Title Modern Ethics in 77 Arguments
Subtitle A Stone Reader
Author Peter Catapano, Simon Critchley
ISBN 9781631492983
List price USD 28.95
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Hardbound
No of pages 448
Book size 153 x 235 mm
Publishing year 2017
Original publisher W. W. Norton & Company
Published in India by W. W. Norton & Company
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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“The essays here tackle questions of existence, morality, religion, race, family, gender, economics, government and citizenship—nearly every topic of human concern—and reflect a range of viewpoints, writing styles and rhetorical strategies. Each one either directly or indirectly raises a question to be explored .... They sit very comfortably in the tradition of philosophy as a practical tool for the navigation of life, and hence, in this case, under the heading of Modern Ethics. The key components of the essays—clarity, brevity, integrity and jargon-free language—have been at the editorial core of The Stone since its founding. At their best, these works are useful not only for general readers looking to get beneath the surface of an issue but also for the student or teacher aiming to bring the practices of philosophy and writing together in the project of public engagement. We hope they can and will be read in philosophy courses and seminars, but also at kitchen tables and cafes, in libraries and airports, on road trips and summer vacations.”

—Peter Catapano, From the preface


“Nietzsche might not have claimed believed that journalists ‘vomit their bile and call it a newspaper’ if he had ever read ‘The Stone,’ The New York Times column devoted to philosophy. . . . Ideal for unfolding distinctly modern perspectives. . . . Journalism has rarely opened wider intellectual horizons.”

— Bryce Christensen, Booklist



A necessary companion to the acclaimed Stone Reader, Modern Ethics in 77 Arguments is a landmark collection for contemporary ethical thought.


Since 2010, The Stone—the immensely popular, award-winning philosophy series in The New York Times—has revived and reinterpreted age-old inquires to speak to our modern condition. This new collection of essays from the series does for modern ethics what The Stone Reader did for modern philosophy. New York Times editor Peter Catapano and best-selling author and philosopher Simon Critchley have curated an unparalleled collection that illuminates just how imperative ethical thinking is in our day-to-day life.

Like its predecessor, Modern Ethics in 77 Arguments explores long-standing ethical and moral issues in light of our most urgent dilemmas. Divided into twelve sections, the book opens with a series of broad arguments on existence, human nature and morality. Indeed, “big” questions of the human condition are explored by some of our best-known and most accomplished living philosophers: What is the meaning of our existence? Should we really “do what we love”? How should we respond to evil? Is pure altruism possible?

Along with these examinations of timeless moral conundrums, readers will find arguments in the more contentious areas of religion and government: Can we have a moral life without God? Does it really matter if God exists? Is patriotism moral? Accessible and provocative, these pieces expose the persistence of the most basic themes and questions of moral and ethical life. Many of the essays stress the crucial importance of directly engaging the most pressing moral dilemmas in modern life. Should we be the last generation, knowing all the harm we’ve done to our planet? Should we embrace our inner carnivores, or swear off all animal products? From gun control and drone warfare to the morals of marriage and reproduction, readers will view familiar debates in new, surprising lights.

The editors have meticulously arranged this book to reflect a wide range of perspectives, voices and rhetorical strategies. By directly addressing some of the most complex and troubling issues we face today—racial discrimination, economic inequality, immigration, citizenship and more—the volume reveals the profound power of ethics in shaping our perceptions of nearly every aspect of our lives.

A jargon-free, insightful compendium, Modern Ethics in 77 Arguments offers a panoramic view of morality and is a critical addition to The Stone Reader that will energize and enliven the world of ethical thought in both the classroom and everyday American life.



The Meaningfulness of Lives by Todd May * A Life Beyond “Do What You Love” by Gordon Marino * Evolution and our Inner Conflict by Edward O. Wilson * Morals Without God? by Frans de Waal * Does It Matter Whether God Exists? by Gary Gutting * The Moral Hazard of Drones by John Kaag and Sarah Kreps * Can Refugees Have Human Rights? by Omri Boehm * Dear White America by George Yancy * Girlfriend, Mother, Professor? by Carol Hay * The End of “Marriage” by Laurie Shrage * When Vegans Won’t Compromise by Bob Fischer and James McWilliams * Should This Be the Last Generation? by Peter Singer


Preface by Peter Catapano

The Meaningfulness of Lives — Todd May • There Is No Theory of Everything Simon Critchley • The Light at the End of Suffering — Peg O’Connor • Being There: Heidegger on Why Our Presence Matters — Lawrence Berger • Against Invulnerability — Todd May • Why Life Is Absurd Rivka Weinberg • A Life Beyond “Do What You Love” — Gordon Marino

