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Ethics : A Very Short Introduction (English)

Author: BLACKBURN
Paperback
Language: English
Length: 152 Pages
Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr
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Ethics : A Very Short Introduction (English) (Paperback) Price: Rs.90

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.

Salient Features

  • Written by Simon Blackburn, author of the best-selling Think
  • Short, lively, humorous, and accessible
  • Unique combination of depth, rigor and sparkling prose
  • Ethics is the area of philosophy which touches most on everyday life - its central theme is how we ought to live
  • Discusses topics such as birth, death, desire,and the meaning of life

Table of Contents

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

Specifications of Ethics : A Very Short Introduction (English) (Paperback)

Contributors
Author BLACKBURN
Book Details
Publisher Oxford Univ Pr
Imprint Oxford Paperbacks
Publication Year 2009 September
ISBN-13 9780192804426
ISBN-10 0192804421
Language English
Binding Paperback
Number of Pages 152 Pages
Series & Set Details
Series Name Very Short Introductions
Dimensions
Width 4.25 inch
Height 6.49 inch
Depth 0.23 inch
Weight 136 g
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★★★★★
★★★★★
Srikanth Pai
12 Jun 2012
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A thorough and an effortless read

'Ethics' starts with the pitfalls of ethics and warns readers what Ethics is not and how important debates on ethical subjects are hindered due to some pitfalls of holy sanctity, relativism, egoism, determinism and many others. He rightly considers these reasons as threats to ethics which needs to be debated. In a debate, we say things like, "You might have a different opinion. This is my opinion. Period". This threat to ethics is termed as relativism and he discusses how this threat of allowing contradicting truths can be harmful to the well being of one's society.

In the next c...
()

'Ethics' starts with the pitfalls of ethics and warns readers what Ethics is not and how important debates on ethical subjects are hindered due to some pitfalls of holy sanctity, relativism, egoism, determinism and many others. He rightly considers these reasons as threats to ethics which needs to be debated. In a debate, we say things like, "You might have a different opinion. This is my opinion. Period". This threat to ethics is termed as relativism and he discusses how this threat of allowing contradicting truths can be harmful to the well being of one's society.

In the next c...
'Ethics' starts with the pitfalls of ethics and warns readers what Ethics is not and how important debates on ethical subjects are hindered due to some pitfalls of holy sanctity, relativism, egoism, determinism and many others. He rightly considers these reasons as threats to ethics which needs to be debated. In a debate, we say things like, "You might have a different opinion. This is my opinion. Period". This threat to ethics is termed as relativism and he discusses how this threat of allowing contradicting truths can be harmful to the well being of one's society.

In the next chapter, the book introduces a few basic theories of ethics. Being wary of the pitfalls, it carefully investigates the cherished ideals and values of a human life. It discusses the worth of birth, death, living, desires, pleasure and obligations that plague us with ethical dilemmas. The fundamental riddle of abortion, the sad dilemma of euthanasia, the irony of enjoying fleeting moments and many other common musings are analyzed in this chapter. He effortlessly quotes philosophers, lightens the mood with humor and yet, maintains a focus on discussing ethical ideas.

The last chapter advocates that reasons, human well being, categorical imperatives among others must be the fundamental reasons for being 'good' or ethical. The last chapter introduces us to the idea that 'reasons' must decide our brand of ethics. It then raises the question of the capacity of reasons to be arbitrary and hence useless. Purpose seems like a good contender, but what happens when purpose restricts our freedom? Read the book to find out how this is settled. I wont spoil it for you :)

In short, Simon Blackburn's book is a lively narrative that is touching and puzzling as much as it troubling and thought provoking. When his stories and analysis question one's morality, it also educates and tickles. For instance, I learnt how to say knife in different languages, Veblen's doctrine of 'conspicuous consumption' and many other minutiae scattered throughout the book. The seamless narrative served with humorous anecdotes makes a heavy topic like 'Ethics', an enjoyable experience.

2 of 2 users found this review helpful.
    Book: Ethics : A Very Short Introduction (English) by BLACKBURN
    ISBN Number: 0192804421, 9780192804426, 978-0192804426

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