Moral Philosophy: A Reader (4th Edition)

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Jan 15, Derek rated it really liked it. This book has many of the essential readings, and I think overall the editing has been well done. I was a bit surprised by the portions selected from Thomas Aquinas--I think there are better selections. I also think that the book would benefit from adding readings about cognitivism and noncognitivism in morality--given that these seem to be central to metaethical debates today. I also feel like the section on Utilitarianism could use another article defending a utilitarian view.

Overall, I think This book has many of the essential readings, and I think overall the editing has been well done. Overall, I think the book is excellent as an introduction to ethics text.


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I don't know how to rate this. Many of the documents seem prematurely published. However, many were probably more journal entries of moral philosophical ideas.

Moral Philosophy: A Reader

There is a great verity of ideas to stimulate the mind. So what is moral? Every idea has is strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps we ought to leave it to the philosophers as to what is most moral for the kingdom of earth. This is the only primary source text I got from my level Philosophy class, and this is NOT a level book.

Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy

The book has a decidedly right-wing slant, and the excerpts are cut at interesting places so as to obscure the meaning of the texts. Don't read it as your only source. Jan 15, Courtney Johnson rated it did not like it. This book was so boring. I had to read it for my philosophy class.

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I could not get through any of the chapters without my eyes glazing over or falling asleep. I can't wait to get rid of this book and never read it again. I had to read it for a university course. Was an interesting read, even if some of the great philosophers were rather difficult understand on the first go over. Glad I took the course and glad I read through this text. Feb 12, Chris Kalbach rated it really liked it.

Good book from a wide range of philosophers. The works are well chosen and show many different views of ethics.


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The difficult part of this is not placing judgments based on our own cultural assumptions of right and wrong. When we turn this into an argument, however, it is clear that there are both positive and negative aspects to seeing things in a more culturally-open way. In general, ethical subjectivism states that everyone has an opinion, but these are just thoughts and feelings rather than facts thus no one is right. In general, this theory states that our opinions about moral issues are based on feelings and because of this there is no general statement we can make that expresses an opinion that will every be verifiable or true.

Ethical subjectivism has undergone a number of changes. This is called Simple Subjectivism, but it is not a perfect theory. For instance, if it were correct, it states that we are all incapable of being incorrect thus it does not make sense since not everyone can be right. When we state a moral opinion, it is just an opinion and is not fact. While we may want to persuade with our language and try to make someone feel our point, this is still maintaining that all of these statements are still just feelings.

This invokes the question of whether or not there are any moral facts and we find that they only exist when facts are present to support them.

A Romp Through Ethics for Complete Beginners (1/7)

We must make decisions and think about moral issues on grounds that are more substantial than feeling, they must also be provable and backed up by solid fact rather than varied opinions. It takes issue with the fact that much of our American concept of ethics and morality is based upon what the clergy and religious officials think and this makes our country rather unique.

In this way the commandments set forth by God can be seen as arbitrary, even if we do not believe they are.

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When we examine morality based on religious doctrine, there are an infinite number of obstacles to overcome in reasoning. By doing so, we leave ourselves open to a lack of reasoning, which is what ancient Greek authors such as Socrates point out. The theory of natural law seems to be more based in reason but there are still problems inherent to it. It seems as though it is difficult for many to think about morality in terms of nature and science and for this reason the theory has gone by the wayside. Personally, when thinking of rationality in moral decision-making, this seems like the most reasonable choice.

It takes into account human nature and is not based on what could possibly a random or arbitrary set of commandments.

Disputed Moral Issues - Timmons, Mark - | HPB

It begins with a heroic story of the Swedish official who helped many Jewish people escape the Nazi death camps and for a moment, it seems as though this chapter will deal our innate ability and desire to help our fellow human beings. These revelations completely break down what we thought we knew about heroic deeds and it becomes apparent that generally, the theory of psychological egoism is actually quite a feasible idea.

Again, the ego is never absent and even when we may think we are being altruistic, it must always be considered. He suggests that it is flawed because we think it is irrefutable and we then turn everything around to make it seem as though it is provable.