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1. Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy
2. Ethics: An Introduction to Philosophy
3. An Ethics for Today: Finding Common
4. Consider Ethics: Theory, Readings,
5. An Introduction to Ethics (Cambridge
6. Ethics in Practice: An Anthology
7. Moral Understandings: A Feminist
8. Ethics: The Fundamentals (Fundamentals
9. Philosophical Ethics: An Introduction
10. Ethics For Dummies (For Dummies
11. Ethics: Approaching Moral Decisions
12. Human Conduct: Problems of Ethics
13. Derrida, Deconstruction and Education:
14. Ethics: A Contemporary Introduction
15. Ethics and the Environment: An
16. Environmental Ethics: An Anthology
17. Ethics (Penguin Classics)
18. Ethics Without Philosophy: Wittgenstein
19. The Blackwell Guide to Kant's
20. Bioethics (Oxford Readings in

1. Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy
by Bernard Williams
Paperback: 244 Pages (1986-03-15)
list price: US$26.50 -- used & new: US$23.85
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Asin: 067426858X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy is widely acknowledged to be Bernard Williams' most important book and a contemporary classic of moral philosophy. Delivering a sustained critique of moral theory from Kant onward, Williams reorients ethical theory towards "truth, truthfulness and the meaning of an individual life." He explores and reflects on the thorniest problems in contemporary philosophy and offers new ideas about central issues such as relativism, objectivity and the possibility of ethical knowledge.
This edition includes a new commentary on the text by A.W.Moore, St.Hugh's College, Oxford.
By the time of his death in 2003, Bernard Williams was one of the greatest philosophers of his generation. He taught at the Universities of Cambridge, Berkeley and Oxford. He is the author of Morality; Utilitarianism: For and Against; Descartes: The Project of Pure Enquiry and Truth and Truthfulness. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Morality from the outside
Let's start with the positive.
1) This book presents a look at how moral theories work from outside of them-that is, it tries to describe them without their various assumptions.I can't say that the book is worth it for this reason alone, but it does make one contemplate moral theories from a different perspective.
2) This book is a comprehensive survey of the status of moral theories.Williams makes a strong (and largely successful) attempt at presenting the current state of the most important current (as of the writing) moral systems.There is also a criticism of each different system.(As the other reviews will tell you, Williams is opposed to the very idea of morality, if not ethics)

Now for the negatives.
1) Williams consistently misreads or misrepresents the philosophers he is criticising.This is perhaps the most important fault of the book, as the purpose of the book is a critical evaluation of morality, and that can scarcely be convincing or useful when the opposition is not accurately rpresented.The most glaring example that comes immediately to mind is his account of Kant's "psychological hedonism"
2)His writing is simply sub par for any serious work of philosophy.I spend more time deciphering his sentences and paragraphs than I do with those of Kant, and not because they are dealing with complex and difficult subjects, but because they are meandering and poorly organised.It is somewhat rare to find a paragraph in which he sticks to the subject at hand.
3)Related to #2 is the lack of argumentation in the book.Williams often makes sweeping and brazen assertions without one shred of argumentation, especially in his account of human moral psychology in the chapter dealing with Kant and in his conclusion in the last chapter.Such argumentation is what, ultimately, separates philosophy from mere dogma, and is conspicuously absent in much of Williams' work.
4)The last problem is with his philosophy itself.He purports to remove morality from ethics, but leaves no account of what ethics is without morality.The best description that we get in the book of ethics without morality is that it is "vague" (p. 6) and that ethical considerations are merely one type of practical consideration. (p. 182)In the final analyss, Williams tells us that we should act how we want to act because some of our desires are more important than ethical considerations, but each agent must decide for himself, without any guidance from anything but teh agent's own dispositions, which of his desires are able to override ethics, or whatever is left of ethics after Williams is done with it.In fact, what would even count as an ethical consideration is unclear.

This book is largely unsatisfying.Why should I slog through 200 pages of sub-par philosophy to find an ethical account less sophisticated than that of most two year olds?At least two year olds are clear in their reasoning.The reason that I even gave this book 3 stars is that it is important to know ones enemy and Williams' perspective on morality, if not ethics, is rather interesting.Finally, I must say that, as much as I disagree with the other reviewers, one is absolutely correct in recommending "Internal and External Reasons."That paper is everything that this book isn't, as well as being Williams' most important contribution to moral philosophy.It is also quite crucial in gaining a detailed understanding of Williams' positions in this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Ethics without foundations
Williams's main projects in "Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy" are (1) to argue against the idea that there is a rational foundation for ethics;(2) to argue that there is no adequate ethical theory, nor is there likely ever to be such a theory; and (3)to broaden the focus of moral philosophy from a focus on the role of obligation in life to a wider array of considerations that are relevant in deciding how one should live.

The book has excellent discussions of and arguments against Aristotle's attempt to find a foundatoin for ethics in human nature (that is, in the idea that there is something about the function of a human life that makes an ethical life proper) and Kant's attempt to find a foundation for ethics in a bare committment to rationality.Williams is convincing in arguing that in order for the claims of an ethical life to get a grip on an individual that individual must have some committment to ethics already.It is possible for someone to be rational and unethical.That does not imply, Williams points out, there are not reasons to be ethical.Many people have good reasons to be ethical; it's just that we we would be wrong to criticize those unethical people as necessarily being irrational.

