101 Ethical Dilemmas Paperback – 1 May 2003
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The author of 101 Ethical Dilemmas, Martin Cohen, is the editor of The Philosopher and the author of the bestselling 101 Philosophy Problems. This, his latest offering, is a book of two halves. The first half is a mixture of real and imaginary stories working as provocative thought experiments (or dilemmas) dealing with business, medical, legal, war, environmental and personal ethics and aimed at improving our skills of ethical navigation. The second half of the book is a detailed discussion section revealing the relationship of the dilemmas to philosophical and religious traditions and generally giving the dilemmas a more thorough going over.
This book is great fun. Many of the dilemmas are obviously profound, others appear to be entertaining, trivial diversions, but because they are all short and easily digestible the temptation is to read the whole of the first part quickly and without regard for the fact that each one captures a real and difficult ethical dilemma worth mulling over. The best way to use the book is to take the dilemmas slowly, one by one (or at most, group by group) and to try to resolve them for yourself. Cohen tells us that the discussion section can be read or left alone according to our discretion but reading it should reveal why the seemingly trivial "little things" are, in Sherlock Holmes words, "infinitely the most important". --Larry Brown
'The book starts with the warning that it is not a guidebook for ethical living. What it does do is plant hundreds of more ethical questions in your mind, fulfilling its role as a light hearted, lively introduction to the subject of ethical philosophy. It may not make you a better person or resolve all your problems, but it's a great work out for your brain!' - Get Ethical.com
This book has proved to be invaluable in a pilot project promoting Philosophy and discussion activities in our school. We use this book twice a week as the basis of group discussions of ethical issues, and it is a great success...There is something here for students and people of all ages. I heartily recommend this book, as well as [Martin Cohen's] previous one, which we have enjoyed equally. - Michael Brett, Head of Philosophy, Lochinver School
'101 Ethical Dilemmas... is a chatty, jokey journey through philosophical dilemmas ancient and modern... the philosophy is the real thing.' - New Scientist
'The logical positivists might have called ethics gobbledegook, but it is well and truly on the menu here in 101 courses' - Age
'101 Ethical Dilemmas is the natural sequal to [101 Philosophy Problems] that wonderful book...it's entertainment that trains you to think more intelligently about discerning right and wrong and about how you choose to act.' - Fish.co.uk
'101 Ethical Dilemmas is a well-structured book which raises many of the ethical issues of today's world.' - Rabbi Jeffrey Cohen, The Australian Jewish News
'Martin Cohen does a good job of weaving some intriguing stories and classic philosophical ideas and arguments into the discussions.' - James Ladyman, senior lecturer in philosophy, Bristol University, The Times Higher Education Supplement
'... Cohen does a good job in weaving some intriguing stories and classic philosophical ideas'
- James Ladyman, Times Higher Education Supplement
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Top Customer Reviews
Saving philosophy from dry abstractions Cohen's enlightening, irreverent style dismisses any set rules. Instead he balances the arguments and highlights the flaws of ancient and modern philosophers including Plato, Socrates and Hobbes. The problems are not solved - it is up to the reader to make up their own mind what is the right answer - or even if there is one. Cohen offers up his own reasoning, which you may or may not agree with, which helps to demystify the intimidating field of ethical philosophy.
Cohen is especially good in dragging ancient dilemmas into a modern context. Is torture wrong when interrogating terrorists? Should we bomb America for their terrorist training camps? Who is to blame for serial killers - society, the parents, themselves? When is it OK to design babies? The debates are real enough to create passion and provoke thought, but benefit from the gloss on previous philosophical debates. Perhaps the most intriguing are the "little dilemmas" of deceit. For example if an internet shopping site mistakenly thinks you have paid for a product when you haven't -do you keep quiet and accept or do you send the money anyway? I think you know what the writers of ethicalmatters.co.uk would say!
The book starts with the warning that it is not a guidebook for ethical living. What it does do is plant hundreds of more ethical questions in your mind, fulfilling its role as a light hearted, lively introduction to the subject of ethical philosophy. It may not make you a better person or resolve all your problems, but it's a great work out for your brain!