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Contemporary Ethics. Taking Account of Utilitarianism. Edition No. 1. Contemporary Philosophy

  • ID: 5224422
  • Book
  • November 1998
  • 324 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Aimed at undergraduates, Contemporary Ethics presupposes little or no familiarity with ethics and is written in a clear and engaging style. It provides students with a sympathetic but critical guide to utilitarianism, explaining its different forms and exploring the debates it has spawned. The book leads students through a number of current issues in contemporary ethics that are connected to controversies over and within utilitarianism. At the same time, it uses utilitarianism to introduce students to ethics as a subject. In these ways, the book is not only a guide to utilitarianism, but also an introduction to some standard problems of ethics and to several important topics in contemporary ethical theory.
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Preface and Acknowledgments.

1. Introducing Utilitarianism.

Utilitarianism, Law and Society.

Understanding Utilitarianism.

Two Rival Nonconsequentialist Theories.

The Deathbed Promise.

Consequences, Actual and Probable.

Average versus Total Happiness.

2. Welfare, Happiness, and the Good. .

Bentham's Hedonism.

Mill's View of Pleasure and Happiness.

A Problem for Mental-State Accounts of Well-Being.

Well-Being as the Satisfaction of Desire.

Objective Theories of WellBeing.

Where This Lack of Consensus Leaves Utilitarianism.

3. Arguing for Utilitarianism.

Bentham and the Principle of Utility.

Mill: Proof and Sentiment.

Self-Evidence and the Language of Morality.

Utilitarianism and Commonsense Morality.

The Case against Deontology.

The Appeal of Utilitarianism.

4. Objections to Utilitarianism.

Utilitarianism Condones Immoral Conduct.

Promises and Particularity of Obligation.

The Distribution of Welfare.

Is Utilitarianism Too Demanding?.

5. Refining Utilitarianism. .

Second-Order Moral Judgements.

Moives, Dispositions, and Traits of Character.

The Importance of Secondary Rule.

The Rules of the Ordinary Morality.

Two Levels of Moral Thinking.

Rule Utilitarianism.

6. Rights, Liberty, and Punishment.

The Criminal Justice System.

The Nature and Function of Rights.

The Nature and Function of Rights.

Personal Liberty.

7. Justice, Welfare, and Economic Distribution. .

Some facts about Poverty and Inequality.

Thinking about Justice.

Nozick's Libertarianism.

Rawl's Theory of Justice.

Utilitarianism and Distributive Equality.

8. Virtue, Personal Life, and the Demands of Morality. .

Good-Bye to Normative Theory?.

Utilitarianism and the Virtues.

Moral Fanacticism and the things we value.

Those Who Are Near and Dear.

The Personal Point of View.

The Needs of Strangers.



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William Shaw San Jose State University.
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