Williams's discussions of truth in ethics and of relativism are less convincing but equally valuable.Williams argues that evaluative statements that use "thick terms"--terms like "loyal," "murder," "cruel" that are evaluative like the terms "good" and "right" but can be applied with descriptive accuracy in a way that those more general terms cannot be applied--can be true.But reflection on thick terms unseats them and they are replaced by nothing knew.For example, in the modern Western world, the thick term "chaste" has become obsolete.While it was once a term that could be used to make true and false moral statements, reflection upon sexuality has (for argument's sake) undermined our use of the term.Because of the role reflection plays, people are unlikely to ever converge on ethical truths that correspond to reality the way that scientific/factual beliefs do.Related to this is Williams's moderate ethical relativism: there are some terms used in distant (in space or time) societies that we recognize as evaluative, but that we cannot judge by the lights of our own set of evaluative concepts.

I don't find Williams's views here convincing becuase I don't believe in his underlying Cartesian theory of truth.And I don't buy his relativism because I think it's impossible not to evalute the way that other people or other cultures--even those of the distant past--evaluate.One can't be neutral on how other people think and act.

The book also has strong, lively and sophisticated critiques of consequentalism and contractarianisn.Williams believes that neither is an adequate ethical theory because each theory is based on unrealistic views of what it means to be a real person in the world with real desires.For example, contract-based views of ethics assume that people can shed their actual beliefs and desires and still deliberate about how to act.But if one distances himself from his own desires and beliefs, based on what does this more abstract self deliberate?

The book is leas interersting when Williams obsesses over the distortion that the exclusive emphasis on obligation in moral philosophy has wrought on moral thinking.I think this was a big deal at the time the book was written, but for a non-philosopher reading it now, these concerns, largely confined to the last chapter, were a bit boring.

Finally, I would recommend reading Williams's essay "Internal and External Reasons" in his collection "Moral Luck" to better understand his views on the relation between rationality and morality.

5-0 out of 5 stars When to philosophize and when not to.
First a summary of the book, then my opinion.The book seemsto divide naturally into five parts.The first part (chapters 1 and2) lays out the issue--How should one live?--and the question of whether philosophy can help with that issue.The second part (chapters 3 and 4) shows philosophy trying to give a justification of ethical life that presupposes no commitment to any ethics.The third part (chapter 5) shows philosophy trying to justify ethics--or rather now, trying to justify an "ethical theory," something like a test you can always apply to check whether something's ethical or not--this time grounding the justification only on a bare commitment to ethics-in-general (no content to ethics need be assumed).The fourth part (chapter 6) shows philosophy trying to justify an ethical theory from substantive ethical presuppositions.Needless to say, all three of these attempted justifications are rejected.Finally, the fifth part (chapters 7-10) show how ethics is not objective (but objectivity does belong to science), how ethics is relative to a culture, and how the "morality system" (which says something along the lines of: life is a matter of meeting obligations, and each particular obligation in any specific circumstance somehow derives from the one big most abstract obligation whatever that is) today no longer has whatever usefulness it once had.So far as the issue--How should one live?--is concerned, the book's answer seems to be: however you have reason to.Not much of an answer, but there's also this: philosophy alone can't tell you how you have reason to live.And my opinion, for what it's worth: I very highly recommend it.Read it slowly.Everyone will find plenty in it they don't agree with, of course, but it will stimulate your mind and give you food for thought as as only the best books will.A fair amount of philosophical background is probably necessary, so as to appreciate the discussions of the various philosophical attempts to justify ethics.But this is not frivolous philosophy, it is a serious book, which I have very much enjoyed. ... Read more

2. Ethics: An Introduction to Philosophy and Practice
by Stephen J. Freeman
Paperback: 320 Pages (2000-01-03)
list price: US$73.95 -- used & new: US$57.00
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Asin: 0534366384
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Designed to assist students in developing an informed ethical conscience, this text introduces them to ethical theory and gives them practice in responding to real-life ethical issues that are often messy, complex, multifaceted. As they work through the ethical dilemmas in the book, students are encouraged to explore their own moral and ethical value systems as well as the codes they work from and to begin to form an informed ethical conscience for making sound moral and ethical judgments. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Well worth owning
This book was such a great reference and learning tool, that I had to buy it! I had this book in an online college class, which gave it to me as an esource, with no hard copy. While some chapters were dry, most of the book is easy to read and offers great scenarios to human service professionals. ... Read more

3. An Ethics for Today: Finding Common Ground Between Philosophy and Religion
by Richard Rorty
Hardcover: 104 Pages (2010-10-12)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$12.21
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Asin: 0231150563
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Richard Rorty is famous, maybe even infamous, for his philosophical nonchalance. His groundbreaking work not only rejects all theories of truth but also dismisses modern epistemology and its preoccupation with knowledge and representation. At the same time, the celebrated pragmatist believed there could be no universally valid answers to moral questions, which led him to a complex view of religion rarely expressed in his writings.

