Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Wenz S. Peter  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1945


-- Wenz S. Peter on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=wenz+s.+peter


Illinois Connection

Peter is a professor of philiosophy and legal studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Biographical and Professional Information

Peter is Professor Emeritus of philiosophy and legal studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield. He also has an appointment to the Institute for Legal, Administrative and Policy Studies. He also serves as adjunct professor of medical humanities at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Political Philosophies in Moral Conflict
ISBN: 0073132497

McGraw-Hill Education. 2006

Political Philosophies in Moral Conflict presents the theories and issues of political philosophy as tools for understanding and expressing the various views of the role of the state in people's lives. Students will explore the impact of classic and contemporary philosophical theories as they affect the political structure of lives today through a variety of current, controversial debates such as racial profiling, drug legalization, pollution control and physician-assisted suicide. Cases such as school vouchers, Microsoft's trade restraint, polygamy, and abortion offer a way to demonstrate the practical impact of competing political philosophies.

Environmental Justice (SUNY series in Environmental Public Policy)
ISBN: 0887066453

SUNY Press. 1988

This book explores the philosophical background of questions on environmental justice. It focuses on theories of distributive justice, primarily those which concern the manner in which benefits and burdens should be allocated when there is a scarcity of benefits (relative to people’s wants or needs) and a surfeit of burdens. It is one of those rare philosophy books that is at once accessible and sophisticated, as it introduces both philosophers and people interested in environmental studies, law, and economics to germane developments in the philosophical treatment of the question of justice. Since environmental concerns are uniquely global, theories of distributive justice are tested most thoroughly for their comprehensiveness when they are applied to environmental matters. Consequently, most illustrations and applications in this book are drawn from contexts of environmental concerns including property rights, human rights, animal rights, general utility, and hypothetical contracts.

Environmental Ethics Today
ISBN: 0195133846

Oxford University Press. 2000

Environmental Ethics Today is essential reading for anyone interested in the future of the environment, our species, and species diversity. This wide-ranging introduction to major issues and questions in environmental ethics employs an accessible, journalistic style--featuring current facts, real controversies, individual stories, and a vivid narrative--that engages readers and gives meaning to abstract philosophical concepts. Topics discussed include pollution permits for corporations, medical experimentation on animals, genetic engineering, economic globalization, biodiversity, and much more. Theories and methods such as utilitarianism, contractarianism, and hermeneutics are introduced as needed to help readers understand and attempt to resolve environmental conflicts. The book considers the views of many thinkers including Father Thomas Berry, Wendell Berry, J. Baird Callicott, Jane Goodall, Garrett Hardin, David Korten, Aldo Leopold, Arne Naess, Val Plumwood, Daniel Quinn, Tom Regan, Holmes Rolston III, Vandana Shiva, Julian Simon, Peter Singer, and Karen Warren. An exceptional primary text for courses in environmental ethics and environmental values, Environmental Ethics Today is also excellent reading for general courses in moral problems, business ethics, environmental studies, and women's studies.

Nature's Keeper (Ethics And Action)
ISBN: 1566394287

Temple University Press. 1996

In contrast to the destructive separate from nature attitude, this title looks to various peoples as an example of societies where human beings revere nature for itself - societies where human beings flourish as individuals, in families, and in communities.

