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

The Moral Domain

Guided Readings in Philosophical and Literary Texts

Norman Lillegard

Publication Date - September 2009

ISBN: 9780195148084

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

Retail Price to Students: $124.99

This engaging, interactive and pedagogical introduction to ethics combines the best features of a textbook and an anthology. It is the only hybrid text that includes literature and a built-in study guide.


This engaging, interactive and pedagogical introduction to ethics combines the best features of a textbook and an anthology. The Moral Domain: Guided Readings in Philosophical and Literary Texts contains numerous readings from key philosophical writings in ethics along with captivating literary selections that bring the ethical issues to life. Offering extensive excerpts from major figures in the history of Western ethics--Aquinas, Aristotle, Hobbes, Hume, Kant, Mill and Plato--the book also integrates work from non-Western perspectives, including selections from the Bhagavad Gita, Confucian views and Hsun-Tzu. It also represents women's voices with readings by Julia Annas, Sarah Broadie, Carol Gilligan, Martha Nussbaum and others. Literary selections--including work from the Bible, Camus, Dostoevsky, Golding, Sophocles, Tolstoy, Twain and Wharton--enable students to grasp deep ethical concepts at an intuitive level.

The Moral Domain features a unique built-in study guide that helps students to better comprehend and interact with the material. It introduces each selection with orienting questions and then intersperses explanations, commentary and study questions (designed to test comprehension and provoke reflection) throughout the readings. Each chapter includes a "Further Discussion and Applications" section that demonstrates how ethical theory affects such contemporary moral debates and problems as abortion, euthanasia, feminism, hunger, warfare and more. An exemplary text for introduction to ethics and moral philosophy courses, The Moral Domain provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to all facets of ethics; its foundations, history, debates and current real-life controversies.


"The Moral Domain stands out from most [texts] in its rich, enticing and lively textual explication. By organizing the chapters along themes, Lillegard allows the reader to span the chronology, to watch an ethical concern or claim develop from some early attempt by an ancient scholar to be revised in the medieval period and criticized and applied by more contemporary scholars. The relevant content is very well explained and backed up by a solid selection of seminal readings, occasionally supported by literary or biblical texts. Students really appreciate literary pieces, which bring the philosophical concerns alive."--Christina M. Bellon, California State University, Sacramento

"The selection of interspersed works of literature gives students the opportunity to see the issues in terms of compelling stories that both capture their interest and provoke them to think. The literature makes the ideas 'real' for them. I think the questions interspersed with the text are particularly well done, getting at important points, being provocative of thought, and aimed adeptly at the students' interests."--Glen A. Mazis, Penn State Harrisburg

