"For Epicurus the avoidance of pain is more important than the acquisition of pleasure. In that case, why not advocate (like the hedonist Hegesias) suicide on the grounds that it guarantees a state with no pain at all?"
An essay question from Moral Problems, Second Edition
This well-known classroom-developed course, first published in 1991 to great acclaim, is designed primarily for students of General Studies, Philosophy and Religious Education at sixth-form and college level. For the student navigating the field of philosophy, both original philosophical texts and single-author interpretations of a range of ideas can be overwhelming and daunting. In this revised and expanded Second Edition of Moral Problems, Michael Palmer makes the student's acquaintance with philosophy much smoother.
Extracts of major philosophical works in ethical theory are provided, alongside introductions and comprehension and essay questions to aid students in their understanding of these texts. The material is set out in handy units of work which can be spread over the school or college year.
Moral Problems is not just a compendium of philosophical ideas, but also a wide-ranging coursebook. Areas covered include: the concept of ethics, Egoism, Utilitarianism, ethics and God, Kant's theories, Virtue Ethics, Determinism and meta-ethics. An extensive bibliography for each topic offers advice for further reading. In addition, the discussion sections link each philosophical theory to a contemporary issue, demonstrating how philosophy is relevant to the modern day.
The course set out in this book bridges both the arts and the sciences, encouraging students to debate the different positions of authors on subjects such as justice and punishment, free-will and euthanasia, duty and civil disobedience. Now widely used in schools and colleges, it has proved extremely useful to students of all disciplines, demanding precision in language and clarity in argument. The textbook does not assume any previous knowledge of philosophy and is thus ideal for students and teachers in universities, colleges and secondary schools.