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Problems from Philosophy 3rd Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0073535890
ISBN-10: 0073535893
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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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 3 edition (January 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0073535893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0073535890
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Though this book is an introduction, it is a serious exposition of the major problems confronted by philosophy with rigorous arguments for and against stated in a lucid form.

If you read only one introductory book to philosophy, make this it. It's short and it is written by possibly the most sensible philosopher of the 20th century.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a very interesting read. I quite enjoyed all the topics discussed. The language is not too academic, and so it reads pretty quickly, but covers each topic in good depth. The appendix has a nice section on logic and arguments as well. Overall, I highly recommend it to students new to philosophy.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this as a companion book for The Truth about the World: Basic Readings In Philosophy (Second Edition). A book also by Rachels & Rachels. Problems from Philosophy is written in plain and simple language and discusses the theories presented in the other book. Both books were assigned texts for an introduction to Philosophy class. I found this book to be invaluable as a companion book. I'm passing it down to my teenagers who are freshmen in college.
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Format: Paperback
A good book that a basic level covers relevant philosophical topics. It can be mundane at times. I'd prefer illustrations to spice things up a bit. For being an introductory book it doesn't necessarily achieve the goal of being objective. Some of the author's opinions are obvious, for example, his disbelief in God and his antipathy for Kant. The former more justified than the latter of course. A strong suit is that the sections don't drag on, and the transition from topic to topic is quick.

3.5/5
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this book to be enjoyable based on the chapters I had to read for class. The kindle version was about 95% cheaper than what the paperback cost from my bookstore. Only downside was that the amazon listing seems to be quite confusing / it mixes this book with another from Russel.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is not only a great read, but as I needed it for my course, this version got the price confused with the original. Thanks to that, this listing is significantly cheaper than buying a physical copy. Don't worry about the "look inside," this book is legitimate.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This has excellent philosophical views by authors Rachels and was a pleasant read. However it was a required textbook and in my opinion very overpriced, I believe around 60$ for a slim paperback.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book arrived in a timely fashion and was even in better shape than I thought. The philosophy in it was good for the class I was taking. You should either agree with this author or not. He gives multiple sides, but is pretty one sided in his believes. Good buy.
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