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Moral Decision Making: How to Approach Everyday Ethics | [The Great Courses]

Moral Decision Making: How to Approach Everyday Ethics

Whether or not we're aware of them, we make important ethical decisions all the time - as professionals, consumers, citizens, parents, sons and daughters, and friends. These 24 thought-provoking lectures offer you the chance to reflect on some of the most powerful moral issues we face in our daily lives: Is it ever OK to lie? What are our moral obligations to others? What is the key to living the good life? From Plato to Kant to Bonhoeffer, you'll see how some of the world's greatest thinkers from across the ages have approached similar problems.
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Publisher's Summary

Whether or not we're aware of them, we make important ethical decisions all the time - as professionals, consumers, citizens, parents, sons and daughters, and friends. These 24 thought-provoking lectures offer you the chance to reflect on some of the most powerful moral issues we face in our daily lives: Is it ever OK to lie? What are our moral obligations to others? What is the key to living the good life?

From Plato to Kant to Bonhoeffer, you'll see how some of the world's greatest thinkers from across the ages have approached similar problems. Professor Martin provides a complete picture of various ethical schools and approaches and applies this rich philosophical overview to "case studies" relevant to our contemporary lives.

You'll explore all the ins and outs of issues such as business ethics, love and marriage, privacy and technology, genetic engineering, animal rights, and much more. Engaging stories and thought experiments bring these issues to life, showing what different philosophical theories have to say about real-world ethical dilemmas.

According to Professor Martin, the trick is to understand that the mind is like a parachute; it only works when it's open. Rather than take a side in any particular debate, this course provides a framework for thinking through a host of debates and dilemmas from all sides. Through it all, Professor Martin is a sympathetic guide, helping you think through some of our most complex decisions.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.


©2014 The Great Courses (P)2014 The Teaching Company, LLC

What Members Say

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  •  
    Jacobus Johannesburg, South Africa 03-19-14
    Jacobus Johannesburg, South Africa 03-19-14 Member Since 2013

    When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.

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    "Easy-followed down-to-earth relevant ethics course"

    In 24 lectures prof. Clancy Martin makes his listeners realise that moral decision making is an important, yet often neglected part of life. He initially uses practical everyday scenario's to introduce those questions in life that seems to be the stuff that only Philosophers really ponder on. While highlighting various Western and Eastern Philosophical traditions as well as Christian and Buddhist religious traditions to show different ways in which you should approach a seemingly moral dilemma, he helps the listener to decide how he or she will deal with a certain issue in the future. Though he leads the listener in taking his view, especially towards the end of his lectures, he doesn't force it on you.

    Maybe a little bit of criticism from my side would be his inability to think a bit more globally about certain issues, especially about things like the death penalty, recycling and caring for your elderly parents. I think that in these lectures he seems to be unable to escape his North American mindset. That said, it was still interesting, and even these lectures can be of help to someone from another continent.

    The three lectures I found most valuable is "Aren't Whistle-blowers being disloyal?" and "What is wrong with Gossip?" and "Why can't I date a married person?" Some of the ways in which he navigates his reasoning through difficult issues without religious endorsement is ingenious. As a chaplain working within a multi-religious environment, this course is really beneficial.

    I think the goal on any course in ethics would be to get people thinking about what they do and if it is right and wrong. By empowering people to evaluate their own actions, you can change people's behaviour radically and in a very short period of time. A successful course in ethics should just to what I've described above. Prof. Clancy Martin has surely succeeded through these Great Courses' lectures to do just that. It is recommended extremely high!

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carrie Booth Albuquerque 05-10-14
    Carrie Booth Albuquerque 05-10-14 Member Since 2011

    I am a fan of science, skepticism, and (oddly enough) fantasy. I love thought provoking ideas and intricate character development!

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    "Taking as Many Perspectives as Possible"
    Would you listen to Moral Decision Making again? Why?

    Yes, I actually plan to after reading something else. This course was very engrossing and thought-inspiring. The topics were relevant to most people facing the modern world of today and I feel that much could be gleaned from a second and third listen.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I was really into the discussions on money and economics, as well as the Golden Rule and hedonism.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I certainly tried! It took me 2 days to get through.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Guilherme 02-22-15
    Guilherme 02-22-15 Member Since 2013

    You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take. —Wayne Gretzky

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    "Thinking about issues people don't talk about"
    Would you listen to Moral Decision Making again? Why?

    This is a book that there is just so much important information, that is simple not possible to get it all one single listen. I certainly will listen to it again.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Moral Decision Making?

    I can name a few likeChapter 9 was The golden rule - don't do unto others what you wouldn't want them do unto you and its implications are not as simple as they seem at first. Emanuel kant's review of the law - treat people a an end not as a means. Chapter 11 with the master and slaves ethics and where the judeo-chistian tradition have taken their ideals from are also very interesting.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    As for me, all I know is that I know nothing, for when I don't know what justice is, I'll hardly know whether it is a kind of virtue or not, or whether a person who has it is happy or unhappy.
    Republic, 354b-c - On the last lecture


    Any additional comments?

    A book that all humans should listen to.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    "unknown" 07-09-14
    "unknown" 07-09-14
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    "This is college level material?"

    I am only a few chapters into this, but I'm sorry to say I don't think I can stand any more of it. The content of these lectures is at the level of self-help pep talks, or maybe non-denominational church sermons, but certainly not college courses. If I had signed up for this course in college I would have dropped it after the first lecture unless I needed an easy 'A'.

    Add this professor is not lecturing, he is reading a script that was written to sound as if he's lecturing. But he reads it so badly that instead of sounding like a well-informed and interesting lecturer, he sounds like an amateur actor.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew 03-04-15
    Andrew 03-04-15
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    "Great"

    Thought provoking. Especially the last few lectures discussing animal rights. Though, the whole course is laced in utilitarianism. Still great

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathy Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 04-06-15
    Cathy Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 04-06-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Could Listen Again and Again"
    Would you listen to Moral Decision Making again? Why?

    Yes. The material in this study is presented in easy to digest, tasty chunks. At the end of every half-hour lesson, I was eager to think more about what I had just heard.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. This was a wonderful listen while I was commuting to and from work.


    Any additional comments?

    Professor Clancy Martin is a gifted speaker and the material he presented in this audible challenged my definitions and parameters of moral / ethical decisions, actions, and dilemmas. Stretched me to become more aware of what I think and how I choose to act.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary E Nicolai 03-13-15
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    "Insightful and well done"

    One of the best. Every public servant (especially political) should listen to this insightful lecture. The historical perspective mixed with today's issues was so well done. I am referring this lecture to several people.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Shackelford 08-02-15 Member Since 2013
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    "And the answer is ..."

    There were many examples of moral ambiguity - some of which in my opinion were not resolved with sufficient clarity. The lecturer as a subject matter expert could have at least proposed what he believed to be the appropriate action for each example presented.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Deibler 07-30-15 Member Since 2015
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    "well organized and thought provoking."

    simple questions with complex answers that we don't often think about. great for young students like myself

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Carnes Montana 06-10-15
    John Carnes Montana 06-10-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Outstanding, thought provoking and potentially life changing!"

    This was an outstanding series.
    The presentation and performance had an element of passion and emotion that was ultimately engaging.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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