Ethics: History, Theory and Contemporary Issues

September 17, 2009

Editors: Steven M. Cahn and Peter Markie

Edition: Fourth

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Pages: 935

Price: £45.00

ISBN: 9780195335965

A collection of key sources in the history of ethical theory and, particularly in recent years, its applications. The book falls into three parts: “Historical Sources” from the Ancient Greeks up to Camus and Sartre; “Modern Ethical Theory”, focusing primarily on Anglo-American thought in the 20th century; and “Contemporary Moral Problems”, which looks at practical problems considered in the recent revival of “applied” ethics. The new edition sees significant new additions to all three parts, including pieces on environmentalism and torture. Surprisingly, perhaps, there’s no selection on recent work in just war theory.

Who is it for? Undergraduates and graduate students reading across the field of ethics, whether historical, contemporary or applied.

Presentation? Substantial extracts and complete texts are reproduced where possible with short introductions to each part of the book by leading philosophers.

Would you recommend it? Yes: although it’s fairly expensive, it’s also a good investment as it provides a comprehensive collection of the key historical texts as well as useful selections of more recent work.

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