Review by Choice Review
An outstanding addition to the ranks of specialized encyclopedias, this set covers topics of current interest to both students writing papers and general readers struggling with day-to-day moral decisions. Many of the 281 topics appear daily in newspapers and on television. Here one can find overviews of birth-control ethics, capital punishment, computer security, euthanasia, jury conduct, police and race relations, gun control, and sexual harassment. Also covered are theories and concepts of ethics such as hedonism, virtue ethics, game theory, and moral development. Articles are written by experts and range from three pages for "Publish or Perish Syndrome" to 27 for "Native American Cultures." The format is excellent; each article begins with an outline followed by a glossary with definitions of important terms and concludes with a brief bibliography. Because of its quality and relevance, this set should be purchased by all academic and many public libraries. J. E. Sheets Baylor University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
This more than 3100-page encyclopedia includes 281 articles, nearly all on applied ethics, e.g., euthanasia, eugenics, sexual harassment, journalistic ethics, informed consent, and computer security, and a few on theoretical ethics, e.g., consequentialism and deontology. Each article begins with an outline of its topics, a glossary of especially important terms, and a first paragraph summarizing the content of the article. The great majority of the articles range from about 7500 to 11,000 words, although the shortest is about 3000 and the longest about 30,000 words. Helpful section headings are included, nearly all articles are cross-referenced, and each has a bibliography of about ten titles. On the whole, the articles are clearly organized, appropriately informative, well balanced, nontendentious, and decently written. Better editing, however, would have spared us having things like this: "Population aging, transformation in the health and life styles of older as well as younger people, increasing secularism now modified by a recrudescence of intolerant religious fundamentalism manifest on a worldwide scale, an accelerating rate of technological innovations, and reshaped relationships between social groups and among rich and poor countries have together affected and confused long-standing assumptions about the value of the aging process for individuals and of aged people as a section of society." There is some carelessness, e.g., one contributor tells us that "Global warming is now recognized [by whom?] to be caused by human activity," and some bibliographies have unfortunate omissions. Finally, the encyclopedia does not include any analysis of polygraph testing in law or business, of the idea of competency to stand trial, or of expert testimony in or out of the courtroom. But the foregoing and other defects must count as mere lapses in what is a truly excellent encyclopedia. It is wide-ranging and detailed enough to be useful to intelligent lay readers, scholars, and specialists. The articles on the status and treatment of ethnocultural minority groups, challenges to applied ethics, euthanasia, and some others are models of what an encyclopedia article should be. Highly recommended for all academic and other large libraries.Robert Hoffman, York Coll., CUNY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.