Four Introductory Books in Ethics

Teaching Philosophy 33 (4):399-408 (2010)
Abstract
What do we aim at when we teach general introductory courses in moral philosophy? What should we aim at? In particular, should we focus on practice or theory? Should we make the study of ethics easy for the students, or should we alternatively aim at making the hardness of ethics attractive to them? This review discusses four recently published textbooks in ethics designed for beginners’ level courses. The books are different in organization and emphases. In each case, I have given a short overview of the book’s contents, its aims and methods. I have also made some assessment about the usefulness of each: the philosophical territory it covers, the philosophical approach it puts forward, and the amount of preparation-work it leaves with the teacher. My overview thus gives the necessary information, and creates for the teacher the occasion for reflecting on—leaves the teacher with the task of deciding—what and how they want to teach
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