In this posthumous publication, Rorty, a strict secularist, finds in the pragmatic thought of John Dewey, John Stuart Mill, Henry James, and George Santayana, among others, a political imagination shared by religious traditions. His intent is not to promote belief over nonbelief or to blur the distinction between religious and public domains. Rorty seeks only to locate patterns of similarity and difference so an ethics of decency and a politics of solidarity can rise. He particularly responds to Pope Benedict XVI and his campaign against the relativist vision. Whether holding theologians, metaphysicians, or political ideologues to account, Rorty remains steadfast in his opposition to absolute uniformity and its exploitation of political strength.

... Read more

4. Consider Ethics: Theory, Readings, and Contemporary Issues (2nd Edition)
by Bruce N. Waller
Paperback: 352 Pages (2007-08-12)
list price: US$97.33 -- used & new: US$50.00
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Asin: 020553936X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Offering a balance of theory and applications and a mix of text and readings, Consider Ethics begins with chapters covering ethical theory, each of which is followed by related, classical readings. The book concludes with an examination of six contemporary ethical issues presented in a pro/con format, including introductory material placing each issue and the arguments in context.


Featuring selections from the world’s most influential philosophers, this combination of primary texts and explanatory pedagogy presents the material in a clear, accessible way that does not sacrifice rigor. Making connections among different ethical theories throughout, the text helps students to engage the subject matter and apply theories to important contemporary ethical issues.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

3-0 out of 5 stars Consider Ethics
It was in good shape like they said it would be as well it came in a very timely fashion.

2-0 out of 5 stars hilights everywhere
Bought book used, have bought numerous books used, but stated in good condition.The book is in good condition but underlining and highlighting on the pages made it difficult, and sometime impossible,to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great!!
I give two thumbs up...product came as promised and as listed in posting.Reasonable price.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just what expected
Finding the item I needed was great, the condition choice and easy of ordering were both quick and painless. The book itself arrived fromthe seller in the condition stated, overall a very positive experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars Considering Ethics Book
I have to say with ordering a book through Amazon, was the way to go!!The book was so much cheaper and brand new in the original package.The book was in excellent condition and the delivery was right on time.

I recommend Amazon to all who need books cheaper.

Margaret Wise ... Read more

5. An Introduction to Ethics (Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy)
by John Deigh
Paperback: 254 Pages (2010-04-12)
list price: US$28.99 -- used & new: US$18.00
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Asin: 0521775973
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This book examines the central questions of ethics through a study of theories of right and wrong that are found in the great ethical works of Western philosophy. It focuses on theories that continue to have a significant presence in the field. The core chapters cover egoism, the eudaimonism of Plato and Aristotle, act and rule utilitarianism, modern natural law theory, Kant's moral theory, and existentialist ethics. Readers will be introduced not only to the main ideas of each theory but to contemporary developments and defenses of those ideas. A final chapter takes up topics in meta-ethics and moral psychology. The discussions throughout draw the reader into philosophical inquiry through argument and criticism that illuminate the profundity of the questions under examination. Students will find this book to be a very helpful guide to how philosophical inquiry is undertaken as well as to what the major theories in ethics hold. ... Read more

6. Ethics in Practice: An Anthology (Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies)
Paperback: 768 Pages (2006-11-28)
list price: US$69.95 -- used & new: US$34.71
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Asin: 140512945X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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With incisive and engaging introductions by the editor, Ethics in Practice integrates ethical theory and the discussion of practical moral problems into a text that is ideal for introductory and applied ethics courses.

  • A fully updated and revised edition of this authoritative anthology of classic and contemporary essays covering a wide range of ethical and moral issues
  • Integrates ethical theory with discussions of practical moral problems
  • Provides coverage of ethical issues on familiar topics such as abortion, free speech and affirmative action and contains an entirely new section on war and terrorism
  • Also features essays on economic justice, world hunger and international justice, and obligations to the environment
  • An excellent companion to LaFollette’s text, The Practice of Ethics (2006)
... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Philosophy book
The book was in the condition that was described and shipping was accurate.I only hope the class associated with the book goes as smoothly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pre-publication reviews
"Ethics in Practice has worked very well as the text for my courses.With the additional introduction to the major theories of ethics, this revised edition is even better than its predecessors"
Peter Singer, Princeton University

"This third edition of Ethics in Practice introduces new areas of controversy in applied and practical ethics, while most assuredly remaining the single best text one can go to for extensive coverage by some of the area's major figures. Alongside coverage of familiar ethical issues such as abortion, free speech, and affirmative action, this revised and expanded edition includes entirely new sections on ethical theory, and war and terrorism, with engaging and accessible intros from the editor. The structure of the book facilitates use by a wide variety of courses and is friendly to the styles of individual instructors.

"In the end, an anthology of applied ethics must be judged on the philosophical significance of its essays, and whether or not its essays are representative of the excellent material that can now be found in the field. The third edition succeeds on both counts. A great many of the people who currently influence the different issues are featured herein, and with pieces of distinctive philosophical merit. These essays collectively give an excellent perspective on the quality of work that can be found today - admittedly, one often has to look hard - in applied or practical ethics. I strongly recommend this book."
R. G. Frey, Bowling Green State University

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent anthology of applied ethics
First let me point out that the previous review ("Not really impressed" by Todd Gak) is not actually a review of the book itself so much as a complaint about philosophy. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that someone who completely misses the point on something fairly simple (an Amazon review) also misses the point on something much more difficult (ethical philosophy)?

