Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. The world’s entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in books and journals, is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful of private corporations. Want to read the papers featuring the most famous results of the sciences? You’ll need to send enormous amounts to publishers… .

 — Aaron Swartz

Working from the premises that information is not a commodity and that access to it is a human right, we have assembled the following open educational resource. It is built from 2 primary sources: theory chapters from the OER textbook Ethics for A-Level by Mark Dimmok and Andrew Fisher as well as selected chapters from the OER textbook Introduction to Ethics,  edited by Noah Levin. Supplementing these chapters is a selection of topical primary readings.

Part I of the text is a survey of ethical systems, methods of determining the right thing to do and how to reforge ourselves and communities, so that we might be humble, wise, and just. Part II of the text looks at short selections of speeches and readings from a variety of philosophers arguing for particular ethical principles, discussing what makes for a good life, the degree to which we can offload our moral thinking onto the divine, analysis of systems of power, and how to conceptualize and respond to uneven moral and political structures in society. The last part of the text is a series of applied ethical issues, such as reproductive rights, environmental ethics, animal rights, and so on.

The text is designed for use in an introductory course on Ethics in a community college classroom. As the base level, this text is covered by the Creative Commons  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.

This is the second edition of the text. To review planned edits for future versions, see the project’s Trello board.


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Phronesis Copyright © 2019 by Henry Imler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.