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The Ethical Life: Fundamental Readings in Ethics and Moral Problems Paperback – August 28, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0195377699 ISBN-10: 0195377699

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (August 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195377699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195377699
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #721,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"I predict that when Shafer-Landau's The Ethical Life is paired with his textbook, The Fundamentals of Ethics, they will become a standard for contemporary ethical issues courses. . . . The quality of the original-source texts is excellent." --Jason Zinser, University of North Florida

"This new ethics anthology by one of today's leading moral philosophers is a real standout among the many choices available. It combines carefully chosen, can't-do-without classics with some unknown gems. Add the editor's lucid, accurate introductions, and I can't think of a more ideal choice." --Chris Heathwood, University of Colorado at Boulder

"This is a very strong anthology, usefully and unusually combining classical and contemporary readings in value theory, normative ethics, metaethics, and applied ethics. I can now confidently say that this is a real and significant improvement over the Rachels anthology. It appears to me to promise the best anthology on the market." --Christopher F. Zurn, University of Kentucky

"Shafer-Landau has put together a terrific introductory anthology for all undergraduates studying ethics and moral philosophy. . . . I wouldn't use any other textbook." --Paul Bloomfield, University of Connecticut

About the Author

Russ Shafer-Landau is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

This book is a compilation of readings on Ethics. It is supposed to be the companion of the book The Fundamentals of Ethics, an exceptionally good introduction to the study of ethics.

Gilbert Harman, the famous contender against moral realism, Professor in Princeton, lists, in a program, a bunch of texts students should read while attending his course entitled PHI 202/CHV 202: Introduction to Moral Philosophy. Then he goes on to say that almost all of the texts he recommends can be found in Shafer-Landau's The Ethical Life: the book which I am reviewing right now!


Unfortunately, the table of contents of this book is not explicit in Amazon's webpage. I give an overview from it below:

This book encompasses a very comprehensive sample of texts on Ethics. It is divided in four parts. The first one concerns the good life, including texts from Epicurus, Stuart Mill, Robert Nozick, etc. The second regards the different types of normative ethics or theories of right conduct. Authors such as Hobbes, Kant, J.J.C. Smart, and others appear here. The third deals with Metaethics and the status of morality, containing classics like Hume, Mackie (Excerpt from Inventing Right and Wrong), Gilbert Harman, etc.

Lastly, comes the fourth and best part, the one that really goes beyond the problems discussed in the counterpart of this book (The Fundamentals of Ethics). Part 4 adds very good texts on specific moral problems, such as Abortion, Euthanasia, Value of Human Life, Killing Animals, World Poverty, Manipulation of Genes and Clones, Terrorism, Admissibility of Torture, Adultery, Homosexuality.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JGal22 on July 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
bought this book for a college class, ended up keeping it! Finished the class with an A, and kept the book as reference. Amazing logic from the writer, total keeper. Highly recommend this book. Everyone should have one... easy read and to follow....a lot more wisdom and less ignorance in the world if people would take the time to think logically and fairly. This book makes this clear to understand.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By dydx on October 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Paid $14.97 (+$6.99=$21.96 for express shipping; IF THIS IS FOR CLASS, DON'T ORDER AT THE LAST MINUTE) for this, as opposed to the $49.95 I would have paid at my school's bookstore. Used but like new; no annoying stickers, highlighting, super-bent corners, etm. but all used books vary of course. As far as content, I've only been reading selected portions of it for class but it seems like a thoroughly good textbook.
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