Being Good: A Short Introduction to Ethics

Being Good: A Short Introduction to Ethics

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.

Title:Being Good: A Short Introduction to Ethics
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780192853776
Format Type:

    Being Good: A Short Introduction to Ethics Reviews

  • Riku Sayuj

    Slowly working my way through the Very Short Introduction series. This has been the worst of the lot till now - in fact the series had been pretty good until this one. Blackburn seems to be unaware th...

  • Ahmad Sharabiani

    Being Good: A Short Introduction to Ethics (Very Short Introductions #80), Simon BlackburnWriting with wit and elegance, Simon Blackburn tackles the basic questions of ethics in this lively book, high...

  • booklady

    When I got to the 'joke' about the priest who presented the Truth about eternal life and the promise of salvation and it was received as, "Wow, terrific, if that works for you that's great." on page 2...

  • Armin Books

    After reading Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy by the same author, I expected this one to be a great source of insightful and thought-provoking ideas. It did provide some interesting bac...

  • Amirography

    I believe, when a scholar is expected to write a book with "Very short Introduction" In its name and is published by Oxford University Press, the earlier mentioned scholar should at least write argume...

  • Regan

    This book is not specific enough about trends in ethics to be of good use in an Intro to Philosophy class, but it provides a sophisticated and non-condescending account of the subject fit for intellig...

  • Xander

    In Being Good: A short introduction to ethics (2001), contemporary philosopher Simon Blackburn offers a tour de force along the field of ethics. He does this by attacking everyday subjects that common...

  • Muhamed

    In my opinion, the author did a good job of presenting important ethical discussions (mainly western). However, more than being an overview and a summary, the author presents his own views as the corr...

  • Blake

    This book has vanquished my hopes in Blackburn's treatment of ethics. The criticism goes not for his brevity, but to his innaccuracy in attempts to properly represent the threats to an objectivist eth...

  • B. Rule

    Good overview that would be a decent introduction for a layman. I admired its concision and plainspoken approach. I thought he did a good job of summarizing Kant and Aristotle in a couple paragraphs. ...