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101 Ethical Dilemmas

9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0415261272
ISBN-10: 0415261279
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Editorial Reviews


'The book starts with the warning that it is not a guidebook for ethical living. What it does do is plant hundreds of more ethical questions in your mind, fulfilling its role as a light hearted, lively introduction to the subject of ethical philosophy. It may not make you a better person or resolve all your problems, but it's a great work out for your brain!' - Get

This book has proved to be invaluable in a pilot project promoting Philosophy and discussion activities in our school. We use this book twice a week as the basis of group discussions of ethical issues, and it is a great success...There is something here for students and people of all ages. I heartily recommend this book, as well as [Martin Cohen's] previous one, which we have enjoyed equally. - Michael Brett, Head of Philosophy, Lochinver School

'101 Ethical Dilemmas... is a chatty, jokey journey through philosophical dilemmas ancient and modern... the philosophy is the real thing.' - New Scientist

'The logical positivists might have called ethics gobbledegook, but it is well and truly on the menu here in 101 courses' - Age

'101 Ethical Dilemmas is the natural sequal to [101 Philosophy Problems] that wonderful's entertainment that trains you to think more intelligently about discerning right and wrong and about how you choose to act.' -

'101 Ethical Dilemmas is a well-structured book which raises many of the ethical issues of today's world.' - Rabbi Jeffrey Cohen, The Australian Jewish News

'Martin Cohen does a good job of weaving some intriguing stories and classic philosophical ideas and arguments into the discussions.' - James Ladyman, senior lecturer in philosophy, Bristol University, The Times Higher Education Supplement

'... Cohen does a good job in weaving some intriguing stories and classic philosophical ideas'
- James Ladyman, Times Higher Education Supplement


About the Author

Martin Cohen is currently working as a researcher at the College of St. Mark and St. John in Plymouth. He is the author of 101 Philosophy Problems, 2nd edition (2002) published by Routledge.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (July 20, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415261279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415261272
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,350,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Martin Cohen is a well-established author specializing in popular books in philosophy, social science and politics. His recent books include 'Critical Thinking Skills for Dummies' and a detailed look at how scientists work called 'Paradigm Shift' which sounds like rather a jump - but are actually two very complementary projects.

First of all, 'Paradigm Shift', subtitle 'How Expert Opinions Keep Changing on Life, the Universe, and Everything' is actually a great deckchair read, taking a look at all many perplexed and perplexing issues in life, from religion to science, from food fads to black holes in space.

A similar warning might be attached to 'Critical Thinking Skills for Dummies'. This book avoids being earnest, jargony... dull - but rather offers a no-holds-barred and amusing tour of thinking itself. (Where else will you find Frankenstein showing you how to construct good arguments?)

Other recent projects include the 'How to Live' books featuring 'Wise (and not-so-wise) Advice from the Great Philosophers'. These examine a whole load of unexpected philosophical things like the virtues of cheese sandwiches (Rousseau) and making the wife work in a factory (John Locke). Being essentially 'snack reading', it is definitely available as an e-book (ASIN B00GOGQRJW).

Martin is best known for his two introductions to philosophy, 101 Philosophy Problems (Routledge 1999, 2001, 2007) and 101 Ethical Dilemmas (Routledge 2002/2007) which despite being originally aimed at the academic market, between them have sold over 250,000 copies and been translated into 20 different languages. He also published an "anti-history" of great philosophers, Philosophical Tales (2008) for Blackwell.

Other recent projects include the UK edition of Philosophy for Dummies (Wiley June 2010); Mind Games: 31 days to rediscover your Brain (Blackwell, July 2010) and The Doomsday Machine: The High Price of Nuclear Energy, the World's Most Dangerous Fuel (co-authored with Andrew McKillop). A project with Richard Stanyer developing resources for Philosophy for Children has led to a beautifully illustrated children's book called Milo and the upside-down Goggles. (The project website is http.//

A book on Thought Experiments was well-reviewed despite being entitled (confusingly perhaps!) Wittgenstein's Beetle, (2004) and other more academic books include a mini book on Adam Smith; and a reference guide to philosophy and ethics for Hodder Academic.

Martin now writes full-time, but in the past has taught philosophy and social science at a number of universities in the UK and Australia, and was involved in a research project at Leeds University under George MacDonald Ross exploring ways to shift philosophy teaching away from the the mere study of philosophical facts and toward a view of philosophy as an activity.

A respected environmentalist, he wrote an influential series of articles in the Times Higher (London) about the politics of the climate change debate. He has written discussion papers on environmental concerns for the European Parliament and been invited by the Chinese government to discuss ecological rights and indigenous communities.

