabled. Criteria for Death. Types of Euthanasia. Making Moral Judgments About Euthanasia.
11. Abortion.
Stages of Fetal Development. Methods of Abortion. Abortion and the Law. Abortion: The Moral Question. Arguments that Do Not Depend on the Moral Status of the Fetus. Arguments that Depend on the Moral Status of the Fetus.
12. Sexual Morality.
Current Issues. Conceptual Problems: What Is and Is Not Sexual. Relevant Factual Matters. Sexual Morality and Ethical Theories. Gay Marriage.
13. Equality and Discrimination.
Discrimination. The Principle of Equality.
Current Issues and the Law. Affirmative Action and Preferential Treatment.
14. Economic Justice.
Economic Inequality. Conceptions of Social Justice. Political and Economic Theories.
15. Punishment and the Death Penalty.
The Nature of Legal Punishment. Prisons. The Death Penalty.
16. Environmental Ethics.
The Environment and Its Value. Anthropocentrism. Ecocentrism. Current Issues.
17. Animal Ethics.
Current Issues. Approaches to Animal Ethics.
18. Biotechnology and Bioengineering.
Current Issues. Legal and Ethical Issues.
19. Violence and War.
Realism. Pacifism. Just War Theory. Current Issues.
20. Global Justice.
Current Issues. National Self-Interest. Global Justice.
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"MacKinnon's Ethics is the perfect introductory text. It presents a balance of theory and application, and a balance of historical and contemporary readings. It provides a wealth of up-to-date empirical data on all of the topics discussed. And on top of that, it's written in a clear, engaging style."

"It is rare to find a text that provides an excellent combination of both ethical theory and applied ethics in a single volume that is concise, highly readable, and quite informative. MacKinnon's text is right on target!"

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