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The Moral Life

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  • Full Title: The Moral Life: An Introductory Reader in Ethics and Literature
  • Author(s): Edited by Louis P. Pojman
  • Year Published: 2000 (first edition), 2004 (second edition)
  • Publisher: Oxford Univeristy Press
  • Publication Type: Academic
  • ISBN-10: 0-19-512844-3 (papberback first edition); 0-19-516608-6 (paperback second edition)
  • ISBN-13:
  • Description: This is a collection of texts designed as an introductory textbook on ethics. The material realted to Rand includes a selection from Atlas Shrugged and a critiques by Pojman and James Rachels.


This is a collection with multiple authors. In keeping with the way the contents are presented in the book itself, the author of each item is indicated before the item title, with a slash separating the two. Chapters significantly related to Ayn Rand are indicated in bold.

  1. The Nature of Morality: Good and Evil
    1. What Is the Purpose of Morality?
      • William Golding / Lord of the Flies: A Moral Allegory
      • Louis P. Pojman / On the Nature and Purpose of Morality: Reflections on William Golding's Lord of the Flies
      • Thomas Hobbes / On the State of Nature
    2. Good and Evil
      • Herman Melville / Billy Budd
      • Fyodor Dostoevsky / Why Is There Evil?
      • William Styron / Sophie's Choice
      • Kevin Bales / The New Slavery
      • Philip Hallie / From Cruelty to Goodness
      • Stanley Benn / Wickedness
      • Friedrich Nietzsche / Beyond Good and Evil
      • Richard Taylor / On the Origin of Good and Evil
    3. Is Everything Relative?
      • Herodotus / Custom Is King
      • Ruth Benedict / The Case for Moral Relativism
      • Louis P. Pojman / The Case Against Moral Relativism
      • Jean Bethke Elshtain / Judge Not?
      • Henrick Ibsen / The Enemy of the People
  2. Moral Theories and Moral Character
    1. Utilitarianism
      • Seaman Holmes and the Longboat of William Brown, Reported by John William Wallace
      • Jeremy Bentham / Classical Utilitarianism
      • Kai Nielsen / A Defense of Utilitarianism
      • Bernard Williams / Against Utilitarianism
      • Ursula Le Guin / The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas
      • Aldous Huxley / The Utilitarian Social Engineer and the Savage
    2. Deontological Ethics
      • Immanuel Kant / The Moral Law
      • W. D. Ross / Intuitionism
      • R. M. MacIver / The Deep Beanty of the Golden Rule
      • Richard Whatley / A Critique of the Golden Rule
      • Ambrose Bierce / A Horseman in the Sky
      • Charles Fried / The Evil of Lying
      • Susan Glaspell / A Jury of Her Peers
      • Plato / Does Morality Depend on Religion?
      • Thomas Nagel / Moral Luck
    3. Virtue Ethics
      • Victor Hugo / The Bishop and the Candlesticks
      • Aristotle / Virtue Ethics
      • Bernard Mayo / Virtue and the Moral Life
      • Nathaniel Hawthorne / The Great Stone Face
      • William Frankena / A Critique of Virtue-Based Ethical Systems
    4. Virtues and Vices
      • Jesus of Nazareth / The Sermon on the Mount; The Good Samaritan
      • Leo Tolstoy / How Much Land Does a Man Need? Greed
      • Immanuel Kant / Jealousy, Malice, and Ingratitude
      • Martin Gansberg / Moral Cowardice
      • Helen Keller / Three Days to See: Gratitude
      • Epictetus and Others / The Stoic Catechism
      • Plutarch / In Consolation to His Wife: Equanimity
      • Vice Admiral James Stockdale / The World of Epictetus: Courage and Endurance
      • The Story of David and Bathsheba: Lust
      • Leo Tolstoy / Where Love Is, There Is God: Love
      • Bertrand Russell / Reflections on Suffering
      • Charles Colson / The Volunteer at Auschwitz: Altruism
  3. Moral Issues
    1. Ethics and Egoism: Why Should We Be Moral?
      • Plato / The Ring of Gyges
      • Ayn Rand / In Defense of Ethical Egoism
      • Louis P. Pojman / Egoism and Altruism: A Critique of Ayn Rand
      • James Rachels / A Critique of Ethical Egoism
    2. Does Life Have Meaning?
      • Voltaire / The Good Brahmin
      • Epicurus / Hedonism
      • Albert Camus / Life Is Absurd
      • Lois Hope Walker / Religion Gives Meaning to Life
      • Viktor Frank / The Human Search for Meaning: Reflections on Auschwitz
      • Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha / The Four Noble Truths
      • Robert Nozick / The Experience Machine
    3. Freedom, Autonomy, and Self-Respect
      • Martin Luther King, Jr. / I Have a Dream
      • Maya Angelou / Graduation
      • Stanley Milgram / An Experiment in Autonomy
      • Jean-Paul Sartre / Existentialism Is a Humanism
      • Thomas E. Hill, Jr. / Servility and Self-Respect
      • John Benson / Who Is the Autonomous Man?
      • Kurt Vonnegut / Harrison Bergeron
  4. Applied Ethics / Moral Problems
    1. Sex, Love, and Marriage
      • John Barth / Pansexuality
      • Immanuel Kant / On the Place of Sex in Human Existence
      • John McMurtry / Monogamy: A Critique
      • Michael D. Bayles / Marriage, Love, and Procreation: A Critique of McMurtry
      • Bonnie Steinbock / What's Wrong with Adultery?
      • C. S. Lewis / We Have No "Right to Happiness"
      • Hugh LaFollette / Licensing Parents
    2. Is Abortion Morally Permissible?
      • John T. Noonan, Jr. / Abortion Is Not Morally Permissible
      • Mary Anne Warren / Abortion Is Morally Permissible
      • Jane English / The Moderate Position: Beyond the Personhood Argument
    3. Substance Abuse / Drugs and Alcohol
      • John Stuart Mill / On Liberty
      • Gore Vidal / Drugs Should Be Legalized
      • William Bennett / Drugs Should Not Be Legalized
      • Yoshida Kenko / On Drinking
      • Bonnie Steinbock / Drunk Driving
    4. Our Duties to Animals
      • George Orwell / Shooting an Elephant
      • Immanuel Kant / We Have Only Indirect Duties to Animals
      • Peter Singer / Animal Liberation: All Animals Are Equal
      • Carl Cohen / The Case Against Animal Rights
    5. Our Duties to the Environment
      • Sophocles / On Mankind's Power over Nature
      • Robert Heilbroner / What Has Posterity Ever Done for Me?
      • Garrett Hardin / The Tragedy of the Commons
      • William F. Baxter / People or Penguins: The Case for Optimal Pollution
    6. International Justice and the Threat of Terrorism
      • God's Command to Destroy Jericho and Ai
      • Martha C. Nussbaum / Compassion and Terror
      • Louis P. Pojman / The Cosmopolitan Response to Terrorism

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