Moral Moments by Joel Marks: THE BOOK

Available for September 2000 from University Press of America (ISBN 0-7618-1802-2). Order on-line.

Based on Joel Marks's popular course on ethics at the University of New Haven, and distinctive for its highly accessible style, Moral Moments: Very Short Essays on Ethics is a book suited for the general reading public as well as students and teachers of philosophy and ethics.

The book has a unique format. The contents consist of 33 very short essays, some of which have been published as newspaper op-eds. The style is conversational and personal yet theoretical. Topics range from everyday life to headline news. Examine the Table of Contents and a Sample Essay.

Against the social scientific spirit of the age, Marks defends a distinct role for ethics in decision-making. Central themes of the book are:
-- ethics is not subjective
-- ethics has relevance to business and the professions as well as to everyday life
-- there is no more practical question we can ask than, "What is ethics?"

The book is suitable for adoption as a supplementary text book in introductory courses on ethics or philosophy, and will be appreciated by the teachers themselves for insights on how to convey the essence of the subject to novices in philosophy and to practitioners in business and other professional fields. These supplementary materials are available online.

If your students ever ask -- "Why do I need to study ethics?" -- this book will give them the answer. The short essays make for convenient secondary readings and can serve as models for students' own essays. It will also be as welcome in the teacher's personal library as in the classroom.

"I read the entire manuscript, with a smile, all in one sitting while my dinner was in the oven, hoping it would not burn before I got to the end. Marks's experience will appeal to philosophers, his examples and informal tone, to students, and his eloquence to all who love language and a well-turned phrase." -- Kristin Aronson, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Western Connecticut State University

"This book situates ethics squarely in the center of our lives. Whatever his subject -- Kant, the military-industrial complex, or a blaring stereo -- Marks's original voice keeps things lively and provocative from beginning to end." -- Jack Davis, Emeritus Professor of English, University of Connecticut

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