Table of Contents

    Each chapter opens with an Introduction.
    Principal Aims
    Some Ways to Use This Text
    Sample Syllabi
    Introduction: The Moral Domain
    1. Relativism, Skepticism and the Possibility of Moral Judgment
    Tolstoy: After the Ball
    Rachels: Against Relativism
    Midgely: Being Judgmental and Moral Judgment
    The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights
    Further Discussion and Applications
    Accepting Differences
    The Possibility of Real Moral Differences
    Thin and Thick Moral Concepts (Williams)
    Origins of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Glendon)
    2. The Good Life, Reason and Tragic Conflict
    Sophocles: Antigone
    Socrates and Plato: from Apology, Phaedo, Euthyphro, Protagoras, Republic
    Further Discussion and Applications
    Why Go Back to the Cave? (Annas)
    Simplification and Purity (Murdoch)
    Plato's Basis for "Strong Evaluation" (Taylor)
    The Good Life, Community and Plato's Totalitarianism (Popper)
    3. The Good Life, Reason and Virtue
    Aristotle: from The Nichomachean Ethics
    Further Discussion and Applications
    Ethical "Science," Tragic Conflict and Human Vulnerability (Kraut, Nussbaum)
    Moral Education (Sher and Bennett)
    Community and Friendship (Cooper)
    The Virtue of Generosity (Wallace)
    Confucian Parallels (and Differences) (The Confucian School)
    4. Morality and Religion
    Psalm 1, Psalm 19
    Aquinas: from Summa Theologica: The Treatise On Law
    Aquinas: from Summa Theologica: On Wisdom and Folly
    Aquinas: The Principle of Double Effect (from de Malo)
    The Story of Abraham and Issac (Gen. 22)
    Duns Scotus: On Divine Commands and Divine Will (from the Ordinatio and the Reportatio, trans. Thomas Williams)
    The Bhagavad Gita
    Further Discussion and Applications
    Further Points About Natural Law and Double Effect
    Further Points About Divine Commands
    Folly and the Death Camp Doctors (Stump)
    Religious Worship and Moral Agency Are Incompatible (Rachels)
    A Revised Divine Command Theory (Adams)
    Double Effect, Abortion, Euthanasia (Matthews)
    Double Effect, Warfare and Murder (Anscombe)
    Stoicism and the Bhagavad Gita (Epictetus)
    5. Evil, Vice and Reason
    Dostoevsky: from The Brothers Karamazov
    Nietzsche: Art and Morality, Aristocratic Morality, Suspicion of the Good/Evil Distinction
    Albert Camus: The Human Crisis
    Further Discussion and Applications
    Good and Evil as "Natural" (Taylor)
    Kinds of Evil and Wickedness (Benn)
    The Banality of Evil (Arendt)
    The Vice of Self-Deception (Johnson)
    The Qualities of Vice and Punishment (Augustine, Dante)
    6. Egoism, Reason and Morality
    Golding: Lord of the Flies
    Mencius and Hsun-Tzu: Whether Human Nature Is Inherently Good or Evil
    Hobbes: from Leviathan
    Butler: Sermon XI from Fifteen Sermons
    Further Discussion and Applications
    The Unselfishness Trap (Browne)
    Reason and Morality (Baier)
    Rational Choice, Ethics and the Prisoner's Dilemma
    Egoism, Altruism, and Biology
    An Aristotelian Account of Reason, Egoism and Justice (Broadie)
    7. Feeling, Reason and Morality
    Mark Twain: from Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    Hume: from An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals
    Hume: from Treatise of Human Nature
    Further Discussion and Applications
    Emotivism, Prescriptivism, Noncognitivism, the Open-Question Argument
    Sympathy, Moral Judgment and Morality (Bennett)
    Sentiment and Sentimentality (Carroll)
    The Education of the Feelings
    Projectivism (Blackburn)
    Is/Ought, Facts and Values, and Institutional Facts (Searle)
    8. Reason, Duty and Dignity
    Trollope: from Dr. Wortle's School
    Kant: from The Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals
    Further Discussion and Applications
    Prima Facie Duties and Conflict Between Duties (Ross)
    Personal Goodness and Kantian Good Will (Sorell)
    Kant on Sex and Using Persons Merely as Means (Singer)
    Duties Toward Animals (Kant, Reagan)
    Moral Development, Moral Education and Autonomy (Kohlberg)
    Moral Principles and the Moral Focus of Women (Gilligan, Homiak)
    Kantian Ethical Concepts and Discursive Reason (Habermas)
    9. Rightness, Reason and Consequences
    Dostoevsky: "Reason," Consequences and Murder (from Crime and Punishment )
    Bentham: The Calculation of Pleasures and Pains (from The Principles of Morals and Legislation)
    Mill: Utility, Higher and Lower Pleasures and Justice (from Utilitarianism)
    Further Discussion and Applications
    Criticisms of Utilitarianism (Williams)
    A Defense of Utilitarianism (Hare)
    Utilitarianism and Feeding the Hungry (Singer)
    Under What Description? (Schick)
    Social Justice and Utility (Rawls)
    Justice and the Allocation of Medical Resources (Veatch)
    10. Virtues, Narrative and Community: Some Recent Discussions
    Wharton: from The House of Mirth
    MacIntyre: Narrative, Human Action, and the Virtues (from After Virtue)
    Further Discussion and Applications
    Problems with Virtue Theories
    Virtues and the Will (Roberts)
    Applying Virtue Ethics (Hursthouse)
    Virtue and Care for Natural Environments (Hill)
    The People of Le Chambon (Hallie, Sauvage)
    Works Cited
    Topical Index

Related Titles