Download A Companion to Ethics by Peter Singer PDF

By Peter Singer

During this quantity, a few of present day such a lot unique philosophers survey the total box of ethics, from its origins, throughout the nice moral traditions, to theories of ways we should reside, arguments approximately particular moral concerns, and the character of ethics itself. The e-book may be learn immediately via from starting to finish; but the inclusion of a multi-layered index, coupled with a descriptive define of contents and bibliographies of suitable literature, signifies that the quantity additionally serves as a piece of reference, either for these coming afresh to the examine of ethics and for readers already acquainted with the topic.

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Cm. (Blackwell companions to philosophy) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Ethics. 2. Social ethics. I. Singer, Peter. II. Series. 5pt Photina Printed and bound in Great Britain by MPG Books Ltd, Bodmin, Cornwall This book is printed on acid-free paper Page v INTRODUCTION The title A Companion to Ethics may suggest a volume with short entries, in alphabetical order, providing summary information about leading theories, ideas and people in the academic discipline of ethics. As a glance at the outline of the volume (following this introduction) will show, this book is very different.

In asking about the origin of ethics, modern people are quite likely to find themselves unthinkingly using its language. ' The crippling difficulties that infest this approach will become clearer as we go on. iii Moral and Factual Arguments We might be asked to accept extreme individualism on strictly scientific grounds, as a factual discovery. It then appears as a piece of information about how human beings are actually constituted. Today, the most usual form for this argument rests on the idea of evolution as proceeding, for all species, by the 'survival of the fittest' in unmitigated cut-throat competition between individuals.

13, p. 64) even if, as Rousseau insisted, they had not been actually hostile to each other before colliding (Rousseau, 1762, pp. 188, 194; 1754, Part One). Survival itself, let alone social order, became possible only through rules arrived at by a reluctant bargain. ) The other acount, which is Christian, explains morality as our necessary attempt to bring our imperfect nature in line with the will of God. Its origin-myth is the Fall of Man, which has produced that imperfection in our nature in the way described again symbolically in the Book of Genesis.

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