Journals Higher Education



Published: 21 June 2017

400 Pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

ISBN: 9780190631390

Also Available As:


Bookseller Code (04)

Companion website

The Fundamentals of Ethics

Fourth Edition

Russ Shafer-Landau

  • Written in a lively, engaging style that keeps students interested and reinforces the importance of studying ethics
  • Offers more comprehensive coverage of the good life (Chs. 1-4), normative ethics (Chs. 5-18), and metaethics (Chs. 19-21) than any other text of its kind, giving students more opportunities to critically engage with moral issues
  • Reconstructs and analyzes fifty arguments, which helps students develop critical thinking skills
  • Covers a broader range of topics than competing books, offering instructors more choices and giving students a better understanding of the range of interesting issues in ethics
  • Includes an extensive glossary and bolded key terms throughout the text to help students keep track of new terminology
  • Designed to be used as a stand-alone text or in conjunction with Shafer-Landau's The Ethical Life, Fourth Edition, a companion reader specially designed to complement The Fundamentals of Ethics
  • Supported by a free, open-access Companion Website and a wealth of instructor materials--including a detailed Instructor's Manual--on Oxford's online Ancillary Resource Center

New to this Edition:

  • Revised discussions of Desire Theory in Chapters 3 and 4, reflecting clearer distinctions between the intrinsic and instrumental values of desire satisfaction
  • A new discussion of the empirical literature on altruism in Chapter 7, Psychological Egoism
  • A new discussion of the attractions of ethical subjectivism and relativism in Chapter 19, Ethical Relativism
  • Substantive improvements to sections throughout the text, including: Happiness and Intrinsic Value in Chapter 1; The Paradox of Hedonism in Chapter 2; Two Popular Arguments for Ethical Egoism in Chapter 8; The Structure of Consequentialism in Chapter 9; Slippery Slope Arguments in Chapter 9; Measuring Well-Being in Chapter 10; and Ideal Observers in Chapter 19

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