We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

Exploring Moral Problems

An Introductory Anthology

Steven M. Cahn and Andrew T. Forcehimes

Publication Date - September 2017

ISBN: 9780190670290

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

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $109.99

The most up-to-date, accessible, and inclusive collection of readings on contemporary moral problems available


The most inclusive anthology of its kind, Exploring Moral Problems covers both classic issues and often-neglected topics including the meaning of life, prostitution, organ sales, pornography, drug legalization, gun control, immigration, reparations, racism, sexism, sex and consent, sexual harassment, and climate change. The readings have been carefully edited to make them understandable to every reader. Each selection is accompanied by an introduction and study questions that help students comprehend the material. Reflecting the major role of women in philosophy today, more than 1/3 of the contemporary essays are authored by women.


  • Careful edits to each selection focus readers on the key arguments within, ensuring that topics are presented with maximum clarity and accessibility
  • Introductions and study questions for each selection help orient students to the material
  • Coverage of a wide range of issues, including such often-neglected topics as gun control, prostitution, sexual harassment, sex and consent, racism, reparations, and organ sales, provide instructors with flexibility
  • Unparalleled representation of women philosophers--with one-third of the contemporary articles authored or coauthored by women--gives students a broader and more balanced view of the field of philosophy and its contributors

About the Author(s)

Steven M. Cahn is Professor of Philosophy at The City University of New York Graduate Center. He is the author or editor of more than fifty books. Most recently, he authored Religion Within Reason (2017). Dr. Cahn is the editor of Exploring Ethics (OUP, 2016) and The World of Philosophy (OUP, 2015).

Andrew T. Forcehimes is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He has published articles in Ethics, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Utilitas, and Res Publica. He is the coeditor, with Steven M. Cahn, of Foundations of Moral Philosophy and Principles of Moral Philosophy, both published by Oxford University Press in 2016.


"Exploring Moral Problems is of very high quality, with many excellent readings and a very broad selection of topics. In addition, there have been strong efforts to include more women's voices."--Todd Stewart, Illinois State University

"Exploring Moral Problems includes readings on a wide array of topics in applied ethics, many of which are more contemporary than those found in other textbooks."--Hans Pedersen, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Table of Contents

    Andrew T. Forcehimes, Ethical Theories and Their Application
    A. Challenges to Ethical Theory
    Mary Midgley, Moral Isolationism
    James Rachels, Egoism and Moral Scepticism
    Steven M. Cahn, God and Morality
    B. Varieties of Ethical Theory
    Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
    Immanuel Kant, Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals
    John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism
    Julia Driver, Virtue Ethics
    Virginia Held,The Ethics of Care
    John Finnis, Natural Law
    C. Good Lives
    Richard Taylor, The Meaning of Life
    Susan Wolf, Meaning of Life
    Christine Vitrano, Meaningful Lives
    A. Free Speech
    John Stuart Mill, On Liberty
    Miles Unterreiner, Limiting Free Speech
    Charles R. Lawrence III, Regulating Racist Speech on Campus
    Martin P. Golding, Campus Speech Restrictions
    B. Prostitution
    Elizabeth Anderson, Value and the Gift of Sexuality
    Martha C. Nussbaum, Taking Money for Bodily Services
    Debra Satz, Markets in Women's Sexual Labor
    C. Organ Sales
    Sarah McGrath, Organ Procurement, Altruism, and Autonomy
    Simon Rippon, The Harm of a Live Donor Organ Market
    Luke Semrau, A Reply to Rippon
    D. Pornography
    Helen E. Longino, Pornography, Oppression, and Freedom
    Joel Feinberg, The Case against Pornography: An Assessment
    E. Drug Legalization
    Douglas N. Husak, Three Points about Drug Decriminalization
    George Sher, On the Decriminalization of Drugs
    F. Gun Control
    Samuel C. Wheeler III, Arms as Insurance
    David DeGrazia, Handguns, Moral Rights, and Physical Security
    A. Terrorism
    Michael Walzer, Terrorism
    Lionel K. McPherson, Is Terrorism Distinctively Wrong?
    B. Torture
    Henry Shue, Torture
    Alan M. Dershowitz,The Ticking Time-Bomb Terrorist
    Jessica Wolfendale, Training Torturers
    C. Capital Punishment
    Walter Berns, The Morality of Capital Punishment
    Stephen Nathanson, The Death Penalty as a Symbolic Issue
    A. Distributive Justice
    John Rawls, A Theory of Justice
    Robert Nozick, The Entitlement Theory
    B. Immigration
    David Miller, Immigration: The Case for Limits
    Michael Huemer, Is There a Right to Immigrate?
    C. Injustice
    Kwame Anthony Appiah, Racisms
    Ann E. Cudd and Leslie E. Jones, Sexism
    Iris Marion Young, Five Faces of Oppression
    D. Reparations
    Bernard R. Boxill, The Morality of Reparation
    Chandran Kukathas, Reparations and the Problem of Agency
    E. Affirmative Action
    Steven M. Cahn, Two Concepts of Affirmative Action
    Karen Hanson, Facing Facts and Responsibilities
    Laurence Thomas, What Good Am I?
    Celia Wolf-Devine, Proportional Representation
    A. Sex and Consent
    Sarah Conly, Seduction, Rape, and Coercion
    Scott A. Anderson, Sex under Pressure
    B. Sexual Harassment
    N. Ann Davis, Sexual Harassment in the University
    Margaret A. Crouch, Sexual Harassment in Public Places
    A. Marriage
    Elizabeth Brake, Minimal Marriage
    Ralph Wedgwood, Is Civil Marriage Illiberal?
    Bonnie Steinbock, Adultery
    B. Parents and Children
    Jane English, What Do Grown Children Owe Their Parents?
    Joseph Kupfer, Can Parents and Children Be Friends?
    Simon Keller, Four Theories of Filial Duty
    A. Abortion
    Judith Jarvis Thomson, A Defense of Abortion
    Mary Anne Warren, On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion
    Don Marquis, An Argument That Abortion Is Wrong
    Amy Berg, Abortion and Miscarriage
    B. Genetic Choices
    Laura M. Purdy, Can Having Children Be Immoral?
    Simo Vehmas, Parents and Genetic Information
    Julian Savulescu, Procreative Beneficence
    Michael J. Sandel, The Case against Perfection
    C. Euthanasia
    James Rachels, Active and Passive Euthanasia
    Philippa Foot, Killing and Letting Die
    A. World Hunger
    Peter Singer, Famine, Affluence, and Morality
    Travis Timmerman, A Reply to Singer
    B. Animals
    Peter Singer, Equality for Animals
    Bonnie Steinbock, Speciesism and the Idea of Equality
    Tom Regan, The Case for Animal Rights
    Mary Anne Warren, Speaking of Animal Rights
    C. The Environment
    Elliot Sober, Philosophical Problems for Environmentalism
    John Broome, The Ethics of Climate Change
    A. Judith Jarvis Thomson, The Trolley Problem
    B. Steven M. Cahn, The Altruism Puzzle
    C. Derek Parfit, The Non-Identity Problem
    D. Steven M. Cahn, The Divestiture Puzzle