Download and read online Ethics in the Real World in PDF and EPUB Peter Singer is often described as the world's most influential philosopher. He is also one of its most controversial. The author of important books such as Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, Rethinking Life and Death, and The Life You Can Save, he helped launch the animal rights and effective altruism movements and contributed to the development of bioethics. Now, in Ethics in the Real World, Singer shows that he is also a master at dissecting important current events in a few hundred words. In this book of brief essays, he applies his controversial ways of thinking to issues like climate change, extreme poverty, animals, abortion, euthanasia, human genetic selection, sports doping, the sale of kidneys, the ethics of high-priced art, and ways of increasing happiness. Singer asks whether chimpanzees are people, smoking should be outlawed, or consensual sex between adult siblings should be decriminalized, and he reiterates his case against the idea that all human life is sacred, applying his arguments to some recent cases in the news. In addition, he explores, in an easily accessible form, some of the deepest philosophical questions, such as whether anything really matters and what is the value of the pale blue dot that is our planet. The collection also includes some more personal reflections, like Singer’s thoughts on one of his favorite activities, surfing, and an unusual suggestion for starting a family conversation over a holiday feast. Provocative and original, these essays will challenge—and possibly change—your beliefs about a wide range of real-world ethical questions.
Download and read online Ethics for the Real World in PDF and EPUB People often act reflexively when faced with an ethical challenge. The necessity to make a fast decision leaves little time to think clearly. We get distracted by what our colleagues and others expect from us, and we make snap decisions that we regret. While most agree that outright lying, stealing, and harming are wrong, they seem to disagree about smaller compromises. This book argues that it's better and more satisfying to choose instead of react, to understand distinctions instead of guess what is right for us, and to remain cognizant of the impact of ethical compromise on our effectiveness at work and our personal relationships. The chapters of this book offer lessons and practical tools to help readers: 1. Develop radar to identify the situations where we are forced to make ethical compromises; 2. Understand how to use solid ethical logic and principles to foster clear thinking; 3. Draft and refine a personal code of conduct, and make it practical for everyday use; 4. Go beyond ethical basics to using your personal code as a lever for making more consistent decisions and reducing stress in work and life. Many books about ethics discuss weighty and controversial issues that few of us deal with in daily life--abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, animal rights. While these books are valuable, they are not so much tools for decision making as food for thought. This book, in contrast, focuses on one of ethics' most insidious problems: our inability to make clear and consistent choices in everyday life. The practical tools and techniques in this book help readers design a set of personal standards, based on sound ethical reasoning, for reducing everyday compromises.
Download and read online Does Anything Really Matter in PDF and EPUB In the first two volumes of On What Matters Derek Parfit argues that there are objective moral truths, and other normative truths about what we have reasons to believe, and to want, and to do. He thus challenges a view of the role of reason in action that can be traced back to David Hume, and is widely assumed to be correct, not only by philosophers but also by economists. In defending his view, Parfit argues that if there are no objective normative truths, nihilism follows, and nothing matters. He criticizes, often forcefully, many leading contemporary philosophers working on the nature of ethics, including Simon Blackburn, Stephen Darwall, Allen Gibbard, Frank Jackson, Peter Railton, Mark Schroeder, Michael Smith, and Sharon Street. Does Anything Really Matter? gives these philosophers an opportunity to respond to Parfit's criticisms, and includes essays on Parfit's views by Richard Chappell, Andrew Huddleston, Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek and Peter Singer, Bruce Russell, and Larry Temkin. A third volume of On What Matters, in which Parfit engages with his critics and breaks new ground in finding significant agreement between his own views and theirs, is appearing as a separate companion volume.
Download and read online Practical Ethics in PDF and EPUB For thirty years, Peter Singer's Practical Ethics has been the classic introduction to applied ethics. For this third edition, the author has revised and updated all the chapters and added a new chapter addressing climate change, one of the most important ethical challenges of our generation. Some of the questions discussed in this book concern our daily lives. Is it ethical to buy luxuries when others do not have enough to eat? Should we buy meat from intensively reared animals? Am I doing something wrong if my carbon footprint is above the global average? Other questions confront us as concerned citizens: equality and discrimination on the grounds of race or sex; abortion, the use of embryos for research and euthanasia; political violence and terrorism; and the preservation of our planet's environment. This book's lucid style and provocative arguments make it an ideal text for university courses and for anyone willing to think about how she or he ought to live.
