Practical Ethics

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For the topic of practical ethics, see Applied ethics.
Practical Ethics
Practical Ethics.JPG
The second edition
Author Peter Singer
Country United States
Language English
Genre Non-fiction
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Publication date
1979 (second edition 1993)
Media type Print
Pages 395 (second edition)
ISBN 0-521-43971-X (second edition paperback)

Practical Ethics is an introduction to applied ethics by modern bioethical philosopher Peter Singer. Originally published in 1979, it has since been translated into a number of languages. The book caused outrage in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.[1] The 1993 second edition has new chapters on refugees and the environment, and new sections on equality and disability, embryo experimentation, and the treatment of academics in Germany.[2][3] A third edition of Practical Ethics was published in 2011. It omits the chapter on refugees, and contains a new chapter on climate change.[4]

The work analyzes, in detail, why and how beings' interests should be weighed. Singer states that a being's interests should always be weighed according to that being's concrete properties, and not according to its belonging to some abstract group.

The book studies a number of ethical issues including: race, sex, ability, species, abortion, euthanasia, infanticide, embryo experimentation, the moral status of animals, political violence, overseas aid, and whether we have an obligation to assist others.


  1. ^ "The Dangerous Philosopher". Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  2. ^ "Review of Practical Ethics by Peter Singer". 2006-09-20. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  3. ^ "Practical Ethics 2nd edition". Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  4. ^ "Cambridge University Press". Retrieved 2011-03-17. 

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