From Library Journal
Here are 13 of MIT professor Thomson's best essays on moral philosophy, which deal with some of the most timely and complex issues facing modern society. Beginning with "A Defense of Abortion," a classic of contemporary philosophy, she goes on to analyze such questions as self-defense, right to privacy and preferential hiring, government regulation of behavior, and causation and liability. The common question is, What exactly does it mean to have a right to life or self-defense, or any other right? Filled with illuminating and ingenious examples and counterexamples, this collection is recommended for scholars and students in philosophy, political science, and law. Raymond Frey, Philosophy & Religion Dept., Montclair State Coll., Upper Montclair, N.J.
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These essays are distinguished examples of analytical philosophy: clear, highly intelligent, and scrupulously argued. The presentation is forceful, and several pieces speak directly to important matters of general concern, such as abortion and positive discrimination. Thomson's use of examples is particularly striking. They are starkly presented, and notably unsentimental. Some may find the tone heartless. That effect is not unintentional, and the very bare and unapologetic presentation is designed to shock the reader into reflection. Her work reaches towards morally adventurous conclusions, and is impatient of many received pieties. (Bernard Williams)