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Ethical Theory


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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Source Acknowledgments xiii

Part I The Status of Morality 1

Introduction to Part I 3

1. "Of the Influencing Motives of the Will" and "Moral Distinctions Not Derived from Reason" 7
David Hume

2. A Critique of Ethics 16
A. J. Ayer

3. The Subjectivity of Values 22
J. L. Mackie

4. Ethics and Observation 31
Gilbert Harman

5. Moral Relativism Defended 35
Gilbert Harman

6. Cultural Relativism 44
Harry Gensler

7. The Subject-Matter of Ethics 48
G. E. Moore

8. Ethics as Philosophy: A Defense of Ethical Nonnaturalism 54
Russ Shafer-Landau

9. Realism 63
Michael Smith Part II Moral Knowledge 69

Introduction to Part II 71

10. Thinking About Cases 74
Shelly Kagan

11. But I Could be Wrong 85
George Sher

12. Proof 94
Renford Bambrough

13. Moral Knowledge and Ethical Pluralism 101
Robert Audi

14. Coherentism and the Justification of Moral Beliefs 112
Geoffrey Sayre-McCord Part III Why Be Moral? 127

Introduction to Part III 129

15. The Immoralist's Challenge 132

16. Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives 138
Philippa Foot

17. A Puzzle About the Rational Authority of Morality 144
David O. Brink

18. Moral Rationalism 159
Russ Shafer-Landau

19. Psychological Egoism 167
Joel Feinberg

20. Flourishing Egoism 178
Lester Hunt

21. Ethical Egoism 193
James Rachels

22. Moral Saints 200
Susan Wolf Part IV Ethics and Religion 213

Introduction to Part IV 215

23. Euthyphro 218

24. A New Divine Command Theory 220
Robert Merrihew Adams

25. God and Objective Morality: A Debate 225
William Lane Craig and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

26. God and Immortality as Postulates of Pure Practical Reason 230
Immanuel Kant

27. God and the Moral Order 234
C. Stephen Layman

28. God and Morality 242
Erik Wielenberg Part V Value 253

Introduction to Part V 255

29. Hedonism 258
John Stuart Mill

30. The Experience Machine 264
Robert Nozick

31. The Good Life: A Defense of Attitudinal Hedonism 266
Fred Feldman

32. Rationality and Full Information 277
Thomas Carson

33. Desire and the Human Good 286
Richard Kraut

34. What Makes Someone's Life Go Best 294
Derek Parfit

35. What Things are Good? 299
W. D. Ross Part VI Moral Responsibility 303

Introduction to Part VI 305

36. Determinism and the Theory of Agency 308
Richard Taylor

37. The Impossibility of Moral Responsibility 312
Galen Strawson

38. Freedom and Necessity 317
A. J. Ayer

39. Moral Luck 322
Thomas Nagel

40. Sanity and the Metaphysics of Responsibility 330
Susan Wolf

41. Freedom and Resentment 340
Peter Strawson Part VII Moral Standing 353

Introduction to Part VII 355

42. We Have No Duties to Animals 359
Immanuel Kant

43. All Animals are Equal 361
Peter Singer

44. The Rights of Animals and Unborn Generations 372
Joel Feinberg

45. On Being Morally Considerable 381
Kenneth Goodpaster

46. Abortion and Infanticide 390
Michael Tooley

47. An Argument that Abortion is Wrong 400
Don Marquis Part VIII Consequentialism 411

Introduction to Part VIII 413

48. Utilitarianism 417
John Stuart Mill

49. Extreme and Restricted Utilitarianism 423
J. J. C. Smart

50. Rule-Consequentialism 428
Brad Hooker

51. Alienation, Consequentialism, and the Demands of Morality 441
Peter Railton

52. What is Wrong with Slavery 458
R. M. Hare

53. Famine, Affluence and Morality 466
Peter Singer

54. The Survival Lottery 474
John Harris Part IX Deontology 479

Introduction to Part IX 481

55. Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals 485
Immanuel Kant

56. Kant's Formula of Universal Law 499
Christine Korsgaard

57. Kantian Approaches to Some Famine Problems 510
Onora O'Neill

58. The Rationality of Side Constraints 521
Robert Nozick

59. The Golden Rule Rationalized 524
Alan Gewirth

60. The Problem of Abortion and the Doctrine of the Double Effect 536
Philippa Foot

61. Killing, Letting Die, and the Trolley Problem 543
Judith Jarvis Thomson Part X Contractarianism 553

Introduction to Part X 555

62. Leviathan 558
Thomas Hobbes

63. Why Contractarianism? 571
David Gauthier

64. A Theory of Justice 581
John Rawls

65. Contractualism and Utilitarianism 593
T. M. Scanlon Part XI Virtue Ethics 609

Introduction to Part XI 611

66. The Nature of Virtue 615

67. Non-Relative Virtues: An Aristotelian Approach 630
Martha Nussbaum

68. Normative Virtue Ethics 645
Rosalind Hursthouse

69. Agent-Based Virtue Ethics 653
Michael Slote

70. A Virtue Ethical Account of Right Action 664
Christine Swanton

71. Being Virtuous and Doing the Right Thing 676
Julia Annas Part XII Feminist Ethics 687

Introduction to Part XII 689

72. In a Different Voice 692
Carol Gilligan

73. An Ethic of Caring 699
Nell Noddings

74. Justice, Care, and Gender Bias 713
Cheshire Calhoun

75. The Need for More than Justice 721
Annette Baier

76. Sexism 729
Marilyn Frye

77. Feminist Skepticism, Authority, and Transparency 735
Margaret Urban Walker Part XIII Prima Facie Duties and Particularism 751

Introduction to Part XIII 753

78. What Makes Right Acts Right? 756
W. D. Ross

79. An Unconnected Heap of Duties? 763
David McNaughton

80. An Unprincipled Morality 772
Jonathan Dancy

81. On Knowing the "Why": Particularism and Moral Theory 776
Margaret Olivia Little

82. Unprincipled Ethics 785
Gerald Dworkin

About the Author

Russ Shafer-Landau is Department Chair and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His previous publications include The Foundations of Ethics: An Anthology (2006, with Terence Cuneo) and Moral Realism: A Defense (2003). He also the editor of Oxford Studies in Metaethics.


This is a rich, wide-ranging, and nicely accessible collection of many of moral philosophy?s greatest hits, updated to include an excellent new section in feminist ethics. A must-have for anyone interested in ethics. Hilde Lindemann, Michigan State University Praise for the First Edition: This collection is a very welcome addition. It is remarkable for the breadth of issues discussed and the diversity of positions represented. Throughout, the selections have been chosen with a keen eye for excellence and accessibility. Taken together, they provide a vivid panorama of ethical theory today. Peter Railton, University of Michigan It is a wonderfully comprehensive collection that manages to bring together well-chosen papers on a number of significant areas in moral theory. Geoff Sayre-McCord, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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