Ethics: Approaching Moral Decisions, By Arthur F. Holmes


Approaching Moral Decisions

Contours of Christian Philosophy

Second Edition

by Arthur F. Holmes

  • Length: 150 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: November 29, 2007
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 2803
  • ISBN: 9780830828036

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With over 60,000 copies in print since its original publication in 1984, Ethics has served numerous generations of students as a classic introduction to philosophical ethics from a Christian perspective.

Over the years the philosophical landscape has changed somewhat, and in this second edition Arthur Holmes adjusts the argument and information throughout, completely rewriting the original chapter on virtue ethics and adding a new chapter on the moral agent.

Holmes addresses the questions: What is good? What is right? How can we know? In doing so he also surveys a variety of approaches to ethics, including cultural relativism, emotivism, ethical egoism and utilitarianism—all with an acknowledgment of the new postmodern environment.

"This book deserves the attention of all who are committed to careful Christian thinking about the moral life. Students will find a solid basis for developing a Christian perspective on moral philosophical issues. Scholars will gain important clues on how to pursue these matters in a biblically sensitive manner."

Richard J. Mouw, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Arthur Holmes has given us a masterful introduction to a Christian approach to ethics set off . . . from humanistic options that, in effect, undermine the foundations of any ethic at all."

Lewis B. Smedes, Fuller Theological Seminary

"This book is a joy to read. It is utterly lucid -- in thought, organization and style."

Peter Kreeft, Boston College


General Preface to the Contours of Christian Philosophy Series
Preface to the Second Edition
1. The Moral Revolution
2. Cultural Relativism
3. Emotivist Ethics
4. Ethical Egoism
5. Utilitarianism
6. Toward a Christian Ethic
7. Moral Knowledge
8. The Basis of Obligation
9. Human Rights
10. Criminal Punishment
11. Can We Legislate Morality?
12. Sex and Marriage
13. The Moral Agent
14. Virtue Ethics
Further Reading


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Arthur F. Holmes (Ph.D., Northwestern) is professor emeritus of philosophy at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.