"Nearly all the essays are theoretically informed, argumentative, and exceptionally interesting; nearly all try to paint the merits (and demerits) of utilitarianism as a political philosophy in the light of attempted solutions to theoretical problems that are explored in some detail. The result is a searching, thoughtful volume." --Ethics "The Utilitarian Response is unique in the breadth of problems and questions in utilitarian theory covered. It is more suggestive of strategies by which contemporary utilitarianism could be improved than a comprehensive (...) reply to recent objections to utilitarianism. It should be of great interest to scholars in ethical theory and political philosophy. It would also serve well as a text for a graduate level seminar, if accompanied with readings in the area of recent objections to utilitarianism." --Utilitas Utilitarianism is an important component of both popular and academic responses to the problems of ethics and public policy. Over the past two decades, it has lost some ground to rival theories, such as: contractarian, libertarian and natural rights. This book explores the capacity of utilitarianism and the existing challenge of reviving it in political theory. Primary attention is given to questions on the intellectual coherence and moral acceptability of utilitarian responses to practical dilemmas, including health care, punishment, and electoral arrangements. Also examined are the relationships between private ethics and public policy, utility and freedom, utility and democracy, and the role and limitations of states, both locally and internationally. The Utilitarian Response is a broad and contemporary account of utilitarian theory as it exists today. It explores the continuing applicability of utilitarian thought to current practical and interrelated issues of ethics, economics, and politics. An ideal resource for scholars in political philosophy and political theory. (shrink)
Caring extends and challenges recent debates over feminist ethics by taking issue with accounts of the ethics of care which try to pin down the "principles" of caring, rather than understanding the practice of caring. It explores four main caring practices: mothering, friendship, nursing and citizenship. Bowden's consideration of the differences and similarities in these working practices reveals the complexity of the ethics of caring.
The basic relationship between people should be care, and the caring life is the highest which humans can live. Unfortunately, care that is not thoughtful slides into illegitimate intrusion on autonomy. Autonomy is a basic good, and we should not abridge it without good reason. On the other hand, it is not the only good. We must sometimes intervene in the lives of others to protect them from grave harms or provide them with important benefits. The reflective person, therefore, needs (...) guidelines for caring. Some contemporary moralists condemn paternalism categorically. This work examines weaknesses in their arguments and proposes new guidelines for paternalism, which it calls "parentalism" to avoid the patriarchal connotations of the old term. Its antiparentalism is more moderate than standard antipaternalism based on an exaggerated respect for autonomy. The work explores implications for both the personal sphere of interactions between individuals, such as friends and family members, and the public sphere of institutions, legislation, and the professional practices. (shrink)
Ethical Theory: An Anthology is an authoritative collection of key essays by top scholars in the field, addressing core issues including consequentialism, deontology, and virtue ethics, as well as traditionally underrepresented topics such as moral knowledge and moral responsibility. Brings together seventy-six classic and contemporary pieces by renowned philosophers, from classic writing by Hume and Kant to contemporary writing by Derek Parfit, Susan Wolf, and Judith Jarvis Thomson Guides students through key areas in the field, among them consequentialism, deontology, contractarianism, (...) and virtue ethics Includes coverage of metaethics, normative ethics, and practical ethics Reaches beyond traditional texts by also including important, but usually underrepresented, topics such as moral knowledge, moral standing, moral responsibility, and ethical particularism Raises questions about the status and rational authority of morality. (shrink)
Feminist Amnesia is an important challenge to contemporary academic feminism. Jean Curthoys argues that the intellectual decline of university arts education and the loss of a deep moral commitment in feminism are related phenomena. The contradiction set up by the radical ideas of the 1960s, and institutionalised life of many of its protagonists in the academy, has produced a special kind of intellectual distortion. This book criticizes current trends in feminist theory from the perspective of forgotten and allegedly outdated feminist (...) ideas. (shrink)
Philosopher, theologian, educational theorist, feminist and political pamphleteer, Mary Astell was an important figure in the history of ideas of the early modern period. Among the first systematic critics of John Locke's entire corpus, she is best known for the famous question which prefaces her Reflections on Marriage: 'If all men are born free, how is it that all women are born slaves?' She is claimed by modern Republican theorists and feminists alike but, as a Royalist High Church Tory, the (...) peculiar constellation of her views sits uneasily with modern commentators. Patricia Springborg's study addresses these apparent paradoxes, recovering the historical and philosophical contexts to her thought. She shows that Astell was not alone in her views; rather, she was part of a cohort of early modern women philosophers who were important for the reception of Descartes and who grappled with the existential problems of a new age. (shrink)
