Morality and Moral Controversies: Readings in Moral, Social and Political Philosophy, 10th Edition (Paperback) book cover

Morality and Moral Controversies

Readings in Moral, Social and Political Philosophy, 10th Edition

Edited by Steven Scalet, John Arthur


1,032 pages

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pub: 2019-06-20
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Morality and Moral Controversies, 10th Edition challenges students to critically assess today’s leading moral, social, and political issues. And as a comprehensive anthology, it provides students with the tools they need to understand philosophical ideas that are currently shaping our world.

The 10th Edition includes classic and contemporary readings in moral theory, the most current topics in applied ethics, and updated debates in social and political philosophy.  As in the previous nine editions, the materials were selected for balance, timeliness, and accessibility after reviewing a vast range of possible articles from leading scholarly journals, mainstream periodicals, online posts, and book chapters.  Hallmarks include carefully edited and philosophically-relevant U.S. Supreme Court decisions, compelling readings, and contrasting points of view that reflect a broad ethical and political spectrum. 

Upon completing this book, readers will be able to:

 Understand philosophical ideas that are shaping the world today

 Apply various philosophical ideas to politics, religion, ethics, economics, personal relationships, medicine, the environment and climate change, warfare, and other areas

 Appreciate how to construct, apply, and evaluate basic philosophical arguments.


Key Updates to the 10th Edition include:

 Publishing all material in the actual book (in contrast to placing sections online behind a paywall, as was the case in earlier editions with a different publisher)

 New readings on 

 autonomous warfare

 self-driving cars

 the right to health care

 technology and privacy

 the value of democracy

 racial equality

 immigration.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1
Self-Interest, Religion, and Conscience

Leviathan: Morality as Rational Advantage Thomas Hobbes

Morality and Rational Self-Interest Baruch Brody

Divine Commands and the Social Nature of Obligation, Robert M. Adams

Morality, Religion, and Conscience John Arthur

The Conscience of Huckleberry Finn Jonathan Bennett

Chapter 2
The Sources and Grounds of Morality

The Sources of Moral Ideas: Society, Custom, and Sympathy Edward Westermarck

Trying Out One’s New Sword Mary Midgley

Morality Is Based on Sentiment David Hume

Morality and Normativity Michael J. Perry

The Moral Instinct Steven Pinker

Chapter 3
Classical and Contemporary Theories of Morality

Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle

The Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals Immanuel Kant

Utilitarianism John Stuart Mill

Intuitionism W. D. Ross

Kant and Utilitarianism Contrasted Onora O’Neill

The Real and Alleged Problems of Utilitarianism Richard B. Brandt

The Ethics of Care as Moral Theory Virginia Held


Chapter 4
Terrorism and Torture

Is Terrorism Morally Distinctive? Samuel Scheffler

Torture—The Case for Dirty Harry Uwe Steinhoff

Training Torturers: A Critique of the "Ticking Bomb" Argument Jessica Wolfendale

Chapter 5 War, Autonomous Machines, and the Arms Trade

On the Morality of War Richard A. Wasserstrom

The Morality of Pacifism Cheyney Ryan

When is a Robot a Moral Agent? John P. Sullins.

