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Ethics : A Very Short Introduction - Simon Blackburn


A Very Short Introduction

Paperback Published: 1st May 2003
ISBN: 9780192804426
Number Of Pages: 152

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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.

Industry Reviews

`Review from previous edition Simon Blackburn's short book takes the big moral questions head on and does so brilliantly. . . a witty, vivid writer with an enviable popular touch . . . this is a wonderfully enlightening book.' Ben Rogers, Sunday Telegraph, `full of good sense' Sunday Times `But for anyone wondering how big questions have bothered us over the years, this witty, rigorous book fills in the gaps.' PLAY, The Times `always lively and never simplistic' Waterstone's Quarterly January 2002 `Good clearheaded stuff' Ted Honderich, The Times `enjoyable and extremely readable . . . Blackburn . . . is breezy, helpful, reassuring' The Philosopher's Magazine `sparklingly clear' Guardian `a first rate and accessible guide which tackles the huge, perpetual questions' Nottingham Evaning Post

Preface List of Illustrations Introduction Seven Threats to Ethics 1: The Threat of the Death of God 2: The Threat of Relativism 3: The Threat of Egoism 4: The Threat from Evolutionary Theory 5: The Threat of Determinism and Futility 6: The Threat of Unreasonable Demands 7: The Threat of False Consciousness Some Ethical Ideas 8: Birth 9: Death 10: Desire and the Meaning of Life 11: Pleasure 12: The Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number 13: Freedom from the Bad 14: Freedom and Paternalism 15: Rights and Natural Rights Foundations? 16: Reasons and Foundations 17: Living Well and Doing Good 18: The Categorical Imperative 19: Contracts and Discourse 20: The Common Point of View 21: Confidence Restored Further Reading Index

ISBN: 9780192804426
ISBN-10: 0192804421
Series: VSI
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 152
Published: 1st May 2003
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 17.9 x 11.4  x 1.2
Weight (kg): 0.144

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