Download and read online The Most Good You Can Do in PDF and EPUB Peter Singer’s books and ideas have been disturbing our complacency ever since the appearance of Animal Liberation. Now he directs our attention to a challenging new movement in which his own ideas have played a crucial role: effective altruism. Effective altruism is built upon the simple but profoundly unsettling idea that living a fully ethical life involves doing the "most good you can do." Such a life requires a rigorously unsentimental view of charitable giving: to be a worthy recipient of our support, an organization must be able to demonstrate that it will do more good with our money or our time than other options open to us. Singer introduces us to an array of remarkable people who are restructuring their lives in accordance with these ideas, and shows how, paradoxically, living altruistically often leads to greater personal fulfillment than living for oneself. Doing the Most Good develops the challenges Singer has made, in the New York Times and Washington Post, to those who donate to the arts, and to charities focused on helping our fellow citizens, rather than those for whom we can do the most good. Effective altruists are extending our knowledge of the possibilities of living less selfishly, and of allowing reason, rather than emotion, to determine how we live. Doing the Most Good offers new hope for our ability to tackle the world’s most pressing problems.
Download and read online The Life You Can Save in PDF and EPUB ‘Brilliant. A practical plan to eradicate world poverty’ Observer Would you walk past a drowning child? This is a book that will change the way you think about giving. It shows what you can do, as an individual, about the fact that more than a billion people are living in extreme poverty. It argues for an urgent change in our culture, and it invites you to play your part. The complexities of the aid debate are well rehearsed; the phrase ‘charity begins at home’ is all too familiar; the sheer scale of the task is overwhelming. But Singer, who has been writing for more than three decades about how we should respond to hunger and poverty, suggests that anything other than urgent and direct action is tantamount to walking by. If enough people regularly give a small amount, he says, we can together make a significant difference. Find out about the life you can save.
Download and read online Rethinking Life Death in PDF and EPUB The new commandments according to Rethinking Life and Death. --If you must take human life, take responsibility for the consequences of your decisions. --All human life is not of equal worth; treat beings in accordance to the ethical situation at hand. --Respect a person's desire to live or die. A profound and provocative work, Rethinking Life and Death, in the tradition of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, examines the ethical dilemmas that confront us as we near the twenty-first century.
Download and read online Famine Affluence and Morality in PDF and EPUB First published in 1972, Singer's essay argued that choosing not to send life-saving money to starving people on the other side of the earth is the moral equivalent of neglecting to save drowning children because we prefer not to muddy our shoes. In this publication, his essay is accompanied by other pieces on our obligations to others, as well as a new introduction that discusses Singer's current thinking.
Download and read online Writings on an Ethical Life in PDF and EPUB The essential collection of writings by one of the most visionary and daring philosophers of our time Since bursting sensationally into the public consciousness in 1975 with his groundbreaking work Animal Liberation, Peter Singer has remained one of the most provocative ethicists of the modern age. His reputation, built largely on isolated incendiary quotations and outrage-of-the-moment news coverage, has preceded him ever since. Aiming to present a more accurate and thoughtful picture of Singer’s pioneering work, Writings on an Ethical Life features twenty-seven excerpts from some of his most lauded and controversial essays and books. The reflections on life, death, murder, vegetarianism, poverty, and ethical living found in these pages come together in a must-read collection for anyone seeking a better understanding of the issues that shape our world today. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Peter Singer, including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.
Download and read online The Ethics of What We Eat in PDF and EPUB Peter Singer, the groundbreaking ethicist whom The New Yorker calls the most influential philosopher alive teams up again with Jim Mason, his coauthor on the acclaimed Animal Factories, to set their critical sights on the food we buy and eat: where it comes from, how it is produced, and whether it was raised humanely. The Ethics of What We Eat explores the impact our food choices have on humans, animals, and the environment. Recognizing that not all of us will become vegetarians, Singer and Mason offer ways to make healthful, humane food choices. As they point out: You can be ethical without being fanatical.
