Being Good: A Short Introduction to Ethics

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Writing with wit and elegance, Simon Blackburn tackles the basic questions of ethics in this lively book, highlighting the complications and troubling issues that spring from the very simple question of how we ought to live. Blackburn dissects the many common reasons for why we are skeptical about ethics. Drawing on examples from history, politics, religion and everyday personal experience, he shows how cynicism and self-consciousness can paralyze us into considering ethics a hopeless pursuit. He assures us that ethics is neither futile nor irrelevant, but an intimate part of the most important issues of living-of birth, death, happiness, desire, freedom, pleasure, and justice. Indeed, from moral dilemmas about abortion and euthanasia, to our obsession with personal rights, to our longing for a sense of meaning in life, our everyday struggles are rife with ethical issues. Blackburn distills the arguments of Hume, Kant and Aristotle down to their essences, to underscore the timeless relevance of our voice of conscience, the pitfalls of complacency, and our concerns about truth, knowledge and human progress.

Blackburn's rare combination of depth, rigor, and sparkling prose, along with his distinguished ranking among contemporary philosophers, mark Being Good as an important statement on our current disenchantment with ethics. It challenges us to take a more thoughtful reading of our ethical climate and to ponder more carefully our own standards of behavior.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2nd edition (April 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192853775
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192853776
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.4 x 4.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces

Customer Reviews

Being Good: An Introduction to Ethics

6 people found this helpful.
 on March 22, 2013
By DMack
My book review of Being Good: An Introduction to Ethics by Simon Blackburn published by Oxford University Press first published in 2001, ISBN 0-19-210052-1 $8.18. The book is about the beginning of ethics and its foundation.

Stupendous digest

2 people found this helpful.
 on June 27, 2016
By Amazon Customer
Blackburn covers most of moral philosophy and infuses his own views as well, which is better than a plain history ofphikosophy

Five Stars

 on May 17, 2017
By Luna
concise and nice!

A Great Intro Level Book!

2 people found this helpful.
 on June 4, 2015
By Mohit Patel
Blackburn’s book is a great introduction to ethics for people who want to learn about the subject but don’t know where to start. It’s also a great read for those considering a philosophy major.

Nice way to catch up on the topic of formal ethics

2 people found this helpful.
 on February 20, 2015
By Ciprian Danea
Concise and to the point. Very nice summary of the history with precise descriptions of various positions from famous philosophers and entire schools of thought.

Think for yourself. Study this book.

One person found this helpful.
 on September 28, 2016
By David Rossi
Should be required study for everyone.

Four Stars

One person found this helpful.
 on March 20, 2016
By Jean Ntayomba
If you want to have a summary of the foundation of philosophical ideas on ethics, a must read

Exce;;ent Introduction

2 people found this helpful.
 on April 7, 2015
By J. C. Morgan
Excellent, easy to read introduction to the field of ethics, theories and issues.

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