A 21st Century Ethical Toolbox offers a uniquely practical and hands-on introduction to ethics. Thoroughly optimistic, the book invites students to approach ethical issues with a reconstructive intent--to "break out of the box" in order to make room for more and better options than the rigid "pro" and "con" positions that have developed around tough problems like abortion and environmental ethics. In this book, ethics is treated not as an invitation to issue summary moral judgments or to construct and evaluate moral theories, but as an ongoing set of real-life challenges that call for multiple, integrated, and open-ended kinds of intelligence. Anthony Weston covers the skills that are vital to making real progress in ethics, including critical thinking, creative problem-solving, moral vision, mindful speech, and many more. Readers will find refreshing examples of real people and communities who have made progress in reframing and resolving ethical dilemmas by thinking and acting in constructive and innovative ways. Instructors can readily use the experiential and applied activities inspired by this "toolbox" of skills to design an interactive and collaborative ethics course, and students will find the resources and the encouragement to carry those skills into practice. A 21st Century Ethical Toolbox addresses a broad spectrum of compelling ethical issues, including abortion, sexual choices, what and how we eat, crime and punishment, fair trade, environmental justice, and many others. Provocative selections from a wide range of philosophers, essayists, community activists, and students are interwoven with Weston's own discussions. The text is enhanced by an extensive "Exercises and Notes" section at the end of each chapter and a detailed appendix that offers instructors advice on how to use this book in the classroom.
New to the Second Edition: * A reorganized structure that covers a wider range of topics, grouped into four parts: Getting Started; Moral Values; Ethical Practice; and Making a Difference * A more diverse selection of sources that pays more attention to multicultural representation and religious ethics * New and additional readings from moral philosophers, first-rate writers, community activists, and college students, including Alice Walker, Ursula LeGuin, Bertrand Russell, Kwasi Wiredu, Aldo Leopold, and many others * A new chapter on "Mindful Speech" by Spoma Jovanovic, a leading figure in Communication Ethics * An all-new Part IV on how to make a real ethical difference * Ten review questions in each chapter that can also be used as test questions * A second appendix, "Experiential Teaching in Ethics," by Sharon Hartline of Radford University
Superb introduction to ethical reasoning
By Jason A. Beyer - September 4, 2001
Most introductory ethics textbooks focus on the usual suspects: relativism, egoism, and the major competing ethical theories. In most, a discussion of ethical reasoning is limited to the first chapter of the book. In this expanded version of his previously published *A Practical Companion to Ethics*, Weston provides us with an introduction to ethics that places ethical *reasoning* at the forefront. The traditional material is also given some air time, but always in line with Weston's goal of teaching his readers how to *think* ethically. Weston's book is a treasure for anyone coming to ethics in a formal manner for the first time. Much of what we see concerning "ethics" is, at best, intellectually sloppy. Weston's book provides us with a set of skills that can be adopted to make ethical reasoning a lot less sloppy, to the sure advantage of everyone. Some of the topic areas include: use of loaded language, how to reframe ethical problems, how to reconclie conflicting... read more
Excellent book, for Philosophy and for English
By Herschel Greenberg - August 9, 2008
I am a Community College professor. I teach many Critical Thinking classes in the English Department. In those classes, I cover Ethical Theories by introducting my students to the concepts of Egoism, Kantian Theories, Utilitarianism and Care Ethics (I know there are others, but we focus on those four). Knowledge of these theories help my students to think critically about situations in their lives, the world, and how other people behave. The theories compliment many of my other assignments. However, I teach these theories on my own without any book as reference. But Weston's book might change all of that.
I have used other books by Anthony Weston in other classes, so when I came across this book, I bought it immediately. I have read through Chapter 8, and I knew I found a book that I could use in my class room. Yes, I am writing a review without finishing the book. It is that good.
First, Weston's approach to organization is different than most ethics text... read more
By icematthew777 - September 30, 2011
Having read Weston's books on arguments and creative thinking, I had hope that this book would as good as they were. I was wrong, I realize that this book has gotten good reviews from other readers, but this book is just terrible.
The tone of the writing is almost self-hating. If you are a white male (like I am) you are basically shamed for the acts of others.
When it comes to politics, I am a moderate. I like it when teachers/authors respect both sides. Weston seemed to be more respectful of the views on both sides in his other books, but in this one, it is very clear that he has major issues with people who are conservatives. Weston takes a HARD left stance on ethical issues, and I find it hard to read this, since it is very partial. He phrases discussions to make one side look obviously wrong, and that's irritating.
I get as irritated with dogmatic conservatives (not all are) as the next guy, but this is just irresponsible. I had the impression... read more