2012 Annual Meeting


The following books were new titles by Association members prior to the 2012 Annual Meeting and were featured at Lunch with an Author, Author Meets the Critics and elsewhere at the Twenty-First Annual Meeting.


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The Uses and Limits of Kant’s Practical Philosophy

Matthew C. Altman


(November 2011)

Kant and Applied Ethics makes an important contribution to Kant scholarship, illuminating the vital moral parameters of key ethical debates.

  • Offers a critical analysis of Kant’s ethics, interrogating the theoretical bases of his theory and evaluating their strengths and weaknesses
  • Examines the controversies surrounding the most important ethical discussions taking place today, including abortion, the death penalty, and same-sex marriage
  • Joins innovative thinkers in contemporary Kantian scholarship, including Christine Korsgaard, Allen Wood, and Barbara Herman, in taking Kant’s philosophy in new and interesting directions
  • Clarifies Kant’s legacy for applied ethics, helping us to understand how these debates have been structured historically and providing us with the philosophical tools to address them


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Justifications and Applications

Michael Boylan

Westview Press

(March 2011)

In this concise, single-authored text, renowned scholar and professor Michael Boylan examines the moral justifications underlying key global justice issues and provides students with the analytical tools to approach those issues critically. Introductory chapters establish a thorough but accessible foundation in theory and moral justification, and subsequent chapters apply those concepts to key areas of global concern: poverty; public health; race, gender, and sexual orientation; democracy and social/political dialog; globalization; the environment; war and terrorism; and immigrants and refugees. For easy reference and review, each chapter includes key terms, critical applied reasoning exercises (CARE), and problems and thought experiments perfect for class discussions or writing exercises. The appendix, “Getting Involved,” guides students in putting ethical principles to work.

An anthology of original essays, The Morality and Global Justice Reader, is also available as a complementary or a standalone text.


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The Ethics of Lawless Judging

Jeffrey Brand-Ballard

Oxford University Press

(April 2010)

Judges sometimes hear cases in which the law, as they honestly understand it, requires results that they consider morally objectionable. Most people assume that, nevertheless, judges have an ethical obligation to apply the law correctly, at least in reasonably just legal systems. This is the view of most lawyers, legal scholars, and private citizens, but the arguments for it have received surprisingly little attention from philosophers.
Combining ethical theory with discussions of caselaw, Jeffrey Brand-Ballard challenges arguments for the traditional view, including arguments from the fact that judges swear oaths to uphold the law, and arguments from our duty to obey the law, among others. He then develops an alternative argument based on ways in which the rule of law promotes the good. Patterns of excessive judicial lawlessness, even when morally motivated, can damage the rule of law. Brand-Ballard explores the conditions under which individual judges are morally responsible for participating in destructive patterns of lawless judging. These arguments build upon recent theories of collective intentionality and presuppose an agent-neutral framework, rather than the agent-relative framework favored by many moral philosophers. Defying the conventional wisdom, Brand-Ballard argues that judges are not always morally obligated to apply the law correctly. Although they have an obligation not to participate in patterns of excessive judicial lawlessness, an individual departure from the law so as to avoid an unjust result is rarely a moral mistake if the rule of law is otherwise healthy.

Limits of Legality will interest philosophers, legal scholars, lawyers, and anyone concerned with the ethics of judging.


Cultural Fault Lines in Healthcare

Reflections on Cultural Competency

Michael C. Brannigan

Lexington Books

(February 2012)

Healthcare in the U.S. faces two interpenetrating certainties. First, with over 66 racial and ethnic groupings, our “American Mosaic” of worldviews and values unavoidably generates clashes in hospitals and clinics. Second, our public increasingly mistrusts our healthcare system and delivery. One certainty fuels the other. Conflicts in the clinical encounter, particularly with patients from other cultures, often challenge dominant assumptions of morally appropriate principles and behavior. In turn, lack of understanding, misinterpretation, stereotyping, and outright discrimination result in poor health outcomes, compounding further mistrust.

To address these cultural fault lines, healthcare institutions have initiated efforts to ensure “cultural competence.” Yet, these efforts become institutional window-dressing without tackling deeper issues, issues having to do with attitudes, understanding, and, most importantly, ways we communicate with patients. These deeper issues reflect a fundamental, original fault line: the ever-widening gap between serving our own interests while disregarding the concerns of more vulnerable patients, those on the margins, those Others who remain disenfranchised because they are Other.

This book examines this and how we must become the voice for these Others whose vulnerability and suffering are palpable. The author argues that, as a vital and necessary condition for cultural competency, we must learn to cultivate the virtue of Presence – of genuinely being there with our patients. Cultural competency is less a matter of acquiring knowledge of other cultures. Cultural competency demands as a prerequisite for all patients, not just for those who seem different, genuine embodied Presence.

Genuine, interpersonal, embodied presence is especially crucial in our screen-centric and Facebook world where interaction is mediated through technologies rather than through authentic face-to-face engagement. This is sadly apparent in healthcare, where we have replaced interpersonal care with technological intervention. Indeed, we are all potential patients. When we become ill, we too will most likely assume roles of vulnerability. We too may feel as invisible as those on the margins.

These are not armchair reflections. Brannigan’s incisive analysis comes from his scholarship in healthcare and intercultural ethics, along with his longstanding clinical experience in numerous healthcare settings with patients, their families, and healthcare professionals.


