Peter Singer was already one of the most influential applied ethicists before the publication of Practical Ethics. He made his mark through his work on civil disobedience, famine relief, and animal liberation. In Practical Ethics, Singer expands on some of his earlier arguments and extends his analyses to other contemporary moral problems. The book is written in a clear, unadorned style that makes its arguments accessible to nonspecialists without sacrificing philosophical subtlety.
Singer’s overall aim is to show how a broadly utilitarian theory successfully treats such problems as moral equality, animal rights, abortion, euthanasia, obligations of the affluent to the impoverished, and the justification of means to ends.