Get a free audiobook

Ethics in the Real World

82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter
Written by: Peter Singer
Narrated by: Matthew Lloyd Davies
Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Peter Singer is often described as the world's most influential philosopher. He is also one of its most controversial. The author of important books such as Animal Liberation and Practical Ethics, he helped launch the animal rights and effective altruism movements and contributed to the development of bioethics. Now, in Ethics in the Real World, Singer shows that he is also a master at dissecting important current events in a few hundred words.

In this book of brief essays, he applies his controversial ways of thinking to issues like climate change, extreme poverty, animals, abortion, euthanasia, human genetic selection, sports doping, the sale of kidneys, the ethics of high-priced art, and ways of increasing happiness. Singer asks whether chimpanzees are people, smoking should be outlawed, or consensual sex between adult siblings should be decriminalized, and he reiterates his case against the idea that all human life is sacred, applying his arguments to some recent cases in the news. In addition, he explores, in an easily accessible form, some of the deepest philosophical questions, such as whether anything really matters and what is the value of the pale blue dot that is our planet.

©2016 Peter Singer (P)2016 Tantor

What the critics say

"Peter Singer is among the most vital moral voices of our time. He urges us to confront not only the question of what we should not do, but also the harder and larger questions of what we should do, and how much we owe to others." (Larissa MacFarquhar, author of Strangers Drowning)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No reviews are available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2016-11-07

Wonderful range of topics

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Ethics in the Real World. Each essay was engaging and interesting. They were short but thoughful and definitely opened my mind to new ways of thinking about certain things. I will listen again soon.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Joe Smith
  • 2018-04-13

excellent

very enjoyable shorts chapters of about 8-10 minutes each. each chapter is an op-ed piece stating a straightforward position, or asking a question, followed by several examples or related points. like a mental palette cleanser.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-08-01

ethics study that has no understanding

Bunch of good stuff is in here but while the author is well spoken he lacks the true understanding of not only his opposition but the origins of the ethics of our culture. His borderline nihilism some how gives birth to a deeply passionate ethical goals without much connection. He fails often to explain why and just falls back on our nature as to a reason to care about suffering other than our own. He speaks little in regards to why we value lives, why value freedom, why we value the absence of suffering.

While this book is extremely liberal I do not see the problem with the bias.
That's not the problem,
the problem is that many of his conservative counterparts such as Jordan Peterson make a much stronger explanation of this author's own argument. We need well articulated and fully realized people to guide us through these changing times not a man who seems to know little about the true complexities of our industries and cultures. We need more realized liberals who can push forward their argument with clarity and not blanketed statements contorted to fit predetermined biases.
I simply read a man proving the conservative notion of elitist intellectuals pushing into the space of industrious peoples. Without strong liberals to work alongside strong conservatives we will find a booming future paved over our garden of a planet.
At this point the flipping feelings of these animals make no difference if in a hundred years we trade our lush environment for prosperity.
That's what the ethical nature of this topic should be focused on not the emotions of fetuses and fish.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pedro
  • 2016-11-08

Very interesting.

Gave me motivation for doing more good and also good advice on having a bigger impact overall.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Farooq Ahmed
  • 2019-02-03

It opens up another part of your Moral self!

I considered myself a moral man, but this Audio book brought out something new in myself. Nothing is gray anymore. Black and White! What i might choose in life is a different story, but i cannot fool myself anymore. It is a great book for even the religious people, who might i add, have the Quran or Bible etc, for guidance, and feel thats all they need for guidance. YOU CAN FIND guidance everywhere, and this is a great part of it.
On a lighter note I started thinking about ethics after watching "A GOOD PLACE" NETFLIX......... i know it sounds corny but this is the lighter note ;-)
Thanks.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-08-07

Ethics in real sense

Peter Singer is undoubtedly the most influential philosopher in today's world. Each essay presents the readers with objective arguments to support the claim. His arguments and conclusions are hard to refute and are very compelling. A must read for someone who loves pondering over things happening in this world. Not recommended for 'you live only once so anything goes' kind of people.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Fabian
  • 2017-12-03

Short essay collection to make you think

It’s not a utilitarianism book. It’s a collection of essays from Peter Singer to make you think about hot topics. It’s pretty good and easy to listen. The narrator is good also. Peter is not as crazy as some people paint him. There’s an essay about the “controversial” meeting with disabled leaders and it was not controversial at all.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sean Linn
  • 2017-07-17

life changing.

throughout this book, I was inspired by each of his separate essays, some with similar subject matters but explaining them in different perspectives and interesting ways. There is no way that you can listen to this book and not feel like you are empowered to do something about the decline in the environment, or in making a positive improvement in your own ethical actions.
What a fluid and personable writer, and three narrator was a joy to hear. Wonderful emphasis, emotion and interest he seemed to have in this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Luke W
  • 2017-04-18

Mind-opening and inspirational.

Wonderful examination on how research and reality, as opposed to dogma and beliefs, can inform the decisions we make in our daily lives. Singer is remarkably well-thought and well-spoken, and dogged enough to follow logical pathways even when they come to emotionally disturbing results. We must reach these uncomfortable points sometimes to be able to give rational defenses for our positions.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous1
  • 2019-06-04

Too shallow, too opinionated, not well explored.

I got this book hoping to explore ethics and different logical ethical arguments about modern moral issues. What I actually got was a book full of opinion pieces cut straight out of a magazine that are FAR too short to do justice to any of the topics mentioned by the author. In each he says some context to the topic, why it is a question of ethics, then says his opinion, and maybe adds one or two reasons why he has that opinion. Very little exploration of the topics or elaboration on why other views might be valid. Not worth a serious listen.

1 person found this helpful