Tuesday, December 20, 2016

‘Ethics in the Real World,’ Peter Singer’s Provocative Essays; Book Review by Dwight Garner, New York Times, 12/19/16

Book Review by Dwight Garner, New York Times; ‘Ethics in the Real World,’ Peter Singer’s Provocative Essays:
[Update 12/21/16: I was able to locate and buy this afternoon a copy of Ethics in the Real World (2016), a collection of 82 essays by Peter Singer, at a Barnes & Noble at Settler's Ridge in suburban Pittsburgh. The 4-page essay "Rights for Robots?" was written by Peter Singer (with Agata Sagan). Though this essay was written in 2009, the ethical issues it raises about robots seem even more timely and relevant today.]
[Kip Currier: Just read the New York Times review (excerpted below) of Princeton University philosopher Peter Singer's new book “Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter" and was intrigued by some of the chapter titles, like "Rights for Robots?" Unfortunately, the Barnes & Noble near me is holding their only print copy for another customer. But I'll pick up a copy elsewhere this week and look forward to checking it out.]
In his new book, “Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter,” Mr. Singer picks up the topics of animal rights and poverty amelioration and runs quite far with them. But he’s written better and more fully about these issues elsewhere; they are not the primary reason to come to this book.
“Ethics in the Real World” comprises short pieces, most of them previously published. This book is interesting because it offers a chance to witness this influential thinker grapple with more offbeat questions.
Among the essay titles here: “Should Adult Sibling Incest Be a Crime?”; “Is It O.K. to Cheat at Football?”; “Tiger Mothers or Elephant Mothers?”; “Rights for Robots?”; and “Kidneys for Sale?” This book is the equivalent of a moral news conference, or a particularly good Terry Gross interview."

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