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The Elements of Moral Philosophy 7th (seventh) edition Paperback – 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • ASIN: B006Q7ZCR2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,713,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am not widely read in ethics or philosophy in general. I took an introductory philosophy course as an undergrad and did not return to studying ethics until graduate school, which is where I came into contact with this book. For me, as a novice in ethics, I found Rachels' text enlightening. He neither dwells on theory too long nor dabbles too much in case studies. He provides enough to give you a foundational understanding of the big theories in ethics. Sure, there are probably holes in the material and you probably won't be able to dazzle others with your sudden powers of ethical thought, but it does get you to think about ethics in ways that are almost exciting. Compared to the other textbooks I had in my ethics class, this was a joy to read. The price, as others have said, is too high. But if you have to study it in class, you can't really get around that anyway.
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Format: Paperback
This Rachels'(father and son) book has been around since 1986 when the first edition was published by Random House. Few textbooks last more than 25 years. Virtually all of the ones I am familiar with have an excellent quality that enables them to endure. Sometimes good books do not last; but seldom do bad books persist in the college textbook market. This book is well written and well-organized. Materials are developed in a logical and helpful manner. The case illustrations are germain and are clear. I have taught out of three different editions of this book at four universities over a span of 22 years; and consistently, the majority of students who studied this book in my classes found this textbook one of the best ones available. In my career, I worked in publishing; I was an editor at various journals; and I published and/or edited four different books. My students and I liked this one. It does an excellent job of explaining the development of moral philosophy to undergrads who are non-philosophy majors.
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I rented this book for class ($15) instead of purchasing it new because I was blown away by what it cost to buy (45$ and up) considering what a small book it is. It's only 205 pages Including the index! Now don't get me wrong I expect to pay quite a bit for textbooks ($100 And up easy) but this book shouldn't cost more than $20 new at best. It's a Prime example of price gauging because its main purpose is for college classes. The book itself is basic but suits its purpose.
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I know a lot of educational programs are using this "textbook", but the real winner is the author. It is expensive for simply reading somebody's opinion on different philosophical concepts without many footnotes to even refer to.
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This book was required for an ethics course that I took. I did not enjoy the companion book and this one was barely more tolerable. If it was not required I would not have gotten it and I was extremely disappointed with the cost especially considering that this book is very thin and small and does not have much content for the price tag. Wish I would have saved myself $60 and gotten an earlier edition.
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This has a decent overview perspective on philosophy, it is not a vast history though. The book is overall entertaining, and gives one a good jump start into the field. Reading the intro, it seems that's exactly what this book was intended for.
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By Liz C on November 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought as textbook for a class. This is just a brief overview of the various topics within the subject, you won't find anything in depth here. It's a small book, about the size of a paperback chapter book for older elementary aged readers. Not too long, not too big, didn't weigh down my backpack. It suited it's purpose for my class, but it was not a book I held onto in case I would need it again. If you're looking for a good overview, this is the book. If you're looking to really dig into the subject, you could start here, but you'll need more books or resources to help out.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased the book as a required text for a Moral Ethics class. The individual sections are well understood in any order because they are all independent. Because the text, including examples, are written in layman's terms I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more on the subject. Additionally, I will warn that due to the nature of ethics you will read both pro and con in each example - take it all in and make your best personal judgements on the material, just as ethics is designed.
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