Applied Ethics Primer
  • Publication Date: April 30, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781554816149 / 1554816149
  • 100 pages; 6" x 9"

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Applied Ethics Primer

  • Publication Date: April 30, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781554816149 / 1554816149
  • 100 pages; 6" x 9"

The Applied Ethics Primer offers a concise introduction to both basic argumentation and normative ethical theory. The concepts discussed reflect the ethical theories that currently ground most professional ethics codes and debates in applied ethics. More inclusive than many similar resources, this primer offers students a taste of the truly global history of ethics, while remaining squarely focused on providing practical tools for ethical decision-making.

Part I: Introduction

  • 1. Moral Response and Reflection
    • 1.1 Moral Response
    • 1.2 Reflection
    • 1.3 Disagreement
  • 2. Reason and Argument
    • 2.1 Reason
    • 2.2 How to Evaluate Philosophical Arguments
    • 2.3 How to Engage in Productive Debates
    • 2.4 Public Reason

Part II: Ethical Lenses

  • 3. Focus on Consequences
    • 3.1 Mohism
    • 3.2 Utilitarianism
    • 3.3 Final Considerations about Approaches that Focus on Consequences
    • Further Reading
  • 4. Focus on Action (and Duty)
    • 4.1 Duties Based on Roles
    • 4.2 Duties Based on Past Actions
    • 4.3 Duties Based on Reason Alone—The Categorical Imperative
    • 4.4 Final Considerations about Approaches that Focus on Action
    • Further Reading
  • 5. Focus on Character (and Virtues)
    • 5.1 The Good Life, According to Aristotle
    • 5.2 The Good Life, According to Buddhism
    • 5.3 The Exemplar of a Virtuous Person
    • Further Reading
  • 6. Focus on Relations
    • 6.1 Focus on Personal Relationships
    • 6.2 Focus on Political Relations
    • 6.3 Focus on Communal Relations
    • 6.4 Focus on All My Relations
    • Further Reading
  • 7. Reflections on the Ethical Lenses

Part III: Beyond the Ethical Lenses

  • 8. Ahimsa
    • Further Reading
  • 9. Rights and Privileges
    • 9.1 Categorization of Rights
    • 9.2 Privileges
    • 9.3 Rightsholders
    • 9.4 The Function of Rights
    • 9.5 Objections to a Rights Approach
    • Further Reading

Part IV: Final Thoughts

  • 10. Self-Regarding Attitudes
    • 10.1 Selfishness and Self-Interest
    • 10.2 Exceptionalism
    • 10.3 Moral Licensing
    • Further Reading
  • 11. Helpful Heuristics
    • 11.1 Conclusion

Appendix A: Tips for Reading Philosophy Actively

  • 1. Pre-reading
  • 2. Reading
  • 3. Re-reading
  • Reading Philosophy Actively Worksheet

Appendix B: Critical Thinking Worksheet (ARG Assessment)

  • Breakdown of ARG Assessment
  • Interactive Critical Thinking Worksheet
  • Critical Thinking Worksheet

Glossary

Letitia Meynell is Professor of Philosophy at Dalhousie University. Clarisse Paron is a doctoral student at Dalhousie University.

  • • Concise and approachable, offering just the right amount of material to apply theory to practice.
  • • Pays greater attention to non-western traditions and ideas, discussing concepts such as Ahimsa and filial piety.
  • • Major approaches are examined with reference to more than one tradition: for example, consequentialism is introduced by way of both Mohism and English utilitarianism; virtue ethics is introduced through Aristotle and Buddhism.
  • • A “Critical Thinking Worksheet” is included—a useful tool for making and assessing arguments.
  • • A brief guide to active reading is included as an appendix.
  • • Teaching notes and supplemental quiz questions are available to instructors who assign this book.
  • • An online version of Applied Ethics Primer is also available as a free Open Educational Resource.