The Britannica Guide to Ethics: The History of Western Ethics, 1st Edition

  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 1615303758
  • ISBN-13: 9781615303755
  • DDC: 170.9
  • Grade Level Range: 9th Grade - 12th Grade
  • 200 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2011 | Published/Released April 2012
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2011

  • Price:  Sign in for price



Ethics is the business of moral philosophy by which humans try to determine what behaviors are right and wrong; good and bad; noble and ignoble. Each person strives for rectitude as they understand it, while working within the accepted values of a larger group dynamic. The moral view of the larger group is developed and refined within a state of flux, and new circumstances are constantly arising that defy individual consciences and compel each individual to reexamine how he or she applies ethical principles in everyday life. This absorbing volume looks at the development of the three major fields of Western ethics over time, while providing insightful cross-cultural comparisons between ancient moral philosophies of societies across the globe.

Table of Contents

Front Cover.
Half Title Page.
Title Page.
Copyright Page.
1: The Nature and Origins of Ethics.
2: The Introduction of Moral Codes.
3: Mythical Accounts.
4: Code of Hammurabi.
5: Problems of Divine Origin.
6: Prehuman Ethics.
7: Nonhuman Behaviour.
8: Kinship and Reciprocity.
9: Anthropology and Ethics.
10: Ethics in the Ancient World.
11: The Middle East.
12: India.
13: Ahimsa.
14: China.
15: Ancient Greece.
16: Socrates.
17: Plato.
18: Aristotle.
19: Later Greek and Roman Ethics.
20: The Stoics.
21: The Epicureans.
22: Ethics in the New Testament.
23: Moral Theology.
24: Saint Augustine.
25: The Middle Ages to the Protestant Reformation.
26: Saint Thomas Aquinas and the Scholastics.
27: Natural Law.
28: The Renaissance and the Reformation.
29: Niccolò Machiavelli.
30: The First Protestants.
31: The 17th to the 19th Century: Britain.
32: Thomas Hobbes.
33: Social Contract.
34: The Early Intuitionists.
35: The Moral Sense School.
36: Joseph Butler.
37: Conscience.
38: Francis Hutcheson and David Hume.
39: Richard Price and Thomas Reid.
40: Utilitarianism.
41: William Paley.
42: Jeremy Bentham.
43: John Stuart Mill.
44: Henry Sidgwick.
45: The 17th to the 19th Century: The European Continent.
46: Benedict de Spinoza.
47: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.
48: The Problem of Evil.
49: Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
50: Immanuel Kant.
51: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
52: Karl Marx.
53: Friedrich Nietzsche.
54: Contemporary Ethics.
55: Metaethics.
56: G.E. Moore and the Naturalistic Fallacy.
57: Contemporary Intuitionism.
58: Emotivism.
59: Existentialism.
60: Universal Prescriptivism.
61: Recent Developments in Metaethics.
62: Normative Ethics.
63: Varieties of Consequentialism.
64: Objections to Consequentialism.
65: Prima Facie Duties.
66: John Rawls's Theory of Justice.
67: Rights Theories.
68: Natural Law Ethics.
69: Virtue Ethics.
70: Feminist Ethics.
71: Ethical Egoism.
72: Applied Ethics.
73: Equality.
74: Animals.
75: The Environment.
76: War and Peace.
77: Just War.
78: Abortion, Euthanasia, and the Value of Human Life.
79: Bioethics.
80: Summary and Conclusion.