Practical Ethics

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, 1993 - Philosophy - 395 pages
Peter Singer's remarkably clear and comprehensive Practical Ethics has become a classic introduction to applied ethics since its publication in 1979 and has been translated into many languages. For this second edition the author has revised all the existing chapters, added two new ones, and updated the bibliography. He has also added an appendix describing some of the deep misunderstanding of and consequent violent reaction to the book in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland where the book has tested the limits of freedom of speech. The focus of the book is the application of ethics to difficult and controversial social questions.

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User Review  - drbrand - LibraryThing

If we are looking for a purpose broader than our own interests, something that will allow us to see our lives as possessing significance beyond the narrow confines of our own conscious states, one ... Read full review

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User Review  - kiparsky - LibraryThing

A careful and systematic layman's treatment of of the study of ethics primarily centered on actual cases - hence the "practical" in the title. Singer's approach is essentially to introduce the reader ... Read full review

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About the author (1993)

Born in Australia, Singer received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Melbourne and, in 1971, his B. Phil from University College, Oxford. During his teaching career, he has held positions in philosophy in England, the United States, and Australia. While a student at Oxford, Singer was deeply affected by a group of people who had become vegetarians for ethical reasons. Joining their commitment to the rights of animals, he wrote Animal Liberation: A New Ethics for Our Treatment of Animals (1975), a persuasively reasoned, yet clearly understandable defense of the rights of animals. Singer's vocal concern for the proper treatment of animals has triggered a new appreciation of the anthropocentric bias of traditional Western moral philosophy; other philosophers have followed his lead. Complaining that ethical theorists have focused too intensely upon the rights, responsibilities, and treatment of humans, Singer dubs this malady "speciesism" and calls for a broader moral perspective---one that includes a sensitivity to the needs and concerns of other sentient creatures.

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