The Moral Life

The Moral Life : An Introductory Reader in Ethics and Literature

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This volume brings together an extensive and varied collection of classical and contemporary readings on ethical theory and practice. Using literary works (33 in all) as touchstones, Pojman enlivens and makes concrete the ethical theory or applied issue being addressed in each chapter. Works by Hugo, Melvill, Tolstoy, Camus, LeGuin, and Styron among others, lead students into philosophical concepts and issues such as relativism, utilitarianism, virtue ethics, the meaning of life, freedom, sex, love and marriage, and environmental ethics. Once introduced, these ideas and issues are developed further through readings by philosophers such as Aristotle, Kant, Sartre, Bernard Williams, and Mary Anne Warren. Pojman has also balanced his selection of readings so that more weight is given to personal ethics (which is often ignored or minimized in the study of ethics) than to the more social dimension of ethics. Pojman's insightful editing provides for a smooth flow of ideas between the literary and philosophical works. His part and chapter introductions clearly tie together the wide variety of philosophical and literary selections.
This book is intended for introduction to ethics courses, and sets before the student an engaging entry into personal and social ethics.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 956 pages
  • 134.62 x 205.74 x 35.56mm | 816.46g
  • New York, United States
  • 0195128443
  • 9780195128444

Table of contents

I. THE NATURE OF MOALITY: GOOD AND EVIL; Introduction; 1. What is the Purpose of Morality; The Lord of the Flies: A Moral Allegory; On The Nature and Purpose of Morality: Reflections on William Golding's The Lord of the Flies; On the State of Nature; Further Readings; 2. Good and Evil; Introduction; Billy Budd; Why Is There Evil?; Sophie's Choice; From Cruelty to Goodness; Wickedness; Beyond Good and Evil; On the Origin of Good and Evil; Further Readings; 3. Is Everything Relative?; Introduction; Custom is King; The Case for Moral Relativism; The Case Against Moral Ralativism; Judge Not?; The Enemy of the People; Further Readings; II. MORAL THEORIES AND MORAL CHARACTER; Introduction; 4. Utilitarianism; Introduction; Seaman Holmes and the Longboat of William Brown; Classical Utilitarianism; A Defense of Utilitarianism; Against Utilitarianism; The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas; Utilitarian Social Engineer and the Savage (from Brave New World); Further Readings; 5. Deontological Ethics; Introduction; On Duty; The Moral Law; Intuitionism; The Golden Rule; A Critique of the Golden Rule; A Horseman in the Sky; The Evil of Lying; Moral Luck; Further Readings; 6. Virtue Ethics; Introduction; The Bishop and the Candlesticks; Virtue Ethics; Virtue and the Moral Life; The Great Stone Face; A Critique of Virtue-Based Ethical Systems; The Conscience of Huckelberry Finn; Further Readings; 7. Virtues and Vices; Introduction; Sermon on the Mount and the Good Samaritan; How Much Land Does a Man Need? The Vice of Greed; Jealously, Malice and Ingratitude; Moral Cowardice; Three Days to See: Gratitude; Courage and Endurance; The Story of David and Bathseba: Lust; Where Love is, There is God; Reflectings on Suffering; The Volunteer at Auschwitz: Altruism; Further Readings; III. MORAL ISSUES; Introduction; 8. Ethics and Egoism: Why Should I Be Moral?; Introduction; The Ring of Gyges; In Defense of Ethical Egoism; Egoism, Self-Interest and Altruism; Further Readings; 9. Does Life Have Meaning?; Introduction; Hedonism; The Stoic Catechism: Moral Duty Alone Gives Life Meaning; Life is Absurd; Religion Gives Meaning to Life; The Human Search for Meaning; The Four Noble Truths; The Experience Machine; Further Readings; 10. Freedom, Autonomy, and Self-Respect; Introduction; I Have a Dream; An Experiment in Autonomy; Existentialism is a Humanism; Servility and Self-Respect; Further Readings; IV. APPLIED ETHICS; Introduction; 11. Sex, Love and Marriage; Introduction; Pansexuality; On Sexuality; The Vatican Declaration on Sexual Ethics; Sexual Intercourse Between Consenting Adults Is Always Permissible; Sexual Intercourse Should Be Confined to Marriage; Is Homosexuality Unnatural?; Monogamy: A Critique; Marriage, Love and Procreation: A Critique of McMurty; What's Wrong With Adultery?; Licensing Parents; Further Readings; 12. Is Abortion Really Permissible?; Introduction; Abortion Is Not Morally Permissible; Abortion Is Morally Permissible; The Moderate Position: Beyond the Personhood Argument; Further Readings; 13. Substance Abuse: Drugs and Alcohol; Introduction; On Liberty; Drugs Should Be Legalized; Drugs Should Not Be Legalized; On Drinking; Drunk Driving; Further Readings; 14. Our Duties to Animals; Introduction; Shooting An Elephant; We Have Only Indirect Duties to Animals; Animal Liberation: All Animals are Equal; The Case Against Animal Rights; The Immorality of Eating Meat; Further Readings; 15. Our Duties to the Environment; Introdction: Never Have So Few Done So Much; On Mankind's Power Over Nature; What Has Posterity Ever Done For Me?; The Tragedy of the Commons; We All Live in Bhopal; People or Penguins: The Case for Optimal Pollution; Further Readings
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75 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
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4 37% (28)
3 24% (18)
2 4% (3)
1 7% (5)
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