From the Book - First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Introduction: a few questions readers might have, before we get started
Part One: in which we learn various theories about how to be good people from the three main schools of western moral philosophy that have emerged over the last 2,400 years, plus a bunch of other cool stuff, all in like eighty pages. Should I punch my friend in the face for no reason?
Should I let this runaway trolley I'm driving kill five people, or should I pull a lever and deliberately kill one (different) person?
Should I lie and tell my friend I like her ugly shirt?
Do I have to return my shopping cart to the shopping cart rack thingy? I mean... it's all the way over there.
Part Two: In which we take everything we've learned, and we start asking some tougher questions, and we use the stuff we've learned to try to answer them, and we also learn a bunch more cool stuff. Should I run into a burning building and try to save everyone trapped inside?
I just did something unselfish, but what's in it for me?!
Yes, I bumped into your car, but do you even care about hurricane Katrina?!
We've done some good deeds, and given a bunch of money to charity, and we're generally really nice and morally upstanding people, so can we take three of these free cheese samples from the cheese sample plate at the supermarket even though it clearly says "one per customer"?
Part Three: in which things get really tough, but we power through and complete our journeys, becoming perfectly virtuous and flourishing and deontologically pure happiness-generating super-people, and also there's a chapter with some cursing in it, but it's for a good reason. Oh, you bought a new iPhone? That's cool, did you know that millions of people are starving in South Asia?!
This sandwich is morally problematic, but it's also delicious, can I still eat it?
Making ethical decisions is hard, can we just... not make them?
I gave a twenty-seven-cent tip to my barista, and now everyone's yelling at me on Twitter, just because I'm a billionaire! I can't even enjoy the soft-shell crab rolls that my sushi chef made for my private dirigible trip to the Dutch Antilles! How is that fair?!
I screwed up, do I have to say I'm sorry?
Coda: Okay, kids, what have we learned?