Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

The Elements of Moral Philosophy 6th Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0073386713
ISBN-10: 0073386715
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Trade in your item
Get a $1.50
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Rent
$17.30 - $17.31
Due Date: Dec 18, 2016 Rental Details
  • FREE return shipping at the end of the semester.
  • Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with rentals.
In Stock. Rented from RentU , Fulfilled by Amazon
  • List Price: $29.88
  • Save:$12.57(42%)
To Rent, select Shipping State from options above
More Buying Choices
9 New from $85.65 69 Used from $8.55

There is a newer edition of this item:

Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Get a FREE Amazon Echo with homework help
Choose from 40+ subjects with online tutors from The Princeton Review. Learn more
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James Rachels, the distinguished American moral philosopher, was born in Columbus, Georgia, graduating from Mercer University in Macon in 1962. He received his Ph.D. in 1967 from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He taught at the University of Richmond, New York University, the University of Miami, Duke University, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he spent the last twenty-six years of his career. 1971 saw the publication of Rachels’ groundbreaking textbook Moral Problems, which ignited the movement in America away from teaching ethical theory towards teaching concrete practical issues. Moral Problems sold 100,000 copies over three editions. In 1975, Rachels wrote “Active and Passive Euthanasia,” arguing that the distinction so important in the law between killing and letting die has no rational basis. Originally appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine, this essay has been reprinted roughly 300 times and is a staple of undergraduate education. The End of Life (1986) was about the morality of killing and the value of life. Created from Animals (1990) argued that a Darwinian world-view has widespread philosophical implications, including drastic implications for our treatment of nonhuman animals. Can Ethics Provide Answers? (1997) was Rachels’ first collection of papers (others are expected posthumously). Rachels’ McGraw-Hill textbook, The Elements of Moral Philosophy, is now in its fourth edition and is easily the best-selling book of its kind. Over his career, Rachels wrote 5 books and 85 essays, edited 7 books and gave about 275 professional lectures. His work has been translated into Dutch, Italian, Japanese, and Serbo-Croatian. James Rachels is widely admired as a stylist, as his prose is remarkably free of jargon and clutter. A major theme in his work is that reason can resolve difficult moral issues. He has given reasons for moral vegetarianism and animal rights, for affirmative action (including quotas), for the humanitarian use of euthanasia, and for the idea that parents owe as much moral consideration to other people’s children as they do to their own. James Rachels died of cancer on September 5th, 2003, in Birmingham, Alabama.

STUART RACHELS is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alabama. He has revised several of James Rachels’ books, including Problems from Philosophy (second edition, 2009) and The Right Thing to Do (fifth edition, 2010), which is the companion anthology to this book. Stuart won the United States Chess Championship in 1989, at the age of 20, and he is a Bronze Life Master at bridge. His website is www.jamesrachels.org/stuart.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 203 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Higher Education; 6th edition (2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0073386715
  • ISBN-13: 978-0073386713
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Important Information

Ingredients
Example Ingredients

Directions
Example Directions

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I use this book (in conjunction with _The Right Thing to Do_, edited by Rachels) as a text for an intro-level ethics course that I teach. I can't recommend it highly enough. Rachels is a sharp philosopher, as well as an interesting and lucid writer. In this book he covers all the basics (Divine Command Theory, Cultural Relativism, Subjectivism, Utilitarianism, Kant...), and does a fine job of drawing examples from applied ethics (gay rights, euthanasia, animal rights...) to illustrate the theories he discusses. This is not to suggest that you will find no fault with any of Rachels' arguments. I myself am less than satisfied with his criticisms of emotivism and Kantianism -- but all things considered, this a minor complaint. The book still deserves five stars. If you are teaching ethics at the college level and are looking for an introductory level text, suitable for students with no previous exposure to philosophy, this is the one -- I know of none better.
Comment 68 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Honestly the changes between the 6th and 7th edition must be extremely minor. So far there have been no differences between the books in class. It gets the job done and is still up-to-date and accurate.
1 Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Elements of Moral Philosophy" is a fabulous, non-technical introduction to ethics. The writing is clear and historically informed, the main schools of thought are covered, and Rachels doesn't pretend that he's found all the answers to very difficult questions. I can't think of a better book for a college student who is new to philosophical ethics and wants to get a feel for how philosophers approach these issues.

I was struck by the handful of super-negative Amazon reviews. I suspect they were written by students who were forced to read the book for a class and either expected something else or were put off by Rachels' respectful but negative treatment of religious-based ethics. Ignore them.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have used this textbook in my classes for about eight years. It is easy to read and provides multiple sides to each topic. My only complaint is how much a new edition costs and how little was changed in the most recent edition for the cost. I encourage my students to find used copies, which is common in college today, because the updates to the 7th edition were minimal.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
A lucid, beautifully written overview of the theories historically proposed as "the right moral theory". The author gives generous renditions to all the theories he presents, and proceeds to describe their weaknesses with equal clarity.

If there is only one book you want to read about morality, make this it. I have a bachelor's degree equivalent knowledge of philosophy and read numerous introductory books; this is my favorite.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When we get into morals and ethics, we are going to be discussing some tiring material. Thankfully, this book is a good book, and not painful reading. It is also short, and a quick read.

Authors can make their books painful to read... this was not one of them. I kept this book for my personal library.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This author contradicts himself, and displays his lack of knowledge and general research before the end of chapter 2. These writings sound like a high school debate class, influenced by the latest MTV reality TV programming. Thank you for the confidence that I too can write a book and earn money.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Ann on August 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very interesting textbook and well-written. This book kept me engaged for the entire semester. I truly recommend this book for not only philosophy classes but also for your personal pleasure.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse