Readings in Ethics offers a vast collection of carefully edited readings arranged chronologically across five historical periods. The selections cover many major Western and non-Western schools of thought, including Daoism, virtue ethics, Buddhism, natural law, deontology, utilitarianism, contractarianism, liberalism, Marxism, feminism, and communitarianism.

In addition to texts from canonical philosophers such as Plato, Mill, Wollstonecraft, and Rawls, the volume draws from other sources of wisdom: stories, fables, proverbs, medieval mystical treatises, literature, and poetry. The editors have also written substantial introductions, annotations, discussion questions, and suggestions for further reading, making for a thorough guided tour of our ethical past and present.

More Information

Year: 2021
ISBN: 9781554813643

“In my twenty-five years of teaching both introductory ethics and ‘meaning of life’ courses, I’ve never come across a reader such as this. Readings in Ethics solves the knotty problem of integrating ethical theory with the vast wealth of wisdom traditions informing most of humanity’s search for how to live. This meticulously selected kaleidoscope of readings provides a near-comprehensive sketch of an enormous ethical landscape without being unwieldy. The introductions and chapter questions are written accessibly, and suggested readings provide helpful doorways to further inquiry. I expect to be using this book for years to come.”

David L. Hildebrand, University of Colorado Denver —David L. Hildebrand, University of Colorado Denver

“Readings in Ethics is an outstanding and amazingly wide-ranging anthology of over one hundred readings from every period, culture, and tradition of ethical inquiry. It is unmatched in its creative diversity. The selections are rich in terms of both topics and traditions, such that instructors will have ample choice in designing their courses. The inclusion of selections from traditional wisdom-of-the-ages sources is particularly delightful. The subject headings very nicely map the issues in ethical theory from the dawn of written records through to heated contemporary debates, and the introductions to each of the forty-eight sections are clear and helpful in orienting readers to the topics at hand.”

Karin Brown, San José State University —Karin Brown, San José State University

“This superbly designed and edited anthology is a godsend for students and instructors alike, both for introductory courses in ethics and for broad surveys of global thought. The selections, spanning three millennia and circling the planet, strike an effective balance between breadth and depth. Not the least of the volume’s attractions are the skillful and informative introductions to the texts, helpful footnotes, useful questions for discussion, and up-to-date suggestions for further reading.”

Kent Wright, Arizona State University —Kent Wright, Arizona State University

“Readings in Ethics contains a generous sample of moral reasoning from many traditions, expressed in proverbs, folk tales, scriptures, and sophisticated philosophical texts. The numerous primary sources, enriched with editorial comment and provocative questions, are sure to stimulate lively classroom discussion.”

Glen Koehn, Huron University College at Western University —Glen Koehn, Huron University College at Western University