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Introduction to Ethical Studies

Introduction to Ethical Studies

'Almost all major works in philosophy are accessible via online sources on the Internet. Fortunately, most of the best work in philosophy is available as public domain; these readings provide convenient sources for almost anyone seeking to learn about ethics and ethical theory. Our present collection is composed almost entirely of public domain sources, edited and emended, and subject to the legal notice following the title page which references...

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Christina Hendricks
7 years ago

I love the idea of making open textbooks out of material that is in the public domain or licensed for reuse. As the previous reviewer mentioned, this isn't just a collection of public domain texts; there are nice introductions to the texts, study questions, and links for further information. My main concerns are:

1. Many of the links are broken; this is not surprising, since the date of the textbook is 2003. But it does reduce the usefulness of the text insofar as one might not want to assign a set of readings and say to students that some links are working but others not, and it's too complicated to say which.

2. The look and feel of the site is rather dated, again unsurprisingly. It is fairly easy to navigate nevertheless, though, so long as you figure out that "up" means to go one level up in the organizational structure of the table of contents.

3. This is going to differ amongst teachers, but I found some of the selections too short for what I usually assign in courses in this area. That's going to be different for different institutions and contexts, though.

4. I was surprised that there was no section on utilitarianism in this book on ethics; that's something that is regularly taught in university coures on ethics.


I might assign some portions of this text for a course; e.g., I could ask them to read the sections on Epicurus and Epictetus, for example, and just tell them to skip the links (I'll provide my own!).

Time spent reviewing site: 30 minutes
Netty Provost
Netty Provost (Faculty)
10 years ago

This is a great collection of public domain texts related to ethics.  While someone via searching could find the full text versions of many of the readings used on this site what makes this collection special is that the texts are organized into categories and that the page for each indivual reading contains key paragraphs from the text, reading questions and information about the author of the text.  It's a nice colelction of readings that feature key points and theories from the history of ethics.

Technical Remarks:

The site design is simple but it's very easy to navigate back and forth through the site and there is a very helpful table of contents much as you would find in a tradational textbook.

Used in course? Yes