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How to Stop Compulsive Worry Without Feeling Guilty

Elliot D. Cohen

New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

(May 2011)

Do you feel it’s your duty to worry?

If your answer to this question is “yes,” you may be suffering from a type of compulsive behavior called dutiful worrying. On the positive side, dutiful worrying can make you feel as if you’re actually doing something to improve or control your situation. But this unproductive habit eventually robs you of energy and peace of mind and can leave you feeling overwhelmed.

The Dutiful Worrier pinpoints why some of us become compulsive worriers and offers a four-step program to end this vicious circle. With this book, you’ll:

  • Identify and change the thoughts that propel your worry
  • Learn to make decisions without ruminating about them
  • Overcome feelings of guilt when you don’t worry
  • Let go and give up worrying once and for all

Complete with self-evaluations and exercises, this book offers guidance for keeping perspective and accepting that you are not responsible for preventing catastrophe. Without the burden of dutiful worrying, you will be able to enjoy life more freely and fully.


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Building an Ethics Toolkit

Deni Elliott


(June 2008)

Ethical Challenges provides information and activities to help individuals or groups think through basic ethical concepts and considerations. Ethical Challenges will not provide specific answers for the dilemmas that people face but will help readers bring to conscious awareness some understandings that help in thinking through ethical issues. This workbook can be used alone to stimulate the moral imagination and provoke interesting discussions; or it can be used in conjunction with a more theoretical book, Ethics in the First Person: A Guide to Teaching and Learning Practical Ethics.


Ethics in the First PersonDeni_Elliott_book.jpg

A Guide to Teaching and Learning Practical Ethics

Deni Elliott

Rowman and Littlefield

(August 2006)

Ethics in the First Person is the first comprehensive guide to teaching and learning practical ethics to be published in more than 25 years. This book provides the historical context for the study of practical ethics in the Twenty-First Century, but focuses on the teaching and learning of practical ethics as a first-person, present-tense activity. Practical ethics instruction can be expected to bring about more sophisticated decision-making only if students and teachers keep cognizant of their own values, beliefs, and processes for thinking through ethical issues. Institutions of higher education and the ethics class itself provide often-ignored opportunities for ethical analysis. The book closes with an analysis of how ethics serves as a bridge across cultures. A resource for teachers of ethics across the curriculum, this book may also be used as a supplemental text for upper level undergraduate and graduate students, or as a guide for self-study.



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How to Speak Your Mind When You Know What’s Right

Mary C. Gentile

Yale University Press

(August 2010)

How can you effectively stand up for your values when pressured by your boss, customers, or shareholders to do the opposite?

Babson College business educator and consultant Mary Gentile draws on actual business experiences as well as social science research to challenge the assumptions about business ethics at companies and business schools. She gives business leaders, managers, and students the tools not just to recognize what is right, but also to ensure that the right things happen. The book is inspired by a program Gentile launched at the Aspen Institute with Yale School of Management, and now housed at Babson College, with pilot programs in over one hundred schools and organizations, including INSEAD and MIT Sloan School of Management.

She explains why past attempts at preparing business leaders to act ethically too often failed, arguing that the issue isn’t distinguishing what is right or wrong, but knowing how to act on your values despite opposing pressure. Through research-based advice, practical exercises, and scripts for handling a wide range of ethical dilemmas, Gentile empowers business leaders with the skills to voice and act on their values, and align their professional path with their principles. Giving Voice to Values is an engaging, innovative, and useful guide that is essential reading for anyone in business.


Media, Markets, and MoralsSpence_Alexandra_Quinn_and_Dunn_book.jpg

Edward H. Spence, Andrew Alexandra, Aaron Quinn and Anne Dunn


(May 2011)

Media, Markets, and Morals provides an original ethical framework designed specifically for evaluating ethical issues in the media, including new media. The authors apply their account of the moral role of the media, in their dual capacity as information providers for the public good and as businesses run for profit, to specific morally problematic practices and question how ethical behavior can be promoted within the industry.

  • Brings together experts in the fields of media studies and media ethics, information ethics, and professional ethics
  • Offers an original ethical framework designed specifically for evaluating ethical issues in the media, including new media
  • Builds upon and further develops an innovative theoretical model for examining and evaluating media corruption and methods of media anti-corruption previously developed by authors Spence and Quinn
  • Discloses and clarifies the inherent ethical nature of information and its communication to which the media as providers of information are necessarily committed

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An Ethical Analysis

Mark R. Wicclair

Cambridge University Press

(June 2011)

Historically associated with military service, conscientious objection has become a significant phenomenon in health care. Mark Wicclair offers a comprehensive ethical analysis of conscientious objection in three representative health care professions: medicine, nursing and pharmacy. He critically examines two extreme positions: the ‘incompatibility thesis’, that it is contrary to the professional obligations of practitioners to refuse provision of any service within the scope of their professional competence; and ‘conscience absolutism’, that they should be exempted from performing any action contrary to their conscience. He argues for a compromise approach that accommodates conscience-based refusals within the limits of specified ethical constraints. He also explores conscientious objection by students in each of the three professions, discusses conscience protection legislation and conscience-based refusals by pharmacies and hospitals, and analyzes several cases. His book is a valuable resource for scholars, professionals, trainees, students, and anyone interested in theis incresingly important aspect of health care.

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