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Ethics, an Annotated Bibliography (Magill Bibliographies)

John K. Roth

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ISBN 10: 0893566624 / ISBN 13: 9780893566623
Published by Salem Press, 1991
Used Condition: Very Good
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Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP71705502

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Ethics, an Annotated Bibliography (Magill ...

Publisher: Salem Press

Publication Date: 1991

Book Condition:Very Good

Edition: annotated edition.

About this title


This set addresses the many ethics issues that have come to prominence over the past decade. These include such religious topics as church-state separation, faith healers, Islamic ethics, the jihad concept, religion and violence, the Roman Catholic priests sexual abuse scandal, Scientology, and televangelists. The set also gives particular attention to business and labor ethics, with articles on such topics as advertising, computer misuse, corporate compensation, downsizing and outsourcing, and the tobacco industry. New topics on political and economic issues include Congress, distributive justice, famine as an instrument of oppression, care of the homeless, lobbying, lotteries, minimum wage laws, and the fairness of taxes. Personal and social ethics issues are the subject of a similar number of new essays, which include topics ranging from cell-phone etiquette and workplace dress codes to premarital sex and professional resumes.

From Library Journal:

Quite generally, encyclopedias are either carefully reasoned contributions to their subjects (e.g., Encyclopedia of Ethics, LJ 6/15/92) or, like this work, simple summaries either of what other people have said or of historical data. The difference does not mark the second kind as defective but only as having a different aim and audience. Ethics includes 819 alphabetically arranged articles of 250 to 3000 words, covering standard ethical concepts, institutions, distinguished people, ethically significant events, human behavior, and issues of applied ethics. Each entry of at least 1000 words includes a five-to ten-title bibliography, and all entries are cross-referenced and indexed alphabetically. The work also has about 200 graphic elements, some of which (e.g., chronologies, statistical data, etc.) are useful. Each entry relates its subject to a particular "type" of ethics (e.g., personal and social, military, civil rights, etc.), suggests the subject's significance (e.g., "focuses attention on x"), and defines the entry-term. The work is readable enough, but the conceptual entries in particular often muddle things by proceeding from faulty definitions, by stating something without explaining or analyzing it, by mistaking one thing for another, by oversimplifying, by ignoring a crucial distinction, or simply by inattention. There are serious omissions: harm, need, want, weakness of will, cost-benefit analysis, interpersonal comparison, wisdom, paternalism, right/obligation, A. Gewirth, H.L.A. Hart, R.B. Perry, etc. The length of entries is sometimes inappropriate (e.g., R.M. Hare gets as much space as Jacques Derrida and Bertrand Russell, and rape consumes about seven columns while utilitarianism and justice take about two each). Bibliographies sometimes fail to cite significant orthodox criticism of the views set forth in the entries (e.g., D. Ehrenfeld's criticism of humanism), cite inappropriately difficult works (e.g., anyone trying to leap from the justice-entry to John Rawls's A Theory of Justice probably will plunge to his or her philosophical death), or omit obviously first-rate items (e.g., Max Black's essay on deriving an ought-statement from is statements). The better entries are those requiring no conceptual analysis but only factual accuracy (e.g., those on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Watergate break-in). However, bias mars even some factual entries. Thus, the entry on nuclear energy mentions U.S., English, and Soviet reactor accidents but not France's extensive accident-free production of nuclear energy. Summarily, then, and subject to the qualifications already expressed, this encyclopedia is mediocre. It need not have been, as for example the excellent entry "Professional Ethics" shows. To the general reader, for whom it is evidently intended, it can provide information but not understanding.
Robert Hoffman, York Coll., CUNY
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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