Evolution and Our Inner Conflict — Edward O. Wilson • Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene — Roy Scranton • Is Pure Altruism Possible? — Judith Lichtenberg • Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? — Peter Railton • How Should We Respond to “Evil”? — Steven Paulikas • The Moral Logic of Survivor Guilt — Nancy Sherman • How to Live Without Irony — Christy Wampole • Deluded Individualism — Firmin DeBrabander

The Dangers of Happiness — Carl Cederström • Are We Ready for a “Morality Pill”? — Peter Singer and Agata Sagan • Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts — Justin P. McBrayer • Morals Without God? — Frans de Waal • The Dangers of Certainty: A Lesson From Auschwitz
Critchley • Confessions of an Ex-Moralist — Joel Marks • The Maze of Moral Relativism — Paul Boghossian • Can Moral Disputes Be Resolved? — Alex Rosenberg • Moral Dispute or Cultural Difference? — Carol Rovane

Navigating Past Nihilism — Sean D. Kelly • Does It Matter Whether God Exists? — Gary Gutting • Good Minus God — Louise M. Antony • Pascal’s Wager 2.0 — Gary Gutting • The Sacred and the Humane — Anat Biletzki • Why God Is a Moral Issue — Michael Ruse • The Rigor of Love — Simon Critchley • God Is a Question, Not an Answer — William Irwin • What’s Wrong with Blasphemy? — Andrew F. March

Questions for Free-Market Moralists — Amia Srinivasan • Is Our Patriotism Moral? — Gary Gutting • The Irrationality of Natural Life Sentences — Jennifer Lackey • Spinoza’s Vision of Freedom, and Ours — Steven Nadler • If War Can Have Ethics, Wall Street Can, Too - Nathaniel B. Davis • The Moral Hazard of Drones — John Kaag and Sarah Kreps • Reasons for Reason — Michael P. Lynch

The Morality of Migration — Seyla Benhabib • What Do We Owe Each Other? — Aaron James Wendland • Can Refugees Have Human Rights? —
Omri Boehm • Dependents of the State — Amia Srinivasan • Is Voting Out of Self-Interest Wrong? — Gary Gutting

Philosophizing with Guns — Simone Gubler • A Crack in the Stoic’s Armor — Nancy Sherman • Who Needs a Gun? — Gary Gutting • The Freedom of an Armed Society — Firmin DeBrabander • Is American Nonviolence Possible? — Todd May

Walking While Black in the “White Gaze” — George Yancy  • Race, Truth and Our Two Realities — Chris Lebron  • Getting Past the Outrage on Race — Gary Gutting  • Philosophy’s Western Bias — Justin E. H. Smith  • Dear White America — George Yancy  • Of Cannibals, Kings and Culture: The Problem of Ethnocentricity — Adam Etinson  • What, to the Black American, Is Martin Luther King Jr. Day? — Chris Lebron • Is Real Inclusiveness Possible? —
Justin E. H. Smith

When Prostitution Is Nobody’s Business — Laurie Shrage • On Abortion and Defining a “Person” — Gary Gutting • Girlfriend, Mother, Professor? —
Carol Hay • The Disappearing Women — Rae Langton • A Feminist Kant — Carol Hay

Think Before You Breed — Christine Overall • Is Forced Fatherhood Fair? — Laurie Shrage • “Mommy Wars” Redux: A False Conflict — Amy Allen • The End of “Marriage” — Laurie Shrage • My Parents’ Mixed Messages on the Holocaust — Jason Stanley

The Meat Eaters — Jeff McMahan • If Peas Can Talk, Should We Eat Them? — Michael Marder • When Vegans Won’t Compromise — Bob Fischer and James McWilliams • The Enigma of Animal Suffering — Rhys Southan

Is Humanity Getting Better? — Leif Wenar • Should This Be the Last Generation? — Peter Singer • What Do We Owe the Future? — Patricia  Vieira and Michael Marder • The Importance of the Afterlife. Seriously. — Samuel Scheffler • Accepting the Past, Facing the Future — Todd May



About the Editors:

Peter Catapano has been an opinion editor at The New York Times since 2005 where he has developed and edited several online series, including The Stone, Home Fires, and Disability. He was recognized for his work in pioneering blogs and series for The New York Times with a Publisher’s Award in 2008.

Simon Critchley is a best-selling author and the Hans Jonas Professor at the New School for Social Research. His books include Very Little…Almost Nothing, Infinitely Demanding, The Book of Dead Philosophers, The Faith of the Faithless, Bowie, Memory Theatre and Suicide.

Target Audience:

People interested in Philosophy and Ethics.


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