From Publishers Weekly
Examples drawn from recent headlines abound—everything from Martha Stewart to physician-assisted suicide—along with lesser known lawsuits and anecdotes from Allen's past in this survey of want
. Throughout, Allen, a philosopher and professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania, applies her own ethical thinking, rooted in caring and in faith in the practical efficacy of ethics, while also expounding other ethical takes on the issues: cheating as a paradigm of ethical failure, differing theories of moral education, ethical training for doctors and lawyers, business scandals, why illegal drug use is not ethically blameless. Allen also takes on ethical problems posed by new and emerging technology, from designer babies to cosmetic surgery. She identifies duties we owe to our communities—fighting de facto segregation and voting regularly—and, in conclusion, outlines an agenda for ethical living. Allen sometimes lays on examples to the point of exhaustion, and the ethical analysis, while usually astute, can get thin. (A passage on sex in the workplace proves that "mixing business with intimacy is commonplace.") She is best when she is personal: telling stories that draw on her African-American background; recounting how she once had an affair with her best friend's boyfriend. Also welcome is Allen's voice, which combines intelligence and wit with accessibility and warmth.
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