This text offers some of the best essays on applied ethicsavailable. Classics in the field (notably Singer/Regan on animal rights, Rachels on punishment, and Leopold's "The Land Ethic") are included. Also, LaFollette does a commendable job of bringing in essays that represent both sides of an issue.

There are some odd choices IMO, though. For example, I would rather see an applied ethics textbook bring in some essays on technology, business, and friendship, as opposed to "Virtues" or "Sexual and Racial Discrimination" ("Virtues" is too broad and doesn't seem *applied* to me, and "Sexual and Racial Discrimination" doesn't hold much moral ambiguity).

Also, there are some essays that are sorely missing: one in particular on the topic of world hunger & poverty: Hardin's "Lifeboat Ethics."

I know of no anthologies that are perfect, though, so this one is worthy of praise.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not Impressed
I have never really been fond of Ethics and Moral code to begin with because most of the articles fail to realize the whole point of what they are writing about. This book really wasn't any different. The articles about Abortion are weak and they don't fully explain what their whole point of what they are writing about is. It doesn't help matters when every article in this book is so drawn out. Everything that is said in this book could be done so in about 2 or 3 pages instead it is drawn out to about 10 to 15 pages. The authors are basically repeating themselves over and over throughout the entire article.

I personally don't think this would be a great buy but maybe thats because I find all the arguments in moral and ethic philosophies are very weak and not at all to the point.

5-0 out of 5 stars an excellent collection of essays
this is a really good collection of essays on various ethical problems. Each section starts with an excellent summary of the arguments and then introduces the topic through a very controversial piece - for exemple the section on animal rights starts with an essay by Peter Singer. I teach ethics in high school and the students struggled with many of the high level ideas but the struggle was usually worth it, they loved some of the ideas contained within this book. ... Read more

7. Moral Understandings: A Feminist Study in Ethics (Studies in Feminist Philosophy)
by Margaret Urban Walker
Paperback: 328 Pages (2007-09-13)
list price: US$34.99 -- used & new: US$30.78
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Asin: 0195315405
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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This is a revised edition of Walker's well-known book in feminist ethics first published in 1997. Walker's book proposes a view of morality and an approach to ethical theory which uses the critical insights of feminism and race theory to rethink the epistemological and moral position of the ethical theorist, and how moral theory is inescapably shaped by culture and history. The main gist of her book is that morality is embodied in "practices of responsibility" that express our identities, values, and connections to others in socially patterned ways. Thus ethical theory needs to be empirically informed and politically critical to avoid reiterating forms of socially entrenched bias.Responsible ethical theory should reveal and question the moral significance of social differences. The book engages with, and challenges, the work of contemporary analytic philosophers in ethics. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Extending ethical horizons
In Moral Understandings, Margaret Urban Walker not only powerfully argues the case for a feminist ethics of responsibility, but in so doing extends the implications beyond feminism. Viewing moral responsibility from various socially and culturally situated contexts seems common sense enough to all, accept those whoimagine themselves to be in some transcendent position, epistemologically speaking.

What I get from reading Walker is not the idea that we should be reading off ethics from these various positions in the sense of doing the usual (traditional) ethics from many vantage points. That would be relativism. Rather, it seems to me that Walker is arguing that we should be responding from these positions. For Walker, moral responsibility is more an expressive and collaborative exercise than the traditional theoretical activity which focuses only on decision-making. It is this practice of responsibility that maintains the other-directedness of ethics embedded in social and cultural context.

For me, the most surprising aspect of Walker's book has been that so many of my applied ethics research students have found it useful in grounding their work in fields as diverse as disability, vulnerable identities, nursing ethics, GM foods, biotechnology, welfare ethics, and community development.

1-0 out of 5 stars Soggy relativism
The book rehashes ethical relativism.It tries to bring in some trendy takes on power, feminism, and Foucauld, but it just commits the relativistic fallacy over and over.Author seems unaware of logicalcontradictions. ... Read more

8. Ethics: The Fundamentals (Fundamentals of Philosophy)
by Julia Driver
Paperback: 192 Pages (2006-09-18)
list price: US$28.95 -- used & new: US$18.98
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Asin: 1405111542
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Ethics: The Fundamentals explores core ideas and arguments in moral theory by introducing students to different philosophical approaches to ethics, including virtue ethics, Kantian ethics, divine command theory, and feminist ethics.

  • The first volume in the new Fundamentals of Philosophy series.
  • Presents lively, real-world examples and thoughtful discussion of key moral philosophers and their ideas.
  • Constitutes an excellent resource for readers coming to the subject of ethics for the first time.
... Read more

9. Philosophical Ethics: An Introduction to Moral Philosophy
by Tom L. Beauchamp
Paperback: 416 Pages (2001-06)
list price: US$79.55 -- used & new: US$49.99
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Asin: 007284082X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This accessible overview of classical and modern moral theory with short readings provides comprehensive coverage of ethics and unique coverage of rights, justice, liberty and law. Real-life cases introduce each chapter. While the book's content is theoretical rather than applied ethics, Beauchamp consistently applies the theories to practical moral problems. Aristotle, Hume, Kant, and Mill are at the book's core and they are placed in the context of moral philosophical controversies of the last 30 years. In this edition, one-third of the reading selections are new and all the selections in chapter 8 on rights are new. Chapter 7 on Hume has been heavily reshaped. Chapter 1 has been reduced to get students past introductory material and into the philosophers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Philosophical Ethics: An Introduction to Moral Philosophy
Good discussion of various aspects of philosophical ethics.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent text for Ethics courses
This updated edition of PE continues to be an excellent presentation ofethical theory. The changes I suspect reflect suggestions from instructorsusing previous editions. It has the quality and depth from before but showsthe advantage of being used in many ethics courses. It is improved as aresult. In a relatively small text it is still jam-packed with a greatrange of vocabulary with sterling excerpts from historical and contemporaryphilosophers. Theories are described and then exemplified. Students shouldbe good readers to use this text. ... Read more

