Ethics: History, Theory, and Contemporary Issues

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Ethics: History, Theory, and Contemporary Issues, Fifth Edition, features sixty-nine selections 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 through medieval views to modern theories, culminating with leading nineteenth- and twentieth-century thinkers. 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, while landmark selections reflect concern with moral language and the justification of morality. The concepts of duty, justice, and rights are explored, as well as recent views on cultural relativism and an ethic influenced by feminist concerns. In the third part, Contemporary Moral Problems, the readings present the current debates over abortion, euthanasia, famine relief, animal rights, environmentalism, and the use of torture in interrogations, as well as essays on death and the meaning of life. Wherever possible, each reading is printed in its entirety.

The fifth edition features new readings from Cicero, Barbara Herman, and Judith Jarvis Thomson; an expanded selection from Joseph Butler's Fifteen Sermons; and a new translation of Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 992 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 5 edition (September 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199797269
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199797264
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds

Customer Reviews

wonderful book

 on March 13, 2014
By Jit Patel
I had to use this book for my college Ethics course, and it did a fine job of introducing me to the subject and Philosophy in general. I can honestly say that Ethics is what lured me to becoming interested in Philosophy.

Great Read

 on October 25, 2016
By Muhammad
Great Read

No complaints. Paperback version.

 on December 19, 2015
By Ryan
Worked well for my class. Paperback in good shape still, and I bought used.


 on March 12, 2015
By David Lin
On of the most appreciable book on the market. Its content represent about 2500 years of philosophy. Can’t go wrong with it.

Wonderful compilation of Philosophy through the ages

 on March 4, 2014
By Sarah Lund
This has a bit of everything. And it is wonderful that there are opposing views. I got this for a textbook in my Ethics class in college, but it will be going in my bookcase for future reading.

This book is a good one!

One person found this helpful.
 on November 25, 2012
By mintyraccoon
This is the best book I have come across that has good translations from all of the greatest philosophers. It is not too much of a read, and you don’t get as lost reading like some other ethics books!

A great textbook for getting into the philosophy realm

 on October 8, 2013
By Alberto Melendez
Plenty of articles and fact and styles to use when dealing with ethics. So many viewpoints to cover when dealing with ethics. A great choice of textbook for any philosophy class.

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