Moral Problems

Moral Problems : A Coursebook For Schools and Colleges (2nd Edition)

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'For Epicurus the avoidance of pain is more important than the acquisition of pleasure. In that case, why not advocate (like the hedonist Hegesias) suicide on the grounds that it guarantees a state with no pain at all?' Essay question from Moral Problems, Second Edition. This well-known classroom-developed course, first published in 1991 to great acclaim, is designed primarily for students of General Studies, Philosophy and Religious Education at sixth-form and college level. For the student navigating the field of philosophy, both original philosophical texts and single-author interpretations of a range of ideas can be overwhelming and daunting. In this revised and expanded Second Edition of Moral Problems, Michael Palmer makes the student's acquaintance with philosophy much smoother. Extracts of major philosophical works in ethical theory are provided, alongside introductions and comprehension and essay questions to aid students in their understanding of these texts. The material is set out in handy units of work which can be spread over the school or college year. Moral Problems is not just a compendium of philosophical ideas, but also a wide-ranging coursebook.
Areas covered include: the concept of ethics, Egoism, Utilitarianism, ethics and God, Kant's theories, Virtue Ethics, Determinism and meta-ethics. An extensive bibliography for each topic offers advice for further reading. In addition, the discussion sections link each philosophical theory to a contemporary issue, demonstrating how philosophy is relevant to the modern day. The course set out in this book bridges both the arts and the sciences, encouraging students to debate the different positions of authors on subjects such as justice and punishment, free-will and euthanasia, duty and civil disobedience. Now widely used in schools and colleges, it has proved extremely useful to students of all disciplines, demanding precision in language and clarity in argument. The textbook does not assume any previous knowledge of philosophy and is thus ideal for students and teachers in universities, colleges and secondary schools.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 210 x 297 x 15mm | 810g
  • Lutterworth Press
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • ca. 100 monochrome illustrations
  • 0718830512
  • 9780718830519
  • 895,280

Table of contents

1. Introducing Ethics. What is Ethics. Principles of Moral Action: Normative Ethics. Ethical Relativism. Case Study: Socrates in Prison. Discussion: Civil Disobedience. 2. Egoism. Introduction. What is Egoism. Psychological Egoism. Ethical Egoism. Discussion: The Right to Life and Euthanasia. 3. Utilitarianism: The Theory of Jeremy Bentham. The Principle of Utility. The Hedonic Calculus. The Theory of John Stuart Mill. Some Criticism of Utilitarianism. Discussion: The Theory of Punishment. 4. Ethics and God. Introduction. Plato: the Euthyphro Dilemma. Criticisms of Divine Command Theory. Discussion: The Right to Life and Animal Rights. 5. The Ethical Theory of Immanuel Kant. Introduction. The Good Will. The Categorical Imperative. Some Criticisms and Amendments of Kant. The Theory of W. D. Ross. Rule Utilitarianism. Discussion: The Morality of War. 6. Virtue Ethics. What is Virtue Ethics? The Virtue Ethics of Aristotle. Criticisms of Aristotle's Ethics. Modern Virtue Ethics. Discussion: The Right to Life and Abortion. 7. Determinism and Free Will. Introduction. Hard Determinism. Libertarianism. Soft Determinism. Discussion: Behaviourism. Appendix. Meta-ethics. Ethical Naturalism. Ethical Neo-naturalism. Ethical Non-cognitivism.
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About Michael Palmer

Dr. Michael Palmer has taught extensively in schools and universities on both sides of the Atlantic. Following the prestigious award of the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship at the University of Marburg, he was invited to found a philosophy course at Manchester Grammar School.
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