The most comprehensive collection of its kind, Ethics: History, Theory, and Contemporary Issues, Fourth Edition, is essentially three books in one. Its sixty-seven selections are organized into three parts, providing instructors with great flexibility in designing and teaching a variety of courses in moral philosophy. Spanning 2,500 years of ethical theory, the first part, Historical Sources, ranges from ancient Greece to the twentieth century. It moves from classical thought (Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and Epictetus) through medieval views (Augustine and Aquinas) to modern theories (Hobbes, Butler, Hume, Kant, Bentham, and Mill), culminating with leading nineteenth- and twentieth-century thinkers (Nietzsche, Camus, and Sartre). The second part, Modern Ethical Theory, includes many of the most important essays of the past century. The discussion of utilitarianism, Kantianism, egoism, and relativism continues in the work of major contemporary philosophers (Foot, Brandt, Williams, Wolf, and Nagel). Landmark selections (Moore, Prichard, Ross, Ayer, Stevenson, Hare, Baier, Anscombe, Mackie, Gauthier, and Harman) reflect concern with moral language and the justification of morality.The concepts of justice (Rawls) and rights (Feinberg) are explored, as well as recent views on cultural relativism (Rachels) and an ethic influenced by feminist concerns (Held).
In the third part, Contemporary Moral Problems, the readings present the current debates over abortion, euthanasia, famine relief, animal rights, and--for the first time in this edition--environmentalism and the use of torture in interrogations. Part III concludes with two new essays on death and the meaning of life. Wherever possible, each reading is printed in its entirety. Part I of this fourth edition features extended selections from all three essays of Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals (with explanatory notes) and additional materials from Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan and David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature. Part II contains new essays by John McDowell and Christine Korsgaard, while Part III offers new readings from Elliott Sober, Henry Shue, Daniel J. Hill, Thomas Nagel, and Richard Taylor.show more