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Ethics (Oxford Readers)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

What is ethics? Where does it come from? Can we really hope to find any rational way of deciding how we ought to live? If we can, what would it be like, and how are we going to know when we have found it? To capture the essentials of what we know about the origins and nature of ethics, Peter Singer has drawn on anthropology, evolution, game theory, and works of fiction, in addition to the classic moral philosophy of such thinkers as Nietzsche, Kant, and Confucius. By choosing some of the finest pieces of writing, old and new, in and about ethics, he conveys the intellectual excitement of the search for answers to basic questions about how we ought to live. From the debates of Socrates and the profound writing of Rousseau to Jane Goodall's reflections on the ethics of chimpanzee kinship and Luther's commentary on the Sixth Commandment (thou shalt not kill), this engaging reader offers a complete and thorough introduction to the fascinating world of ethical debate.

Synopsis:

Draws on many other disciplines, as well as moral philosophy, to convey the intellectual excitement of the search for answers to basic questions about how we ought to live. What is ethics? Where does it come from? Can we really hope to find any rational way of deciding how we ought to live?

Synopsis:

To capture the essentials of what we know about the origins and nature of ethics, Singer has drawn on anthropology, history, observations of non-human animals, the theory of evolution, game theory, and works of fiction. By choosing some of the finest pieces of writing, old and new, in and about ethics, he conveys the intellectual excitement of the search for answers to basic questions about how we ought to live.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. [393]-396) and index.

About the Author

Peter Singer is DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University. He has made numerous TV appearances talking about ethics and animal rights; he is general editor of `Studies in Bioethics' (OUP); extremely well known in Australia and a big name in ethics throughout the world.

