About the Book

Brief yet thorough and affordably priced, The Ethical Life: Fundamental Readings in Ethics and Moral Problems Second Edition is ideal for courses in introductory ethics and contemporary moral problems. Featuring forty readings divided into four parts—Value Theory, Normative Ethics, Metaethics, and Moral Problems—it introduces students to ethical theory and a wide range of moral issues. The essays include selections from such historically influential philosophers as Aristotle, Hume, Kant, and Mill alongside work by contemporary philosophers like Philippa Foot, Robert Nozick, Peter Singer, and Judith Jarvis Thomson. Detailed section and reading introductions provide helpful contextual information. Designed as a companion reader to Russ Shafer-Landau's textbook, The Fundamentals of Ethics, The Ethical Life is also comprehensive enough to be used on its own.


  • Readings added: Plato, Euthyphro; Ayn Rand, "The Ethics of Emergencies"; A.J. Ayer, "A Critique of Ethics"; Harry Gensler, "Cultural Relativism"; Alan Dershowitz, "Should the Ticking Bomb Terrorist be Tortured?"; Alastair Norcross, "Puppies, Pigs and People"; Paul Taylor, "The Ethics of Respect for the Environment"; Thomas Hill, Jr., "Ideals of Human Excellence and Preserving Natural Environments"; Philippa Foot, "Abortion and the Doctrine of Double Effect"
  • New subcategories in Part IV on Moral Problems: Euthanasia and a Modest Proposal; Terrorism and Torture; The Treatment of Non-Humans: Animals and the Environment; Abortion; The Limits of the Law; and Children and Parents.

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