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Paperback The Elements of Moral Philosophy Book

ISBN: 0072476907

ISBN13: 9780072476903

The Elements of Moral Philosophy

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. The Elements of Moral Philosophy 8th edition is a best-selling text for undergraduate courses in ethics. Thirteen thought-provoking chapters introduce readers to major moral concepts and theories in...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Gave me interesting concepts to ponder.

I read this book in my middle school years as an introduction to learning about moral philosophy and it was an excellent starter for me to continue with my interest in moral philosophy and helped advance my knowledge. Extremely comprehensive and not overwhelming.

Painless intro to ethical thought:

I teach an ethics course that is required of Computer Science Students at an area University. One problem I have is that, before we get to dicuss social and ethical issues as they pertain to technology and society, the student have no clue about any of the basics of ethical thought. For my purposes, this book is a deity-send. It is NOT complete, but it sure does a good job giving the basics of how we structure ethical discussions and how (and in some cases why) our views of what's right and wrong have developed. My students groan the first day of class when they see they have a philosophy book at the beginning of the semester, but they quit complaining once they begin reading. Fosters lots of good discussion in my class. I would NOT recommend it to someone wanting to study moral philosophy in depth. But for a quick overview of major trends, and particularly in the case of my class where "what is ethics?" is only one part of the content we cover--very good. 5 stars because it teaches well.

An amazing book

I am a college student, and this book was the required text book for the course. I am very pleased with this book. It opened my eyes to many different issues including Feminism, Homosexuality, Animal Rights and issues that I didn't have as much knowledge as I would have liked. It also introduced me to issues such as materialism, along with the dictionary, which is also very helpful. This book definitely ventures on all major sides of the issues. Rachel's never states his opinion or what he thinks is right, instead he does his best to state each side of the argument, and gives additional information about why the other side might dissagree. He also does this in a very easy to understand manner, and keeps it extremely enteresting by giving examples right from our history. This is one book I will definitely not want to sell back, and it has helped me grow as a person. I recommed this to students as well as anyone who is looking to continue their growth as a human being.

Don't Let The Title Scare You Away

This slim volume is an excellent introduction to ethics. It is geared to the layman, and is an eminently readable exposition of all the main schools of moral thought. Author Rachels presents each ethical theory, and then presents arguments favoring and opposing the concept. He also applies ethical theories to such concrete problems as abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, and civil disobedience. If you like mind challenging ideas than you will enjoy this book. At the least you will find that all is not as it seems in the world of moral behavior.All of the main schools of thought are discussed including religious theories, cultural relativism, egoism and utilitarianism. It's an engrossing book that may easily change the way you think.Consider cultural relativism. Is it always wrong to kill? Years ago it was found that nomadic Eskimos often killed newborn infants. A child requires breast nourishment for four years in the cold north, and is carried and sheltered in the mother's parka as the family constantly travels. It is not feasible for a mother to carry, protect, and feed two infants at one time. The entire group would face extinction if too many infants were allowed to grow. Are these Eskimos to be considered immoral? If you have an open mind, this is a great opportunity to learn that ethical behavior is not as rigidly defined as you may have thought.

A great text for intro level ethics courses

I use this book (in conjunction with _The Right Thing to Do_, edited by Rachels) as a text for an intro-level ethics course that I teach. I can't recommend it highly enough. Rachels is a sharp philosopher, as well as an interesting and lucid writer. In this book he covers all the basics (Divine Command Theory, Cultural Relativism, Subjectivism, Utilitarianism, Kant...), and does a fine job of drawing examples from applied ethics (gay rights, euthanasia, animal rights...) to illustrate the theories he discusses. This is not to suggest that you will find no fault with any of Rachels' arguments. I myself am less than satisfied with his criticisms of emotivism and Kantianism -- but all things considered, this a minor complaint. The book still deserves five stars. If you are teaching ethics at the college level and are looking for an introductory level text, suitable for students with no previous exposure to philosophy, this is the one -- I know of none better.
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