10. Ethics For Dummies (For Dummies (Psychology & Self Help))
by Christopher Panza, Adam Potthast
Paperback: 384 Pages (2010-06-01)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$11.62
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Asin: 0470591714
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An easy-to-grasp guide to addressing the principles of ethics and applying them to daily life

How do you define "good" versus "evil?" Do you know the difference between moral "truth" and moral relativity? Whether or not you know Aristotle from Hume, Ethics For Dummies will get you comfortable with the centuries-old study of ethical philosophy quickly and effectively!

Ethics For Dummies is a practical, friendly guide that takes the headache out of the often-confusing subject of ethics. In plain English, it examines the controversial facets of ethical thought, explores the problem of evil, demystifies the writings and theories of such great thinkers through the ages as Aristotle, Confucius, Descartes, Kant, Nietzsche, and so much more.

  • Provides the tools to tackle and understand today's important questions and ethical dilemmas
  • Shows you how to apply the concepts and theories of ethical philosophy to your everyday life
  • Other title by Panza: Existentialism For Dummies

Whether you're currently enrolled in an ethics course or are interested in living a good life but are vexed with ethical complexities, Ethics For Dummies has you covered! ... Read more

11. Ethics: Approaching Moral Decisions (Contours of Christian Philosophy)
by Arthur F. Holmes
Paperback: 150 Pages (2007-11-29)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$7.98
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Asin: 0830828036
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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With over 60,000 copies in print since its original publication in 1984, Ethics has served numerous generations of students as a classic introduction to philosophical ethics from a Christian perspective. Over the years the philosophical landscape has changed somewhat, and in this new edition Arthur Holmes adjusts the argument and information throughout, completely rewriting the earlier chapter on virtue ethics and adding a new chapter on the moral agent. The book addresses the questions: What is good? What is right? How can we know? In doing so it also surveys a variety of approaches to ethics, including cultural relativism, emotivism, ethical egoism and utilitarianism--all with an acknowledgment of the new postmodern environment. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Survey of Ethics
Overall, this is a fine survey of ethics from a Christian perspective. It is well written and offers much to consider. Highly recommended.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Thoroughly Inadequate Treatment of the Natural Law
This book provides a thoroughly inadequate treatment of the Natural Law.Fortunately, wonderful alternatives exist, such as J. Budziszewski's What We Can't Not Know and Germain Grisez'sWay of the Lord Jesus.

4-0 out of 5 stars Short but deep
Holmes packs a lot into a short space.Undergraduate students have found it a bit heavy going, but for those willing to work through the text, it is profoundly insightful.A great introduction to various ethical philosophies in the West, their strengths and their shortcomings, with some chapters that apply the principles to specific ethical issues.The book is 17 years old but has a timelessness about it - unlike, say, John Stott's "Issues Facing Christians".Holmes does not give "current statistics" and tends to operate at the level of principle, which gives his work a helpful timelessness.Worth having on the shelf if you are a reader. ... Read more

12. Human Conduct: Problems of Ethics
by John Hospers
Paperback: 384 Pages (1995-08-18)
list price: US$97.95 -- used & new: US$50.81
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Asin: 0155019597
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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HUMAN CONDUCT strives to motivate and challenge ethics students through the use of realistic dialogues that bring ethical dilemmas to life. An engaging narrative style (including fiction) and an extensive series of examples illustrate theories of right and wrong as this introductory text describes and critiques traditional and contemporary moral problems. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars Students Deserve Better
A pro-Ayn Rand screed, totally unsuitable as an introductory Ethics textbook. Hired at the last minute to replace another Ethics instructor, I was forced to teach from this book and consequently spent much of the semester apologizing for its biases and errors. Students deserve better than this grossly tendentious text.

1-0 out of 5 stars The book isn't quite so clear.
I am a student using this book.I find John Hospers book to be one-sided and narrow minded.It is not a useful source to teach or learn with.I have yet to learn anything from this book.I took this course to further my knowledge in problems of ethics and reasonable solutions to these problems, but haven't gained anything from his writings.It's sad because we have such an intelligent group of students and a knowledgable professor and I feel as though our talents are wasted.

5-0 out of 5 stars Description and analysis of the main theories of ethics.
The book endeavors to provide a clear description and critical analysis of the main theories of ethics in the Western world from ancient times to the present:e.g. Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Mill, and some contemporary writers,and theories such as Epicureanism, Stoicism, utilitarianism, egoism, andother theories of ethics.The views of Ayn Rand are discussed, anddistinguished from more traditional forms of egoism.There are alsochapters on ethics and law, punishment, moral responsibility, justice (inrelation to mercy and forgiveness), and the application of ethicalprinciples to international relations. ... Read more

13. Derrida, Deconstruction and Education: Ethics of Pedagogy and Research (Educational Philosophy and Theory Special Issues)
Paperback: 128 Pages (2004-06-14)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$25.37
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Asin: 1405119535
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A collection of original essays exploring the significance of Derrida's thought for education, pedagogy and the ethics of teaching and research.

