Online ebook The Elements of Moral Philosophy by James Rachels – wpa8ball.co.uk
Eement Surely you can t discount a theory just because it clashes with another theory After looking over some of the reviews here on goodreads about this book I had to admit I ound them somewhat amusing After doing some research on the people who rated this book poorly it would seem that they just don t comprehend the usefulness of this book I used this book as a companion piece or reading classical modern and contemporary essays by the greats in moral philosophy Perhaps the best way to use this book and one I would strongly recommend or those who didn t get it is Alter Ego for that purpose As an example and I use this example because I think this is the source of much of the poor ratings I read St Augustine s essay s Of the Morals of the Catholic Church and The Enchiridion Then I read St Auinas essay s Summa Contra Gentiles and Summa Theologica Iollowed these two classics with a modern reading of Soren Kirkegaard s The Journals EitherOr and Fear and Trembling I concluded with a contemporary reading of Philip L uinn s God and Morality At the conclusion of these readings I then read chapter our of this book Does Morality Depend on Religion It is only within the understanding of these writings and then reading the chapter in this book that the usefulness of the information becomes clear This book summarizes the complete doctrines of or example Divine Command Theory Natural Law and the overall presumed connection between morality and religion Along with this it shows the problems associated with these systems of moralityethics All of the moralethical systems presented by this book are also exposed to criticism For some of the ethical systems the criticism becomes either to hard to overcome or needs Uncommon Wisdom further clarification to be a workable system Keeping in line with the examples of Chapterour a serious defect and insurmountable objection comes to Divine Command Theory and Natural Law It is this inability of these ethical systems to overcome the objection that I think exposes the true reason Unseen City for the bad review of this book Overall I have nothing but praiseor the book and I think it is important to also take note in the Art fact that the book does not make claim to which ethicalmoral system is correct It only shows the various systems and elements of them hence the word element in the title Will this book tell you what is wrong or right No Can this book be used to highlight and critiue elements of ethical systems YesPerhaps if you have an interest in moral philosophy and really want to understand it then this book isor you Enjoy the journey. Ues such as abortion euthanasia the treatment of nonhuman animals racial discrimination and nuclear weapons are discussed in dept.
F releasing a new edition nearly every year is ridiculous and unnecessary If you re student who needs to buy this then likely than not you could get away with buying a cheaper older edition As a general criticism each chapter needs to be greatly expanded upon This should definitely be the case if this is meant to be a textbook or an introductory ethics course As a stand alone book on ethics it doesn t do a great job introducing the topic to students It could work as a supplement in a classroom but even then there are better introductory books on ethicsEdit 21816I m changing my rating rom two stars to three stars The book has grown on me Also I ve Attracting Songbirds to Your Backyard found older philosophy texts that refer to subjectivism as Rachels does so I think I was too harsh to criticize him roughly there Engaging and clearAnd in ethics we should often expect people not to listen to reason After all ethics often reuires us to do things we don t want to do so it is only to be expected that sometimes we try to avoid hearing its demandsThis work serves as a good starting point to dive into the vast realms of moral philosophy I believe the well structured approach and the simply putormulations of the popular moral theories do provide solid ground to build upon It claims to be introductory and that is exactly what it is I won t say that Rachels was entirely unbiased throughout though I The Matriarchs (The Family felt like some of the theories like The Divine Command were not given their proper due and some theories on the other hand were sparedrom a Notes for the Everlost formidable criticism I thought it was alright I liked the examples he used I think they made it easier to contrast the theories with one another however I could barely tolerate the bias throughout the thing Even when I agreed with the ideas Rachels was saying Iound myself put off just because of the obvious side he would take with each theory brushing off any counter arguments that could existAlso the conclusions seemed hasty to me and they would make leaps When I Moan (Vassi and Seri 1: Russian Stepbrother Romance) from the premises to his pointor example The argument may be summarized like this When one person says X is morally acceptable and someone else says X is morally unacceptable they are disagreeing However if Simple Subjectivism were correct there would be no disagreement between them Therefore Simple Subjectivism cannot be correct P35 Int EdI m probably missing something but isn t the point of that whole chapter revolving around the theory that those uotes are personal and separate No Biggy! from right and wrong based oneeling How does he suddenly decide that they are wrong Why is there a disagr. By some thinkers but rejected by others To illustrate the various theories and to reveal their implications important current iss.
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Very clear and understandable It gave examples of the things you are learning so that was also very helpful Particular reviewers here have critiued Rachels book on their complete misunderstanding of ethics and philosophy in general Certain top reviewers here have taken umbrage at Rachels Crush It! for taking the position that morality is not dependent upon God s existence or commands The majority of philosophers take this position so this is hardly controversialor Rachels to put Attracting Birds to Your Backyard forth and defend Divine command theory died a horrible death over two millennia ago when Euthyphro much like certain top reviewers of Rachels book postured and bumbled along in an attempt to defend his illusory moral expertise And speaking of illusory moral expertise some well liked critics of Rachels book believe Kant arguedor moral relativism which one would know is horribly wrong had one bothered to read Rachels book or any other introductory book on ethics or stepped Deep Listening foot into an introductory ethics course Now that said Ieel compelled to give a uick list of the cons and pros of The Elements of Moral PhilosophyPositives While it is overall uneven in how well it approaches key ideas in ethics it does a decent job of conveying some important ideas Chapters worth reading include The Challenge of Cultural Relativism chapter 2 Ethical Egoism chapter 5 The Debate Over Utilitarianism chapter 8 Are There Absolute Moral Rules chapter 9 Kant and Respect For Persons chapter 10 and Virtue Ethics chapter 12 Each chapter is a relatively uick read but Rachels makes good use of the limited space to convey the basics in the chapters I recommended aboveNegatives The rest of the chapters do not give students a satisfactory overview As another reviewer pointed out I believe on s page or this book the chapter on subjectivism is pretty muddled It spends a lot of time talking about emotivism which is a separate metaethical position entirely error theory again this is an entirely different position and Rachels defines subjectivism as if it were just emotivism or some variant of it which goes against the orthodox definition and muddies emotivism The chapter on care ethics spent too much time going over dubious evidence as to whether men and women think differently about ethics and not enough time on actual care ethics Finally the chapter on God and morality spent too little time on divine command theory and natural law and too much time on some religious people s biblical interpretations appeals to tradition and appeals to authority to support their moral views The sales practice Here is a clear lively introduction to the major philosophical theories of morality explaining why each theory has been accepted.
James Rachels the distinguished American moral philosopher was born in Columbus Georgia and graduated from nearby Mercer University in 1962 He received his PhD in 1967 from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill studying under Professors W D Falk and E M Adams He taught at the University of Richmond New York University the University of Miami Duke University and the Univers