The Moral of the Story: An Introduction to Ethics 8 9781259907968
The Moral of the Story: An Introduction to Ethics

The Moral of the Story: An Introduction to Ethics

8th Edition
By Nina Rosenstand
ISBN10: 1259907961
ISBN13: 9781259907968
Copyright: 2018
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PART 1: The Story as a Tool of Ethics

Chapter 1: Thinking About Values

Do We Need a Code of Ethics?

Values, Morals, and Ethics

Good and Evil

Debating Moral Issues from Religion to Neurobiology and Storytelling

Martha Nussbaum: Stories, Ethics, and Emotions

A Philosophical Example, a Real-Life Event, and Two Fictional Stories about Lying

Primary Reading: Martha Nussbaum, Love's Knowledge

Primary Reading: Philip Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect

Narrative: Smoke Signals

Narrative: Big Fish

Narrative: East of Eden

Chapter 2: Learning Moral Lessons from Stories

Didactic Stories

The New Interest in Stories Across the Professions

The Value of Stories Across Time and Space

Primary Reading: Plato, Republic, Book X

Primary Reading: Aristotle, Poetics

Primary Reading: Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose

Primary Reading: Raymond Chandler, "The Simple Art of Murder"

Narrative: Medea

Narrative: The Sorrows of Young Werther

Narrative: The Education of Mingo

Narrative: Pulp Fiction

PART 2: What Should I Do? Ethics of Conduct

Chapter 3: Ethical Relativism

How to Deal with Moral Differences

The Lessons of Anthropology

Problems with Ethical Relativism

Refuting Ethical Relativism

James Rachels and Soft Universalism

Ethical Relativism and Multiculturalism

Primary Reading: Ruth Benedict, "Anthropology and the Abnormal"

Primary Reading: James Rachels, "Problems from Philosophy"

Primary Reading: John Steinbeck, "Paradox and Dream"

Narrative: The Poisonwood Bible

Narrative: Possessing the Secret of Joy

Narrative: Avatar

Chapter 4: Myself or Others?

Psychological Egoism: What About the Heroes?

Psychological Egoism: From Glaucon to Hobbes

Three Major Problems With Psychological Egoism

Ethical Egoism, Ayn Rand’s Objectivism, and Its Critics

Being Selfless: Levinas's Ideal Altruism Versus Singer's Reciprocal Altruism

A Natural Fellow-Feeling? Hume and de Waal

Primary Reading: Plato, The Republic

Primary Reading: Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

Primary Reading: Ayn Rand, "The Ethics of Emergencies"

Primary Reading: Frans de Waal, Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved

Narrative: Friends episode: "The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS"

Narrative: Return to Paradise

Narrative: Atlas Shrugged

Chapter 5: Using Your Reason, Part 1: Utilitarianism

Jeremy Bentham and the Hedonistic Calculus

Advantages and Problems of Sheer Numbers: From Animal Welfare to the Question of Torture

John Stuart Mill: Higher and Lower Pleasures

Mill's Harm Principle

Act and Rule Utilitarianism

Primary Reading: Jeremy Bentham, "Of the Principle of Utility"

Primary Reading: John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism

Primary Reading: Peter Singer, "A Convenient Truth"

Narrative: "The Blacksmith and the Baker"

Narrative: The Brothers Karamazov

Narrative: "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas"

Narrative: Extreme Measures

Narrative: The Invention of Lying

Chapter 6: Using Your Reason, Part 2: Kant's Deontology

Consequences Don't Count—Having a Good Will Does

The Categorical Imperative

Rational Beings Are Ends in Themselves

Beings Who Are Things

The Kingdom of Ends

Primary Reading: Immanuel Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals

Primary Reading: Immanuel Kant, The Metaphysics of Morals

Narrative: High Noon

Narrative: 3:10 to Yuma

Narrative: Match Point

Chapter 7: Personhood, Rights, and Justice

What Is a Human Being?

The Expansion of the Concept "Human"

Personhood: The Key to Rights

Science and Moral Responsibility: Genetic Engineering, Stem Cell Research, and Cloning

Questions of Rights and Equality

Distributive Justice: From Rawls to Affirmative Action

Forward- and Backward-Looking Justice and Affirmative Action

Criminal Justice: Restorative Versus Retributive Justice

Primary Reading: Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Primary Reading: Jürgen Habermas, The Future of Human Nature

Primary Reading: John Rawls, "Justice as Fairness"

Primary Reading: Martin Luther King, Jr., "A Letter from a Birmingham Jail"

Primary Reading: Two Texts on Discrimination: John Bertreaux, “Defining Racism in the 21st Century” and “Unseen, Unheard, Unchosen”

Narrative: The Island

Narrative: Gattaca

Narrative: Mississippi Burning

Narrative: Hotel Rwanda

PART 3: How Should I Be? Virtue Ethics

Chapter 8: Virtue Ethics from Tribal Philosophy to Socrates and Plato

What Is Virtue? What Is Character?

Non-Western Virtue Ethics: Africa and Indigenous America

Virtue Ethics in the West

The Good Teacher: Socrates' Legacy, Plato's Works

The Good Life

The Virtuous Person: The Tripartite Soul

Plato's Theory of Forms

Plato's Influence on Christianity

Primary Reading: Plato, The Republic

Primary Reading: Plato, Apology

Primary Reading: Ronald Dworkin, What Is a Good Life?