  • A collection of original essays exploring the significance of Derrida's thought for education, pedagogy, and the ethics of teaching and research
  • Recognises that Derrida is a profound educational thinker, concerned with questions of pedagogy
  • Written by a team of international scholars
... Read more

14. Ethics: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy)
by Harry J. Gensler
Paperback: 204 Pages (2011-01-13)
list price: US$36.95 -- used & new: US$36.95
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Asin: 0415803888
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Ethics introduces the issues and controversies of contemporary moral philosophy. It relates these to practical issues, especially racism, moral education, and abortion. It gives a practical method for thinking about moral issues, a method based largely on the golden rule. This second edition adds chapters on virtue ethics and natural law. It also updates the companion EthiCola instructional computer program. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ethical Tool-Kit
This book is an easy-to-understand introduction to ethical reasoning.I say "ethical reasoning" rather than "ethical philosophy" because the author doesn't survey the great ethical philosophers or go book-by-book through the ethics canon.Instead, he outlines competing approaches to ethics (such as intuitionism and emotivism), and subjects them to critical analysis.He ends up defending a Kantian "Golden Rule" approach that enables us to reason consistently about ethical problems, even though it offers no conclusions about the ultimate source of ethics.

Although the book handles no issue in depth, it does zero in on most of the main issues in contemporary analytic ethics.It provides the reader with the basic tools for thinking rationally about ethical dilemmas.For beginners, that's more helpful than the exegesis of Great Books.

2-0 out of 5 stars Superficial, misleading
Gensler's book is not an introduction to contemporary ethics (unlike the Metaphysics volume of this series, which is an introduction to contemporary metaphysics), but a contemporary introduction to ethics.Gensler treats six different metaethical views (cultural relativism, subjectivism, supernaturalism, intuitionism, emotivism, prescriptivism), and then goes on to propound his own (based on the Golden Rule).He treats consequentialism and deontologism as ways of realizing the Golden Rule.His final chapter examines abortion using the perspectives he detailed earlier in the book.

The book does what it sets out to do tolerably well.Unfortunately, the book does not set out to do very much.It sets out to explain only the most basic ethical views in only the most cursory fashion.He considers only one or two variations of each view, and only the most superficial objections.The chapters are short (12 chapters out of roughly 200 pages), the type is rather big, there is a summary at the end of each chapter (even though each chapter is simple and brief), and there are "study questions" at the end of each chapter (which are useless because they are too simple).

The book is obviously written for an uneducated audience: Gensler thought it necessary to define the word "impasse" for his readers.While he meant the book for undergraduates who had already had taken one or two philosophy courses, only the dumbest students would find this book very interesting.This simple and clear book is occasionally helpful in clearing up one small thing or another, but overall it is not worth the time of anyone who knows the first thing about philosophical ethics.

The simplicity of the book is misleading in important ways.Gensler does not consider the is/ought problem apart from mentioning it in explaining intuitionism.He mentions Aristotle and Kant only in passing.Skeptical views like Nietzsche's get no mention whatsoever.The book gives no adequate reasons for valuing consistency or rationality in ethics.

Perhaps the greatest flaw of the book is that the chapters that contain Gensler's own moral arguments (7-9, 12) are condensed from his already published works.Gensler's perspective throughout the book is intuitionist in the worst way: if a particular result is absurd to an intuitionist, he calls it absurd outright.Thus, the book might be better termed "An Introduction to Contemporary Intuitionist Ethics."

4-0 out of 5 stars Spare yourself: do NOT go to the sources
Shure, if you're already familiar with ethics you might find it's rather a glancy look into The Morale. But mind you: it's an introduction - meaning it's set up for people who are interested in ethics, but have no prior knowledge about this topic. To these people it gives them a fair look at ethics. If they're really interested Gensler gives them plenty references to go out and buy the sources.
I do agree though that it's kind of annoying that Gensler does not refrain from pushing the reader in a certain kind of ethical direction. Overall, I give it 4 stars out of 5.

2-0 out of 5 stars Spare yourself: Go to the sources
I can only see one use for this book: as a text for a class where the set exercises are to pick apart the extremely suspect logic of Genslers arguments.For example, Gensler's argument against racism (pp. 91-93) does not succeed.Since consistency does not straightforwardly relate to truth, it is possible for a racist to formulate an entirely consistent view, as follows.In Gensler's first part, the racist can merely equate inferiority with race.When Gensler proposes various thought experiments in order to show that the racist is inconsistent, the racist can merely point out that Gensler is keeping an underlying essence of race in his arguments, accept Gensler's conclusions and retain the view that the particular race is to be treated poorly.Gensler thus fails to accept his earlier consideration of consistency as distinct from proveability.

I found myself scratching my head in likewise fashion at many of Gensler's sweeping statements. An example: He states (p. 88), unqualified, that consistency "often points us toward the truth". This may be true, but in a work that purports to show exactly why considerations such as this are necessarily true, it fails dramatically to demonstrate anything more than a sophisticated circular argument.