Abortion Rights as Religious Freedom (Ethics And Action)
ISBN: 0877228574

Temple University Press. 1992

This excellent books is bound to stir debate on the abortion issue and to occupy a rather distinctive position. --R.G. Frey, Bowling Green State UniversityWith the current composition of the Supreme Court and recent challenges to Roe v. Wade, Peter S. Wenz's new approach to the ethical, moral, and legal issues related to a woman's right to elective abortion may turn the tide in this debate. He argues that the Supreme Court reached the right decision in Roe v. Wade but for the wrong reasons. Wenz contends that a woman's right to terminated her pregnancy should be based, not on her constitutional right to privacy, but on the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom, a basis for freedom of choice that is not subject to the legal criticisms advanced against Roe. At least up to the 20th week of a pregnancy, one's belief whether a human fetus is a human person or not is a religious decision. He maintains that because questions about the moral status of a fetus are religious, it follows that anti-abortion legislation, to the extent that it is predicated on such inherently religious beliefs, is unconstitutional.In this timely and topical book, Wenz also examines related cases that deal with government intervention in an individual's procreative life, the regulation of contraceptives, and other legislation that is either applied to or imposed upon select groups of people (e.g., homosexuals, drug addicts). He builds a concrete argument that could replace Roe v. Wade.ReviewsIn this important study of abortion and the Constitiution, legal philosopher Peter Wenz contends that Roe v. Wade was wrongly argued but well conlcuded. Wenz presents a substantial review of Supreme Court decisions on abortion, then critically exposes flaws, including the privacy justification for abortion as well as the trimester scheme.--Religious Studies ReviewIn this major work, Peter Wenz has analyzed the relation of the Constitution's religion clauses to the abortion controversy. His principal contribution is to shift the argument from the right of privacy (invoked, he believes, unsuccessfully in Roe v. Wade) to the Establishment Clause. The Court's concern in Roe was whether the statute unduly burdened a fundamental right. But tested by the Establishment Clause, statutes may violate the Constitution by implicitly endorsing a religious belief, namely, the personhood of the unborn. Wenz concludes that the Establishment Clause permits abortions prior to the twenty-first week of pregnancy.--C. Herman Prichett, Professor of Political Science Emeritus, University of California, Santa BarbaraThis is an original and scholarly exposition of the view that abortion rights fall under the religion clauses of the First Amendment. The view defended is an important alternative to the privacy defense upon which the Roe v. Wade decision was based and should help to expand the ethical and constitutional debate about abortion rights.--Mary Anne Warren, Associate Professor of Philosophy, San Francisco State University, and author of Gendercide: The Implications of Sex SelectionContentsPrefaceIntroductionRoe v. Wade under Attack oOe1/4o Individual Rights and Majority Rule oOe1/4o Constitutional Interpretation oOe1/4o Preview of Chapters1. The Derivation of Roe v. WadeEconomic Substantive Due Process oOe1/4o Due Process and the Family oOe1/4o Contraception and Privacy in Griswold v. Connecticut oOe1/4o Contraception and Privacy in Eisenstadt v. Baird oOe1/4o Blackmun's Privacy Rationale in Roe v. Wade oOe1/4o Stewart's Due Process Rationale in Roe v. Wade oOe1/4o Tribe on Substantive Due Process oOe1/4o Conclusion2. Potentiality and ViabilityThe Roe v. Wade Decision oOe1/4o The Concept of Viability in Abortion Cases oOe1/4o Dividing the Gestational Continuum oOe1/4o The Genetic Approach to Personhood oOe1/4o Viability versus Similarity to Newborns oOe1/4o Two Consequentialist Arguments oOe1/4o Feminism and Viability oOe1/4o Conclusion3. The Evolution of ReligionReligion in the Abortion Debate oOe1/4o The Original Understanding of the Religion Clauses oOe1/4o The Evolution of Religion Clause Doctrine oOe1/4o Incorporation of the Religion Clauses oOe1/4o From Belief to Practice oOe1/4o Alleviating Indirect Burdens on Religious Practice oOe1/4o Expanding the Meaning of Religion oOe1/4o The Original Understanding View oOe1/4o Bork: Conservative or Moderate? oOe1/4o Conflicts between the Religion Clauses oOe1/4o The Elusive Meaning of Religion oOe1/4o Conclusion4. The Definition of ReligionThe Adjectival Sense of Religion oOe1/4o Religious Beliefs Independent of Organized Religions oOe1/4o Religious Belief as Fundamental to Organized Religion oOe1/4o Secular Beliefs Related to Material Reality oOe1/4o Secular Beliefs Related to Social Interaction oOe1/4o Secular Facts versus Secular Values oOe1/4o The Court's Characterizations of Secular Beliefs oOe1/4o Secular (Nonreligious) Belief oOe1/4o The Epistemological Standard for Distinguishing Religious from Secular Belief oOe1/4o Judicial Examples of Religious Beliefs oOe1/4o General Characteristics of Religious Beliefs oOe1/4o Summary5. Religion in CourtThe Epistemological Standard Applied oOe1/4o Cults and Crazies oOe1/4o Secular Religions oOe1/4o Tensions between the Religion Clauses oOe1/4o The Unitary Definition of Religion6. Fetal Personhood as Religious BeliefAnti-Contraception Laws and the Establishment Clause oOe1/4o Belief in the Existence of God oOe1/4o Belief in the Personhood of Young Fetuses oOe1/4o Distinguishing Religious from Secular Determinations of Fetal Personhood oOe1/4o Religious versus Secular Uncertainty oOe1/4o Environmental Preservation and Animal Protection versus Fetal Value oOe1/4o Greenawalt's Argument oOe1/4o The Reach of Secular Considerations oOe1/4o Secular versus Religious Matters oOe1/4o Conclusion7. The Regulation of AbortionThe Trimester Framework and Its Exceptions oOe1/4o O'Connor's Objections to the Trimester Framework oOe1/4o Superiority of the Establishment Clause Approach to the Trimester Framework oOe1/4o Required Efforts to Save the Fetus oOe1/4o The Neutrality Principle oOe1/4o Appropriate Judicial Skepticism oOe1/4o Undue Burdens and Unconstitutional Endorsements oOe1/4o Conclusion8. Abortion and OthersPublic Funding of Abortion oOe1/4o The Establishment Clause Approach to Public Funding oOe1/4o The Court's Funding Rationale oOe1/4o The Court's Inconsistent Rationale oOe1/4o Publicly Funded Family Planning Clinics oOe1/4o Spousal Consent oOe1/4o The Court's Flawed Parental Consent Rationale oOe1/4o Information Requirements oOe1/4o Spousal and Parental Consent oOe1/4o The Establishment Clause Approach: Medical Dimension oOe1/4o The Establishment Clause Approach: Religious Dimension oOe1/4o Implications of the Establishment Clause Approach oOe1/4o The Court's Inconsistency oOe1/4o Equivalent Results oOe1/4o Parental Notification oOe1/4o ConclusionConclusionJustice Scalia's View oOe1/4o The Fundamental Flaw in Roe oOe1/4o The Rationale for the Establishment Clause Approach oOe1/4o Advantages of the Establishment Clause ApproachNotesGlossary of TermsAnnotated Table of CasesBibliographyIndexAbout the Author(s): Peter S. Wenz is Professor of Philosophy and Legal Studies at Sangamon State University."