Narrative: A Man for All Seasons

Narrative: "The Myth of the Cave"

Narrative: The Truman Show

Narrative: The Store of the Worlds

Chapter 9: Aristotle's Virtue Theory: Everything in Moderation

Empirical Knowledge and the Realm of the Senses

Aristotle the Scientist

Aristotle's Virtue Theory: Teleology and the Golden Mean

Aristotle's Influence on Aquinas

Some Objections to Greek Virtue Theory

Primary Reading: Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book II

Primary Reading: Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book III

Narrative: "The Flight of Icarus"

Narrative: Njal's Saga

Narrative: Lord Jim

Narrative: "A Piece of Advice"

Chapter 10: Contemporary Perspectives

Ethics and the Morality of Virtue as Political Concepts

Have Virtue, and Then Go Ahead: Mayo, Foot, and Sommers

The Quest for Authenticity: Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, and Levinas

Primary Reading: Søren Kierkegaard, Johannes Climacus

Primary Reading: Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or

Primary Reading: Jean-Paul Sartre, "Existentialism Is a Humanism"

Primary Reading: "The Paradox of Morality: An Interview with Emmanuel Levinas"

Primary Reading: Dwight Furrow, A Culture of Care

Narrative: Groundhog Day

Narrative: No Exit

Narrative: Good Will Hunting

Narrative: The Searchers

Chapter 11: Case Studies in Virtue

Courage of the Physical and Moral Kind

Compassion: From Hume to Huck Finn

Gratitude: Asian Tradition and Western Modernity

Virtue and Conduct: The Option of Soft Universalism

Diversity, Politics, and Common Ground?

Primary Reading: John McCain, Why Courage Matters: The Way to a Braver Life

Primary Reading: Philip Hallie, Tales of Good and Evil, Help and Harm

Primary Reading: Jesse Prinz, Is Empathy Necessary for Morality?

Primary Reading: Lin Yutang, "On Growing Old Gracefully"

Narrative: Courage: Band of Brothers, Third Episode, "Carentan"

Narrative: Courage: True Grit

Narrative: Compassion: "The Parable of the Good Samaritan"

Narrative: Compassion: Schindler's List

Narrative: Gratitude: Eat Drink Man Woman

Narrative: Gratitude: Pay It Forward

Chapter 12: Different Gender, Different Ethics?

Feminism and Virtue Theory

What Is Gender Equality?

Women's Historical Role in the Public Sphere

The Rise of Modern Feminism

Classical, Difference, and Radical Feminism

Primary Reading: Harriet Taylor Mill, "Enfranchisement of Women"

Primary Reading: Simone De Beauvoir, The Second Sex

Primary Reading: Carol Gilligan, In a Different Voice

Narrative: A Doll's House

Narrative: Maids of Misfortune

Narrative: "The Woman Destroyed"

Narrative: A Thousand Splendid Suns

Chapter 13: Applied Ethics: A Sampler

The Question of Abortion and Personhood

Euthanasia as a Right to Choose?

Media Ethics and Media Bias

Business Ethics: The Rules of the Game

Just War Theory

Animal Welfare and Animal Rights

Ethics of the Environment: Think Globally, Act Locally

The Death Penalty

The Ethics of Self-Improvement: Narrative Identity

A Final Word

Primary Reading: Andrew Belsey and Ruth Chadwick, "Ethics as a Vehicle for Media Quality"

Primary Reading: Amber Levanon Seligson and Laurie Choi, "Critical Elements of an Organizational Ethical Culture"

Primary Reading: Scott Gottlieb, "How Safe Is Our Food? FDA Could Do Better"

Primary Reading: John Rawls, The Law of Peoples

Primary Reading: Great Ape Project, "The Declaration on Great Apes"

Primary Reading: Lee Hall and Anthony Jon Waters, "From Property to Person: The Case of Evelyn Hart"

Primary Reading: "Ethics and the Environment"

Primary Reading: Severin Carrell, “Al Gore: Clear Proof That Climate Change Causes Extreme Weather”

Primary Reading: Myles Allen, “Al Gore is Doing a Disservice to Science by Overplaying the Link Between Climate Change and Weather”

Primary Reading: Tom Sorell, "Two Ideals and the Death Penalty"

Primary Reading: Mark Fuhrman, Death and Justice: An Exposé of Oklahoma's Death Row Machine

Narrative: Media Ethics/Business Ethics: State of Play

Narrative: Business Ethics: The Insider

Narrative: Business Ethics/Environmental Ethics: Cold Wind

Narrative: "The Jigsaw Man"

Narrative: The Life of David Gale





About the Author

Nina Rosenstand

Nina Rosenstand holds a traditional Magisterkonferens Degree from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Her dissertation, awarded the Gold Medal of the University of Copenhagen, was on the philosophy of Henri Bergson. She is the author of The Concept of Myth (Danish: Mytebegrebet), The Human Condition: An Introduction to Philosophy of Human Nature, and The Moral of the Story: An Introduction to Ethics, as well as numerous papers and articles. She is senior professor of philosophy at San Diego Mesa College, Social Sciences Department, teaching on-campus as well as online classes. Her areas of specialization are moral philosophy, philosophy of human nature, and philosophy of fiction. She is chair of the department’s colloquium series, Social Sciences Occasional Lectures.


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