Living High and Letting Die: Our Illusion of Innocence and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $25.00
  • Save: $2.30 (9%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by RentU
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Fast shipping from Amazon! Qualifies for Prime Shipping and FREE standard shipping for orders over $35. Overnight, 2 day and International shipping available! Excellent Customer Service.. May not include supplements such as CD, access code or DVD.
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Living High and Letting Die: Our Illusion of Innocence Paperback – June 20, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0195108590 ISBN-10: 0195108590

Buy New
Price: $22.70
43 New from $18.60 48 Used from $0.98
Amazon Price New from Used from
eTextbook
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$22.70
$18.60 $0.98

Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student



Frequently Bought Together

Living High and Letting Die: Our Illusion of Innocence + Philosophical Perspectives on Punishment + Mortal Questions (Canto Classics)
Price for all three: $62.53

Buy the selected items together

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (June 20, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195108590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195108590
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"Unger has pioneered a new way of testing and exploring our intuitions, with results that are devastating for traditional ideas of how to do ethics. This will shake normative ethics to its roots. A major work of fundamental importance both to moral philosophy and to the poor of this world. Important in a practical way, as well as in an academic way."--Peter Singer, Princeton University


"A terrifically powerful piece of work, and its publication will make a nuclear-sized explosion."--Jonathan Bennett, Syracuse University


"Unger's vigorous investigation of irrationalities in our daily thinking...suggests convincingly that we owe others far more than we typically think we do. This, then, is a book on a topic of great importance, written with much moral passion by a skillful and ingenious philosopher."--Martha Nussbaum, London Review of Books


"A very fine book...carefully argued, imaginative, fearless."--David Lewis, Eureka Street


"[Unger's] discussion of how much the well-off should sacrifice for the world's most needy stands as the state-of-the-art treatment of the subject."--Brad Hooker, Times Literary Supplement


"Unger's book is full of subtle and oddly entertaining cases to support his view....[He handles conterarguments] with stunningly effective simplicity."--Globe and Mail


"Unger challenges our moral beliefs with arguments that are always powerful, and often original. Everyone who can understand these arguments ought, I believe, to read and think about this book."--Derek Parfit, author of Reasons and Persons


"Living High & Letting Die will annoy many students and faculty--which is a good thing. Unger challenges and illuminates our moral thinking in a direct, forceful way, causing students to engage in moral reasoning and moral psychology with more passion than is ordinarily the case. I used Unger's book alongside a standard anthology in ethical theory in An Introduction to Ethics course. The book's presentation is clear and understandable to undergraduates, and the examples are interesting, thought-provoking, and make doing philosophy fun. Challenge and incite your students with this book!"--Tobyn DeMarco, Hunter College, City University of New York


"Students either love or hate Living High & Letting Die--bored indifference is not an option. Unger's book prods, provokes, infuriates, and inspires. His ingenious and passionate arguments compell students to examine their beliefs as precious few do. They illustrate the significance and urgency of ethical decision-making, and powerfully demonstrate that philosophy can be much more than an abstract, theoretical, barren discipline."--Larry Temkin, Rice University


About the Author


Peter Unger is Professor of Philosophy at New York University. He is the author of Ignorance (OUP 1975, 2002), Philosophical Relativity (1984, OUP 2002), and Identity, Consciousness, and Value (OUP 1990).

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By John S. Ku on May 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
Contrary to a couple of previous reviews posted here, both favorable and unfavorable, Unger neither argues for nor presupposes Utilitarianism or consequentialism. Nor does he need to. It is true that his conclusions bear a superficial similarity to utilitarianism in being quite demanding, but he argues this on the basis of fairly fundamental intuitions that nearly all of us accept already. His strategy is such that ANY moral theory (whether deontological, consequentialist or other) must take a stance on which aspects of the hypotheticals he presents are morally relevant. If we are to avoid such implausible conclusions as that physical proximity or salience of others' needs are morally relevant factors, I think we cannot avoid his primary conclusion that nearly all of us act wrongly by not giving much more to certain charities than we currently do.
Anyone who knows enough about this book to have read this far ought to read and grapple with the arguments presented in this book. Some of the more radical positions he defends may in the end turn out to be wrong but I think they certainly cannot be dismissed out of hand. This book will prove to be valuable to anyone concerned with doing the right thing as well as to intellectuals interested in the place of moral intuitions in moral inquiry (and as Unger points out, the dangers of relying too heavily on certain of those intuitions).
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By NJPhilosophy on November 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
If a child is drowning in a shallow pool, and you are nearby in a crowd of unresponsive adults, then you ought to wade in and rescue the child. As there is nothing to distinguish your obligations from that of others in the crowd, it follows that each person in the crowd ought to wade in and rescue the child. But it does not follow from this that EVERYONE ought to wade in and rescue the child. As soon as some people in the crowd show signs of response, the situation changes and each can re-evaluate the situation.

Similarly, Unger's conclusion that EACH well-to-do person ought to surrender the bulk of his wealth does not entail that ALL well-to-do persons ought to surrender the bulk of their wealth.

Unger's argument allows for the possibility that somewhere along the way it would be counter-productive to transfer wealth (for any number of reasons). What's at stake is the here and now, when the child's drowning and nobody's budging.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. Rozell on May 18, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Peter Unger makes a detailed and compelling case for regarding widespread suffering in developing countries as equivalent to suffering in one's own neighborhood. After reading this book, there are few reasons left for sitting on one's hands in the face of this suffering.

Other readers claim that the book's arguments rest on poorly supported utilitarian premises. Although Dr. Unger does work from a utilitarian frame of reference, I believe the logic of his arguements stand alone and the same conclusions could be reached using a different ethical framework.

It is common for ethicists to construct elaborate theories that explain why the conventional wisdom and practices of society are morally correct. Dr. Unger's contrarian view is both controversial and important. I can imagine that some readers will find the position taken in this book difficult to accept because it makes us question the morally upstanding life that most of us assume we are living.

Although this book is intended for the academic philosopher, it deserves to be read by a much larger audience.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ben on June 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
I am morally obligated to jump into a pond to save a drowning child's life, even if that would ruin my expensive suit. Why, then, am I not morally obligated to send a check to Oxfam if that would save a child's life and cost the same amount of money? There are many differences between the pond case and the Oxfam case. Unger carefully examines these differences and argues that our obligations in the Oxfam case match our obligations in the pond case.

Importantly, Unger does not derive his conclusion from a controversial theory such as utilitarianism. Rather, he begins by considering (e.g.) the suggestion that the pond case and the Oxfam case differ in terms of one's physical proximity to the victim (i.e. the person in need of aid). He then considers multiple cases that differ *only* in terms of one's physical proximity to the victim, noting that one's moral obligations are not affected. He concludes that physical proximity to the victim is not morally relevant. He does this with a variety of the differences between the pond case and the Oxfam case.

Unger also considers differences between the pond case and the Oxfam case that *are* morally relevant, e.g. the relative certainty of being able to save the victim's life. He then asks (e.g.) whether we would be obligated to dive into the pond if we were unsure whether we would be able to save the child's life. Obviously the answer is "yes." Again, Unger does this with a variety of the differences between the pond case and the Oxfam case. He concludes that we have a moral obligation to send aid to the distant needy.

This book is an important, readable, and concise reply to those who claim that Peter Singer's pond case and the Oxfam case are not analogous.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Search