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Cover

A Concise Introduction to Ethics

Russ Shafer-Landau

Publication Date - July 2019

ISBN: 9780190058173

240 pages
Paperback
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $29.95

A brief introduction to the essential ethical theories, based on the author's best-selling ethical theory primer

Description

A Concise Introduction to Ethics offers a condensed and exceptionally well-written introduction to the essential moral theories. Based on Russ Shafer-Landau's best-selling primer on ethical theory, The Fundamentals of Ethics, this briefer volume retains the longer one's content advantage over competing books by addressing issues that other texts omit, including the good life (value theory), natural law, and prima facie duties. It also incorporates discussion questions and case studies at the end of each chapter, giving students the opportunity to apply ethical theories to real-world moral problems.

A perfect companion to Shafer-Landau's anthology, The Ethical Life, this volume's compact size and low price make A Concise Introduction to Ethics an ideal complement to any course where it is important that students understand moral theories.

Features

  • Concise but rigorous presentations of all major ethical theories
  • Written in a lively and engaging style that keeps students interested while reinforcing the importance of studying ethics
  • Contains a substantial chapter (Ch. 2) on the basics of formal and informal logic that helps students develop critical-thinking skills
  • Covers various kinds of moral skepticism in order to address students' most common doubts about morality (especially in Ch. 3)
  • Includes an extensive glossary and bolded key terms throughout the text
  • Covers the good life (value theory), which is omitted in competitive titles but is a topic of substantial student interest

About the Author(s)

Russ Shafer-Landau is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of several books, including Living Ethics (OUP, 2018), The Fundamentals of Ethics, Fourth Edition (OUP, 2017), and The Ethical Life, Fourth Edition (OUP, 2017). He is also the editor of Oxford Studies in Metaethics.

Reviews

"A Concise Introduction to Ethics is short enough to be a supplementary text, but with enough detail to genuinely cover the central topics in moral theory. If you want to include a section on moral theory in your course, you aren't going to do any better than this."--Bob Fischer, Texas State University

"The writing is clear and crisp, the exposition is careful and precise, and the breadth and depth of coverage is excellent, especially for such a compact text. It's hard to imagine a more accessible introduction to moral theory."--Philip Robbins, University of Missouri

"Shafer-Landau's introduction is exceptionally well-written; it offers clear explanations for often-complex theories with illustrative examples drawn from ordinary life. He carefully notes the strengths and weaknesses of each theory and offers probing questions for students' reflection."--Max Latona, St. Anslem College

"A Concise Introduction to Ethics is of moderate length, yet its scope is comprehensive for its size. I can find no competing book from another publisher that is better."--Theodore Gracyk, Minnesota State University

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1. What Is Morality?
    A. Conventional and Critical Morality
    B. The Branches of Moral Philosophy
    C. Moral Starting Points
    D. Morality and Other Normative Systems
    E. Morality and Religion
    F. Conclusion
    Key Terms and Concepts
    Discussion Questions
    Cases for Critical Reflection
    Chapter 2. Moral Reasoning
    A. Validity and Soundness
    B. Necessary and Sufficient Conditions
    C. Valid Argument Forms
    D. Fallacies
    E. Conclusion
    Key Terms and Concepts
    Discussion Questions
    Chapter 3. Skepticism about Morality
    A. Egoism
    B. Relativism
    C. Error Theory
    D. Conclusion
    Key Terms and Concepts
    Discussion Questions
    Cases for Critical Reflection
    Chapter 4. The Good Life
    A. Hedonism
    B. Desire Satisfaction Theory
    C. Conclusion
    Key Terms and Concepts
    Discussion Questions
    Cases for Critical Reflection
    Chapter 5. Natural Law
    A. The Theory and Its Attractions
    B. Three Conceptions of Human Nature
    C. Natural Purposes
    D. The Doctrine of Double Effect
    E. Conclusion
    Key Terms and Concepts
    Discussion Questions
    Cases for Critical Reflection
    Chapter 6. Consequentialism
    A. The Nature of Consequentialism
    B. The Attractions of Utilitarianism
    C. Some Difficulties for Utilitarianism
    D. Conclusion
    Key Terms and Concepts
    Discussion Questions
    Cases for Critical Reflection
    Chapter 7. Kantian Ethics
    A. Consistency and Fairness
    B. The Principle of Universalizability
    C. Hypothetical and Categorical Imperatives
    D. Assessing the Principle of Universalizability
    E. Kant on Absolute Moral Duties
    F. The Principle of Humanity
    G. Conclusion
    Key Terms and Concepts
    Discussion Questions
    Cases for Critical Reflection
    Chapter 8. Social Contract Theory
    A. The Background of the Social Contract Theory
    B. The Prisoner's Dilemma
    C. Cooperation and the State of Nature
    D. The Advantages of Contractarianism
    E. The Role of Consent
    F. Disagreement among the Contractors
    G. Conclusion
    Key Terms and Concepts
    Discussion Questions
    Cases for Critical Reflection
    Chapter 9. The Ethic of Prima Facie Duties
    A. Ethical Pluralism and Prima Facie Duties
    B. The Advantages of Ross's View
    C. A Problem for Ross's View
    D. Prima Facie Duties and the Testing of Moral Theories
    E. Knowing the Right Thing to Do
    F. Conclusion
    Key Terms and Concepts
    Discussion Questions
    Cases for Critical Reflection
    Chapter 10. Virtue Ethics
    A. The Standard of Right Action
    B. Moral Complexity
    C. Moral Understanding
    D. The Nature of Virtue
    E. Does Virtue Ethics Offer Adequate Moral Guidance?
    F. Who Are the Moral Role Models?
    G. Conflict and Contradiction
    H. The Priority Problem
    I. Conclusion
    Key Terms and Concepts
    Discussion Questions
    Cases for Critical Reflection
    Chapter 11. Feminist Ethics and the Ethics of Care
    A. The Elements of Feminist Ethics
    B. The Ethics of Care
    C. The Importance of Emotions
    D. Against Unification
    E. Partiality and Concreteness
    F. Downplaying Rights
    G. Challenges for Feminist Ethics
    H. Conclusion
    Key Terms and Concepts
    Discussion Questions
    Cases for Critical Reflection
    Suggestions for Further Reading
    Appendix: The Truth about Philosophy Majors
    Glossary
    Index