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The Expanding Circle: Ethics, Evolution, and Moral Progress Paperback – May 8, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Singer's theory of the expanding circle remains an enormously insightful concept, which reconciles the existence of human nature with political and moral progress. It was also way ahead of its time. . . . It's wonderful to see this insightful book made available to a new generation of readers and scholars."--Steven Pinker, author of The Blank Slate and The Stuff of Thought

"The Expanding Circle is a brilliant book whose significance becomes clearer every year. Peter Singer was the first major philosopher to see the importance of the new Darwinian insights into human nature, and in this book he applies them with characteristic power and grace."--Robert Wright, author of The Moral Animal

"The Expanding Circle is a great introduction to the whole question of the relationship between evolution and ethics. Looking at it now nearly 30 years after its original publication, I am amazed at how well it has withstood the test of time. This book remains as relevant as ever."--Michael Ruse, editor of Philosophy after Darwin

"Since its first publication in 1981, The Expanding Circle has become one of the most widely influential books in ethics. This revised edition could not be more timely. It is vital reading for anyone who has ever wondered about the nature or objectivity of morality--which is to say, for all of us."--Peter Railton, University of Michigan

About the Author

Peter Singer is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne. His books include "Animal Liberation", "Practical Ethics", "Rethinking Life and Death", "One World," and, most recently, "The Life You Can Save".
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (May 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691150699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691150697
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #339,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Gene C. Bammel on August 4, 2011
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This is both vintage and new Peter Singer: vintage because it is the message he has consistently taught: our ethics is evolutionary, and biology has a lot to do with it. Novel, because in the postscript, he brings up to date what has been learned by moral philosophers and psychologists in the intervening years since the book was first published. This is a well-written text, conveying the best of ethical insights from the consequentialist point of view. Peter Singer just gets better with time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Boris Yakubchik on October 21, 2012
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When Peter Singer writes a book, you ought to read. In this classic, he draws an analogy of an escalator of reason - we step on it and see where it leads without knowing. As we learn more about the world, it becomes obvious that we ought to care not just about ourselves, or just our family, or just our neighborhood, but of others as well. The Expanding Circle is a careful argument about our moral obligations in today's world.

This book is easily in my top 10 MUST-READ list :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. Perz on December 11, 2012
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Just FYI: this book was actually published in 1983. I think that the ideas of sociobiology are, perhaps, more mainstream now than they were in the 1980s so the book doesn't seem quite as profound to me as it probably was when it was first published. Still, it's a good read. Singer is attempting to unpack some of the issues and problems arsising from the sociobiological approach to ethics. I'm not sure he went into his "expanding circle" metaphore as he could have but it is a pretty short book...

This is probably not something that has wide appeal but this would be a good book to assign in a college ethics or sociology course.

Recommended.
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