Moral Decision Making : The Great Courses: Better Living

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Clancy Martin
  • Series: The Great Courses: Better Living
  • 12 hrs and 2 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Whether or not we're aware of them, we make important ethical decisions all the time - as professionals, consumers, citizens, parents, sons and daughters, and friends. These 24 thought-provoking lectures offer you the chance to reflect on some of the most powerful moral issues we face in our daily lives: Is it ever OK to lie? What are our moral obligations to others? What is the key to living the good life?
From Plato to Kant to Bonhoeffer, you'll see how some of the world's greatest thinkers from across the ages have approached similar problems. Professor Martin provides a complete picture of various ethical schools and approaches and applies this rich philosophical overview to "case studies" relevant to our contemporary lives.
You'll explore all the ins and outs of issues such as business ethics, love and marriage, privacy and technology, genetic engineering, animal rights, and much more. Engaging stories and thought experiments bring these issues to life, showing what different philosophical theories have to say about real-world ethical dilemmas.
According to Professor Martin, the trick is to understand that the mind is like a parachute; it only works when it's open. Rather than take a side in any particular debate, this course provides a framework for thinking through a host of debates and dilemmas from all sides. Through it all, Professor Martin is a sympathetic guide, helping you think through some of our most complex decisions.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Easy-followed down-to-earth relevant ethics course

In 24 lectures prof. Clancy Martin makes his listeners realise that moral decision making is an important, yet often neglected part of life. He initially uses practical everyday scenario's to introduce those questions in life that seems to be the stuff that only Philosophers really ponder on. While highlighting various Western and Eastern Philosophical traditions as well as Christian and Buddhist religious traditions to show different ways in which you should approach a seemingly moral dilemma, he helps the listener to decide how he or she will deal with a certain issue in the future. Though he leads the listener in taking his view, especially towards the end of his lectures, he doesn't force it on you.

Maybe a little bit of criticism from my side would be his inability to think a bit more globally about certain issues, especially about things like the death penalty, recycling and caring for your elderly parents. I think that in these lectures he seems to be unable to escape his North American mindset. That said, it was still interesting, and even these lectures can be of help to someone from another continent.

The three lectures I found most valuable is "Aren't Whistle-blowers being disloyal?" and "What is wrong with Gossip?" and "Why can't I date a married person?" Some of the ways in which he navigates his reasoning through difficult issues without religious endorsement is ingenious. As a chaplain working within a multi-religious environment, this course is really beneficial.

I think the goal on any course in ethics would be to get people thinking about what they do and if it is right and wrong. By empowering people to evaluate their own actions, you can change people's behaviour radically and in a very short period of time. A successful course in ethics should just to what I've described above. Prof. Clancy Martin has surely succeeded through these Great Courses' lectures to do just that. It is recommended extremely high!

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- Jacobus

Taking as Many Perspectives as Possible

Would you listen to Moral Decision Making again? Why?

Yes, I actually plan to after reading something else. This course was very engrossing and thought-inspiring. The topics were relevant to most people facing the modern world of today and I feel that much could be gleaned from a second and third listen.


Which scene was your favorite?

I was really into the discussions on money and economics, as well as the Golden Rule and hedonism.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I certainly tried! It took me 2 days to get through.


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- Carrie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-10-2014
  • Publisher: The Great Courses