We often speak of a person's character--good or bad, strong or weak--and think of it as a guide to how that person will behave in a given situation. Oddly, however, philosophers writing about ethics have had virtually nothing to say about the role of character in ethical behavior. What is character? How does it relate to having a self, or to the process of moral decision? Are we responsible for our characters? Character answers these questions, and goes on to examine (...) the place of character in ethical philosophy. Both the Kantian and utilitarian traditions, Kupperman argues, have largely ignored the ways in which decisions are integrated over time, and instead provide a "snapshot" model of moral decision. Kupperman demonstrates the deficiencies of a number of classic and contemporary ethical theories that do not take account of the idea of character, and offers his own character-based theory. Along the way he touches on such subjects as personal identity, the importance of happiness, moral education, and the definition of a valuable life. (shrink)
Spanning nearly two decades, from 1980 to 1996, this Reader investigates the debates which have best characterized feminist theory. Including such articles as Pornography and Fantasy, The Body and Cinema, Nature as Female, and A Manifesto for Cyborgs, the extracts examine thoughts on sexualtiy as a domain of exploration, the visual representation of women, what being a feminist means, and why feminists are increasingly involved in political struggles to negotiate the context and meaning of technological development. With writings by bell (...) hooks, Alice Jardine, and Andrea Dworkin, this mulit-cultural Reader reflects the dynamic nature of feminist debates and the genuine diversity within current feminist theory. Capturing the sense of the rapid movement within feminist theory and criticism, Feminisms is ideal for anyone interested in feminism and the history behind it. (shrink)
Moving beyond the traditional feminist ethics of care, Linda A. Bell places an existentialist conception of liberation at the heart of ethics and argues that only an ethics of freedom sufficiently allows for feminist critique and opposition ...
Recent and rapid technological developments on many fronts have created in our society some extremely difficult moral predicaments. Previous generations have not had to face the dilemmas posed by, for example, the availability of safe abortions, sperm banks and prostoglandins. They have not had to come to terms with an unchecked exploitation of natural resources heralding imminent ecological crisis, or, worst of all, with the recognition that only in this current generation have people the capacity to destroy themselves and their (...) environment. This book seeks to show how, and why, Seventh-day Adventism has addressed these moral issues, and that the ethical questions arising from these issues are especially relevant to the Adventist church and its development. Dr Pearson looks specifically at the moral decisions Adventists have made in the area of human sexuality, on such issues as contraception, abortion, the role and status of women, divorce and homosexuality, from the beginnings of the movement to 1985. He seeks to put such decision-making in perspective by providing the general social context in which it took place, and shows how Ellen White (whose charismatic leadership held the movement together in its first fifty years) has been a major source of moral authority in the Adventist church - her writings continuing to exercise authority in a contemporary society of turmoil and change. This important book, which conveys something of the general ethos of Adventism, is the first to investigate the ethics of the movement, ans so fill a notable gap in the literature. (shrink)
The essays in Daring to Be Good challenge the private/public split that assumes ethics is a private, individual concern and politics is a public, group concern. This collection addresses philosophical issues and controversies of interest to feminists, including prostitution, the ethics of the Human Genome research project as it impacts Native Americans, and reproductive technology. Contributors include:Bat-Ami Bar On, Sandra Lee Bartky, Chris Cuomo, Ann Ferguson, Jane Flax, Lori Gruen and Maria Lugones.
Contractarianism in some form has been at the center of recent debates in moral and political philosophy. Jean Hampton was one of the most gifted philosophers involved in these debates and provided both important criticisms of prominent contractarian theories plus powerful defenses and applications of the core ideas of contractarianism. In these essays, she brought her distinctive approach, animated by concern for the intrinsic worth of persons, to bear on topics such as guilt, punishment, self-respect, family relations, and the maintenance (...) and justification of the state. Edited by Daniel Farnham, this collection is an essential contribution to understanding the problems and prospectus of contractarianism in moral, legal and political philosophy. (shrink)
The eminent philosopher Keith Lehrer offers an original and distinctively personal view of central aspects of the human condition, such as reason, knowledge, wisdom, autonomy, love, consensus, and consciousness. He argues that what is uniquely human is our capacity for evaluating our own mental states (such as beliefs and desires), and suggests that we have a system for such evaluation which allows the resolution of personal and interpersonal conflict. The keystone in this system is self-trust, on which reason, knowledge, and (...) wisdom are grounded. (shrink)
Integrity is one of the most hotly debated topics in applied philosophy today. In this new work, men and women of varied practical and theoretical experience engage in rigorous debate in an effort to better understand the specific demands of integrity in their respective professions.
