This carefully edited anthology by George Matthews tackles many of the foundational questions of Western philosophy while beautifully managing to make these philosophical inquiries truly accessible to anyone who is willing to engage in them. All chapters are written to be understood; the contributors show an honest and a caring attitude towards their audience.
The anthology is refreshing in its open-mindedness and its intelligible approach. This book will help undergraduate students of philosophy—and those who teach undergraduates—to get comfortable with the way Western ethicists ask and answer foundational ethical questions.
The book is written in a jargon-free, culturally sensitive, gender-appropriate, carefully deliberate language. This is, in my opinion, of the highest importance. Students will thus be given a chance to learn through these beautiful examples from an early stage in their own intellectual biography how to address philosophical topics in a non-supremacist manner. They can adapt this attitude to their very own philosophical work and become attentive in their thinking and their philosophical language to those who were far too long ignored, rejected and dismissed in the history of Western philosophy.
The wide range of topics—from relativism to contract theory, from Natural Law Theory to feminist ethics—are approached by asking exemplary questions and devising exemplary ethical situations. This approach grounds the philosophical discourse in lived experience where it belongs. Philosophy is not presented as an intellectual prestidigitation but as an existential exercise arising from being troubled by these strangely incontrovertible questions of life.
I highly recommend this book as an introduction to those who wish to read an accessible yet rigorous and challenging approach to Western ethics!
— Björn Freter, PhD, Independent Scholar, Knoxville, TN, U.S.A. (Peer Reviewer)