Ethical Issues: Perspectives for Canadians – Fourth Edition
  • Publication Date: December 31, 2019
  • ISBN: 9781554813582 / 1554813581
  • 800 pages; 7" x 9"

Ethical Issues: Perspectives for Canadians – Fourth Edition

  • Publication Date: December 31, 2019
  • ISBN: 9781554813582 / 1554813581
  • 800 pages; 7" x 9"

Ethical Issues: Perspectives for Canadians is a collection of readings designed to introduce students to a number of important ethical topics, including obligations toward the environment, the treatment of non-human animals, abortion, assisted reproduction, euthanasia, freedom of expression, pornography, multiculturalism, terrorism, and war. Readings have been carefully selected to represent a broad array of perspectives and arguments. Relevant legislation, court cases, and other non-philosophical works complement the writings of professional philosophers to provide students with multiple approaches to the issues. Brief introductions and discussion questions are provided for each reading, and a general introduction to the basic ethical theories is included.


Comments on previous editions

“This is an excellent collection of papers for any introduction to contemporary ethical issues, but it is an especially worthwhile choice for those interested in the significance of such issues for Canadians. The chapters include valuable information about the history and current status of Canadian law as it relates to the topics under consideration, and the inclusion of a detailed section on Multiculturalism and Aboriginal rights makes this book an outstanding choice for an overview of the field from a Canadian point of view. It also offers a thoughtful selection of classic essays and current contributions, many of which are written by prominent Canadian authors. Anyone choosing this book for a survey of the ethical issues affecting our society will not be disappointed.” — Scott Woodcock, University of Victoria

“The collection is to be recommended both for its widespread and comprehensive treatment of contemporary issues in applied ethics, and for its particular relevance to Canada and Canadian students.” — Philosophy in Review

General Introduction

I. The Environment, Human Welfare, and Sustainability

  • Introduction
  • 1. Arne Naess, “Platform Principles of the Deep Ecology Movement” and “Identification as a Source of Deep Ecological Attitudes”
  • 2. Karen J. Warren, “The Power and the Promise of Ecological Feminism”
  • 3. Jan Narveson, “Resources and Environmental Policy”
  • 4. Peter Singer, “Rich and Poor”
  • 5. John Arthur, “Famine Relief and the Ideal Moral Code”
  • 6. Monica Aufrecht, “Climate Change and Structural Emissions: Moral Obligations at the Individual Level”
  • 7. Naomi Klein, from This Changes Everything, and The Leap Manifesto

II. Non-Human Animals

  • Introduction
  • 1. Peter Singer, “Equality for Animals”
  • 2. Tom Regan, “The Case for Animal Rights”
  • 3. Peter Carruthers, “Against the Moral Standing of Animals”
  • 4. Alastair Norcross, “Puppies, Pigs, and People”
  • 5. Chloë Taylor, “Foucault and the Ethics of Eating”
  • 6. Will Kymlicka & Sue Donaldson, “Animals Rights and Aboriginal Rights”

III. Abortion

  • Introductionamp;
  • 1. Mary Anne Warren, “On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion”
  • 2. Judith Jarvis Thomson, “A Defense of Abortion”
  • 3. Don Marquis, “An Argument That Abortion Is Wrong”
  • 4. Susan Sherwin, “Abortion through a Feminist Lens”
  • 5. Celia Wolf-Devine, “Abortion and the ‘Feminine Voice’”
  • 6. Rosalind Hursthouse, “Virtue Theory and Abortion”

IV. Assisted Reproduction

  • Introduction
  • 1. Government of Canada, Assisted Human Reproduction Act
  • 2. Elizabeth Anderson, “Is Women’s Labour a Commodity?”
  • 3. Christine Overall, “Reproductive ‘Surrogacy’ and Parental Licensing”
  • 4. Jaime Ahlberg & Harry Brighouse, “An Argument Against Cloning”
  • 5. Francoise Baylis, “Human Cloning: Three Mistakes and an Alternative”
  • 6. Christopher Gyngell, Thomas Douglas, & Julian Savulescu, “The Ethics of Germline Gene Editing”

V. Euthanasia

  • Introduction
  • 1. Dan W. Brock, “Voluntary Active Euthanasia”
  • 2. Daniel Callahan, “When Self-Determination Runs Amok”
  • 3. Margaret Somerville, from Death Talks
  • 4. Supreme Court of Canada, Carter v. Canada
  • 5. Government of Canada, Criminal Code of Canada
  • 6. L.W. Sumner, from Assisted Death

VI. Free Expression


  • 1. John Stuart Mill, from On Liberty
  • 2. Supreme Court of Canada, R v. Keegstra
  • 3. Wayne Sumner, “In Harm’s Way”
  • 4. Jeremy Waldron, “Why Call Hate Speech Group Libel?”
  • 5. Neil Bissoondath, “Diversity and Creativity”
  • 6. Judith Butler, “Ruled Out: Vocabularies of the Censor”
  • 7. Letitia Meynell, “On Political Correctness”
  • 8. Catharine MacKinnon, “Francis Biddle’s Sister”
  • 9. Rebecca Sullivan & Alan McKee, “Pornography Governance and Sexual Citizenship”
  • 10. Rae Langton & Caroline West, “Scorekeeping in a Pornographic Language Game”
  • 11. Nicole Wyatt, “Failing To Do Things With Words”
  • 12. Leslie Green, “Pornographies”

VII. Multiculturalism

  • Introduction
  • 1. Gérard Bouchard & Charles Taylor, “Building the Future: A Time for Reconciliation”
  • 2. Neil Bissoondath, “The Limits of Diversity”
  • 3. Susan Moller Okin, “Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women?”
  • 4. Martha Nussbaum, “Veiled Threats?” & “Beyond the Veil: A Response”
  • 5. Will Kymlicka, “Liberalism in Culturally Plural Societies”
  • 6. Mary Ellen Turpel, “Aboriginal Peoples and the Canadian C
  • 7. Pierre Trudeau, “Justice in our Time”
  • 8. Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, “Partners in Confederation”
  • 9. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, “Honouring the Truth”
  • 10. Michael McDonald, “Aboriginal Rights”
  • 11. Robin Dembroff, “What is Sexual Orientation?”

VIII. Violence

  • Introduction
  • 1. The Geneva Conventions
  • 2. Richard Norman, “The Case for Pacifism”
  • 3. Brian Orend, “Evaluating the Pacifist Alternative”
  • 4. Joseph Kunkel, “Challenging the Domestic Analogy: A Critique of Killing in Self-Defense”
  • 5. Michael Green, “War, Innocence, and Theories of Sovereignty”
  • 6. Troy Jollimore, “Terrorism, War, and the Killing of the Innocent”
  • 7. Laura Westra, “Terrorism, Self-Defense, and Whistleblowing”
  • 8. Jeff McMahan, “Torture in Principle and in Practice”
  • 9. Law Reform Commission of Canada, “The Aims of Criminal Law”

Eldon Soifer is a professor of Philosophy and Classics at the University of Regina. Doug Al-Maini is a professor of Philosophy at St. Francis Xavier University. Ann Levey is a professor of Philosophy at the University of Calgary. Angus Taylor taught philosophy for many years at the University of Victoria.