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Thinking Critically About Moral Problems 1st Edition

Thomas F. Wall

  • Published
  • 512 Pages


In contrast to most texts designed to introduce students to contemporary moral problems, this book is designed to present students with a method for how to think for themselves in a morally reasoned fashion. Honing students' critical thinking skills through continuous reference to a step-by-step method of moral analysis, this text covers not only many timely moral problems associated with life and death, social justice, and sex and reproduction, but many major ethical theories as well, such as utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics, and egoism. Building on the methodology and critical successes of his THINKING CRITICALLY ABOUT PHILOSOPHICAL PROBLEMS (Wadsworth 2002), Wall's new book provides students with clear and readily accessible models of rigorous moral analysis to guide their own deliberations about the most crucial moral issues of our time.

Thomas F. Wall, Emmanuel College

Thomas F. Wall is a Professor of Philosophy at Emmanuel College, where he received the Faculty Excellence Award in 2001. He is the author of numerous books, including MEDICAL ETHICS: THE BASIC MORAL PROBLEMS, THINKING CRITICALLY ABOUT PHILOSOPHICAL PROBLEMS, and THINKING CRITICALLY ABOUT MORAL PROBLEMS. He currently teaches courses in Ethics, Human Nature, and the Philosophy of Mind.
Part One: ETHICS.
The General Nature of Ethics.
1. Ethical Theory.
Value Theory. Theories of Obligation. Judging the Adequacy of Ethical Theories.
2. Consequentialism.
Ethical Relativism. Ethical Egoism. Utilitarianism.
3. Deontology.
The Ethics of Kant. Virtue Ethics. Other Ethical Theories.
4. Our Ethical Theory.
A Theory of Obligation. Moral Reasoning. "Good Reasons" Arguments. A Theory of Value. Values and Obligations. Final Remarks On Ethical Theories.
5. The Method of Ethics: Critical Thinking.
The Elements of Critical Thinking. The Structure of Part Two.
6. Moral Problems Concerned With Life and Death.
Capital Punishment. Abortion. Physician Assistance in Dying.
7. Moral Problems Concerned with Social Justice.
Justice at Home. Global Justice. The Moral Status of Animals.
8. Moral Problems Concerned with Sex and Reproduction.
Sex, Love, and Marriage. The Censorship of Pornography. Reproductive Technology.