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Moral Philosophy: A Reader
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Moral Philosophy: A Reader

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  39 ratings  ·  6 reviews
The third edition builds on the strengths of the second by including a unit of classic readings in applied ethics.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published October 3rd 2008 by Hackett Pub Co (first published 1993)
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This book has many of the essential readings, and I think overall the editing has been well done. I was a bit surprised by the portions selected from Thomas Aquinas--I think there are better selections. I also think that the book would benefit from adding readings about cognitivism and noncognitivism in morality--given that these seem to be central to metaethical debates today. I also feel like the section on Utilitarianism could use another article defending a utilitarian view. Overall, I think ...more
Sylvan Finger
I don't know how to rate this. Many of the documents seem prematurely published. However, many were probably more journal entries of moral philosophical ideas. There is a great verity of ideas to stimulate the mind. So what is moral? Every idea has is strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps we ought to leave it to the philosophers as to what is most moral for the kingdom of earth.
This book is an excellent introduction to the various theories of ethics with pro and con essays and excerpts on each theory. It gives, in one handy collection, insight into the thought processes that shaped--and continues to shape--our world today. I enjoyed reading this book and it has actually caused me to say to several friends and co-workers, "I'm enjoying studying philosophy."

I also wrote a blog post regarding one of the essays in the Applied Ethics part. You can read the post by going to
This is the only primary source text I got from my 300-level Philosophy class, and this is NOT a 300-level book. The book has a decidedly right-wing slant, and the excerpts are cut at interesting places so as to obscure the meaning of the texts. Don't read it as your only source.
I had to read it for a university course. Was an interesting read, even if some of the great philosophers were rather difficult understand on the first go over. Glad I took the course and glad I read through this text.
Chris Kalbach
Good book from a wide range of philosophers. The works are well chosen and show many different views of ethics.
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