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Cover

Questions of Life and Death

Readings in Practical Ethics

Edited by Christopher W. Morris

Publication Date - September 2011

ISBN: 9780195156980

544 pages
Paperback
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $90.95

This unique anthology on contemporary moral issues focuses on the major questions of life and death--the ethics of saving lives and the ethics of killing

Description

Featuring sixty-seven classic and contemporary selections, Questions of Life and Death: Readings in Practical Ethics is ideal for courses in contemporary moral problems, applied ethics, and introduction to ethics. In contrast with other moral problems anthologies, it deals exclusively with current moral issues concerning life and death--the ethics of saving lives and the ethics of killing. By focusing on these specific questions--rather than on an unrelated profusion of moral problems--this volume offers a theoretically unified presentation that enables students to see how their conclusions regarding one moral issue can affect their positions on other debates.

Questions of Life and Death includes readings on socially and politically relevant controversies including famine, killing in war, terrorism, capital punishment, killing animals, suicide, euthanasia, and abortion. The essays include classic works by Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Hobbes, Immanuel Kant, and John Locke alongside contemporary selections by Thomas Nagel, James Rachels, Peter Singer, Judith Jarvis Thomson, Michael Walzer, and many others. Rather than presenting students with readings on abstract and complex moral theories, editor Christopher Morris has chosen works that reflect "middle-level moral theory" and inspire everyday questions like "What if everyone did that?" Each reading is preceded by a brief introduction and followed by discussion questions. For additional theoretical background, students can consult the final chapter, a "Moral Theory Primer" (by Mark Timmons), which clearly outlines various theories.

About the Author(s)

Christopher W. Morris is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland. He is the author of An Essay on the Modern State (1998) and the editor or coeditor of several books, including Amartya Sen (2009) and Violence, Terrorism, and Justice (1991).

Reviews

"Questions of Life and Death is an excellent, well-designed textbook. Its chief strength is the coherence of the book as a whole. Rather than simply sampling from a variety of contemporary moral debates, it allows students to systematically explore the ethics of life and death. Because all of the topics in Morris's text share the theme of life and death, it more consistently challenges students to inquire deeply."--Linda Radzik, Texas A&M University

"This is the best text I've ever seen that deals with issues of life and death. The introductions will really give students a sense of what hangs on each issue, why the two sides do not see eye to eye, and so on. For the issues selected, Morris has done an excellent job of compiling the best imaginable readings."--David J. Yount, Mesa Community College

"This text is a welcome breath of fresh air in the area of teaching applied ethics. Through fifteen extensive chapters, it combines older classic articles with new sparkling thought to engage not only the casual reader or the undergraduate student required to read it, but also the instructor of a class on applied ethics."--Vasileios Tsompanidis

Table of Contents

    I. WHY IS KILLING USUALLY WRONG?
    1. R. M. Hare, What Is Life?
    2. Thomas Aquinas, Of Murder
    3. John Locke, The Natural State of Men
    4. John Paul II, Thou Shall Not Kill
    5. Thomas Hobbes, The Value of a Man Is His Price
    6. Jeff McMahan, Killing
    7. Jonathan Glover, Not Playing God
    II. WHY IS DEATH AN EVIL?
    8. James Rachels, Death and Evil
    9. Thomas Nagel, Death
    10. Robert Nozick, Death
    III. WHAT MAKES OUR LIVES GO WELL?
    11. Thomas Aquinas, Happiness
    12. Thomas Hobbes, Felicity
    13. Robert Nozick, The Experience Machine
    14. Martha Nussbaum, A Conception of the Human Being: The Central Human Capabilities
    15. Derek Parfit, What Makes Someone's Life Go Best?
    16. Thomas Nagel, The Meaning of Life
    IV. SAVING LIVES: FAMINE
    17. Peter Singer, Famine, Affluence, and Morality
    18. David Schmidtz, Islands in a Sea of Obligation: Limits of the Duty to Rescue
    V. KILLING IN WAR
    19. Christopher W. Morris, Notes on War and Peace
    20. Thomas Hobbes, War of Every One against Every One
    21. Thomas Aquinas, Of War
    22. Harry Truman, Address to the American People, 9 August 1945
    23. John Rawls, Fifty Years after Hiroshima
    24. Thomas Nagel, War and Massacre
    25. Michael Walzer, Supreme Emergency
    26. George Orwell, On the Futility of Limiting War
    27. George I. Mavrodes, Conventions and the Morality of War
    28. Jeff McMahan, The Ethics of Killing in War
    VI. TERRORISM
    29. R. G. Frey and Christopher W. Morris, Violence, Terrorism, and Justice
    30. Loren Lomasky, The Political Significance of Terrorism
    31. Douglas Lackey, The Evolution of the Modern Terrorist State: Area Bombing and Nuclear Deterrence
    32. Robert K. Fullinwider, Terrorism, Innocence, and War
    VII. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
    33. Thomas Aquinas, Whether It Is Lawful to Kill Sinners?
    34. Immanuel Kant, The Right of Punishing
    35. John Paul II, The Death Penalty
    36. Amnesty International, The Death Penalty and the Right to Life
    37. Hugo Adam Bedau, The Case against the Death Penalty
    38. Louis P. Pojman, Why the Death Penalty Is Morally Permissible
    39. Christopher W. Morris, Punishment and Loss of Moral Standing
    VIII. ANIMALS
    40. Thomas Aquinas, The Status of Animals
    41. Immanuel Kant, Duties with Regard to Animals
    42. Peter Singer, All Animals Are Equal
    43. Peter Carruthers, Against the Moral Standing of Animals
    44. Alastair Norcross, Puppies, Pigs, and People: Eating Meat and Marginal Cases
    IX. SUICIDE
    45. Seneca, On the Proper Time to Slip the Cable
    46. Thomas Aquinas, Whether It Is Lawful to Kill Oneself?
    47. David Hume, Of Suicide
    X. EUTHANASIA
    48. John Paul II, The Tragedy of Euthanasia
    49. James Rachels, Active and Passive Euthanasia
    50. Frances M. Kamm, A Right to Choose Death? A Moral Argument for the Permissibility of Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide
    51. David Velleman, Against the Right to Die
    52. Allen Buchanan, Intending Death: The Structure of the Problem and Proposed Solutions
    XI. WHEN DO WE DIE?
    53. President's Commission, Defining Death
    54. David DeGrazia, Biology, Consciousness, and the Definition of Death
    55. Jeff McMahan, Endings
    XII. ABORTION
    56. John Paul II, The Unspeakable Crime of Abortion
    57. Judith Jarvis Thomson, A Defense of Abortion
    58. Mary Ann Warren, On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion (and Postscript on Infanticide, 1982)
    59. Donald Marquis, Why Abortion Is Immoral
    60. Jeff McMahan, Beginnings
    61. Eugene Mills, The Egg and I: Conception, Identity, and Abortion
    62. Paul Gomberg, Abortion and the Morality of Nurturance
    XIII. MAKING PEOPLE: CLONING
    63. Leon Kass, Preventing a Brave New World
    64. Robert George (joined by Alfonso Gómez-Lobo), Human Cloning and Human Dignity
    65. Michael Tooley, The Moral Status of Cloning
    XIV. FUTURE GENERATIONS
    66. Gregory S. Kavka, The Paradox of Future Individuals
    XV. MORAL THEORIES
    67. Mark Timmons, A Moral Theory Primer

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