In this anthology, distinguished scholars--Thomas Nagel, T.M. Scanlon, John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Samuela Scheffler, Conrad D. Johnson, Bernard Williams, Peter Railton, Amartya Sen, Philippa Foot, and Derek Parfit-- debate arguments for and against the moral doctrine of consequentialism to present a complete view of this important topic in moral philosophy.
The publication of this unique three-volume set represents the culmination of years of work by a large number of scholars, researchers, and professionals in the field of moral development. The literature on moral behavior and development has grown to the point where it is no longer possible to capture the “state of the art” in a single volume. This comprehensive multi-volume Handbook marks an important transition because it provides evidence that the field has emerged as an area of scholarly activity (...) in its own right. Spanning many professional domains, there is a striking variety of issues and topics surveyed: anthropology, biology, economics, education, philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, sociology, social work, and more. By bringing together work on diverse topics, the editors have fostered a mutually-beneficial exchange not only between alternative approaches and perspectives, but also between “applied” and “pure” research interests. The Theory volume presents current and ongoing theoretical advances focusing on new developments or substantive refinements and revisions to existing theoretical frameworks. The Research volume summarizes and interprets the findings of specific, theory-driven, research programs; reviews research in areas that have generated substantial empirical findings; describes recent developments in research methodology/techniques; and reports research on new and emerging issues. The Application volume describes a diverse array of intervention projects — educational, clinical, organizational, and the like. Each chapter includes a summary report of results and findings, conceptual developments, and emerging issues or topics. Since the contributors to this publication are active theorists, researchers, and practitioners, it may serve to define directions that will shape the emerging literature in the field. (shrink)
Richard Brandt is one of the most eminent and influential of contemporary moral philosophers. His work has been concerned with how to justify what is good or right not by reliance on intuitions or theories about what moral words mean but by the explanation of moral psychology and the description of what it is to value something, or to think it immoral. His approach thus stands in marked contrast to the influential theories of John Rawls. The essays reprinted in this (...) collection span a period of almost 30 years and include many classic pieces in metaethical and normative ethical theory. The collection is aimed at both those moral philosophers familiar with Brandt's work and at those philosophers who may be largely unfamiliar with his work. The latter group will be struck by the lucid unpretentious style and the cumulative weight of Brandt's contributions to topics that remain at the forefront of moral philosophy. (shrink)
Eight Theories of Ethics is a comprehensive introduction to the fundamental theories of ethics . Gordon Graham begins by introducing fundamental issues that underpin the concept of ethics, such as relativism and objectivity, before introducing eight major theories: * Egoism * Hedonism * Naturalism and Virtue Theory * Existentialism * Kantianism * Utilitarianism * Contractualism * Religion The author brings often abstract issues to life by drawing on examples from the great moral philosophers, including Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Mill, Nietzsche, Kant (...) and Sartre. Contemporary examples, such as Darwinism, debates over human nature, the environment and citizenship are given. (shrink)
Over the past decade much significant new work has appeared in the field of Jewish ethics. While much of this work has been devoted to issues in applied ethics, a number of important essays have explored central themes within the tradition and clarified the theoretical foundations of Jewish ethics. This important text grew out of the need for a single work which accurately and conveniently reflects these developments within the field. The first text of its kind in almost two decades, (...) Contemporary Jewish Ethics and Morality presents wide-ranging and carefully organized recent essays on Jewish ethical theory and practice. Serving as an introduction to Jewish ethics, it acquaints the student with the distinctive methodological issues involved and offers a sampling of Jewish positions on contemporary moral problems. The book features work from both traditionalist and liberal contributors, making this the only volume which encompasses the full range of contemporary Jewish ethical perspectives. Writers such as Harold Schulweis, Judith Plaskow, David Novak, David Hartman, and Blu Greenberg discuss law and ethics, natural law, humility, justice, sex and the family, euthanasia, and other vital issues relating to modern Judaism. Many of the readings appear here for the first time, making this important text the most timely sourcebook in its field. Uniquely qualified to reflect the high level and depth of contemporary work in this area of study, Contemporary Jewish Ethics and Morality is an essential contribution to any course dealing with Jewish ethics. (shrink)