Finally, while the summaries of various metaethical positions are indeed short and concise, I found they failed to illuminate. Gensler has managed to dumb down the complexity of many of the positions he examines to such an extent that what we are left with is not summary but parody. They certainly cannot be used to formulate anything more than a superficial case for Gensler's own position.

In conclusion, I'd recommend going to a good philosophical encyclopaedia for an overview of contemporary metaethics -- there you can find the level of detail you seek, while sparing yourself reading Gensler's own arguments.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very clear, appealing and relevant
Gensler, prof . of philo. at John Carrol U., has written here a book that is both very clear, formal and yet appealing as each chapter begins with the thoughts of the same fictional character and then deals with them.Gensler refers also to some online exercises he has put on his site. Whatmay be a limitation with the book is that it is mostly limited to thequestion "how do we know what to do?" (which is extensivelycovered by a survey all the theories). This is how I understand why Genslerrejected supernaturalism (divine command). If he had dealt with the realityof right and wrong, then he would probably have admitted that without apurposeful mind beyond the cosmos there would be no right/wrong, that itwould not matter if all humans would disappear in awful sufferings, orwhatever. In his synthesis (final) chapter, Gensler seems to advocate thegolden rule, but the reader may be given the impression he advocates a kindof situation ethics , because of anotherissue that was again not reallydealt with (conflict between duties, etc.).

For a more systematic (butdryer and more difficult) work, I would recommend Norman Geisler'sIntroduction to philosophy or his Ethics. Anyway I found Gensler's bookexcellent. A more fun and less formal intro. is Steve Wilkens' BeyondBumper Sticker Ethics. ... Read more

15. Ethics and the Environment: An Introduction (Cambridge Applied Ethics)
by Dale Jamieson
Paperback: 234 Pages (2008-02-18)
list price: US$28.99 -- used & new: US$17.95
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Asin: 0521682843
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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What is the environment, and how does it figure in an ethical life? This book is an introduction to the philosophical issues involved in this important question, focussing primarily on ethics but also encompassing questions in aesthetics and political philosophy. Topics discussed include the environment as an ethical question, human morality, meta-ethics, normative ethics, humans and other animals, the value of nature, and nature's future. The discussion is accessible and richly illustrated with examples. The book will be valuable for students taking courses in environmental philosophy, and also for a wider audience in courses in ethics, practical ethics, and environmental studies. It will also appeal to general readers who want a reliable and sophisticated introduction to the field. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Without illustration, this is a boring textbook
The book is a great read for textbook about philosophical questions of ethics on environment. It goes through several division and subdivisions of philosophy. Normative, virtue ethics, Kantianism, Singer's perspectives, and Regan's perspectives on animal rights and equality based on moral agents and patients. It goes well with currently updated carbon dioxide that affects the atmosphere and temperature rise on global scale. This book concentrates on the ethical dilemma like should kill cows and pigs for food? Is that an ethical issue? If it is, are we right? What if we become invaded by powerful foe who sees human beings as food resource? Is same perspective applicable for the invaders? Are they in the right? ... Read more

16. Environmental Ethics: An Anthology (Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies)
Paperback: 568 Pages (2002-08-23)
list price: US$69.95 -- used & new: US$35.82
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Asin: 0631222944
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Environmental Ethics: An Anthology brings together both classic and cutting-edge essays which have formed contemporary environmental ethics, ranging from the welfare of animals versus ecosystems to theories of the intrinsic value of nature. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars The flaky kind of environmentalism
Environmental ethics is an extremely important subject, but it is not best served by squishy articles about deep ecology and ecofeminism.Philosophers from David Schmidtz to Carol Rose have written brilliantly about pollution, climate change, and conservation.Unfortunately, none of these articles are represented in this volume.If you're in the market for a serious discussion of environmentalism, and environmental policy, check out Eban Goodstein's Economics and the Environment.Unlike most of the articles in this volume, it is both sympathetic to environmental goals and clearly written.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is a Must-Have!!!
This is a compilation of numerous important and influential articles published in the field of environmental ethics.To fully understand and contribute to the field of environmental ethics, (I think) one should read most (if not all) of the articles published in this anthology. Furthermore, if you're teaching a course on environmental philosophy, this anthology will save you precious time and energy since it contains many of the paradigmatic works within the field. ... Read more

17. Ethics (Penguin Classics)
by Benedict de Spinoza
Paperback: 208 Pages (2005-07-26)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$7.56
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Asin: 0140435719
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Published shortly after his death in 1677, Ethics is undoubtedly Spinoza’s greatest work—a fully cohesive philosophical system that strives to provide a coherent picture of reality and to comprehend the meaning of an ethical life. Following a logical step-by-step format, it defines in turn the nature of God, the mind, human bondage to the emotions, and the power of understanding, moving from a consideration of the eternal to speculate upon humanity’s place in the natural order, freedom, and the path to attainable happiness. A powerful work of elegant simplicity, Ethics is a brilliantly insightful consideration of the possibility of redemption through intense thought and philosophical reflection. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

1-0 out of 5 stars Ripoff
This is not the Curley translation - as you would expect from the cover image - but rather the Elwes.Very disappointing.

