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Ethical Theory: Classical and Contemporary Readings 5th Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0495006718
ISBN-10: 0495006718
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"It is the best anthology on ethical theory, as a matter of fact, it is the best by far."

"This is a great text, one I look forward to using for some time."

"His introductory analyses show a very strong grasp of the subject of each chapter. His ways of making distinctions and putting them into charts or tables is very helpful to teacher and students alike."

About the Author

Louis P. Pojman (1935-2005) was Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, at the United States Military Academy and a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. He received an M.A. and Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary/Columbia University. He was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Copenhagen and a Rockefeller Fellow at Hamburg University. He received his D.Phil. in Philosophy from Oxford University in 1997.His first position was at the University of Notre Dame, after which he taught at the University of Texas at Dallas. Later, at the University of Mississippi, he served for three years as Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion. In 1995, he became Professor of Philosophy at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He most recently was Visiting Professor at Brigham Young University in Utah and Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, Oxford University. Pojman won several research and teaching awards, including the Burlington Northern Award for Outstanding Teaching and Scholarship (1988) and the Outstanding Scholar/Teacher in the Humanities at the University of Mississippi (1994). He wrote in the areas of philosophy of religion, epistemology, ethics, and political philosophy and authored or edited more than 30 books and 100 articles. Pojman passed away in 2005.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing; 5 edition (January 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0495006718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0495006718
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #753,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a very useful anthology: it is broad in scope, and, when one considers the number of issues broached, its coverage of the most central issues in philosophical ethics is often surprisingly deep.
Pojman's appears to have had three primary objectives in editing this anthology: (i) to provide an overview of the main positions in normative ethics, (ii) to provide an overview of some of the main issues in meta-ethics, and (iii) to present discussions of a few traditional questions about morality (e.g. Does morality conflict with self-interest? Do moral truths require the existence of God? Do we need a robust sort of free will in order to be morally responsible for what we do?).
The book covers what are currently taken to be the big three positions in normative ethics: utilitarianism (and consequentialism more generally), deontology, and virtue ethics. (There's no section on contractualism/contractarianism, though there are selections from Gauthier, Harman, Hobbes, and Kant. So some of the relevant literature is present here.) These sections include a few papers defending each position, a few papers criticizing them, and in some cases responses to those criticisms. Of the three sections, the one on utilitarianism is the best and most comprehensive. The sections on deontology and virtue ethics are less comprehensive, but they're still good enough to provide an introduction to those positions and some significant objections to them.
The book's coverage of issues in meta-ethics is perhaps better than its coverage of issues in normative ethics. Pojman has included sections on several issues in meta-ethics, including relativism, the nature of value, realism vs. antirealism, and a section on positions on the fact/value distinction.
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Format: Paperback
One thing for certain about any anthology compiled by the late Louis Pojman (and continued by his successors) is that the product will be complete and unbiased. I've lost count of how many anthologies Pojman has compiled on various areas of philosophy, but of the several with which I'm familiar, all of them are excellent resources. "Ethical Theory" is no exception.

Just about every major issue and tradition in theoretical ethics is covered in this anthology--relativism and objectivism, egoism, value, utilitarianism, Kantianism, virtue ethics, religion and ethics, morality and self-interest, as well as several other topics. For most of these topics there is a blend of classical and contemporary selections, one that is balanced between the various positions that have been taken on the issues.

Because of the wide range of issues covered and the many selections, "Ethical Theory" contains far more than can possibly be discussed in a semester. However, this is a benefit rather than a drawback, for whether one is teaching a lower-division college-level class or a graduate seminar in ethical theory, there is plenty material to draw on in the Pojman anthology.

However, be forewarned. This is not a book for a trendy applied ethics class. This anthology is best suited for a traditional course in ethical theory.
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Format: Hardcover
Pojman takes a variety of selections from opposing viewpoints to create a well-balanced text that serves as an excellent resource for an introductory philosophy or ethics class. Includes sources from early classical philosophers to contemporary authors.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This particular edition of Ethical Theory is awful. The text is riddled with typos, whole sentences missing from passages and has an uneven height of letters at times. For a book in its sixth edition these kinds of errors are unacceptable.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Used this is a course I took last semester and it was good to read and how it presented the work of the philosophers along with counter arguments on the topics. Overall a good textbook.
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By Dawn Clark on January 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Exactly what I ordered and the book is very helpful. I have a hard time reading it, but that is only because I hate Ethics.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Book is in decent shape, with highlighted pages. Binding is good.
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