Table of Contents

Introduction

PART I: THE NATURE OF ETHICS: ITS ORIGINS, VARIATIONS, AND BASIS

A. The Long Search for the Origins of Ethics

Introduction

1. Morality as the Advantage of the Stranger: A Debate between Socrates and Thrasymachus, Plato

2. Moral Virtue, How Produced, Aristotle

3. Are Humans Good by Nature? A Debate between Chinese Sages, Mencius

4. Of the Natural Condition of Mankind and the Laws of Nature, Thomas Hobbes

5. The Natural State of Man, Jean-Jacques Rousseau

6. Affection of Humanity: The Foundation of Morals, David Hume

7. The Noble Descent of Duty, Immanuel Kant

8. The Material Basis of Morality, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

9. The Origin of the Moral Sense, Charles Darwin

10. The Origins of Herd Morality, Friedrich Nietzsche

11. The Cultural Super-Ego, Sigmund Freud

12. In a Different Voice, Carol Gilligan

B. Common Themes in Primate Ethics

Introduction

I. Kinship

13. Helping Kin in Chimpanzees, Jane Goodall

14. A Universal Duty, Edward Westermarck

15. The Genetic Basis of Kinship, David Barash

II. Reciprocity

16. Chimpanzee Justice, Frans De Waal

17. Live and Let Live, Tony Ashworth

18. Reciprocal Gift-Giving among the !Kung, Lorna Marshall

19. The Kula Ring, Bruno Malinowski

20. A Single Word, Confucius

21. The Law of Hammurabi

22. Turn the Other Cheek, Jesus

23. The Whole Torah, while Standing on One Foot, Hillel

24. The Evolution of Reciprocal Altruism, Robert Trivers

25. Tit for Tat, Robert Axelrod

III. Sexual Morality

26. Incest Avoidance among Chimpanzees, Jane Goodall

27. The Horror of Incest, Edward Westermarck

28. The Social Rules of Chimpanzee Sex, Frans De Waal

29. Adultery among the !Kung, Lorna Marshall

30. Incest and Adultery, The Bible

31. A Commentary on the Sixth Commandment, Martin Luther

32. The Double Standard, Donald Symons

C. The Role of Reason

Introduction

33. Reason and Passion, David Hume

34. Pure Practical Reason and the Moral Law, Immanuel Kant

35. Addin Ethical Substance to Kant's Empty Formalism, G.W.F. Hegel

36. The Axioms of Ethics, Henry Sidgwick

37. Society the School, Custom the Headmaster, Edward Westermarck

38. A Lecture on Ethics, Ludwig Wittgenstein

39. Ethics for Logical Positivists, A.J. Ayer

40. Condemned to Be Free, Jean-Paul Sartre

41. The Objective Basis of Morality, Thomas Nagel

42. The Argument from Queerness, J.L. Mackie

43. Evolution and the Basis of Morality, Colin McGinn

44. Reason, Gender and Moral Theory, Virginia Held

45. Realism, Michael Smith

PART II: THE CONTENT OF ETHICS: JUDGING GOOD OUTCOMES AND RIGHT ACTS

A. Ultimate Good

Introduction

46. The Ceasing of Woe, The Buddha

47. The End for Human Nature, Aristotle

48. The Pursuit of Pleasure, Epicurus

49. A Stoic View of Life, Epictetus

50. The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus

51. The Saints of the Desert, W. B. H. Lecky

52. Story of a Good Brahmin, Voltaire

53. Push-Pin and Poetry, Jeremy Bentham

54. Higher and Lower Pleasures, John Stuart Mill

55. Good as the Satisfaction of Demands, William James

56. Desirable Consciousness, Henry Sidgwick

57. Beauty and Friendship, G. E. Moore

58. Truth and Ahimsa, M. K. Gandhi

59. The Right to Be Unhappy, Aldous Huxley

60. The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus

61. The Experience Machine, Robert Nozick

62. The Basic Values, John Pinnis

63. What Makes Someone's Life Go Best?, Derek Parfit

B. Deciding What Is Right

Introduction

I. Natural Law, Natural Rights

. a. The Theory

64. Of the Natural Law, Aquinas

65. Our Rights in the State of Nature, John Locke

66. Declaration On Euthanasia, The Vatican

67. Absolute Human Rights, John Finnis

68. The Rationality of Side Constraints, Robert Nozick

69. Moral Aspects of Sterility Tests, Gerald Kelly

b. Criticism

70. Provincial Letters, Pascal

71. Natural Rights, Jeremy Bentham

72. On Nature, John Stuart Mill

II. Kant's Ethics of Duty

a. The Theory

73. The Categorical Imperative, Immanuel Kant

74. On a Supposed Right to Lie from Altruistic Motives, Immanuel Kant

b. Criticism

75. Maria von Herbert's Challenge to Kant, Rae Langton

76. The Conscience of Huckleberry Finn, Jonathan Bennett

III. Consequentialism

a. The Theory

77. The Principle of Utility, Jeremy Bentham

78. The Archbishop and the Chambermaid, William Godwin

79. Issues for Utilitarians, Henry Sidgwick

80. Desert Island Promises, J. J. C. Smart

81. The Structure of Ethics and Morals, R. M. Hare

b. Criticism

82. Ivan's Challenge, Fyodor Dostoevsky

83. The Personal Character of Duty, W. D. Ross

84. The Separateness of Persons, John Rawls

85. Jim and the Indians, Bernard Williams

86. Moral Saints, Susan Wolf

IV. Contract Ethics

a. The Theory

87. The Separateness of Persons, John Rawls

88. Why Contractarianism?, David Gauthier

b. Criticism

89. Duties concerning Islands, Mary Midgley

Epilogue

90. How Both Human History and the History of Ethics May be Just Beginning, Derek Parfit

Select Bibliography

Biographical Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780192892454
Editor:
Singer, Peter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Editor:
Singer, Peter
Author:
null, Peter
Author:
Singer, Peter
Location:
Oxford ;
Subject:
Ethics & Moral Philosophy
Subject:
Ethics
Subject:
Philosophy | Ethics
Subject:
Moral Philosophy
Subject:
Philosophy | Ethics and Moral Philosophy
Subject:
PHILOSOPHY / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
Copyright:
Series:
Oxford Readers
Series Volume:
PMS 92
Publication Date:
19940531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
13 maps
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
9.20x6.23x.91 in. 1.40 lbs.

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Product details 432 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780192892454 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Draws on many other disciplines, as well as moral philosophy, to convey the intellectual excitement of the search for answers to basic questions about how we ought to live. What is ethics? Where does it come from? Can we really hope to find any rational way of deciding how we ought to live?
"Synopsis" by , To capture the essentials of what we know about the origins and nature of ethics, Singer has drawn on anthropology, history, observations of non-human animals, the theory of evolution, game theory, and works of fiction. By choosing some of the finest pieces of writing, old and new, in and about ethics, he conveys the intellectual excitement of the search for answers to basic questions about how we ought to live.

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