The Fundamentals of Ethics, 2nd Edition

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9780199773558: The Fundamentals of Ethics, 2nd Edition

In The Fundamentals of Ethics, Second Edition, author Russ Shafer-Landau employs a uniquely engaging writing style to introduce students to the essential ideas of moral philosophy. Offering more comprehensive coverage of the good life, normative ethics, and metaethics than any other text of its kind, this book also addresses issues that are often omitted from other texts, such as the doctrine of doing and allowing, the doctrine of double effect, ethical particularism, the desire-satisfaction theory of well-being, and moral error theory. Shafer-Landau carefully reconstructs and analyzes dozens of arguments in depth, at a level that is understandable to students with no prior philosophical background.


* Discussion questions at the end of every chapter provide students with immediate ways to test their understanding of the material

* New, real-life extended examples reinforce the importance of the theories discussed in Chapters 4, 7, 9, 10, 14, 15, and 19

* Greatly expanded coverage of moral rights (in Chapter 8) and of membership in the moral community (in Chapter 9)

* A new discussion of skepticism about morality in the Introduction

* An Instructor's Manual and Testbank on CD offers chapter summaries, more than 100 essay questions, more than 200 multiple-choice questions, and 200 PowerPoint-based lecture slides.

* A Companion Website at contains all the material from the Instructor's Manual along with students resources including 250 multiple-choice questions, a glossary, and helpful web links.

Ideal for courses in introductory ethics and contemporary moral problems, this book can be used as a stand-alone text or with the author's companion reader, The Ethical Life: Fundamental Readings in Ethics and Moral Problems, Second Edition, which offers original readings on ethical theory and contemporary moral problems.

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About the Author:

Russ Shafer-Landau is Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


"The book is written in a crystal-clear, accessible style that makes it an ideal choice for introductory courses in ethics. Indeed, this is one of the best textbooks on any subject I've ever come across. The organization and flow of the presentation, both within and across chapters, is terrific."--Philip Robbins, University of Missouri"I believe this to be the best such introduction available. Shafer-Landau's The Fundamentals of Ethics surpasses Rachels' in several ways. First of all, Shafer-Landau's text is better organized. In short, whereas Rachels' text provides a laundry list, Shafer-Landau's offers a taxonomy, one that will help students to understand the relations among the various issues. Secondly, Shafer-Landau's text is both broader, covering more issues than Rachels' text, and deeper, covering those issues with more care and detail. Thirdly, I find Shafer-Landau's introduction to be more comprehensive and useful than Rachels' first chapter. Fourthly, Shafer-Landau's text includes a glossary of key terms. Shafer-Landau's is surely the best introductory text in ethics available."--Eugene Marshall, Wellesley College"The writing is as clear as any I've seen in a philosophy textbook. I planned to use Rachels' two books in my redesigned course until I discovered Shafer-Landau's. Fundamentals and Elements are similar books. The main advantage of the former over the latter is that Shafer-Landau addresses more arguments. Shafer-Landau is much stronger on metaethics, as is especially apparent in Chapter 21. Overall, I find the discussions in Fundamentals of Ethics to be richer and deeper than those in Rachels' Elements of Moral Philosophy."--Jeffrey Brand-Ballard, George Washington University"Shafer-Landau's book is top notch. I'm convinced that it's the clearest, most accessible introduction to ethics available. I've already told my students that they should model their writing on Shafer-Landau's; I think that he's one of the clearest writ

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