Beyond Red and Blue: How Twelve Political Philosophies Shape American Debates (The MIT Press)
ISBN: 0262012952

The MIT Press. 2009

Why Americans do not divide neatly into red and blue or right and left but form coalitions across party lines on hot-button issues ranging from immigration to same-sex marriage.

On any given night cable TV news will tell us how polarized American politics is: Republicans are from Mars, Democrats are from Canada. But in fact, writes Peter Wenz in Beyond Red and Blue, Americans do not divide neatly into two ideological camps of red/blue, Republican/Democrat, right/left. In real life, as Wenz shows, different ideologies can converge on certain issues people from the right and left can support the same policy for different reasons. Thus, for example, libertarian-leaning Republicans can oppose the Patriot Act's encroachment on personal freedom and social conservatives can support gay marriage on the grounds that it strengthens the institution of marriage.

Wenz maps out twelve political philosophies―ranging from theocracy and free-market conservatism to feminism and cosmopolitanism―on which Americans draw when taking political positions. He then turns his focus to some of America's most controversial issues and shows how ideologically diverse coalitions can emerge on such hot-button topics as extending life by artificial means, the war on drugs, the war on terrorism, affirmative action, abortion, same-sex marriage, health care, immigration, and globalization.

Awareness of these twelve political philosophies, Wenz argues, can help activists enlist allies, citizens better understand politics and elections, and all of us define our own political identities.


Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (No)