1-0 out of 5 stars Disapointing
I read this book after learning that he is Albert Einsteins favorite philosopher. I find Einstein's writing interesting and thought this would be brilliant. I was wrong. It is badly written and weak in philosophy.

1-0 out of 5 stars Kindle Buyers Beware
If you are misled into ordering the Kindle "format" of this book under the impression that it is the Penguin Classics edition with Curley's translation and notes and Hampshire's introduction, you are in for a disappointment.You get another translation entirely (apparently by Anon.), no notes, and no introduction.Yet the Kindle version is presented on the Amazon website as if it were the equivalent of the Penguin Classics edition.

2-0 out of 5 stars Absurdity upon absurdity
After reading Spinoza's supposedly great work, I couldn't help but think about the things he told me regarding God, or say, the universe. After constant pondering, I began to come to my own conclusion that most of Spinoza's propositions in Ethics are completely absurd. One of these propositions, that "God exists, is everything, and is all thoughts" (yes, even the thought that's the opposite of that thought) makes no sense to me. For if it were not absurd, then thinking "God doesn't exist, is not everything, and is not all thoughts" would be true as well, which totally goes against Spinoza's proposition on God. He also proposes that everything is infinite and that nothing is finite. But what about the size of my arm? How can that be infinite if it does not go out infinitely, say compared to, the distance of light? Spinoza then claims that it's the imagination or distinction of things that makes things finite. But according to Spinoza, nothing is finite. So how can the imagination make something finite if the finite doesn't exist? Again, the more I think about what he says in this book, the more absurd it becomes. I can tell you countless more, but I don't want to bore you. Now I'm giving this review 2 out of 5 stars because I do believe this book is very well organized and very well translated. Other than that, I can't see how this book can help clear my mind from any doubts it has already given me.

5-0 out of 5 stars Geometric Philosophy
Spinoza's Ethics is perhaps the first major response to the radical Cartesianism of his period. Although published posthumously (and considered a curiosity by many of Spinoza's closest friends), the Ethics quickly became the center of metaphysical and epistemological attention in Europe. Drawing from a constellation of axioms, Spinoza constructs an elaborate geometrical castle of metaphysical thinking. This beautiful work of inquiry effectively overturns much of Cartesian conceptions of causality and has effectively been canonized as the essential alternative to Kantian epistemology. Spinoza's thinking of substance, attributes, and modes, has remained an indispensable source of joy and bliss for major philosophers. This enticing and difficult text remains a major source of philosophical writing and debate. Curley's translation is still the best in English. ... Read more

18. Ethics Without Philosophy: Wittgenstein and the Moral Life
Paperback: 271 Pages (1985-11-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$22.45
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Asin: 0813008395
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ethics Without Philosophy:Wittgenstein and the Moral Life
I've read several dozen books about Wittgenstein's views, and although each has something useful or incisive to say, only Edwards' book hits the nail on the head.Finally, someone gets Wittgenstein right. I would recomend A.C. Grayling's book as an introduction, then Edward's book, and Genova's "Ways of Seeing" and then maybe books on Zen Buddhism and Native American/pre-agricultural beliefs to fill out variations on Wittgensteinian themes.

5-0 out of 5 stars The most complete and in-depth illumination of Wittgenstein.
Edwards does a magnificient job in taking one from Wittgenstein's early work in the Tractatus through his later work in the Philosophical Investigations and On Certainty.It is the clearest and most accesiblebook to those who want to understand Wittgenstein.The book, whileaccessible to all, would probably be difficult for someone who has had noexposure to his writings.I recommend it as a must read to truly grasp hisphilosophy and to understand other philosophers as well, i.e., Derrida,Heidegger, et. al. ... Read more

19. The Blackwell Guide to Kant's Ethics (Blackwell Guides to Great Works)
by Thomas Hill Jr.
Paperback: 288 Pages (2009-05-04)
list price: US$36.95 -- used & new: US$26.92
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Asin: 1405125829
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Through a collection of new, previously unpublished essays, The Blackwell Guide to Kant’s Ethics addresses diverse topics crucial to our understanding of Kant's moral philosophy and its implications for the modern age.

  • Provides a fresh perspective on themes in Kant’s moral philosophy
  • Addresses systematically Kant’s foundational work, Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals and his more specific treatment of justice and virtue in The Metaphysics of Morals
  • Includes essays by both established scholars and rising stars
  • Identifies common misperceptions of Kant's thought and challenges some prevailing interpretations
  • Shows how Kant developed and supplemented his earlier ethical thought with specific discussions of practical issues in law, international relations, personal relations, and self-regarding virtues and vices
... Read more

20. Bioethics (Oxford Readings in Philosophy)
Paperback: 568 Pages (2001-08-09)
list price: US$55.00 -- used & new: US$20.95
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Asin: 0198752571
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Framed with a substantial introduction by renowned scholar John Harris, this enlightening work brings together key articles on biomedical ethics over recent years. Harris also provides detailed overviews of each piece included in the volume. Covering a fascinating range of subjects, it explores areas such as the beginning of life, the end of life, the quality of life, future generations, and professional ethics. It not only will appeal to philosophy students and researchers interested in practical ethics, bioethics or medical ethics but also anyone who cares about health care. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Bioethics
It is an interesting book.I only bought it for one of my college classes. ... Read more

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