Review of Robin Attfield, Ethics: An Overview, London and New York, Continuum (Now Bloomsbury), 2012
John Clutterbuck
Freelance Tutor in EFL, Piraeus, Greece.
DOI: 10.4236/ojpp.2013.34076   PDF    HTML     6,104 Downloads   8,320 Views  


Attfield’s ethics textbook is a key resource for students of ethics, and covers history of ethics, value-theory, normative ethics, applied ethics, meta-ethics and free-will. Historical sections are used to explain how stances like virtue ethics and consequentialism came to unfold, and issues of human responsibility to be debated. Theories of value as supplying reasons for action inform the study of both normative ethics and meta-ethics. Normative theories are applied to sustainability, medicine, treatment of animals and the environment, development, and the ethics of war. The companion website will assist instructors and students alike, particularly with more challenging topics such as meta-ethics.

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Clutterbuck, J. (2013). Review of Robin Attfield, Ethics: An Overview, London and New York, Continuum (Now Bloomsbury), 2012. Open Journal of Philosophy, 3, 528-530. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2013.34076.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Attfield, R. (1995). Value, obligation and meta-ethics. Amsterdam and Atlanta, GA: Rodopi.
[2] Attfield, R. (2001). Meaningful work and full employment. Reason in Practice (now Philosophy of Management), 1, 41-48.
[3] Attfield, R. (2003). Environmental ethics. Cambridge: Polity; Malden, MA: Blackwell.
[4] Attfield, R. (2012). Ethics: An overview. London and New York: Continuum/Bloomsbury.
[5] Carson, R. (1962). Silent spring. London: Hamish Hamilton.
[6] LaFollette, H. (2013). International encyclopedia of ethics. Indianapolis and Bognor Regis: Wiley-Blackwell.
[7] Midgley, M. (1994). The ethical primate: Humans, freedom and morality. London and New York: Routledge.

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