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An especially clear, compact, and affordable introduction to a broad range of ethical theories


In The Fundamentals of Ethics, fifth Edition, author Russ Shafer-Landau employs a unique engaging writing format to introduce students to the essential principles of moral philosophy. Offering more comprehensive coverage that the good life, normative ethics, and also metaethics than any type of other message of the kind, this book likewise addresses problems that are often omitted from various other texts, such as the doctrine of doing and allowing, the theory of twin effect, honest particularism, the desire-satisfaction theory of well-being, moral error theory, and also Ross"s theory of prima facie duties. Shafer-Landau very closely reconstructs and also analyzes dozens of debates in depth, in ~ a level the is understandable to students through no prior thoughtful background.

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New to this Edition

Nearly thirty cases for an important Reflection, designed come stimulate additional thought around the theories discussed in parts 1 (The great Life) and 2 (Normative Ethics)Chapter 12 now consists of a separate discussion of the difficulty of totally free willA new Chapter 22, Is Moral understanding Possible? 5 Skeptical Arguments, introduces ethical skepticismSubstantial renovations to numerous sections, consisting of "Happiness and also Intrinsic Value" in chapter 1; all three sections in thing 5; "Natural Purposes" in chapter 6; and also "Rule Consequentialism" in thing 10

About the Author(s)

Russ Shafer-Landau is Professor of philosophy at the university of Wisconsin-Madison. The is the author, editor, or coeditor the several publications including Living Ethics (, 2018) and The honest Life, 4th Edition (, 2017). That is also the editor that Oxford research studies in Metaethics.


"This is the ideal introductory principles text top top the market. I have actually been assigning it because 2009 and also expect to do so because that the foreseeable future. Its focus on building and evaluating arguments distinguishes that from completing volumes and also helps new philosophy students easily acclimate themselves to the field."--Robert M. Farley, Hillsborough neighborhood College

"The Fundamentals of Ethics is a an excellent introduction to ethics. Shafer-Landau introduce students come metaethics and also individual ethical theories. He likewise provides good use of philosophical arguments and terminology without gift overly technical. Finally, the price is much lower than alternatives."--Hoon Lee, Triton College

"In The Fundamentals of Ethics, the essential disagreements rise come the top and are conveniently consumed and digested. Because that a quick introduction, the message is amazingly substantial in that is coverage the the major moral theories. The writing layout is the stand-out strength of the book."--Adam English, Campbell University

Table that Contents

PrefaceNew come the fifth EditionInstructor"s Manual and Companion WebsiteA keep in mind on the Companion VolumeAcknowledgmentsIntroductionA. The lay of the LandB. Doubts about EthicsC. Ethical starting PointsD. What Is Morality?E. Moral ReasoningF. The function of ethical TheoryG. Feather AheadPART ONE: THE an excellent LIFEChapter 1. Hedonism: Its an effective AppealA. Happiness and also Intrinsic ValueB. The Attractions the Hedonism1. There Are numerous Models that a an excellent Life2. Personal Authority and also Well-Being3. Misery plainly Hampers a good Life; Happiness clearly Improves It4. The borders of Explanation5. Rule of the an excellent Life-and your Exceptions6. Joy Is What We want forOur love OnesChapter 2. Is happiness All that Matters?A. The Paradox the HedonismB. Evil PleasuresC. False HappinessD. The prominence of AutonomyE. Life"s TrajectoryF. Unhappiness together a Symptom that HarmG. ConclusionChapter 3. Gaining What girlfriend WantA. A variety of great LivesB. Personal AuthorityC. Preventing Objective ValuesD. MotivationE. Justifying the pursuit of Self-InterestF. Knowledge of the GoodChapter 4.

