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Being Good

A Short Introduction to Ethics

Being Good by Simon Blackburn
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It is not only in our dark hours that scepticism, relativism, hypocrisy, and

nihilism dog ethics. Whether it is a matter of giving to charity, or sticking to

duty, or insisting on our rights, we can be confused, or be paralysed by the fear

that our principles are groundless. Many are afraid that in a Godless world science

has unmasked us as creatures fated by our genes to be selfish and tribalistic, or

competitive and aggressive. Simon Blackburn, author of the best-sellingThink,

structures this short introduction around these and other threats to ethics.

Confronting seven different objections to our self-image as moral, well-behaved

creatures, he charts a course through the philosophical quicksands that often engulf

us. Then, turning to problems of life and death, he showshow we should think about

the meaning of life, and how we should mistrust the sound-bite sized absolutes that

often dominate moral debates. Finally he offers a critical tour of the ways the

philosophical tradition has tried to provide foundations for ethics, from Plato and

Aristotle through to contemporary debates.

Oxford University Press; March 2001
172 pages; ISBN 9780191647314
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Title: Being Good
Author: Simon Blackburn
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