Africa: A Biography of the Continent by John Reader

By John Reader

Drawing on a long time of African adventure, John Reader has written a publication of startling grandeur and scope that recreates the good landscape of African background, from the primeval cataclysms that shaped the continent to the political upheavals dealing with a lot of the continent this present day. Reader tells the extreme tale of humankind's version to the ferocious stumbling blocks of woodland, river and desolate tract, and to the specter of debilitating parasites, micro organism and viruses unequalled in different places on the earth. He additionally exhibits how the world's richest collection of animals and vegetation has helped - or hindered - human development in Africa.

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Sample text

One approach to ethics advises us to make decisions in terms of the consequences of our actions and to act in ways that maximize overall social benefits. Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that determines right and wrong in terms of the overall consequences of our actions. Preserving species because they provide beneficial consequences fits this pattern of ethical reasoning. A second approach reasons in terms of rights and principles and tells us that we have certain fundamental duties that require us to act in certain ways and to refrain from acting in others.

Or as we might say, might makes right. All talk of ethics, justice, morality, according to this skeptic, is but a smokescreen for what really is happening behind the scenes. Political decision making is nothing other than power politics— competing interest groups asserting their own preferences and the winners defining what is right and wrong. There is no independent, rational, objective means for determining right and wrong. In modern political terms, this view would be called political realism.

Or, should we be content with Thrasymachus and try to become the strongest so that we might be able to impose our views on others? Let us engage in the practice of environmental ethics and work through a wide variety of ethical issues concerning the environment to see if rational progress is possible. Copyright 201 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. Due to electronic rights, some third party content may be suppressed from the eBook and/or eChapter(s).

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