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Problems because that the Desire TheoryA. Gaining What girlfriend Want might Not Be crucial for fostering Your GoodB. Acquiring What girlfriend Want might Not Be enough for cultivating Your Good1. Desires based on False Beliefs2. Disinterested and also Other-Regarding Desires3. Disappointment4.Ignorance that Desire Satisfaction5. Impoverished Desires6. The Paradox of Self-Harm and also Self-Sacrifice7. The Fallibility of our Deepest DesiresC. ConclusionCases for an important ReflectionPART TWO: NORMATIVE ETHICS: doing THE ideal THINGChapter 5. Morality and ReligionA. First Assumption: spiritual Belief Is required for moral MotivationB. 2nd Assumption: God Is the Creator of MoralityC. Third Assumption: religious beliefs Is crucial Source of moral GuidanceD. ConclusionChapter 6. Natural LawA. The Theory and also Its AttractionsB. Three Conceptions of human Nature1. Human Nature as animal Nature2. Human being Nature Is What Is Innate3. Human Nature Is What every Humans have actually in CommonC. NaturalPurposesD. The argument from HumanityE. ConclusionCases for vital ReflectionChapter 7. Emotional EgoismA. Egoism and also AltruismB. Go It issue whether psychological Egoism Is True?C. The discussion from Our the strongest DesiresD. The discussion from meant BenefitE. Two Egoistic Strategies1. Appeal to the Guilty Conscience2. Broadening the kingdom of Self-InterestF. Letting the proof DecideG. ConclusionChapter 8. Ethical EgoismA. Why it is in Moral?B. 2 Popular disagreements for honest Egoism1. The freedom Argument2. The Libertarian ArgumentC. The ideal Argument for ethical EgoismD. Three problems for moral Egoism1. Egoism Violates Core ethical Beliefs2. Egoism CannotAllow for the presence of moral Rights3. Egoism Arbitrarily makes My interests All-ImportantE. ConclusionCases for an essential ReflectionChapter 9. Consequentialism: that Nature and AttractionsA. The Nature the Consequentialism1. That is Structure2. Maximizing Goodness3. Ethical Knowledge4. Really Versus meant Results5. Assessing Actions and IntentionsB. The Attractions that Utilitarianism1. Impartiality2. The ability to justification Conventional moral Wisdom3. Dispute Resolution4. Ethical FlexibilityC. The limit of the ethical CommunityD. Slippery slope ArgumentsChapter 10. Consequentialism: that is DifficultiesA. Measuring Well-BeingB. Utilitarianism Is an extremely Demanding1. Deliberation2.Motivation3. ActionC. ImpartialityD. No Intrinsic Wrongness (or Rightness)E. The problem of InjusticeF. Potential solutions to the difficulty of Injustice1. Justice Is likewise Intrinsically Valuable2. Unjust Is never ever Optimific3. Justice should Sometimes it is in SacrificedG. Dominance ConsequentialismH. ConclusionCases for vital ReflectionChapter 11. The Kantian Perspective: Fairness and JusticeA. Consistency and FairnessB. The principle of UniversalizabilityC. Morality and also RationalityD. Assessing the principle of UniversalizabilityE. IntegrityF. Kant top top Absolute ethical DutiesChapter 12. The Kantian Perspective: Autonomy, cost-free Will, and RespectA. The principle of HumanityB. The Importanceof Rationality and also AutonomyC. The trouble of cost-free WillD. Four problems with the principle of Humanity1. Vagueness2. Determining just Deserts3. Ethical Luck4. The border of the ethical CommunityE. The good Will and also Moral WorthF. ConclusionCases for critical ReflectionChapter 13. The society Contract Tradition: The Theory and also Its AttractionsA. The lure of ProceduralismB. The background of the society Contract TheoryC. The Prisoner"s DilemmaD. Cooperation and the State the NatureE. The benefits of Contractarianism1. Principles Is basically a society Phenomenon2. Contractarianism Explains and also Justifies the content of the basic Moral Rules3. Contractarianism supplies a an approach for Justifying Every MoralRule4. Contractarianism defines the Objectivity that Morality5. Contractarianism describes