Autonomous Machines Duncan Purves, Ryan Jenkins, and Bradley J. Strawser

Weapons, Security, and Oppression James Christensen


Chapter 6
Capital Punishment

The Death Penalty Gregg v. Georgia

Desert and Capital Punishment Martin Perlmutter

The Ultimate Punishment Ernest van den Haag

Abolishing the Death Penalty even for the Worst Murderers Hugo Adam Bedau

Justice, Civilization, and the Death Penalty Jeffrey H. Reiman

Chapter 7
Animals, Environmentalism, and Climate

All Animals Are Equal Peter Singer

Speciesism and the Idea of Equality Bonnie Steinbock

People or Penguins William F. Baxter

The Land Ethic: Animal Liberation and Environmentalism J. Baird Callicott

Two Kinds of Climate Justice: Avoiding Harm and Sharing Burdens Simon Caney

Chapter 8
Cloning and Abortion

The Ethics of Cloning-to-Produce-Children The President’s Council on Bioethics

The Constitutional Right to Abortion Roe v. Wade

A Defense of Abortion Judith Jarvis Thomson

On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion Mary Anne Warren

Abortion and the Concept of a Person Jane English

An Argument That Abortion Is Wrong Don Marquis

Fathers and Fetuses George W. Harris

Chapter 9
Health Care and Deciding Who Should Live

The Medical Minimum: Zero Jan Narveson

A Right to Health Care Pavlos Eleftheriadis

Requiring Medical Treatment JFK Memorial Hospital v. Heston

Death With Dignity Act Gonzales v. Oregon

Aging and the Ends of Medicine Daniel Callahan

The Survival Lottery John Harris



Chapter 10
Love and Sex

Duties Toward the Body in Respect to Sexual Impulse Immanuel Kant

Plain Sex Alan H. Goldman

Gay Basics: Some Questions, Facts, and Values Richard D. Mohr

What is the Point of Love? Carolyn Price

Chapter 11
Family and Friendship

Is Adultery Immoral? Richard A. Wasserstrom

Licensing Parents Hugh LaFollette

Can Parents and Children Be Friends? Joseph Kupfer

Parents and Children as Friends Kristján Kristjánsson

What Do Grown Children Owe Their Parents? Jane English

Chapter 12
 Personal Dimensions of Technology

Is Google Making Us Stupid? Nicholas Carr

Friends, Friendship and Technology: An Ominous Sign Laurence Thomas

Social Networking Sites and Our Lives. Pew Internet and American Life Project

Why Ethics Matters for Autonomous Cars Patrick Lin

Technology and New Challenges for Privacy Leslie P. Francis

The Benefits of Being Watched Andrew Oberg

Privacy, Neuroscience and Neuro-Surveillance Adam D. Moore



Chapter 13
The Ideal State

The Second Treatise of Government John Locke

Libertarian Justice Tibor R. Machan

On Liberty John Stuart Mill

On Representative Government John Stuart Mill

A Theory of Justice John Rawls

Chapter 14
 Protests, Patriotism, and the Rule of Law

Flag Burning as Constitutionally Protected Texas v. Johnson

Is Patriotism a Virtue? Alasdair MacIntyre

Patriotism as Bad Faith Simon Keller

Frederick Douglass’s Patriotism Bernard Boxill

Letter from a Birmingham Jail Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Crito Plato

Legitimate and Illegitimate Uses of Police Force John Kleinig

Chapter 15 Democracy: Foundations, Recent Contributions, and Global Challenges

Gettysburg Address Abraham Lincoln

Social Equality and the Justification of Democracy Niko Kolodny

Charter Cities Rahul Sager

Political Morality and the Authority of Tradition Steven Wall

Transnational Legal Sites and Democracy-Building Seyla Benhabib

Social Movements Avery Kolers



Chapter 16
Liberty: Free Speech and Drug Use

Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion John Stuart Mill

Power in Public: Offensive Public Speech Laura Beth Nielsen

The Social Benefits of Protecting Hate Speech Marcus Schulzke

Snyder v Phelps (Westboro Baptist Church)

Nazi Marches Village of Skokie v. National Socialist Party

Citizens United v Federal Election Commission

The Ethics of Smoking Robert E. Goodin

Addiction and Drug Policy Daniel Shapiro

The Ethics of Addiction….Take Any Drug They Want Thomas Szasz


Chapter 17
Markets, Property, and Economic Justice

Of Justice David Hume

The Entitlement Theory Robert Nozick

Inequality and Other Problems with Nozick’s Libertarianism John Rawls

Markets, Property, and Power Michael Walzer

Property Rights and Eminent Domain Kelo v. City of New London

The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits Milton Friedman

Rethinking the Social Responsibility of Business John Mackey and Milton Friedman

Chapter 18
Race, Gender, and Affirmative Action

Separate But Equal? Brown v. Board of Education

Rethinking the Problem of the Ghetto Tommie Shelby

Affirmative Action in Higher Education Grutter v. Bollinger, Gratz v. Bollinger

Reverse Discrimination James Rachels

The Subjection of Women John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor

Sexual Equality and Discrimination: Difference vs. Dominance Will Kymlicka

Social Movements and the Politics of Difference Iris Marion Young

Freedom, Conditioning, and the Real Woman Janet Radcliffe Richards

Chapter 19
Immigration, National Boundaries, and Multiculturalism

The Ethics of Immigration Joseph Carens

Immigration and Democratic Principles Sarah Song

Immigration and Freedom of Association Christopher Heath Wellman

Multiculturalism: A Liberal Perspective Joseph Raz

Reason Before Identity Amartya Sen

Assimilation and Cultural Identity Wisconsin v. Yoder


The Bill of Rights and Fourteenth Amendment


About the Editors

Steven Scalet is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Baltimore (UB). Prior to UB, he was the Director of the Program in Philosophy, Politics, and Law at Binghamton University (SUNY), where he received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Scalet received his Ph.D. in Philosophy and M.A. in Economics from the University of Arizona. Scalet is the author of, Markets, Ethics, and Business Ethics, 2nd Edition (Routledge, 2018).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Ethics & Moral Philosophy