The fields of medical ethics, bioethics, and women's studies have experienced unprecedented growth in the last forty years. Along with the rapid pace of development in medicine and biology, and changes in social expectations, moral quandaries about the body and social practices involving it have multiplied. Philosophers are uniquely situated to attempt to clarify and resolves these questions. Yet the subdiscipline of bioethics still in large part reflects mainstream scholars' lack of interest in gender as a category of analysis. This (...) volume aims to show how a feminist perspective advances bioethics. The author uncover inconsistencies in traditional arguments and argue for the importance of hitherto ignored factors in decision-making. The essays include theory and very specific examples that demonstrate the glaring inadequacy of mainstream bioethics, where gender bias is still often to be found, along with general lack of attention to women's concerns. (shrink)
The late Susan Moller Okin was a leading political theorist whose scholarship integrated political philosophy and issues of gender, the family, and culture. Okin argued that liberalism, properly understood as a theory opposed to social hierarchies and supportive of individual freedom and equality, provided the tools for criticizing the substantial and systematic inequalities between men and women. Her thought was deeply informed by a feminist view that theories of justice must apply equally to women as men, and she was deeply (...) engaged in showing how many past and present political theories failed to do this. She sought to rehabilitate political theories--particularly that of liberal egalitarianism, in such a way as to accommodate the equality of the sexes, and with an eye toward improving the condition of women and families in a world of massive gender inequalities. In her lifetime Okin was widely respected as a scholar whose engagement went well beyond the world of theory, and her premature death in 2004 was considered by many a major blow to progressive political thought and women's interests around the world. -/- This volume stems from a conference on Okin, and contains articles by some of the top feminist and political philosophers working today. They are organized around a set of themes central to Okin's work, namely liberal theory, gender and the family, feminist and cultural differences, and global justice. Included are major figures such as Joshua Cohen, David Miller, Cass Sunstein, Alison Jaggar, and Iris Marion Young, among others. Their aim is not to celebrate Okin's work, but to constructively engage with it and further its goals. (shrink)
The Greek philosopher Aristotle, writing over two thousand years before Wall Street, called people who engaged in activities which did not contribute to society "parasites." In his latest work, renowned scholar Robert C. Solomon asserts that though capitalism may require capital, but it does not require, much less should it be defined by the parasites it inevitably attracts. Capitalism has succeeded not with brute strength or because it has made people rich, but because it has produced responsible citizens and--however unevenly--prosperous (...) communities. It cannot tolerate a conception of business that focuses solely on income and vulgarity while ignoring traditional virtues of responsibility, community, and integrity. Many feel that there is too much lip-service and not enough understanding of the importance of cooperation and integrity in corporate life. This book rejects the myths and metaphors of war-like competition that cloud business thinking and develops an "Aristotelean" theory of business. The author's approach emphasizes several core concepts: the corporation as community, the search for excellence, the importance of integrity and sound judgment, as well as a more cooperative and humane vision of business. Solomon stresses the virtues of honesty, trust, fairness, and compassion in the competitive business world, and confronts the problem of "moral mazes" and what he posits as its solution--moral courage. (shrink)
Situating the Self is a decisive intervention into debates concerning modernity, postmodernity, ehtics, and the self. It will be of interest to all concerned with critical theory or contemporary ethics.
