Saturday, January 21, 2017

Ethics in the Real World: 86 Brief Essays on Things that Matter, by Peter Singer

Staff review by Chris Saliba

Australian ethicist Peter Singer tackles some of today's biggest issues.

Renowned Australian author, bioethicist and philosopher Peter Singer tackles a broad range of ethical questions in his new book, Ethics in the Real World: 86 Brief Essays on Things that Matter. As the title suggests, the book comprises short pieces, actually columns that Singer has published previously over the past fifteen years. Most of the pieces collected were written for the Project Syndicate, a world news service for which Singer provided a monthly column. Other pieces were published in American and Australian broadsheet newspapers.

The most attractive aspect of Ethics in the Real World is how these essays get the reader to consider a wide variety of ethical dilemmas, many of which may seem novel. For example, is it wrong to build statues in honour of Joseph Stalin? Is it okay to eat in vitro meat? Singer even contemplates a future in which there might be rights for robots.

Covering issues such as animal welfare, sex and gender, politics, climate change, happiness, science and global governance, this engaging collection of writings is sure to stimulate thought and make the reader confront their own ethical positions.

Ethics in the Real World: 86 Brief Essays on Things that Matter, by Peter Singer. Published by Text. ISBN: 9781925355857 RRP: $32.99

To sign up for our monthly newsletter, featuring new releases, book reviews and favourite articles from around the web, click here.