Why it Is occasionally Acceptable to rest the moral RulesF. An ext Advantages: Morality and also the Law1. Contractarianism Justifies a simple Moral Duty to obey the Law2. The Contractarian Justification of legal Punishment3. Contractarianism Justifies the State"s duty in Criminal LawG. Contractarianism and also Civil DisobedienceChapter 14. The society Contract Tradition: Problems and ProspectsA. Why it is in Moral?B. The function of ConsentC. Disagreement amongst the ContractorsD. The border of the moral CommunityE. ConclusionCases for critical ReflectionChapter 15. Ethical Pluralism and also Absolute ethical RulesA. The structure of MoralTheoriesB. Is Torture constantly Immoral?C. Avoiding CatastrophesD. The doctrine of double Effect1. A reply to the discussion from catastrophe Prevention2. Just how the DDE threatens Act Consequentialism3. Distinguishing Intention indigenous ForesightE. Moral Conflict and ContradictionF. Is ethical Absolutism Irrational?G. The doctrine of Doing and also AllowingH. ConclusionCases for an essential ReflectionChapter 16. Moral Pluralism: Prima Facie Duties and also Ethical ParticularismA. Ross"s Ethic the Prima Facie DutiesB. The advantages of Ross"s View1. Pluralism2. Us Are periodically Permitted to rest the moral Rules3. Moral Conflict4. Moral Regret?5. Addressing the Antiabsolutist ArgumentsC. A problem for Ross"sViewD. Understanding the an essential Moral RulesE. Self-Evidence and the experimentation of moral TheoriesF. Learning the ideal Thing come DoG. Ethical ParticularismH. Three troubles for moral Particularism1. Its absence of Unity2. Bookkeeping for moral Knowledge3. Some points Possess Permanent moral ImportanceI. Conclusion situations for an essential ReflectionChapter 17. Virtue EthicsA. The typical of ideal ActionB. Moral ComplexityC. Ethical UnderstandingD. Moral EducationE. The Nature of VirtueF. Virtue and also the good LifeG. Objections1. Catastrophic Dilemmas2. Does Virtue principles Offer Adequate ethical Guidance?3. Is Virtue values Too Demanding?4. Who space the Moral duty Models?5. Conflict andContradiction6. The Priority ProblemH. ConclusionCases for vital ReflectionChapter 18. Feminist EthicsA. The aspects of Feminist EthicsB. Ethical DevelopmentC. Women"s ExperienceD. The principles of Care1. The prominence of Emotions2. Versus Unification3. Against Impartiality and also Abstraction4. Against Competition5. Downplaying RightsE. Difficulties for Feminist EthicsF. ConclusionCases for an important ReflectionPART THREE: METAETHICS: THE condition OF MORALITYChapter 19. Ethical RelativismA. Doubts about Objective MoralityB. Two Kinds of honest RelativismC. Some ramifications of honest Subjectivism and social Relativism1. Moral Infallibility2. MoralEquivalence3. Questioning Our very own Commitments4. Ethical Progress5. Moral Subjectivism and also the trouble of Contradiction6. Cultural Relativism and the trouble of ContradictionD. Appropriate ObserversE. ConclusionChapter 20. Moral NihilismA. Error TheoryB. Expressivism1. Just how Is It possible to argue Logically around Morality?2. Expressivism and Amoralists3. The Nature of ethical JudgmentC. ConclusionChapter 21. Eleven Arguments versus Moral ObjectivityA. Objectivity requires AbsolutismB. All truth Is SubjectiveC. Same Rights indicate Equal PlausibilityD. Moral Objectivity supports DogmatismE. Ethical Objectivity supports IntoleranceF. Moral Objectivity Cannot enable for legit CulturalVariationG. Moral Disagreement Undermines ethical ObjectivityH. Atheism Undermines ethical ObjectivityI. The absence of Categorical reasons Undermines ethical ObjectivityJ. Moral an inspiration Undermines moral ObjectivityK. Values have actually No location in a scientific WorldL. ConclusionChapter 22. Is Moral knowledge Possible? 5 Skeptical ArgumentsA. The Skeptical argument from DisagreementB. CertaintyC. Who"s to Say?D. Irrelevant InfluencesE. Hume"s ArgumentF. ConclusionReferencesSuggestions for additional ReadingGlossaryIndex