Martin is also the editor of THE PHILOSOPHER, a journal founded in 1923, which counts some of the best known names in Twentieth Century philosophy amongst its contributors. His editorial strategy is to allow as wide a range of ideas as possible a forum in the Journal, and this often prints papers by non-specialists with unusual and original ideas. He is currently based in Normandy, France, but travels often to the US and UK.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
The only time I ever decided to write a piece of fan mail it was to the author of a philosophy book. There. Now you know the full depth of my sadness, but I know you will accept me as I am.
The book was 101 Philosophy Problems by Martin Cohen. It was full of such puzzles as if an object can only ever be in one place at one time, how anything can be moving? Or if you replace every component of a ship piece by piece, at what point does it become a different ship?
At the end you got all Cohen's own thoughts on the questions, always thought-provoking, funny and iconoclastic about the whole business of philosophy.. Apart from anything, it's the most perfect toilet-reading I know.
The brilliant thing about it was that, while so many other philosophy books make your brian shut down after 3 pages , leaving you feeling baffled and stupid Cohen simply got you thinking for yourself. He made it all so lucid, comprehensible and fun, you felt all the other philosophy writers must be charlatans, blinding yo with gobbledegook to make themselves feel clever.
Another great value of the book is that Cohen is committed to the ancient but now somewhat eccentric idea that philosophy should not just be abstract conundrums but should equip us to live better lives.
101 Ethical Dilemmas is the natural sequel to that wonderful book, and as the title suggests it focuses more specifically on ... well, work ti tout for yourself.
Many of the issues Cohen invites us to grapple with here are pressing concerns in modern life. He deals with civil disorder against evil corporations, internet shopping, designer babies, job applications, 'collateral' damage', war against tyrants, cinematic sex, CCTV surveillance, US state terrorism, the abolition of poverty and the wisdom of George W. Bush.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lebouquineur on March 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
Mr Cohen has created a highly entertaining introduction to ethics. After flipping through the first twenty pages in the library, I considered using this book as a reading and discussion text for advanced EFL students. However, I changed my mind when I examined the glossary. I was very surprised to find that the extremely rich field of Jewish ethics was not worth a direct mention (unless I missed a line somewhere) and Christian ethics is only mentioned in passing (mostly negative). The concise ten page glossary provides a useful summary of many ethical concepts and thinkers. What is hard to believe is that an entire page in this small glossary is devoted to praise for the contribution of Islam and Islamic ethics (but nothing whatsoever about taqiyya, kitman, kuffar, jizya and dhimmis). Here is an ethical thinker who is willing to dish out well-deserved criticism of American policy, but is unaware of how blind he is to his own ethical heritage (Readers eager to read anecdotes reflecting the Jewish take on ethics would be well-served by reading A Code of Jewish Ethics: Volume 1: You Shall Be Holy & A Code of Jewish Ethics, Volume 2: Love Your Neighbor as Yourself). Despite the flaws of 101 Ethical Dilemmas, I would still give this book four stars for its entertainment value and a recommendation for a beginner's bookshelf.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on November 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
The second updated edition of the classic 101 Ethical Dilemmas provides both high school and college-level audiences an engaging discussion offering eleven new ethical dilemmas for consideration. The examples offer a range of dilemmas from a variety of fields, from business and legal conflicts to medical worlds, and consider issues of justice, ethics, and good practice. An important and easy, lively introduction to the field of ethics will prove solid classroom debate material and accessible to a range of newcomers to the topic, and lay readers.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By OneCaringPhysician on June 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Martin Cohen writes an entertaining tongue-in-cheek book about Ethical Dilemmas. Obviously NO single ethical principle "works" as a solution to all Dilemmas. The purpose of Ethics is to make clear WHAT ethical principles we have available, HOW to correctly apply them in given situations and what the SHORTCOMINGS of each set of principles might be in each given Ethical situation...

Cohen appears most familiar with Aristotle and Plato, with Immanuel Kant's notion of Duty, with David Hume's Ethical Subjectivism and with Bentham's notions of Utility.

Other lines of thought like Aquinas' doctrine of double effect (page 212) are (humor aside) simply ridiculed. I do get that Mr. Cohen is altogether uncomfortable with the notion of war; but "Collateral Damage" is NOT of NO IMPORT at all to our military.

Possible "Collateral Damage" is to be carefully weighed and considered and AVOIDED when possible in the "damned if you do and damned if you don't" business of war. Thus , prospects of excessive "collateral damage" would imply that a proposed strategy Ethically should be abandoned...

Certainly NO philosophy can confuse the notion that war SHOULDN'T EXIST with the notion that war DOES NOT EXIST. Given that existence, certainly war SHOULD NOT be fought without ANY moral principles at all! What principles do exist? How should Ethical principles be correctly applied to the messy business that is war?

Locke is mentioned on page 346 as an altruist, but John Locke's notion of self-evident Human Rights is unmentioned. Unmentioned is the "Natural Law" that is the basis of our U.S. Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights.
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