Cover image for Encyclopedia of ethics
Encyclopedia of ethics
Terkel, Susan Neiburg.
Publication Information:
New York : Facts On File, [1999]

Physical Description:
xvi, 302 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BJ63 .E46 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material

On Order



When is it okay to lie? What does it mean to have a strong moral fiber? What forces shape a society's standards of right and wrong? Ranging from philosophical and theoretical ethics to applied ethics

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The public dialogue about ethics continues unabated, as does our fascination with moral dilemmas, as evidenced by the recent resurgence of interest in bioethics, feminist ethics, medical ethics, sexual ethics, and Western and Eastern ethics. It comes as no surprise that Facts On File has seen fit to commit to a one-volume encyclopedia on this complex subject. Promising to provide a basic introduction, this book is targeted at high-school and undergraduate students. The focus is on contemporary issues, terms, and movements. Entries on animal rights, computer ethics, euthanasia, family values, hate crimes, lifestyles, the moral majority, organ transplants, surrogate motherhood, and whistle-blowing demonstrate this focus. Included also are entries on certain works, people, and events essential to understanding other works or to doing research. A minimum of cross-references guide the reader to further explore the issues, and a selected bibliography provides springboards for further study. Despite its promise and promising focus, the Board fears this volume will fail to serve its users adequately. Brief entries dominate the work and will undoubtedly frustrate those who seek to place issues, terms, and movements in broader historical or contemporary context. The lack of bibliographies following each entry will also frustrate readers who seek to further explore the issues. Additional cross-references within articles, after each article, and within the alphabetical arrangement are needed. Libraries are better served by the three-volume Ethics [RBB S 1 94], which consists of 819 alphabetically arranged articles that combine the features of a dictionary and an encyclopedia. The scope of this set is broader than the title being reviewed, and its numerous special features make it far more accessible. Libraries that already own earlier general works, such as The Encyclopedia of Ethics (Garland, 1992) or A Companion to Ethics (Blackwell, 1991), will probably want to think twice before purchase. Clearly, the need still exists for a more in-depth encyclopedia addressed to students and accessible to the general reader on ethical issues of current interest.

Library Journal Review

Terkel (director, Inst. for Ethics in Education) and Duval (philosophy, Mt. Mary Coll.) have collaborated to produce this authoritative yet accessible encyclopedia of ethics for general readers. First, complicated and abstract ethical theories are explained concisely, with clear, one-sentence definitions. Then these definitions are expanded upon and illuminated with well-chosen contemporary examples. Multiple and diverse viewpoints on ethical controversies are presented to aid in critical thinking. Entries from applied ethics (abortion, organ transplants, sexual harassment), world cultures, and world religious traditions (Halakah, Five Pillars) are included in addition to traditional Western philosophical theory. Entries are unsigned. While academic libraries are well served by the more scholarly two-volume Encyclopedia of Ethics (LJ 6/15/92), this is highly recommended for all high school and public libraries; earlier encyclopedias of this type should be weeded.ÄMarc Meola, Temple Univ. Lib., Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

With more than 500 entries, this subject encyclopedia is notable for its ability to translate difficult philosophical ideas (e.g., fallacy) into language that lower-division undergraduates can grasp without compromising the complexity of the topic. Terkel and Duval, both practicing ethicists, have created a tool useful for undergraduate collections that complements more advanced encyclopedias like The Encyclopedia of Ethics, ed. by Lawrence and Charlotte Becker (CH, Nov'92). Terkel and Duval provide concise summaries of various schools of ethical thought and of philosophical concepts that are critical for ethical analysis. It introduces important philosophers, religious thinkers, and doctrines and discusses their contributions to ethics. Other entries summarize legal concepts, discussions of rights, ethical standards, and ethical controversies. The book is international in scope, covering, e.g., Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Confucianism. It is arranged alphabetically by topic and includes see references. The book ends with a selected general bibliography, but it lacks bibliographies linked to the topics addressed, which compromises its usefulness. The index is clear and complete. The introduction is useful for beginning students, but not for advanced students or researchers. G. J. Reece; American University



When is it okay to lie? What does it mean to have a "strong moral fiber?" What forces shape a society's standards of right and wrong? Ranging from philosophical and theoretical ethics to applied ethics, Encyclopedia of Ethics covers people, events, terms, ideas, works, and movements from a global perspective. Appropriate for high school students and general readers alike, this one-volume, A-to-Z reference source provides the working vocabulary needed to tackle the ideas of ethical thinking, particularly the building of a personal moral compass and the evaluation of the laws and customs of any society or institution. Entries are illustrated with real-world examples, such as dealing with an elderly parent's failing health or being asked to lie, and help readers clarify their own ideas and evaluate all sides of a particular issue. Among the topics covered are: • Philosophy (character, justice, self-realization) • Morality (Jewish ethics, moral development, Shari'a) • Practical issues (medical ethics, sexual ethics, business ethics). The thinkers who have shaped these concepts, such as Confucius, Hildegard of Bingen, and John Stuart Mill, are all included. Excerpted from Encyclopedia of Ethics by Susan N. Terkel, R. Shannon Duval All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.