Understanding Ethics

Understanding Ethics : An Introduction to Moral Theory

3.03 (33 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$30.00

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

Description

This non-technical introduction to ethics explores how we find true or reasonable moral principles, applicable to practical cases. The reader is presented with seven radically different basic moral theories. Each theory attempts to provide an ultimate answer to the question, what ought to be done - and why? Each theory is carefully described, put into historical perspective and critically assessed. The theories covered are: utilitarianism (the idea that we ought always to act so as to maximize the sum total of welfare in the universe); egoism (the idea that we ought always to act so as to maximize the sum total of our own welfare); deontological ethics (according to which there are absolute duties or prohibitions, binding upon the agent irrespective of the consequences of following them); the ethics of rights (according to which each moral subject has certain rights that no one is entitled to violate, no matter how urgent this may seem); virtue ethics (according to which the most basic question in ethics is, not what we ought to do, but what kind of persons we ought to be); feminist ethics (according to which women and men tend to think differently about moral and practical problems and according to which the typically female way of thinking deserves particular attention); and environmental or ecological ethics (according to which not only human beings and other sentient beings have moral status, but also nature itself; we have duties to preserve nature, irrespective of the consequences for sentient beings of doing so). The book is intended for undergraduate students of philosophy but it should also appeal to any general reader who is prepared to ask probing and challenging questions in the search for a consistent moral outlook.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 152 pages
  • 139.4 x 216.2 x 15.5mm | 217.73g
  • EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0748616381
  • 9780748616381
  • 1,398,074

Review quote

Tannsjo has produced an excellent introduction to philosophical and practical ethics . . . With great clarity and remarkable sophistication, Professor Tannsjo succeeds not only in giving the reader a sense of the theories' strengths and weaknesses, but also manages to enliven the discussion with many real-life cases. "Tannsjo has produced an excellent introduction to philosophical and practical ethics... With great clarity and remarkable sophistication, Professor Tannsjo succeeds not only in giving the reader a sense of the theories' strengths and weaknesses, but also manages to enliven the discussion with many real-life cases." -- Helga Kuhse, "Monash Bioethics Review" "Tannsjo has produced an excellent introduction to philosophical and practical ethics... With great clarity and remarkable sophistication, Professor Tannsjo succeeds not only in giving the reader a sense of the theories' strengths and weaknesses, but also manages to enliven the discussion with many real-life cases." -- Helga Kuhse, Monash Bioethics Review "clear, comprehensive, and fair-minded coverage of the field" -- L. Wayne Sumner, "Theoria" "cCear, comprehensive, and fair-minded coverage of the field" -- L. Wayne Sumner, "Theoria" "Tannsjo has produced an excellent introduction to philosophical and practical ethics... With great clarity and remarkable sophistication, Professor Tannsjo succeeds not only in giving the reader a sense of the theories' strengths and weaknesses, but also manages to enliven the discussion with many real-life cases." -- Helga Kuhse, "Monash Bioethics Review"show more

Table of contents

Practical and Normative Ethics Utilitarianism Egoism and Contractualism Deontological Ethics Rights Virtue Ethics Feminist Ethics Environmental Ethics What Should I Believe? Indexshow more

About Torbjorn Tannsjo

Torbjörn Tännsjöshow more

Rating details

33 ratings
3.03 out of 5 stars
5 3% (1)
4 24% (8)
3 52% (17)
2 15% (5)
1 6% (2)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X