"Part One is historically rich and analytically sophisticated. It is unquestionably the best treatment of the applied ethics landscape. In Part Two, the authors have an uncanny sense of the issues and a remarkable ability to demythologize the jargon temple of doom, such that controversial philosophical positions are rendered clear.... I look forward to teaching from this book."
--John J. McDermott, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, Professor and Head of Humanities in Medicine, Texas A&M University
Over the past two decades, applied ethics has turned increasingly toward theories that explore ethical questions faced by a variety of professions and away from classic moral concerns. Abraham Edel, Elizabeth Flower, and Finbarr O'Connor utilize examples of professional, public policy, and personal decision making to illustrate the strengths and limitations of the application of ethics in a rapidly changing world.
They first discuss the emergence of applied ethics and how it functions within a philosophical tradition. They are not concerned, however, with solving the problems they expose, but with employing them as a means to critique applied ethics. Using human rights and health and welfare issues, the authors examine the subsequent ethical stumbling blocks that surround the "moral order" of these social concerns. Through a historical discussion of the abundant ethical theories posited since the Enlightenment, they suggest ways to decide which can serve as intellectual tools for applied ethics and consider how knowledge and experience enter into any moral decision.
Turning to the factors pertinent in the analysis and solution of moral problems, they dissect the underlying influences on the practice of ethics, the way in which a moral problem is diagnosed and its relevant contexts established, the ensuing conflicts between the concerns of the individual and of society, and the degree of inventiveness in issues of morality. The authors suggest that, instead of viewing theory as a set consequence derived from prior applications, relating theory to practice will engage a process of mutual aid, from which each element will learn, refining and improving the other.
This seventh volume provides an authoritative edition of Dewey and James H. Tufts’ 1932 Ethics.
Dewey and Tufts state that the book’s aim is: “To induce a habit of thoughtful consideration, of envisaging the full meaning and consequences of individual conduct and social policies,” insisting throughout that ethics must be constantly concerned with the changing problems of daily life.
On June 20,1938, the trustees of the City Colleges of New York changed the by-laws on the governance of the colleges. The transformation of New York City's colleges from autocratic to democratic rule virtually overnight was a revolutionary event in American higher education within the context of the 1930s. Abraham Edel writes of this revolution as an active participant and as an eminent philosopher who has experienced more than a half century of educational reform. The book focuses on the meaning and import of democratic organization in the governance of universities, but, at the same time, the author's personal reflections make it an intellectual memoir that charts the evolution of an idea.
Labor unionism, the Great Depression, and the rise of fascism shaped the political, social, economic, and intellectual climate of the 1930s. Edel relates this milieu to the authoritarian system of governance in the City Colleges. He describes the growth of a college teachers union, a sit-down strike by students, and the controversy, agitation, and organizing that hurled the teaching staff into political action. He identifies the pioneering significance of this revolution--this experiment in democracy at a time when dictatorship was viewed as more efficient--and examines the lessons learned by sudden rather than piecemeal reform, by human responses to institutional change, and by the relation of ideas to social movements.
After tracing the history of this transformation, Edel works toward a philosophy of democratic governance by evaluating the variety of claims for participation in terms of the ultimate mission of the university. Admitting a preference for democratic forms, Edel examines current issues in academic governance and the often acrimonious debate over participation by various groups.