Ethics: A Very Short Introduction

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Our self-image as moral, well-behaved creatures is dogged by scepticism, relativism, hypocrisy, and nihilism, by the fear that in a Godless world science has unmasked us as creatures fated by our genes to be selfish and tribalistic, or competitive and aggressive. In this clear introduction to ethics Simon Blackburn tackles the major moral questions surrounding birth, death, happiness, desire and freedom, showing us how we should think about the meaning of life, and how we should mistrust the soundbite-sized absolutes that often dominate moral debates.

About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (September 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192804421
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192804426
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.5 x 4.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces

Customer Reviews

Ethics: A Very Short Introduction

6 people found this helpful.
 on September 11, 2013
By easy going
Excellent–the book has stirred lots of thought and given me a grasp on an important field of thought. I recommend it.

I like all these short introductions

 on February 1, 2017
By Brenda De Wet
I like all these short introductions. They expose one to the major questions and arguments in the field.

Five Stars

 on July 13, 2015
By Julie Shearer
A worthy introduction to the field of ethics….

Five Stars

 on June 15, 2016
By Lauren Tillman


4 people found this helpful.
 on September 13, 2012
By Franco
Once again a book from the VSI series that really accomplish what it promises. Excellent first reading on the topic, it was really helpful preaparing a lecture on biomedical ethics for undergraduate students.

Good start, could be better

3 people found this helpful.
 on June 12, 2017
By Tarik D. LaCour
Ethics is one of the five main branches of philosophy, with logic, epistemology, metaphysics, and aesthetics being the others. However, whether one is interested in philosophy or not, most people are interested in ethics because it is something they think about in there everyday lives (one could argue that the other four branches are used daily as well).

A very useful Little Book

12 people found this helpful.
 on April 17, 2010
By N. A. Ramirez MD
I enjoyed the simple approach, easy explanations and clear language. It is useful as a “Reader’s Digest” view of ethics for the everyday person, or the beginner student.

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