In her signature style, revolutionary Mary Daly takes you on a Quantum leap into a joyous future of victory for women. Daly, the groundbreaking author of such classics as Beyond God the Father and The Church and the Second Sex , explores the visions of Matilda Joslyn Gage, the great nineteenth-century philosopher, and reveals that her insights are stunningly helpful to twenty-first-century Voyagers seeking to overcome the fascism and life-hating fundamentalism that has infused current power structures. Daly shows us once (...) again that Wild, Wise Women can learn to take charge of the current destructive patriarchal forces and use this as an Outlandish opportunity for change. (shrink)
A pathbreaking new study of women and morality How do people decide what is "good" and what is "bad"? How does a society set moral guidelines -- and what happens when the behavior of various groups differs from these guidelines? Martha Saxton tackles these and other fascinating issues in Being Good , her history of the moral values prescribed for women in early America. Saxton begins by examining seventeenth-century Boston, then moves on to eighteenth-century Virginia and nineteenth-century St. Louis. Studying (...) women throughout the life cycle -- girls, young unmarried women, young wives and mothers, older widows -- through their diaries and personal papers, she also studies the variations due to different ethnicities and backgrounds. In all three cases, she is able to show how the values of one group conflicted with or developed in opposition to those of another. And, as the women's testimonies make clear, the emotional styles associated with different value systems varied. A history of American women's moral life thus gives us a history of women's emotional life as well. In lively and penetrating prose, Saxton argues that women's morals changed from the days of early colonization to the days of westward expansion, as women became at once less confined and less revered by their men -- and explores how these changes both reflected and affected trends in the nation at large. (shrink)
Although many of us deny it, it is not uncommon to feel pleasure over the suffering of others, particularly when we feel that suffering has been deserved. The German word for this concept- Schadenfreude -has become universal in its expression of this feeling. Drawing on the teachings of history's most prominent philosophers, John Portmann explores the concept of Schadenfreude in this rigorous, comprehensive, and absorbing study. Citing examples from literature and popular culture-from the works of Toni Morrison, Umberto Eco and (...) Baudelaire to physical comedy and cartoons-Portmann lays bare an important distinction in our understanding of Schadenfreude , the difference between taking pleasure in the suffering of others and relishing the execution of justice. His study of Schadenfreude contrasts Kant and Schopenhauer's rejection of the concept to Nietschze's and Freud's embrace of this all-too-human tendency. Most importantly, he confronts the debates over institutional punishment, violence in our culture, and our current hunger for media images of punishment and betrayal. Almost encyclopedic in its survey of scholarship on understanding and evaluating Schadenfreude , this groundbreaking and highly accessible examination of a neglected topic will make a vital contribution to the study of human ethics, as it compels us to reexamine our own feelings about suffering, sympathy, and the morality of justice. (shrink)
Ethics: Classical Western Texts in Feminist and Multicultural Perspectives offers students a unique introduction to ethics by integrating the historical development of Western moral philosophy with both feminist and multicultural approaches. Engaging and accessible, it provides an introductory sampling of several of the classical works of the Western tradition in ethics and then situates these readings within feminist and multicultural perspectives so that they can be better understood and evaluated in our contemporary environment. While some of the non-Western works parallel (...) the views defended in the Western works (e.g., Confucius's work echoes that of Plato or Aristotle), others question the Western perspectives (e.g., American Indian works provide an interesting challenge to Western moral philosophy). Confucius, Jorge Valadez, Ward Churchill, Moshoeshoe II, and Eagle Man present multicultural perspectives to the works of Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, Sartre, Rawls, MacIntyre, Korsgaard, and others. Noted feminists Christine de Pizan, Simone de Beauvoir, Carol Gilligan, Annette Baier, Susan Okin, and Rosemarie Radford Ruether also offer alternative views. Ideal for courses in introduction to ethics, history of ethics, and feminist ethics, Ethics: Classical Western Texts in Feminist and Multicultural Perspectives is also intriguing reading for interested general readers. (shrink)
Frames of Deceit is a philosophical investigation of the nature of trust in public and private life. It examines how trust originates, how it is challenged, and how it is recovered when moral and political imperfections collide. In politics, rulers may be called upon to act badly for the sake of a political good, and in private life intimate attachments are formed in which the costs of betrayal are high. This book asks how trust is tested by human goods, moral (...) character, and power relations. It explores whether an individual's experience of betrayal differs totally from that of a community when it loses and then seeks to recover a vital public trust. Although this is a work of political philosophy it is distinctive in examining three literary texts--Sophocles' Philoctetes, Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida, and Zola's The;rèse Raquin--in order to deepen our understanding of the place of trust in morality and politics. (shrink)
Structured directly around the OCR specification, this book covers all necessary topics of the Religious Ethics A-level course in an enjoyable student-friendly fashion. Split into four parts – What is Ethics?; AS Ethics; A2 Ethics; and Connections in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics – each chapter includes: a list of key issues, to introduce students to the topic OCR syllabus checklist explanations of key terminology exam practice questions using actual examples from previous years self-test review questions helpful summaries annotated further (...) reading suggestions. To maximize students' chances of exam success, the book includes a chapter dedicated to answering examination questions, and extra help on how to approach the synoptic paper. The book comes complete with lively illustrations, a comprehensive glossary and full bibliography. (shrink)