Download and read online Doing Good Better in PDF and EPUB Most of us want to make a difference. We donate our time and money to charities and causes we deem worthy, choose careers we consider meaningful, and patronize businesses and buy products we believe make the world a better place. Unfortunately, we often base these decisions on assumptions and emotions rather than facts. As a result, even our best intentions often lead to ineffective—and sometimes downright harmful—outcomes. How can we do better? While a researcher at Oxford, trying to figure out which career would allow him to have the greatest impact, William MacAskill confronted this problem head on. He discovered that much of the potential for change was being squandered by lack of information, bad data, and our own prejudice. As an antidote, he and his colleagues developed effective altruism, a practical, data-driven approach that allows each of us to make a tremendous difference regardless of our resources. Effective altruists believe that it’s not enough to simply do good; we must do good better. At the core of this philosophy are five key questions that help guide our altruistic decisions: How many people benefit, and by how much? Is this the most effective thing I can do? Is this area neglected? What would have happened otherwise? What are the chances of success, and how good would success be? By applying these questions to real-life scenarios, MacAskill shows how many of our assumptions about doing good are misguided. For instance, he argues one can potentially save more lives by becoming a plastic surgeon rather than a heart surgeon; measuring overhead costs is an inaccurate gauge of a charity’s effectiveness; and, it generally doesn’t make sense for individuals to donate to disaster relief. MacAskill urges us to think differently, set aside biases, and use evidence and careful reasoning rather than act on impulse. When we do this—when we apply the head and the heart to each of our altruistic endeavors—we find that each of us has the power to do an astonishing amount of good. From the Hardcover edition.
Download and read online The Happiness Philosophers in PDF and EPUB A colorful history of utilitarianism told through the lives and ideas of Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and its other founders In The Happiness Philosophers, Bart Schultz tells the colorful story of the lives and legacies of the founders of utilitarianism—one of the most influential yet misunderstood and maligned philosophies of the past two centuries. Best known for arguing that "it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong," utilitarianism was developed by the radical philosophers, critics, and social reformers William Godwin (the husband of Mary Wollstonecraft and father of Mary Shelley), Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart and Harriet Taylor Mill, and Henry Sidgwick. Together, they had a profound influence on nineteenth-century reforms, in areas ranging from law, politics, and economics to morals, education, and women's rights. Their work transformed life in ways we take for granted today. Bentham even advocated the decriminalization of same-sex acts, decades before the cause was taken up by other activists. As Bertrand Russell wrote about Bentham in the late 1920s, "There can be no doubt that nine-tenths of the people living in England in the latter part of last century were happier than they would have been if he had never lived." Yet in part because of its misleading name and the caricatures popularized by figures as varied as Dickens, Marx, and Foucault, utilitarianism is sometimes still dismissed as cold, calculating, inhuman, and simplistic. By revealing the fascinating human sides of the remarkable pioneers of utilitarianism, The Happiness Philosophers provides a richer understanding and appreciation of their philosophical and political perspectives—one that also helps explain why utilitarianism is experiencing a renaissance today and is again being used to tackle some of the world's most serious problems.
Download and read online The Point of View of the Universe in PDF and EPUB Tests the views and metaphor of 19th-century utilitarian philosopher Henry Sidgwick against a variety of contemporary views on ethics, determining that they are defensible and thus providing a defense of objectivism in ethics and of hedonistic utilitarianism.
Download and read online Philosophers Take on the World in PDF and EPUB Every day the news shows us provoking stories about what's going on in the world, about events which raise moral questions and problems. In Philosophers Take On the World a team of philosophers get to grips with a variety of these controversial issues, from the amusing to the shocking, inshort, engaging, often controversial pieces. Covering topics from guns to abortion, the morality of drinking alone, hating a sports team, and being rude to cold callers, the essays will make you think again about the judgements we make on a daily basis and the ways in which we choose to conduct ourlives. Philosophers Take On the World is based on the blog run by the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, one of the world's leading centres for applied ethics.
Download and read online The Expanding Circle in PDF and EPUB What is ethics? Where do moral standards come from? Are they based on emotions, reason, or some innate sense of right and wrong? For many scientists, the key lies entirely in biology--especially in Darwinian theories of evolution and self-preservation. But if evolution is a struggle for survival, why are we still capable of altruism? In his classic study The Expanding Circle, Peter Singer argues that altruism began as a genetically based drive to protect one's kin and community members but has developed into a consciously chosen ethic with an expanding circle of moral concern. Drawing on philosophy and evolutionary psychology, he demonstrates that human ethics cannot be explained by biology alone. Rather, it is our capacity for reasoning that makes moral progress possible. In a new afterword, Singer takes stock of his argument in light of recent research on the evolution of morality.